There’s been a dearth of content because I have a dearth of things to say.

As you’re well aware, since we last posted, the Gamecocks have lost to both LSU and Alabama in uninspiring fashion.  Some brief thoughts on those games and the team:

1) We are more or less out of things to play for at this point, aside from pride and the SEC tournament.  The odds of this team getting the 6 wins it needs to get above .500 are incredibly long, and even if they hit that mark, I don’t think any postseason tournament would want to invite this club.  I can’t blame them.

2) The regular season is dead.  The last goal we had was to avoid the SEC tournament’s Wednesday round, and that dream died against LSU, though Alabama took care to shoot it a second time just to be safe on Saturday.  The Gamecocks will play in one of the first two games of the SEC tournament, and are highly likely to be gone from the tournament before Florida ever takes the court.

3) The only thing we have left to watch for at this point is who may not return.  Though there’s been a lot of speculation around the internet, I don’t see a clear indication of who that player (or those players) might be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To check this, I charted minutes played for SEC games:

Williams
Richardson
Smith
Chatkevicius
Ellington
Carrera
Kacinas
Leonard
Slawson
MSU
6
35
35
18
23
7
30
12
8
AUB
6
14
31
2
36
24
17
33
9
LSU
36
2
36
12
38
24
16
2
21
VANDY
25
20
28
7
34
27
4
6
16
MIZ
27
3
20
15
36
15
4
20
28
ARK
15
24
27
12
33
23
24
1
13
FLA
5
3
35
10
34
22
16
23
21
UGA
21
26
23
4
36
34
15
5
17
KENT
18
18
17
13
23
24
15
29
13
TENN
0
25
21
0
36
29
9
38
18
LSU
3
19
24
0
36
25
3
33
22
BAMA
26
22
25
25
36
8
8
6
17
Average:
15.7
17.6
26.8
9.8
33.4
21.8
13.4
17.3
16.9
Median:
16.5
19.5
26.0
11.0
36.0
24.0
15.0
16.0
17.0
Last 5 Avg.
13.6
22.0
22.0
8.4
33.4
24.0
10.0
22.2
17.4
Last 5 Med.
18.0
22.0
23.0
4.0
36.0
25.0
9.0
29.0
17.0
Avg. Change
-2.1
4.4
-4.8
-1.4
0.0
2.2
-3.4
4.9
0.5
Median Change
1.5
2.5
-3.0
-7.0
0.0
1.0
-6.0
13.0
0.0

So what do we see?  Well, Bruce and Eric and the two guys that are clearly favored by the staff for minutes right now, and that’s true no matter what subset of games you choose to look at, either during SEC play or throughout the year.

But other than those two guys?  Everyone averages between 10 to 22 minutes (rounding up to integers), and over the last five games, that’s stayed broadly consistent.  There also isn’t much that shows these averages are being skewed upwards or downwards by abberations – the medians tell broadly the same story that we get from the averages.

The one player you might have picked out for leaving is Chatkevicius, who plays about four fewer minutes than the rest of the players who will be returning next season.  And yet, he just saw 25 minutes on Saturday, and was singled out for praise by Coach Martin in the press conference.

Which is to say, if we’ve selected who will or won’t be coming back next year, I can’t deduce that from the playing time.  After Tennessee and LSU, I would’ve told you it was clearly Brenton Williams.  And then Brenton went and played 26 minutes against Alabama.

In sum, I have no idea what’s going on with our playing time this season, and really haven’t the entire year, with the exception of the fact that Lakeem, Bruce, and Eric are going to see the lion’s share of the minutes every night.

4) The only other things I’ve been thinking about recently seem both worth their own post and too depressing to write about.  Will the SEC be a one-bid league?  Unlikely, given the presence of Missouri, but Mississippi almost kicked itself off the bubble on Saturday night by barely edging past the improving Georgia Bulldogs in Oxford, and Kentucky may well have played its way off the bubble with the 30-point shellacking it received in Knoxville on Saturday.

There’s also the question of whether this year’s team is worse than last year’s team.  For me, the answer is almost surely yes, though I don’t want to explore it too far.  Just for sake of contrast, here are the changes between those two teams:

2012 2013
Cooke Carrera
Gill Kacinas
Harris Chatkevicius
Geathers L. Page (half season)

To be fair, this doesn’t account for any improvement of our current players, but look at those differences.  I’ll give you Carrera is a guy who is going to contribute and could hold his own against Harris and Gill, but I don’t think I’m out-of-line in suggestion that we’ve down-graded in each of those four “match-ups.”  The 2012 team would beat the 2013 team, and for me, it’s not really all that close.

We’ll be back with some sort of commentary on the Ole Miss game, be it a preview, review, or just general musings.  Until then, the reality of Carolina basketball is that for yet another year, it’s disappearing in February as everyone’s attention turns to baseball.  Hopefully with the additions of Thornwell, Ringer, and McKie next season, we can at least avoid having as meaningless a February as we’re facing this season.

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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, Miscellany. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to There’s been a dearth of content because I have a dearth of things to say.

  1. Gary says:

    I think Frank has to play Brenton Williams, and Chatkevicius as much as possible. Williams is the only guard on the team who has shown ANY ability to score with any consistency. BRich will have a good shooting game once every 6-8 games. The rest of the games he will score very little. Leonard? Forget it. He seems unable to make anything. Ellington and Smith are poor shooters. Just look at their percentages. Williams is it as far as guards who can be expected to score some points, but he can’t score if he isn’t in the game. Frank likes players who talk, and Williams is a quiet kid. It might be that Frank has finally figured out that Williams is just not going to be very vocal, but he needs to play him anyway because without him, the team has very little chance of winning. Maybe can’t win with him either, but without Williams, we don’t have a guard who can score much.

    Chat has to play too because he is the only real size we have, and the kid can score and rebound some. The best five we have is Ellington, Williams, Jackson, Carrera and Chatkevicius. I would play that five as much as I could. And I would try very hard to not play Richardson and Leonard at the same time. One for the other, and as little as possible.

    I expect us to sign at least one player in the spring, maybe two, maybe three. I don’t know who will have to go, but someone will if we sign anyone. My preference would be Leonard, followed by BRich, and Slawson. I would like for Williams to stay, if he will.

    I thought the last 3/4 of the Alabama game the team played the best they have in several games. I hope that continues in the next game.

  2. Pingback: Better Know An Opponent: Mississippi |

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