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Old 01-02-2017, 10:36 PM   #1
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Default Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

As everyone knows all too well, the 2016-17 season started with a bang and then hit a pretty major bump in the road (which has been discussed ad nauseum in the forum). The Gamecocks have continued to excel against very good opponents, despite losses to Seton Hall and to Clemson (with the lone exception of an excruciating game vs. Memphis). While the success on the early season was in large part due to the recruits that Frank Martin and company brought in, the same players can be held to some account for the drop off in recent play (but, of course, the drop off from some of our Seniors has also been of note as well).

So where do things stand with the team individually at this point in the season? Here's my take on each of the contributors, and I look forward to your thoughts on what I have to say (i.e. - comments and differing opinions are welcome)...

Sindarius Thornwell... The heart and soul of the Gamecocks is FINALLY back from a self-inflicted suspension. I anticipate he won't miss much of a step, AND I think he'll show that he's ready to put the team on his back again when he's most needed. Close to 20 PPG doesn't happen by accident. I anticipate a MONSTER showing vs. Georgia, and look for Sin to be playing Frazier like glue the entire contest.

Duane Notice... In Sin's absence, Duane was back to the player that we came to know before he was the Gamecock's 6th man. A guy that can score in very large numbers, but then disappears and barely breaks the stat sheet a game later. Much of this can be attributed to Sin's influence on the court. Duane (as I noticed one of the other forum poster's - Rabid Cock - had noted) is a player that is at his best when he's got space around him. His three point shooting is much better and his interior shooting is better when others collapse off of Duane and onto Sin, and then Sin feeds him the ball. Duane is a VERY capable player... I hate to use the analogy, but he's sort of the Scotty Pippen of the squad. A guy who has the talent to look really good, but needs the star cast members to give him that opportunity. Look for Duane's numbers to move north of the 15 PPG line very quickly.

Justin McKie... I really like Justin. He's a guy who hasn't been able to live up to his potential in his time in Garnet simply because of injury and having to learn a much different system than what he played under in HS. Justin strikes me this season as a guy who is suffering a similar fate to Duane Notice. He's got the tool belt to make him a very good player, but without Sin leading the way, Justin is not able to do what Justin does best... play good defense and pick good shots to take (and make) for a high shooting percentage. If you take a look at the stat sheets for Justin on the season, he's really doing it all... shooting, passing efficiently, stealing, rebounding, assisting. Heck, he's even started 6 games this year. Justin is his own worst enemy. He sometimes tries to do too much and does it at the wrong time. With Sin back, I think Justin can relax a lot more and be the leader on the team that Frank wants his Seniors to be.

Chris Silva... What needs to be said? He's a VERY important piece of this team. Again, in large part due to Thornwell's absence from the lineup, Silva has struggled to keep himself out of foul trouble and he's struggled to make the shots that Sin allows him to make. I can only think back to the games where we played against competition that was much heralded at the time (Michigan/Syracuse), and Silva dismembered them on the glass AND shooting at the rim. I, personally, think that Sin's return to the lineup will benefit Silva more than any other player on the Gamecock squad. Look for a monster outing vs. Georgia and vs. Texas A&M from Chris. He's got something to prove to everyone, and I think he's going to do exactly that when he's given the proper teammate to put him in those positions to make the shots. I look for a move from 9 PPG to around 12-14 PPG as the SEC season progresses.

P.J. Dozier... I'm not going to say much here because P.J. has been the glue that has held things together in Sindarius's absence. Without P.J. in the lineup, the 'Cocks don't look very efficient. That portends well for us when P.J. gets the chance to play to Sin's strengths (and not vice versa). Both guys will be able to put up some scary numbers. There's just SO much to love about P.J. and his play this year. The growth he has shown since last season is amazing, and he's only going to get better. His leadership, despite his age, is stellar. AND he loves to be a student of the game. He's the guy who takes everything Frank Martin talks with him about and digests it and internalizes it and then shows it on the court. The upside here is just amazing to think about. If we keep him around for all 4 years, I can honestly see him being a very high NBA draft pick. Listen to what the visiting announcers (from the 4 letter network and others) have to say about P.J. The sky is the limit there, folks.

