Show Me My Opponent, 2020-21: South Carolina

Lineup notes

South Carolina:

  • Well…this was going to be pretty easy until I found out South Carolina was missing two starters. My best guess, and it’s a complete guess, is Woods, Moss, Lawson, Bryant, Leveque.
  • With that in mind, the rotation is pretty much blown up. Hannibal and McCreary are the only non-starting (projected) bench players who average more than five minutes a game. Trey Anderson will probably play and was actually fantastic in a loss to Missouri in January, but he’s picked up just six minutes in the last four games. He might beat that in this game alone.
  • As an example of what I’m dealing with here, South Carolina’s only got 73 possessions of data of lineups that have neither Couisnard nor Minaya in them. They’ve been atrocious offensively in them, but the sample is so small that I genuinely have no idea what it means.

Tennessee:

  • IF everyone is available: Vescovi, Johnson, Springer, James, Pons.
  • IF a certain player from Uruguay is unavailable due to contact tracing, as has been suggested by some: Johnson, Springer, James, Pons, Fulkerson.
  • That lineup has all of 48 possessions together this year but it’s been disgustingly good on defense; 15 of those 48 possessions have ended in forced turnovers. We’ll see.

Key matchups

A.J. Lawson vs. Keon Johnson. Again, should be a matchup Johnson desires. Johnson played very aggressively against LSU but simply had a miserable night; you hope that’s just a one-off and not a pattern. Lawson can be all South Carolina has offensively, and if Johnson and company force other Gamecocks to make the shots Lawson won’t get, it should be a positive thing.

Wildens Leveque vs. John Fulkerson. I know Pons is probably starting, but if Fulkerson can’t get going here, I don’t know when he will. Leveque blocks a good number of shots, but he commits a ton of fouls and can’t stay on the court often at all. He simply isn’t mobile enough to stay with good post players. I know there’s a good post player still lurking within John Fulkerson. Let’s see it.

Three predictions

  1. At least one Tennessee rotation member is unavailable for this game;
  2. Tennessee holds South Carolina below 0.9 PPP;
  3. Tennessee 76, South Carolina 62.

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s