Nothin' But Rhett: Basketball Analysis is proud to introduce a new column by former USC basketball player Joe Rhett, where he will share his expert insight and analysis on the Gamecock basketball team. Read inside for Rhett's second column, as he analyzes USC's two road losses last week and takes a look ahead at this week's showdown with the Florida Gators.

It was a rough week for the Gamecocks last week, with two losses in two tough road games. LSU presented a very tough matchup for our inside guys. LSU's big man Tasmin Mitchell, who measures in at 6-foot-7 and a bulky 235 pounds, posted a career high in points with 30 and also grabbed 14 rebounds.

LSU did a very good job in scouting the Gamecocks and exploiting one of our biggest weaknesses of inside play. Without a dominant presence inside, we have to play position defense, which means beating guys to the spot and putting a body on someone every time the ball is shot to increase our chance of taking care of the boards. As athletic as Dominique Archie and Mike Holmes are, it can be done, but it will take a lot of practice, hard work and desire collectively. Otherwise it will be a long season.

I have to agree with Coach Horn about not believing in moral victories, such as the case on Saturday night against Tennessee. But no one ever said we can't take something positive from that loss by three, in which we were down by 19 points in the first half. I like the way we fought our way back into the game. It shows we have character, and if we can find a way to get off to better starts in the beginning of the game on the road it will give us a better chance of winning. That is the hardest way to win on the road - getting off to slow starts in the SEC with hostile environments takes a toll on you as a team, and eventually you will run out of gas.

Now that we are (12-4, 1-2 in the SEC) we may have to do some adjusting. We know that our lack of depth, inside play, and trapping defense has been handled fairly easily by LSU and Tennessee. Thus, my challenge to Coach Horn is how or when are we going to adjust. We've had some great performances from our guards Devan Downey and Zam Fredrick this year, and we know night in and night out that we can count on 15 to 20 points apiece from them.

It was nice to see Archie have a good week. If we can get him and Holmes to perform like that together and throw in a couple threes from Evka Baniulis, we can grab a couple wins and get above .500 in the conference. Anything can happen, especially with the parity and overall balance of the SEC this year.

A well coached Florida team, who has positioned themselves back in the top 25, will be visiting us on Wednesday night. They have a tough point guard, Nick Calathes, who can cause the Gamecocks some problems with his size and ability to knock down the three. With the energy of our fans, let's see if we can click on all cylinders and upset those Gators.

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