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GAMEDAY THREAD: South Carolina vs Houston


FeatheredCock

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No. 10 Houston  vs. South Carolina

When Dec. 5th, 6:00 pm

The Houston Cougars will be going for their fourth consecutive win when they face the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday night. The Cougars are coming off a 64-53 win over Texas Tech as three-point underdogs. The Gamecocks are coming off a 69-58 win over Tulsa in a game they were favored to win by 2.5 points.

The Cougars continue to excel at rebounding and defensively, program tenets under Sampson. Houston held its first three opponents to 36.7 percent shooting while forcing 17.7 turnovers per game, numbers that would cause most coaches to boast. 

The Gamecocks, like many programs across the nation, stumbled out of the blocks without the benefit of exhibition games. South Carolina dropped its opener 78-62 to Liberty after shooting 39 percent while allowing 56.3 percent shooting on the defensive end.

Houston and South Carolina have split the six meetings between them.

Gamecocks Going For Second Consecutive Win

The Gamecocks bounced back from their season-opening loss with an 11-point win over Tulsa in their last game. They will be going for the upset and their second win in a row when they face the Cougars on Saturday.

South Carolina hasn’t looked good offensively through two games, with the team averaging 65.5 points per game. They played better in their last game, finishing with 69 points, but they will need a better performance on Saturday.

Jermaine Couisnard led the way for the Gamecocks in their last game with 20 points and four assists. AJ Lawson finished with 17 points and three rebounds, while Justin Minaya added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Gamecocks, who had three players score in double figures.

The Gamecocks have played well defensively, giving up 68 points per game. They gave up 58 points in their last game and will need a similar effort if they want to pick up the win.

Cougars Trying To Avoid Upset

The Cougars picked up their third consecutive win of the season with an upset over 14th-ranked Texas Tech, which transported them to #10 in this week’s polls. They will be trying to prevent the Gamecocks from doing the same thing to them as they try to pick up their fourth win in a row.

Houston has played well offensively, averaging 73.7 points per game. The team was held to 64 points by the Red Raiders and will try to bounce back with a better performance on Saturday.

Marcus Sasser led the way for the Cougars with 17 points and three rebounds. Quentin Grimes finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Tramon Mark added 11 points and two rebounds.

Houston has done a great job defensively, holding opponents to 52 points per game. The team gave up 53 points in their last game and will need a similar effort to get past the Gamecocks.

Houston wins this game comfortably. The Gamecocks haven’t played well offensively so far, averaging 65.5 points per game through their first two games. Their offensive struggles will continue in this game because Houston is one of the best defensive teams in the nation, holding opponents to 52 points per game. Even though the Gamecocks have played well defensively, holding their two opponents to 68 points per game. They haven’t faced a team as good as the Cougars offensively and will have a hard time slowing them down.

Prediction: Houston Cougars

 

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4 hours ago, FeatheredCock said:

Houston wins this game comfortably. The Gamecocks haven’t played well offensively so far, averaging 65.5 points per game through their first two games. Their offensive struggles will continue in this game because Houston is one of the best defensive teams in the nation, holding opponents to 52 points per game. Even though the Gamecocks have played well defensively, holding their two opponents to 68 points per game. They haven’t faced a team as good as the Cougars offensively and will have a hard time slowing them down.

 

 

I respectfully disagree with this opinion.  Barring a total breakdown offensively, I think we put up comparable numbers most of the game.  This could, in the end become a game of attrition, as I imagine that both teams will be responsible for committing a larger than normal amount of fouls because of our aggressive style of play on both ends of the court (something Houston has NOT faced so far).

We are long at the guard position, just like Houston.  They like to move the ball quickly, as do we offensively.  Houston prides themselves on defense (see article above), as do the Gamecocks.  I see a few advantages for us: 1.) personnel - Keyshawn, Seventh, and Minaya.  If two of the three of those are able to generate extra offense (i.e. - more than their usual totals of points), we're in decent shape. 2.) interior play - If our play at Center lives up to billing, and we don't commit senseless fouls, we hold a few extra cards here as well.

I like our chances of keeping this one close.  I'm going against the leaning in the article above, and putting the 'Cocks as a 5 point underdog (with the possibility of us actually pulling out the win).

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Houston went on a 6-0 run in the final minute or so, and look like they would reclaim the lead before the end of the half, but TJ Moss hits a huge 3-ptr. to close out with Gamecocks leading 35-31 at the half.

Now the questions are - can we keep up the effort in the 2nd half? The team was strong in shooting 3-ptrs (5-11), while Houston struggled in that area (1-13). Was the offensive struggles more on issues with Houston that they will fix during halftime, or was it more on our great defensive effort that continues into the 2nd half?

Neither team is in really bad foul trouble, which is great news IMO for the Gamecocks, who always tend to be the more aggressively fouling team. Free-throw shooting may play a role in the 2nd half: Houston is 10-13 (77%) while we are 8-16 (50%).

But so far, so good for the Gamecocks! Let's hope that continues.....

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1 minute ago, FurmanCock said:

So Conway, would you attribute the poor 3 point shooting for Houston to Houston, or has SC been playing decent perimeter defense?

 

 

It looked fairly 50-50 to me - Houston looked like they rushed some shots, and had some good looks that just didn't fall. They had one player in particular who accounted for half of the total 3-ptr shots and was 0-6, but he was 1-8 overall so he was really struggling. If he fixes his issues or settles down, that alone may be enough for the Houston team.

But USC has been playing well on perimeter defense. The question will be will those struggles continue for the Cougars, or will they find their shooting touch, and can USC continue to put pressure on them or will it not factor so much after halftime?

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We are getting nothing out of Frink and Bryant.   Not much out of Couisnard or Lawson.   We are shooting FT VERY poorly.   Our best players so far are Minaya,  Moss, and McCreary.   I'm listing to the radio broadcast.   Sounds like our defense has been OK.  Rebounding OK.  Too many turnovers.   But, we won the first half.   Gotta have more production from our starters.

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Well, 5 minutes into the 2nd half, Houston has taken a 44-42 lead....they are 5-5 from the field shooting after halftime - that dude that went 1-8, 0-6 in the 1st half has hit 2 shots, one a 3-ptr. after coming back out. So right now it appears it was more a case of Houston needing to fix things, than USC keeping them from working. But still 15 more minutes to play....

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We're still shooting well, but Houston is now also finding their shooting touch. Houston is 16-20 at the FT line, while we're 10-20: those 6 points are very useful to Houston as they lead 57-52 under 9 minutes left to play.....

We've also committed 16 turnovers to just 8 for Houston. They've out-scored us 16-9 on pts off of TOs....

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Houston is missing their head coach, their leading scorer and another key player, and they are still kicking the Gamecocks asses.     Houston is much more athletic and skilled than are the Gamecocks.   Our guards are playing very poorly, on both ends.   This is VERY VERY disappointing.    Really pisses me off actually.     The good thing is, Houston might be the best team we will play in the regular season.   If they were in the SEC, they would have a good chance to win it.

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