Missouri demolishes Gamecocks inside, 90-68

The game went about as badly as expected.  In our preview, we indicated we didn’t see a way that the Gamecocks could stop Missouri inside.  But we meant Missouri might hit 60-65% of its shots inside, while holding the Gamecocks to around a 40% mark.  Like many things in sports, these things have natural upper and lower bounds when two teams from the same conference play.

Not on this night.  Missouri just wore out South Carolina’s post players, no matter who came inside.  While Alex Oriakhi and Laurence Bowers certainly got theirs, Keion Bell – only 6’4″ in stature – dominated throughout the evening, scoring 20 points in the first half and making a complete mockery of anything we played that resembled post defense.

While the offense actually played pretty well, all things considered, the defensive effort meant that even when it looked like Carolina was still in the game at halftime (down only seven at 43-36), you could always sense the game was never going to end up being close, because there was simply no way Carolina could keep up the pace, and no indication they had any way of slowing Missouri down.

Team

Four Factors USC MIZ
eFG 51.8 76.1
TO% 16.0 19.2
Oreb% 35.3 42.9
FTR 25.0 56.5
Pace 63

My word, Missouri.  Aside from a slight propensity to turn the ball over, this is utter domination.  Carolina couldn’t stop them in any other way – we couldn’t stop them from hitting 2s (over 70 percent were made), let them take high percentage 3s (only 20 percent of their shots were from distance, but they picked the shots they wanted, converting 67 percent), and couldn’t keep them from the line (a 57 percent FTR).

And on the off chance shots didn’t go in?  Missouri cleaned up the glass, grabbing exactly 50 percent of their misses.  This turned into 90 points on just 63 possessions, for a scoring rate of 1.440 points per possession.  On possessions where Missouri didn’t turn the ball over, they scored 1.782 points per possession.  To say our defense didn’t turn up last night is to really understate just how bad our defense was last night.

Lost in all this was the fact that the Gamecocks put up a pretty decent offensive effort, scoring 1.088 points per possession, which is their third-best offensive performance in the SEC.  However, this game was much less like the Arkansas victory and much more like the Auburn debacle, where Carolina similarly couldn’t play a lick of defense.

The Gamecocks had one of their best shooting nights from in conference play this season by hitting 47 percent of their 2s, 39 percent of their 3s, and 71 percent of their FTAs, paired with a reasonable effort when it came to avoiding turnovers and grabbing offensive rebounds.  But the story of the night was what happened on the other end of the court, where Carolina provided utterly no resistance.

Individual

Missouri
Name
Min
%Poss
Pts
2PM-A
3PM-A
FTM-A
OR
DR
A
TO
Phil Pressey
31
13
0
0-0
0-0
0-0
0
5
9
3
Keion Bell
31
35
24
7-11
1-1
7-8
0
3
4
2
Alex Oriakhi
27
24
18
6-6
0-0
6-6
2
1
0
1
Laurence Bowers
24
13
6
3-5
0-0
0-0
0
3
0
1
Jabari Brown
23
44
23
6-7
2-3
5-9
1
2
5
1
Earnest Ross
25
18
8
1-2
2-2
0-0
2
2
0
3
Tony Criswell
21
18
6
2-4
0-0
2-3
1
4
0
1
Negus Webster-Chan
11
17
2
1-2
0-2
0-0
0
1
1
0
Ryan Rosburg
3
0
0-0
0-0
0-0
0
0
0
0
Stefan Jankovic
3
3
0-0
1-1
0-0
0
1
0
0
Corey Haith
1
0
0-0
0-0
0-0
0
0
0
0
Team
0
0
0
TOTAL
200
90
26-37
6-9
20-26
6
22
19
12
1.45
70.3%
66.7%
76.9%
42.9%
64.7%
59.4%
19.4%
Carolina
Name
Min
%Poss
Pts
2PM-A
3PM-A
FTM-A
OR
DR
A
TO
Bruce Ellington
32
17
6
2-3
0-4
2-4
0
1
4
1
Eric Smith
32
10
0
0-3
0-2
0-0
0
1
4
1
Michael Carrera
17
30
9
3-6
0-0
3-4
3
1
0
1
Laimonas Chatkevicius
11
19
4
1-1
0-0
2-2
1
0
1
1
Lakeem Jackson
10
16
0
0-2
0-0
0-0
1
1
0
1
Mindaugas Kacinas
26
18
5
1-3
1-2
0-0
2
2
1
3
Damien Leonard
24
27
20
1-4
6-10
0-0
1
1
1
0
RJ Slawson
18
16
4
1-3
0-0
2-2
2
0
0
1
Brenton Williams
15
26
10
3-3
1-3
1-2
0
0
2
0
Brian Richardson
15
30
10
2-2
2-5
0-0
1
0
1
1
Team
1
1
0
TOTAL
200
68
14-30
10-26
10-14
12
8
14
10
1.10
.467
.385
.714
35.3%
57.1%
58.3%
16.1%

