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doublea1971 last won the day on June 8

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  1. It’s a short article with some a good view to the strengths of the 2019-2020 team (plus Seventh Woods).
  2. I get what you're saying, but TJ Moss was still in a boot in mid-February of this year. He had another 3 months of recovery for him to be completely healed and able to get on the court with running and impact drills, so he's JUST getting back to being able to play (and I haven't seen or heard anything indicating whether he's working out right now or not). Minaya, on the other hand, had recovered enough from his knee injury in February, that he was able to begin practicing a little bit. But at the time, his strength was not enough for him to return to the team, so he made the decision to redshirt. Both guys had SIGNIFICANT time away from playing active basketball, which means that they WERE pretty far removed from playing with the others. When a player is unable to run and shoot for significant amounts of time, even if they are at the top of their game when they have the injury, it takes a while to return. Given that both injuries were significant enough to keep them out for long stretches, their return to form is yet to be determined. As I've said several times... not trying at all to be negative. I just want everyone to understand that we've got a depth of 3 players right now with significant playing time as a Gamecock, plus one with significant time off the bench. Moss and Minaya are great players and both can make significant impacts on the team, as was seen Justin's freshman season and Moss's freshman campaign last year. But let's not put the cart before the horse and simply assume that those guys can gel with their teammates just by osmosis. Basketball doesn't work that way, unfortunately. Give the Gamecocks a 5 game stretch to begin the season, and we'll see how up-to-par everyone is. I believe we'll be fine in the long run, but we're definitely an unknown quantity right now. Talent-wise, the cabinet is pretty much full at every position - depth we haven't had in quite some time. It's the knowing what we actually have, and Coach Martin knowing how to put together his starting 5, and knowing how to best utilize his bench players strengths which we don't really have right now. All that becomes crystal clear in a number of months though!
  3. I appreciate your perspective. I too, think post-season play is a must this year. But again, I think we as fans should be realistic. There are literally THREE players with meaningful court time together. There are FIVE players who have court time as a Gamecock. Practice time only counts as that... practice time. Coach Martin himself has said that it’s the things that happen OUTSIDE of team practice that make a difference, and I agree. The Cousinards and the Boldens are only as good as the time they put in AWAY from the official practices. Let us all be realistic... we have a serious chance to be a top 3 in the league team. However, that chance is dependent on a lot of unknowns doing what it takes to come together as a TEAM, and being dedicated to perfecting their skills both defensively and offensively. Again... I really like what I see on paper, and I’m not trying to be negative. I’m simply saying we need to give these guys TIME. Time to gel, time to develop, and time to take leadership. I don’t expect us to run off a 15 game winning streak to start the season. (Though I’d be most pleased if they did).
  4. I love this take on things. What I want to add is this (and I'm NOT trying to be a negative Nancy here so please take this as simply adding to what you're saying and not trying to detract), most of what you are talking about above is the newcomers to our team/system - Seventh Woods, Micaiah Henry, Wildens Leveque, Jair Bolden, Jermaine Cousinard, Trae Hannibal, Trey Anderson and Jalyn McCreary are all players we have never seen on the court as Gamecocks. Throw in Justin Minaya (who played in just 5 games for us last season and is coming off injury), as well as TJ Moss (who played in just 7 games for us last season and is also coming off injury) as some who haven't been seen playing much with the current squad. What this means is that you realistically have only Lawson, Bryant, and Kotsar with meaningful minutes on the court together. Of those players (Lawson, Bryant, and Kotsar), only Lawson finished the season in double digit scoring (though Bryant came close, with 9 PPG). Bryant has unlimited athleticism and is fun to watch, but his assist/turnover ratio is NOT good right now, and his FT % is downright awful - seconded only to the MORE awful Maik Kotsar. What I'm saying here is this... we need to temper our expectations out of the gate. We may have another season that begins like last year did - with some shocking losses and some close losses against some quality opponents (though I am more hopeful than not that this will not be the case). It WILL take time for this team to gel a bit. But that day WILL come, and when it does, I think this Gamecocks squad has the chance to be one of