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FeatheredCock

Minaya leads South Carolina to 77-55 win over Lions

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Minaya leads South Carolina to 77-55 win over Lions

Junior had first career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds

 Justin Minaya had 17 points and 11 rebounds in his return from a knee injury a year ago and South Carolina won its 19th straight season opener with a 77-55 victory over North Alabama on Wednesday night. (VIEW ARTICLE)

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Overall, I'm happy with how we played. There were stretches where it was sloppy and disjointed, but that's not abnormal for a Frank Martin team, especially for the first game. On defense, there were too many lapses as it seemed like they didn't know who was supposed to rotate and close out on a shooter. With it being a younger team, they will get better over the course of the season. Rebounding in the first half was a bit of a concern. It seemed like nobody wanted to box out and let UNA get a lot of offensive rebounds. Lastly, we need to shoot free throws better. Frink and McCreary look like fish out of water at the line. With McCreary's athleticism, he might leave a ton of points at the line. Nothing jumped out at me to worry about on offense. As the rotation gets set and guys settle in to their roles, I think the offense can be really efficient. 

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10 hours ago, FurmanCock said:

I can't remember if it was Frink or McCreary on the FT line, but one of them has a shot that looks like a one handed chest pass.

It's McCreary - he looks like he shoots the ball with both hands simultaneously, like a Rick Barry underhanded free throw, but from the chest. If it works for him, then I'm fine with it, but it didn't work for him Wednesday....

As for the game, it was good that Minaya and Bolden stepped up like they did, with Bryant not able to play, Couisnard apparently dealing with a bug, and Lawson having a muted game. We'll need some offensive contributors from multiple sources. As for the sloppy play, that's what to expect from a Frank Martin defensive team, especially if the players are not exactly in tune with each other defensively, which Game #1s tend to be like that. When the entire team is on the same page and is athletically equipped to play the defense like the staff wants it to (see 2015-16 & 2016-17), it can be highly intimidating, and it's usually our opponents who look sloppy.

So fans of those teams will always say afterwards, "we would've beat you if we didn't have a bad game". No, it is the Frank Martin defense that makes the opponent have the bad game, and they always look disjointed and ugly. Lets hope our young guys adapt quickly and start applying that tough defense with regularity...

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5 hours ago, ConwayGamecock said:

It's McCreary - he looks like he shoots the ball with both hands simultaneously, like a Rick Barry underhanded free throw, but from the chest. If it works for him, then I'm fine with it, but it didn't work for him Wednesday....

As for the game, it was good that Minaya and Bolden stepped up like they did, with Bryant not able to play, Couisnard apparently dealing with a bug, and Lawson having a muted game. We'll need some offensive contributors from multiple sources. As for the sloppy play, that's what to expect from a Frank Martin defensive team, especially if the players are not exactly in tune with each other defensively, which Game #1s tend to be like that. When the entire team is on the same page and is athletically equipped to play the defense like the staff wants it to (see 2015-16 & 2016-17), it can be highly intimidating, and it's usually our opponents who look sloppy.

So fans of those teams will always say afterwards, "we would've beat you if we didn't have a bad game". No, it is the Frank Martin defense that makes the opponent have the bad game, and they always look disjointed and ugly. Lets hope our young guys adapt quickly and start applying that tough defense with regularity...

^^THIS. 

Our lack of the Frank Martin-style defense was the biggest reason we didn't make the NCAAT the last two seasons.  Poor defense cost us enough losses to keep us out of the post-season.  I think Frank got frustrated enough to the point where he had to keep himself from burning out and get the season over with.

We weren't perfect on offense during the 2016-17 season, but the defense was there enough to give us what we needed.  We just needed to get to the First Round to play against teams who weren't used to playing against us.

This year's squad seems to be more coachable than every other one Frank has had since he's been here.  It won't be purty early on, but we will win enough in the regular season to make it to the NCAAT this year.

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