What Happened: St. John’s

Not much good.  We’re going quick hits this morning because I’m actually in New York City, so the schedule is a bit crazier than it would normally be.  South Carolina took it on the chin from St. John’s last evening, falling 89-65 in a game where Shane Phillips played more minutes than Damien Leonard.

The Four Factors

USC SJU
eFG 40.8 62.9
TO% 17.9 10.7
OReb 51.3 40.7
FTR 32.3 41.4
Poss 67 65

Remember how crummy the Elon game was?  We more or less did that again, with fewer turnovers from both sides.  For the third time this season, South Carolina failed to shoot over 50% eFG, and for the second time this season, they got ran out of the gym by a team that probably won’t be in your bracket come March (the third game was the overtime win over UWM).

Let’s try to find some team positives.  The turnover rate was the best it’s been all year, and seemed to be something that the team focused on improving.  While there were still some sloppy passes in the early going, the team really bore down in the second half to focus on keeping the ball, and was generally successful.  Carolina also continued to hit the offensive boards hard, grabbing over half of their misses.

Carolina just got wiped out shooting the ball, going 15-34 from 2PA, and not making up for it from either 3PA (5-18) or getting to the line and making free throws (10-17, for a FTR of 32.3).  As Martin said, we simply couldn’t find ways to score the ball inside, and St. John’s 9 blocks had a lot to do with that.

Defensively, this team continues to struggle, and I’m not sure they’ll be able to have answers on certain nights.  St. John’s scored 1.36 points per possession, and it will be few if any teams that can ever overcome allowing such productivity from the other team.  They did it in every way – not only did they shoot 59% from 2PA, they added the 3-ball to their repertoire, knocking down 7-14.  South Carolina couldn’t force turnovers, couldn’t clean up the glass, and let them get to the line far too often.  So, we were 0-4 in the things you do to win basketball games on that end of the court.  Part of it is size and part of it is learning the new system, but South Carolina simply doesn’t have players that can defend effectively enough at this point.  While some of the pieces are there, man defense in basketball is a bit like man defense in football, in that your defense is only as strong as your weakest matchup.  The Gamecocks were clearly overwhelmed in their weakest matchups all evening, getting run out of the gym by the excelletn D’Angelo Harrision, Phil Greene, and Jakarr Sampson, with an assist from point guard Amir Garrett.

Individuals

Advanced
%Min
%Shots
eFG%
OR%
DR%
Blk%
Stl%
FT%
A%
Team
100.00%
100.00%
43.27%
48.65%
57.69%
2.27%
3.08%
58.82%
Jackson
64.52%
20.87%
42.86%
16.76%
11.92%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
Smith
77.42%
17.39%
21.43%
6.98%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
    -
13.60%
Page
41.94%
32.10%
14.29%
0.00%
0.00%
5.42%
0.00%
    -
12.55%
Kacinas
77.42%
17.39%
57.14%
10.47%
14.90%
0.00%
0.00%
25.00%
8.07%
Carrera
74.19%
18.14%
42.86%
21.86%
25.92%
0.00%
0.00%
83.33%
7.93%
Richardson
45.16%
29.81%
42.86%
0.00%
17.03%
0.00%
0.00%
100.00%
24.60%
Slawson
67.74%
5.68%
100.00%
11.97%
5.68%
0.00%
2.27%
50.00%
0.00%
Williams
38.71%
34.78%
71.43%
0.00%
19.87%
0.00%
3.97%
-
16.15%
Leonard
12.90%
14.90%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
-
0.00%
Ellington
72.50%
21.22%
30.00%
3.54%
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
50.00%
0.00%
Chatkevicius
27.50%
11.19%
50.00%
9.32%
13.47%
0.00%
0.00%
50.00%
15.81%

It’s hard to find a lot of bright spots here.  Carrera continues to excel on the offensive glass, and it’s a skillset that will keep him on the floor most likely.  LaShay Page once again took a very high share of shots based on his playing time, and once again, when he was missing, the Gamecocks looked lost on offense.  Some of this is Page taking on the weight of being a fifth-year senior, and so I don’t mean to pick on him.  But when LaShay has to take a high number of shots and is missing, it means the other guys simply aren’t getting better looks, and so we’re forced to give the ball to our go-to player who simply isn’t cut out to be the leading shot-taker on a good basketball team.

Jackson and Kacinas also did a good job of grabbing rebounds and using up possessions, but Kacinas continues to seem a bit lost on the defensive end.  He didn’t record a block or a steal, and (I’m going off recollection, so this could be unfair to him) seemed to get beat in the post a few times.

Bruce seemed lost, though did a nice job of avoiding turnovers (two in 29 minutes is nothing to be ashamed of, given he played a predicted 49 offensive possessions).  His shot wasn’t there, which is to be expected of someone in their first game back and who was catching touchdown passes in Clemson six days ago.  Chatkevicius did a nice job on the glass, but didn’t seem very aggressive in the post on a night where Carolina needed someone who could be on the offensive end.  Both his 2PAs were from 8-12 feet, so it will be interesting to see if he can combine that part of his game with a back-to-the-basket post game.

Final Thoughts

It’s not so much one step forward and two steps back, so much as it’s one step forward and one step back.  A team that sounded like it made progress in Mexico simply looked confused and unable to play with St. John’s on offense for the first half.  Credit to the Johnnies for what they did, but you would hope the team could play better than that.

Despite some early wins, it’s important to remember the expectations for this season. Right now, this team looks about as bad as our team last year did, so the hope for the fanbase has to be showing improvement throughout the course of the season.  Martin’s teams have done that before, and the hope here is they can do so again.  Specifically, in 48 hours or so, when Clemson comes a-callin’.

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About marvinnedick

Blogging from the mid-Atlantic on Gamecock sports, as well as general musings on sports theory otherwise.
This entry was posted in 2012-13 Basketball, St. John's, What Happened. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What Happened: St. John’s

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