They are in a four-way tie for last instead of a three-way tie for first.
They have lost four SEC games by 2, 3, 6 and 7 points and led in each of them.
USC is 11-7 overall and 1-4 in league play, including two excruciating losses at Colonial Life Arena.
Coach Frank Martin believes something will have to give. Soon. When the Gamecocks go into a place such as Mizzou Arena and have a ranked opponent such as Missouri on the ropes for the lions share of 40 minutes, it is clear the they are on the verge of a breakthrough.
This song and dance for us is getting old, Martin said after USCs wrenching, 71-65 loss, in which the Gamecocks blew a 13-point lead. This is Game 5 in league play and its five games with under two minutes to play that weve got a chance to win the game.
And were 1-4, he continued. The song and dance is getting old.
USCs next chance to break out of the vicious late cycle comes Saturday against visiting Arkansas. The Razorbacks are 3-2 in league play, but winless on the road.
Stopping forward Marshawn Powell will be USCs primary hurdle. Powell spearheaded Arkansas double-overtime win against Auburn last week with 28 points and 11 rebounds and scored 17 in a victory against Mississippi State on Wednesday.
Arkansas also has a knack for blocking shots, which has been a bugaboo for the Gamecocks of late. The Razorbacks blocked 11 shots on Wednesday.
Combining with Powell to give the Razorbacks an inside-out punch, guard BJ Young leads the team with 16.9 points per game to go with Powells 15.3.
Brenton Williams leads USC with 12.2 points per game. No other Gamecock is averaging double figures.
Taking care of the basketball will be vital as well. USC (minus-1.9) ranks 13th among the 14 SEC teams in turnover margin while Arkansas (plus-6.4) is the leagues best at taking care of the ball. Arkansas also is second in the SEC in steals per game, averaging 9.6.
Defending their home turf would be a big step in the right direction as the season-long learning curve continues for USC.
The encouraging thing is, were knocking on the door, Martin said. Were going to keep pounding on that door, now. I dont care about records, were going to keep pounding that door.
And when someone makes the mistake of cracking that door open, were going to kick that thing in and we are busting in that place.
WHO: USC (11-7, 1-4 SEC); Arkansas (12-6, 3-2)
WHEN: 1:47 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Colonial Life Arena
RADIO: WNKT 107.5 FM
SERIES: Arkansas leads, 14-10
COACHES: Frank Martin (11-7 in first season at USC, 128-61 in sixth season); Mike Anderson (30-20 in second season at Arkansas, 230-118 in 11th )
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: RJ Slawson posted a season-high 12 points at Missouri, giving USC a much-needed boost inside. USC is one of the best rebounding teams in the league, but has been outrebounded by one board in each of its past two games. Arkansas 26-point win against Mississippi State was the schools eighth-largest margin of victory since joining the SEC. Arkansas leads the league in assists-to-turnover ratio (1.4) and is second in scoring (79.6). USC has won the past five meetings in Columbia.