Maik Kotsar continues to impress, but some of the "chinks in the armor" have become obvious. Maik started the season with play that showed great execution in every facet of his game. He was not playing like a Freshman at all. But the recent stretch has shown he is exactly that... a raw Freshman (albeit one who at times looks like he's at least in his Junior year). As with Silva, Maik's big issue seems to be getting into foul trouble. His footwork continues to be impressive, his shooting is impressive, and I continue to think he's the key piece we were missing last year. What I do see happening, though, is that without having a Sindarius available to push the ball in to the middle and then dish to Maik down off the blocks, Maik is having to do a LOT more work on the inside. Whereas before, he benefited from being able to stay away from the basket until plays were developing for him (and gravitating to the basket at that time), now he's being forced into playing at or near the rim more of the game. The night and day difference between the Michigan game and the Clemson game was amazing to see. Maik continues to battle, and doesn't seem to get frustrated like Big Chat used to do, BUT he's developing habits that I don't like to see from our bigs, and those are costing him with cheap fouls.

Hassani Gravatt
has been a very consistent player for us until he went down with the ankle injury. He has court vision that is most impressive, and he's continued to do all the right things, but slowed a few steps while he healed. This speed difference has been noticeable with the addition of Felder into the lineup. Hassani is not moving into position well when Felder is running the point, and several easy catch and shoot plays have been off because Hassani wasn't able to get to his spot with the right timing. While he has not yet excelled in the SHOOTING department, I still feel that the "intangible" things that he is doing on the court are flat-out amazing for a new guy under Frank Martin's system. He's been giving PJ Dozier the ability to take shots which he would not be able to make otherwise, and as I noted in an earlier post this season, he's giving PJ the chance to take shots "in space", where PJ can move away from defenders and take an easy, makeable jumpshot instead of forcing the ball inside. Speed continues to be a concern for me with Gravatt, and added to the injury, I'm not sure how well he can contend with teams that press him hard. Hopefully Hassani returns to full form shortly, as I think he's truly a key cog to success for the Gamecocks in SEC play.

Sedee Keita
... I said before that don't think that we've come close to seeing what he's capable of, but unfortunately, I think there's a fairly steep learning curve for him, to be fully acclimated to Coach Martin's style of play. The good news for Sedee is that his minutes have risen steadily as the season has gone on. The bad news is that he still has a defensive mentality and not an offensive mentality. If he can develop the turnaround jumper that Maik has made look so good this year, Sedee is doing most everything else well. Thanks to Silva's foul issues, Chris has made life easier for getting Sedee into games, and Sedee has taken decent advantage of his time on the court. In my opinion the biggest thing he's got to work on is keeping his feet either in EARLY motion (moving toward the glass, so that he's there ahead of the person he's defending at the rim) OR keeping his feet at a complete stand still when he's moving across the paint defensively and gets into position. He's getting called for a number of silly fouls because he slides his feet after he should be set to cut off a lane to the basket. From what I've noted, it's not his hands (for the most part) that is getting him into trouble... it's all in the footwork. I'm happy with Sedee's progress, though, given where he was just a month ago.

Rakym Felder
... I noted in my early season post that he's been what I would expect from a Freshman - rather hot and cold. Fortunately, with his needed insertion into the lineup in Sin's absence, he's been a little more "hot" than cold. He's got a LOT of upside and Frank seems to be challenging him to take advantage of CONTROLLED play and not resorting to the street/HS basketball levels that he seems (at least in my mind) more comfortable with. Rakym seems a bit like a bowling ball at times... he puts his head down and just goes straight for the basket. That can have good results, but it can also have bad results. Learning to control his body with the ball and developing better court vision (not that his is BAD, but it could be better) will earn him a lot more time over a Duane Notice. He showed that when he's on, he can drain it from behind the arc - a MUCH needed tool for the Gamecocks to be competitive in SEC play.

Khadim Gueye... He's made amazing strides this year, but developing Khadim is going to continue to take some time. Khadim has definitely bought in to Frank's defensive system, and I've seen great effort from him, and an understanding of how to avoid the silly fouls that Silva (and to some extent Kotsar) is prone to. I will say, though, that fouls continue to plague him (his big issue with fouls, as I see it, are questionable fouls, from a call standpoint). Khadim continues to turn the ball over way too many times for the minutes he's had playing. Khadim has shown a nice stroke from the FT line, so the shooting CAN be there. What I see mostly from Khadim is the footwork. He's almost always late by a step when he's committing fouls. The biggest problem is that he's doing it both offensively and defensively, and getting called for it. He, like Sedee, needs to learn the art of moving early or staying put late. Given his recent uptick in minutes (and some of those ahead of Sedee), I think he will be in good shape by SEC tourney time.

