Show Me My Opponent, 2020-21: Appalachian State

Lineup notes

Appalachian State:

  • In all five games, Kerns has put up a different starting lineup, so this feels dumb to even guess. That said, Delph, Gregory, and James Lewis have started at least four of five, and Almorancy and Kendall Lewis are both three-time starters.
  • Unfortunately, there’s no high-quality/easy to use lineup tool for mid-majors out there like there is for the power conferences, so my data here is limited. Some basics: Delph and Forrest generally don’t play at the same time; Kerns plays James Lewis and Huntley together maybe 5-7 minutes a game; six different guys may see time in the frontcourt.

Tennessee:

  • Vescovi, Bailey, James, Pons, Fulkerson until it changes.
  • Lineup data from Saturday shows that Barnes is getting more comfortable with playing Johnson/Springer together and that Anosike/Fulkerson is likely a 4-6 minute lineup in most games. I’d like to see less constant substitutions and experimenting, but that’s worked out by now in a non-COVID year.
  • Only four lineups have at least 10 possessions of experience, and something notable is that the only poor-performing ones are when Fulkerson is off the court. Efficiency drops dramatically on both ends. I’m not going to dive into these super deeply until at least one or two three-man groups have 100+ minutes together on the floor. Sample’s just too small right now.

Key matchups

Adrian Delph/Justin Forrest vs. Santiago Vescovi. Delph has been App’s best player thus far on both ends, so Vescovi does have a solid challenge in this one. I’d love to see Vescovi get free for a few catch-and-shoot opportunities. Forrest comes off the bench and shoots a ton, so Vescovi can’t get lost on defense.

Kendall Lewis vs. Yves Pons. Pons should have a very sizable advantage here, but Lewis is the main possession-user on offense. Because Lewis isn’t terribly efficient, this could serve as some great highlight-reel stuff for Pons and his Draft case.

Three predictions

  1. Tennessee holds their third-straight opponent below 0.8 PPP;
  2. Appalachian State takes 25+ threes;
  3. Tennessee, 75-55.

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