By Rixon Lane
The Gamecock women's basketball team begins post-season play this afternoon in Little Rock.
Top-seeded South Carolina will faced ninth-seeded Arkansas in its first game of the SEC Tournament this afternoon.
With the Gamecocks beginning their march to the NCAA Tournament and beyond, here are the three things South Carolina must do to make it to Tampa and the Final Four.
1. Take Advantage of Charity
In South Carolina's two losses this season, the Gamecocks shot 50% from the free throw line. South Carolina is currently seventh in the conference and 219th in the nation, shooting 67.1% from the stripe. If the Gamecocks have any hope of playing deep into March, they must make their free throws. Don't be surprised if teams elect to put South Carolina on the line late in close games.
2. Convert Off Turnovers
South Carolina forced 11 turnovers in losses against Connecticut and Kentucky, but the Gamecocks combined to score just 14 points off those 22 turnovers. South Carolina's defense is forcing over 17 turnovers per game on average, but the Gamecocks must convert baskets on the other end. Also, South Carolina can't give the ball away; the Gamecocks turned it over 37 times in those two defeats.
3. Engage Alaina
Tiffany Mitchell and A'ja Wilson get plenty of headlines, but if South Carolina is going to make a deep run, Alaina Coates must show up to play. Coates is the only player on the team averaging double-digit points and over eight rebounds per game. The sophomore from Irmo has disappeared at times during the season and that can't happen in tournament play.