It’s hard to say this game came down to any individual performances, but there were a few exceptional efforts.  Keion Bell obviously had a terrific game, putting up 20 points in the first half.  Alex Oriakhi went 6-6 from the fied and 6-6 from the line, which means he took 26 shots overall against the Gamecocks this regular season, and made all 26.  Laurence Bowers, who we hyped quite a bit coming into this game, wasn’t the biggest story about a starter who returned that didn’t play in the last game (that was Bell), but his six points on a 3-5 effort were certainly efficient.

Up and down the line, it’s hard to find negatives for Missouri (with the possible exception of defensive specialist – a euphemism for “not very good at offense” – Negus Webster-Chan).  Jabari Brown hit 8-10 shots from the field, though only 5-9 from the line, paired with five assists and only one turnover.  And Phil Pressey, who Bruce Ellington held in check in the first game, didn’t shoot because he didn’t need to – his nine assists (with three turnovers) led to easy buckets in the paint for his team.

On our end, there were some bright spots offensively – the less said about the defense, the better.  Carrera had another outstanding game on this end of the court, burying 3-6 shots from the field to go with 3-4 from the line and three offensive boards, but more importantly, only one turnover.  He really has been a revelation this season.

Laimonas Chatkevicius responded from his abysmal performance in Athens by playing well in his 11 minutes.  It’s not much to look at in the box score (he made his only field goal and his only free throws, to go with one offensive board), but his one assist and one turnover represent one of his better efforts handling the basketball, something he’ll need to improve upon if he wants to make an impact next year on the offensive end.

The main stories of the evening offensively for Carolina were two of its shooting guards who have spent significant time this season watching their playing time wax and wane.  Damien Leonard put his two game rest to good use by scoring 20 points in 24 minutes on 7-14 shooting (though he continues to be unable to get shots inside, going only 1-4 from 2PA).  It’s hard to think shooting 60 percent from outside is a replicable performance, but it’s hopefully something he can build from.

Similarly, Brenton Williams did a good job burying the shots he had, going 4-7, with the difference being that Brenton was able to get inside and hit all three of his 2PAs.  I understand it’s better to hit 3PAs than 2PAs (they’re worth more!), but Brenton consistently shows he’s one of our only guards who can get inside and create offense for himself, and it’s a skill we need on the court from more than just him.  He also acquitted himself well in his ball-handling, dishing two assists and not turning the ball over.  If he can play the sort of defense that the coaching staff wants to see him play, he has a chance to be a significant contributor on next year’s team.

Brian Richardson also had a nice 15 minutes, going 4-7 from the field and generally taking care of the basketball.  He and Brenton bring similar elements to our offense, and it was good to see the two of them get some time to show what they could do.  Unfortunately, everything done on offense was completely (and rightly) overshadowed by our defensive effort.

Up Next

The Gamecocks need to rebound quickly and hit the road for College Station for a 7pm match-up against new conference mates Texas A&M.  That preview will drop later today.

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 2012-13 Basketball, Missouri, What Happened and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Missouri demolishes Gamecocks inside, 90-68

  1. Gary says:

    If you look at the stats, it is a mystery why Ellington and Smith each play 32 minutes while Williams and BRich only play 15 each. I don’t get it. What is Martin thinking? Or is he thinking? Brenton and Brian accomplish much more than Bruce and Eric in less than half the playing time, and yet Frank insists on playing the least productive guys on the team over 3/4 of the game. What am I missing here?

    • marvinnedick says:

      Defense. This is off the eye test, but I don’t think Brenton can handle opposing point guards and gets bullied by bigger 2s and 3s. It’s not necessarily terminal, but I’ve seen a number of plays where he simply hasn’t gotten it done defensively (the same can be said of all our players at times, of course).

      That said, I’m not always convinced Bruce and Eric’s defense is so much better that it warrants the playing time they get. But, there are lots of considerations, including those that don’t show up in the box score, taken into account. One thing is for certain – Martin and his assistants are very good at this, and they are certainly considering many angles when making these choices.

      • Gary says:

        OK. I can see that the defense of Smith and Ellington might be better than Williams or BRich. But I don’t believe Ellington and Smith are twice as good defensively. And then there is the offensive end of the court that should be considered where Williams and BRich are dramtically more productive than Smith or Ellington. When you consider offense and defense, I just don’t see how Martin can justify playing Smith and Ellington twice as many minutes as Brenton and Brian.

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