Ran Tut... He's the "odd man out", unfortunately. He started his Gamecock career with a lot of hype from Coach Martin, but I haven't heard a THING said about him since. 45 minutes in 7 games, with only 6 points just isn't going to cut it. Hopefully he'll prove himself and move up the charts, but at this point it's not looking like much will be seen of Ran this season.

Tommy Corchiani
, Christian Schmitt, Jarell Holliman and TeMarcus Blanton... all will continue to be limited in minutes, with Holliman seeing the most time on the court due to the continued fouls that plague our bigger guys.

Evan Hinson... who knows, now that Football season is over.

NOW.... One final comment on the season that is not relative to individual players.

I want to be critical of Frank Martin for just a second. What I have noted is that Frank seems to have settled on a 5 man starting rotation and is afraid to give extended minutes to players outside of that starting 5. The Gamecocks suffered two losses (vs. Seton Hall and vs. Clemson) that I, personally, think we could have avoided if Frank would have given guys like Justin McKie, Sedee Keita, and Rakym Felder more minutes on the floor. I understand that you can only trust the Freshman to do so much. But I think that the team chemistry has suffered a bit this year because of Coach's lack of willingness to allow the Gamecocks to stay on the floor when they are doing things that frustrate Frank. If a guy has 3 fouls, sure... yank him. Especially if it's Chris Silva, or Maik Kotsar. They're too important to NOT protect. But Sedee needs the minutes to get used to the game flow. McKie shows he's at his best when he can get into a rhythm. Felder... look what he did against Lander and Memphis from behind the arc.

Let me be careful to say that I think discipline is especially important under Frank Martin's system of play, so I'm not angry at him for wanting to make sure guys know when they're NOT doing what they should be doing on the court. HOWEVER, giving guys a chance to gel with other players in real time game situations is critical to success not only this year, but in future years.

'Nuff said... I'm off the horse now.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the above (and very long) post.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

Fantastic write-up. Before Sin went out, I thought our team chemistry looked great, with everyone very comfortable in their roles. Will that chemistry carry over now that he's back? Hard to say, but obviously it helps that he kept practicing with the team.

As far as Gueye goes, biggest thing for him to improve on is rebounding. He's not very good at boxing out or coming down with the ball yet, and we need him to get us some boards.
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

Appreciate the thoughts and insights. As good as Sindarius is, I think you may be giving him too much credit for improving everyone else's game. Notice needs him - badly - but he has not played enough with some of the other guys for them to be dependent on Sindarius to make them effective.

I have been puzzled by Felder and Gravatt. Gravatt was supposed to be the shooter, but he has been a complete player - just not a good shooter. His shot was starting to come around before the ankle injury, and shooters need a sound base to be effective - no ankle or knee issues. Gravatt is not a flat-footed jump shooter, so with his decent height and high release point, he can get the shot off without a lot of space. Notice and Felder need more room. So - hopefully - his ankle is better now and he can get in a rhythm with his shot.

Felder was not known as a shooter but he has a nice stroke. I believe that you have to be able to shoot the three to be an effective PG - see Dozier's woes last year, and Sessions for the ladies. If defenders can play off the PG, it is hard for the offense to work. I love his mentality and strength, but his height and flat-footed shot will hurt him.

I am excited about the team with Sindarius back - that gives us talent and helps the depth tremendously. Thornwell's absence will actually help now that he is back - we got additional PT for some guys that will help down the road.

Keita is a key - if he can step up his game, we have adequate depth inside. I think he has the size and athletic ability - his injury and lack of practice and playing time earlier in the season is holding him back. I will be looking for positive signs of his improvement. Silva and Kotsar need to cut back on the fouls, but to completely avoid foul trouble is asking too much. That is where Keita comes in.
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

Up to this season, the previous teams have played up or down to an opponent in conference play.

I think we that won't be a problem this year, but we'll have to wait and see.

Frank has been trying to balance winning games with learning his new players' strengths and weakness.

The new guys have embraced Frank's system and that's they are well ahead of the previous classes.

But we still don't another guy who can dribble-drive like Sin if he is on the bench with foul trouble.

Frank and the other guys in the pressers today had stress bags under their eyes, so I think they're feeling the losses so far.

All we can do at this point is get behind them, cheer them on and hope for the best.
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

Very high on this team coming into conference play. I think we win 13+ this year in the SEC. Personal projection is 14-4, either gets us in the NCAA with tons of breathing room.
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

All of our bigs are learning how to play basketball and that will take some time. Kotsar and Silva have had some impressive moments. Of the freshman bigs, Kotsar is the best basketball player at this time. McKie and Notice are role players. That isn't a bad thing. Every team needs some of those. All of the new guys are trying to adjust to everything and that takes time. I like the potential that I have seen from them.

