Show Me My Opponent, 2020-21: USC Upstate

Lineup notes

USC Upstate:

  • Starting lineup, as per the most recent game, is White, Bruner, Mozone, Aldrich, Smith.
  • 14 different lineups have gotten at least 10 possessions of usage, per Hoop Explorer, but only one lineup has more than 22 possessions together across the six games they’ve logged. Probably not ideal?
  • The best(?) lineup appears to be the starting lineup, but with Zink in instead of Smith.

Tennessee:


  • Vescovi, Bailey, James, Pons, Fulkerson unless Barnes just wants to experiment.
  • Through five games, Rick Barnes has managed to throw out 65 unique lineups for at least one possession. Only one lineup – the starting lineup – has so far appeared in all five games. No one does their thing quite like Rick Barnes.

Key matchups

Bryson Mozone vs. Josiah-Jordan James/Jaden Springer. Athletically, this seems like the best matchup, though I imagine Tennessee will rotate a few different guys on Mozone. This isn’t a deal where Mozone is a huge usage driver, but he’s such a good three-point shooter that Tennessee can’t let him get hot.

Khydarius Smith vs. John Fulkerson. Fulk has the obvious advantage, but Smith has done well at being Upstate’s single positive frontcourt defender so far. I’d like to see if Fulk can get him in foul trouble early.

Three predictions

  1. Tennessee finally does not hold an opponent to their lowest efficiency of the season;
  2. Tennessee still holds said opponent well below a point per possession;
  3. Tennessee, 87-55.

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