the most athletic, quickest, and a team with the highest shooting percentage that we've seen in an awful long time. Let me add that I did not mention Frink in the same breath with Lawson, Bryant, and Kotsar only because he was coming off the bench and was mostly a "spot" player last season. I think Frink, of ANY of the players from last year, has the most to gain from an offseason and pre-season workouts with his new teammates. He's a guy who has HUGE potential once he fully grasps the nuances of Frank Martin's defense - a luxury he did not get last year. As to the others, if even half of them live up to billing, we're in for some fireworks this season. A team that can run with the best in the league - and I mean that quite literally. I think we will be able to handle the speed of an LSU, the firepower of the Kentuckys and the Tennessees and the LSUs of the league, and a team that can literally stop ANY team we face with some high pressure defense. The last of those things is the area that has me the most worried, at least initially... our defensive pressure. Frank's system works best when he has guys who have been in the system for 4 years. We've got ONE player who qualifies in that category this year (Maik Kotsar), with Justin Minaya being the lone Junior with experience as a Gamecock, but a guy who also sat out the entire year last year due to injury. Bolden, of course, brings experience (also as a Junior), but has only PRACTICED as a Gamecock, and we all know that league play is fast-paced, so we'll see how he adjusts. All of the above summed up... I'm VERY excited for the 2019-2020 season to begin. The tools are there for an incredible ride. But I want to be careful to not put TOO much pressure on a team that has only 5 players with any time on the court as a Gamecock. They WILL come along, but it is going to take time.
  5. I like what I see here, but honestly don't know much about Jamille. I will say this... Eric Musselman, the new coach at Arkansas, is actively recruiting Jamille alongside some pretty impressive power forwards. He must see SOMETHING he is high on with the kid.
  6. I had seen the "love" quote elsewhere. I think Frank has us in a REALLY good position to land Mr. Timberlake. He's a guy that I've said from the get go that we need to land. Of the recruits we're chasing, he's the highest ranked composite, and he's also a guy who fits really well into our system of play. I'd love to see an early commit from him, as I think if he gets too many schools in his ear it will be easier for him to be swayed away from the Gamecocks. That being said, we've been chasing him from VERY early in his appearance on the scene, so Bruce Shingler/Frank Martin have had LOTS of time to get to know Earl and vice versa. I think it's a match made in heaven! Here's hoping for the future Gamecock - Mr. Earl Timberlake Jr.
  7. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Scott Cherry return to his side (and that wouldn’t be a half bad hire for him to make, either).
  8. From Grantland article in 2015 - Seventh Woods’s unusual name is derived, his parents say, from the Book of Genesis. “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” http://grantland.com/features/seventh-woods-high-school-basketball/
  9. I, personally, think it's a long shot to get him. However, he's got some Gamecock ties and may like having a "hometown" crowd. If we can, I would make him a priority for his class.
  10. Believe it or not, it's not out of the question that Seventh would simply continue as a walk-on his final season. We'll see how everything plays out with class of 2020 recruiting.
  11. No. One to sit (and practice), one to play. He's a pure transfer.
  12. You can see exactly what Seventh brings to the table for the Gamecocks in that highlight reel above, and the highlight reel also shows what his injury/lack of confidence did to his game. You're getting a guy with STOOPID speed to the basket when he turns it on. You're getting a guy who has great court vision, and can get the ball to the spots for his teammates to get great open looks. You're getting a guy who has athleticism galore and the hops to put the ball in the hole at 6'2". You're getting a guy who has been tested with the best of them, played for a team that challenged for a National Championship, and will bring the mindset of a Senior to the game. You're getting a guy who has been praised extensively for his defensive play at UNC. The highlight reel shows Seventh giving up opportunities to shoot when he had the open look, but still putting the ball in a place where his teammates could score. That's the lack of confidence... Give him some tough love from Frank, I think you'll see him taking those open shots more often. Remember, Sindarius had similar tendencies for a while, as did PJ. I think you will see a return to the Seventh Woods of old, especially given that he has a year to practice with the team and perfect the things that he needs to work on. I'm truly geeked up about this one. I think Seventh Woods could potentially be a game changer, in a literal way, for the Gamecocks.
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