If Blanton could get healthy enough to play, I think he can help us. He has shot the ball well when he has played this season. I would love to see what Hinson can do. I like a lot of what I have seen from Felder. Gravette is a good athlete. I hope more of his jump shots will go in.

The team was very impressive before Thornwell's suspension. If they can get back to being that good, or close to it, they will be very competitive in the SEC. From what I have seen of the other SEC teams, I think our talent is as good as any, with the exception of UK.
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

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Originally Posted by Ace Dilcock View Post
As good as Sindarius is, I think you may be giving him too much credit for improving everyone else's game.
Don't think so. Sin affects (opposing) team spacing and seems to open up the floor, allowing better flow for our offense. He draws a lot of attention, which allows more freedom of movement by Duane, Silva, etc. This enables more contributions from others, not only in scoring but also rebounding.

Team defense has suffered in his absence, as well, unless it's my imagination, as other teams have been living around the rim, making for high percentage scoring. The interior should once again become a more formidable barrier and less prone to to penetration and easy baskets.
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

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Originally Posted by rabid cock View Post
Don't think so. Sin affects (opposing) team spacing and seems to open up the floor, allowing better flow for our offense. He draws a lot of attention, which allows more freedom of movement by Duane, Silva, etc. This enables more contributions from others, not only in scoring but also rebounding.

Team defense has suffered in his absence, as well, unless it's my imagination, as other teams have been living around the rim, making for high percentage scoring. The interior should once again become a more formidable barrier and less prone to to penetration and easy baskets.
I also think people have underestimated Sin's rebounding ability. Opposing teams have been absolutely crushing us on offensive boards since we lost Sin. When we had him, most teams got one shot and that was it. You have to have some guards that can help with rebounding, and Sin (and to a lesser extent PJ & Gravett) is the best at that.
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

The person that Sin helps the most is Notice. Notice is much better as a roll player and not the star. He is a spot up shooter and when Sin drives and then dishes out Notice can hit those shots. He can not effectively produce his own shots. Sin also helps the bigs because he is a great rebounder. When the other teams bigs are blocking out ours Sin fills the lane and grabs those boards on both ends of the court. It will be interesting to see what the dynamic of the team is now tha PJ has taken over as the leader. Hopefully they will mesh and we will be even better.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

Doublea, I remember you liking McKie when we signed him, one of the reasons being he was the son of a former USC player. I did not like signing him then and have seen nothing from him in his 3+ years to change my mind. Before the season started I picked him to be the most improved player this season but I have been very wrong to this point. I called it a wasted schollie at the time and still call it that.

I felt it would take Keita some time to round into a productive player but he has had enough time now to show some improvement. He has not improved to the point I was expecting at this time. I love his size and hope he will be a big factor as the season progresses.

The most pleasant surprise for me has been the play of Felder. He has come on much faster than I expected. I also like Kotsar although he has not played as well lately.

I love the improved play of PJ over last season, also love the way we are playing defense. We just need to play with good footwork and quit making so many silly fouls with our reach in fouls.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:11 PM   #11
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

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Doublea, I remember you liking McKie when we signed him, one of the reasons being he was the son of a former USC player. I did not like signing him then and have seen nothing from him in his 3+ years to change my mind. Before the season started I picked him to be the most improved player this season but I have been very wrong to this point. I called it a wasted schollie at the time and still call it that.

I felt it would take Keita some time to round into a productive player but he has had enough time now to show some improvement. He has not improved to the point I was expecting at this time. I love his size and hope he will be a big factor as the season progresses.

The most pleasant surprise for me has been the play of Felder. He has come on much faster than I expected. I also like Kotsar although he has not played as well lately.

I love the improved play of PJ over last season, also love the way we are playing defense. We just need to play with good footwork and quit making so many silly fouls with our reach in fouls.

So you didn't like USC signing him and have seen nothing in the previous 3 yrs to change your mind, but you still picked him to be the most improved player on the entire team??

OK....






