What Happened: Jacksonville

South Carolina played what was likely their most complete game of the season thus far (without being able to see the UALR game, it’s hard to know) in a 91-74 destruction of Jacksonville that was in no way as close as the score indicates.  The Gamecocks led 68-38 with less than fifteen minutes to go in the second half before taking their collective foot off the pedal, the game never in doubt in the final twenty minutes.

It’s an excellent way to go into the break, but let’s not take this any further than it goes – Jacksonville is not a good basketball team.  That said, the mark of good basketball teams isn’t just beating good teams – it’s pummeling bad teams.  On this night, South Carolina showed some things that could augur well for it as it moves forward toward conference play.

The Four Factors

USC Jacksonville
eFG 64.3 40.4
OReb 33.3 27.5
TO 21.5 9.1
FTR 51.8 41.2
Possessions 79 77

This was a game won because Carolina created and buried shots.  Some of this may not be all that replicable going forward – it’s hard to imagine that South Carolina will go 10-16 from three on too many nights – but they also hit 52.5% of their 2PAs, which is a perfectly acceptable mark, especially if you’re going to grab ORebs at the rate South Carolina usually does (this was a surprisingly weak night on the offensive glass, at least when measured by a team that grabs ).

One thing we’ve harped on quite a bit of late has been turnovers, and it was nice to see Carolina make substantial improvement on that front.  The Gamecocks were posting a sub-17% rate until the final minutes, when the three walk-ons came on and promptly turned the ball over four times in the last two minutes, making this look far worse than it was in actuality.

But make no mistake, this was an excellent effort overall.  The Gamecocks scored 1.16 points each trip down the floor, with that number considerably drug down by the weaker second-half effort (they had 68 points in 47 possessions at one point, which comes out to a pretty dynamic 1.45 points per possession (or “ppp”)).

The Gamecocks continued to struggle in some aspects of defense, particularly in forcing turnovers. While there’s been a lot of focus on Carolina’s inability to score, I’m far more concerned about its inability to stop teams, as it hasn’t held a single team under 0.90 points per possession in a game yet this season.  As a frame of reference, the worst ppp of Frank Martin’s career was 0.93 ppp, and we’ve only beaten that number twice all season (0.914 to Missouri St., and 0.929 against Morgan State).  The defense continues to simply not get it done, and it’s not just easy buckets off of turnovers.

On the evening, the Gamecocks gave Jacksonville 0.973 ppp on the strength of giving up far too many shots, based on a dearth of turnovers and more ORebs and trips to the line than you’d want to see your team concede.  While there are some positives to be taken from the eFG conceded, a lot of it came from Jacksonville simply missing 3PAs, which recent research shows simply isn’t a defensive skill (preventing 3PAs in the first place is, however, a defensive skill).

Personnel

 

Jacksonville
Player
MIN
FGM
FGA
3PM
3PA
OREB
DREB
A
TO
USG
Haywood
27
5
12
0
0
3
2
2
1
24.3
Fleming
26
2
6
0
0
1
1
0
0
13.7
McDougald
25
5
11
1
5
0
4
1
3
22.6
Powell, G.
24
4
8
0
0
4
5
0
0
21.8
Powell, R.
23
2
5
0
0
0
1
5
0
10
Bell
21
5
12
0
6
1
1
0
2
33.9
Dawson
18
0
3
0
0
2
0
2
1
17.2
Fritsch
12
2
7
2
7
0
0
0
0
30.5
Alderman
9
1
1
0
0
0
2
0
0
16.3
Bogus
7
0
3
0
2
0
0
0
0
19.6
Spurling
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
Coleman
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
26
68
3
20
11
16
11
7
South Carolina
Player
MIN
FGM
FGA
3PM
3PA
OREB
DREB
A
TO
USG
Jackson
29
2
4
0
0
1
6
5
3
12
Ellington
25
3
7
0
1
0
4
1
2
25
Carrera
24
6
10
0
0
0
9
2
0
24.6
Smith
24
3
7
1
2
0
3
7
1
15.6
Williams
20
4
5
4
5
0
0
0
0
11.7
Chatkevicius
19
4
6
1
1
3
2
4
4
26.7
Kacinas
18
3
3
0
0
1
2
0
2
15.2
Leonard
13
0
3
0
2
0
1
0
1
17.5
Richardson
12
5
6
4
4
0
1
0
0
26.7
Slawson
10
1
4
0
0
2
0
1
1
31.5
Constable
2
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
23.3
Phillips
2
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
46.6
Steele
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
23.3
Totals
31
56
10
16
8
29
20
17

 

It’s hard to be too interested in how the individual players from Jacksonville played on the evening, given that they run a system where they rotate in 9-10 somewhat replaceable players (remind you of anyone?).  Brian Richardson played what was easily the best game of his season thus far, which is to say, any night you are 5-6 from the field (and 4-4 from 3PA), you’re probably going to be efficient.  Importantly, he also avoided turnovers, which shouldn’t be too surprising from a spot-up shooter, but is still appreciated given the issues this team has had holding onto the ball.

Plenty of credit also goes out to Carrera and Williams, who continued to impact the game on the offensive end.  While Williams wasn’t as involved as he normally is, he also avoided turning the ball over on the night.  Carrera was a scoring machine from inside and the line, and while it’s surprising to see him without an offensive rebound, his 9 DRebs (along with his 17 points) will help ease the sting.

It’s hard to find anyone that played too poorly, though you wish that Chatkevicius could avoid turning the ball over four times as a big man.  Damien Leonard also got some of his most extensive playing time of the season thus far (13 minutes) and really didn’t do anything with it, scoring two points from the free throw line but otherwise being rather invisible on both sides of the court.

Lastly, LaShay Page didn’t even play on the evening because of a stomach virus.  It’ll be interesting to see his role going forward – I think it’s clear at this point he doesn’t need to be taking 31.4% of the shots while he’s on the court.  He was taking 19.5% and 23.5% in his two years at Southern Miss, so it’s not as if he doesn’t understand how to ratchet his game in a different direction.

Up Next

South Carolina takes an extended break from basketballing to take tests.  When they’re done with that, they’ll return to action at Colonial Life Arena next Wednesday against the Appalachian State Mountaineers, a team who they should be able to soundly defeat before heading into what will be an interesting matchup of two rather average teams in Brooklyn the following Saturday against the Manhattan Jaspers.

About these ads

About marvinnedick

Blogging from the mid-Atlantic on Gamecock sports, as well as general musings on sports theory otherwise.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s