2012-14: 17 gms, 4.7 mpg, .176 FG%, 0.5 ppg, 0.9 rpg
2014-15: 25 gms, 11.3 mpg, .388 FG%, 3.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg
2015-16: 27 gms, 8.0 mpg, .298 FG%, 1.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg
2016-17: 13 gms, 21.8 mpg, .375 FG%, 5.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg


McKie was never going to be more than a reserve off of the bench, but based on Justin's career stats, he has improved substantially this season. He's scored 40 pts in the 6 gms he's been a starter in Thornwell's absence - all 40 pts came in the last 5 gms, as he was scoreless in only 13 minutes of PT in the 1st game. So he's averaged 8.0 ppg in those last 5 gms, which isn't eye-popping numbers, but is better than the 1-3 ppg he's averaged in his previous 3 seasons.

I would say that both Thornwell and Dozier are the top two players this season thus far that has improved the most, but how much improvement did you expect McKie to have this year?

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Old 01-03-2017, 08:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

Better than we were before heading into play. Thornwell is back and that means a lot.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

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Originally Posted by Spur20001 View Post
Doublea, I remember you liking McKie when we signed him, one of the reasons being he was the son of a former USC player. I did not like signing him then and have seen nothing from him in his 3+ years to change my mind. Before the season started I picked him to be the most improved player this season but I have been very wrong to this point. I called it a wasted schollie at the time and still call it that.
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Originally Posted by ConwayGamecock View Post

2012-14: 17 gms, 4.7 mpg, .176 FG%, 0.5 ppg, 0.9 rpg
2014-15: 25 gms, 11.3 mpg, .388 FG%, 3.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg
2015-16: 27 gms, 8.0 mpg, .298 FG%, 1.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg
2016-17: 13 gms, 21.8 mpg, .375 FG%, 5.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg

McKie was never going to be more than a reserve off of the bench, but based on Justin's career stats, he has improved substantially this season. He's scored 40 pts in the 6 gms he's been a starter in Thornwell's absence - all 40 pts came in the last 5 gms, as he was scoreless in only 13 minutes of PT in the 1st game. So he's averaged 8.0 ppg in those last 5 gms, which isn't eye-popping numbers, but is better than the 1-3 ppg he's averaged in his previous 3 seasons.
As far as my liking the pickup of McKie, it wasn't based on his play in HS (although his play in HS was certainly good), and it wasn't based on the potential that I thought he might have for the Gamecocks squad.

My thoughts on Coach Martin taking a chance on Justin was this: The Gamecocks coaching staff under the previous "administration" (i.e. - the never to be mentioned DH era) had burned so many bridges with the Gamecock hoops alumni and friends that picking McKie as a player showed an immediate commitment to not forget what our past included. Everybody knew that Justin wasn't going to be his dad. Everybody knew that Justin (as mentioned above) was more of a "reserve" than anything. It was simply that the outreach to the past of the team was being bridged and it showed a commitment to recruit in-state and to players who had been marginalized. McKie wanted to be Gamecock, and Coach Martin saw that having him would be an immediate indicator to fans and to the South Carolina community that he wasn't going to give up on the talent here at home.

It was shameful how the guys that moved the program forward in the Eddie Fogler and Dave Odom years were almost immediately tossed to the wind under a HORRIBLE coaching pick. I liked (and continue to like) Justin for that reason... he's a bridge, a connection. But I think that you can see (from the stats provided above) that he's much more valuable than simply being a bridge... he's getting the minutes when he's been healthy AND he's putting up the numbers that a guy who is a "role player" should.

That is why I think Justin McKie was a good scholly to utilize when Coach Martin took over the program.
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:23 AM   #14
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

Tonight is a big game. Lose tonight and that will be 3 in a row and NCAA's could be in jeodardy
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

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Originally Posted by ConwayGamecock View Post
So you didn't like USC signing him and have seen nothing in the previous 3 yrs to change your mind, but you still picked him to be the most improved player on the entire team??

OK....






2012-14: 17 gms, 4.7 mpg, .176 FG%, 0.5 ppg, 0.9 rpg
2014-15: 25 gms, 11.3 mpg, .388 FG%, 3.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg
2015-16: 27 gms, 8.0 mpg, .298 FG%, 1.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg
2016-17: 13 gms, 21.8 mpg, .375 FG%, 5.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg


McKie was never going to be more than a reserve off of the bench, but based on Justin's career stats, he has improved substantially this season. He's scored 40 pts in the 6 gms he's been a starter in Thornwell's absence - all 40 pts came in the last 5 gms, as he was scoreless in only 13 minutes of PT in the 1st game. So he's averaged 8.0 ppg in those last 5 gms, which isn't eye-popping numbers, but is better than the 1-3 ppg he's averaged in his previous 3 seasons.

I would say that both Thornwell and Dozier are the top two players this season thus far that has improved the most, but how much improvement did you expect McKie to have this year?
Why did I pick him to be the most improved player? Easy to answer that. With his poor play over his 1st 3 seasons I certainly looked for him to be much improved in his final year. You say he is much improved? As you pointed out he shot 38.8% as a soph. This year he is shooting 37.5% as a senior. Sorry but I don't think 37.5% shooting indicates a good player or improvement. How many games have we lost when he was a starter this season? IMO he is not an SEC caliber player and again I don't think we should have offered him. If you are high on him and disagree with me, fine. I have no problem with that at all and unlike your attitude toward my comments, I respect your opinion. I certainly hope I will have to eat my words before this season is over. As for as his ppg improvement, please look at how many mpg he is averaging this year over previous years. Why should his ppg not go up?
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

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Tonight is a big game. Lose tonight and that will be 3 in a row and NCAA's could be in jeodardy
Considering that we need AT LEAST 12 wins (which would mean only 6 losses) dropping our opener tonight would be very bad news.
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

All BS aside. We are in deep crap. Its going to take at least 6-10 games to get things rolling again and that is going to be too late.
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Old 01-05-2017, 01:31 AM   #18
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

Let's see:

At the end of last season's OOC schedule, we were 13-0. We had an RPI that universally was in or around the top 30 due to being 13-0, but our SOS for those 13 wins ranked just outside of the top 200. In other words, it was a great win-loss record against a weak schedule of opponents that perhaps we should have been 13-0 against....

As a result, we were one of the few remaining undefeated teams but with a RPI of only around top 30. We had one of the weakest 2-3 OOC SOSs in the SEC. This would prove to hinder our fortunes of making the NCAAT, as much as certain losses once SEC play began.

We would go 11-7 in the conference which rated us 3rd best overall, but several losses to a number of the weaker SEC opponents such as Miss St., Missouri, Tennessee, and Alabama, plus getting swept in 3 games by UGA who had an RPI at the end of the season very much like ours, further hamstrung our ability to legitimize our overall W-L record. As a result, we ended with an RPI around the top 60, and a SOS ranking in the 120s.

We improved on the overall SOS due to conference play, but we didn't improve it enough. We had one single quality win versus Texas A&M, versus several bad losses to those weak SEC teams.

-----------

Now this season: we are 10-3 in OOC play, but our RPI coming into Wednesday was 54th, and the SOS was 59th (!!). So the OOC SOS was improved substantially, even with the losses, which is the reason why our RPI is worse than at this point last season.

We just beat UGA which at this point of the season has the 37th RPI and 22nd SOS. We've already tied our lone top 50 RPI win of last season, and our lone "Quality win". Per Live RPI.com, this win bumps us up to 38th RPI and 47th SOS.

So at 11-3 we are in a better place RPI & SOS-wise than we were at 13-0 last season. I'm not sure going 11-7 in the SEC again will make the difference - if we do, we then finish the season 21-10 overall. It would be better if we can improve on that SEC mark, and perhaps even win a SECT game or two.

But most important we need to not have so many bad losses to the weaker SEC opponents on our schedule. IMO the loss to Memphis will be considered a "Bad Loss". At least we've started out much better on top vs UGA, going 1-0 and winning the one played at their place. Makes it that much harder for UGA to tie up the season series by beating us in CLA later on. We next play Tx A&M at home, UT on the road, and Ole Miss at home. Those 3 teams are a combined 25-16 (1-5) thus far. We NEED to go 3-0 in those games...

Last edited by ConwayGamecock; 01-05-2017 at 04:06 AM..
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Old 01-05-2017, 02:54 AM   #19
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

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Originally Posted by smoovecock View Post
All BS aside. We are in deep crap. Its going to take at least 6-10 games to get things rolling again and that is going to be too late.
You must be crazy. We are a damn good team and they kept Thornwell practicing we are in great shape. I see us 13-5 or 14-4 this year in the SEC.
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:32 PM   #20
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Default Re: Where We Are As A Team Heading Into SEC Play

So we are 2-0 with only 2 games in. What does that tell us? Not much except we are a much better team with Sin in there.

The TN will be a quality game. It is away and TN has a very formidable team. Don't let their W-L record fool you. With exception of CHAT, they have only lost to very good teams. 5 of their other 6 losses were to ranked teams and one to ARKY. They lost to UNC by 2. We better be on our game. We need to win this one and the next one (ole miss) to get ready for UF and KY.

We are just outside the top 25 and sitting with a 28 RPI.
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