BTO’s South Carolina Postgame Report

#1

bleedingTNorange

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#1
1. That was a hell of a win, what a showing from Tennessee today. I have been saying for weeks that road wins in conference won’t be easy, and they won’t, which makes todays performance all the more impressive. The win against UNC on a neutral court was nice, obviously the win at home against Top 5 Arizona was as well, but today quite possibly was the best showing from Tennessee overall that we have seen. That was a game Tennessee was projected to win something like 70-63, Tennessee was elite on both ends of the court today, what a showing.

2. When Tennessee left Austin, TX a week ago they were ranked #13 overall on KenPom, they had the #55 offense and #5 defense, 2 games later and Tennessee now has the #32 ranked offense and #8 ranked defense. Yes they are still #13 team overall but they went from about a 2pt difference from #13 to #12 to now just about 0.75 point difference, they’ve made a big move, and it’s mostly due to offense. Thinking of this Tennessee team as a Top 25 offensive team months ago seemed like an absolute joke, but with their recent play it’s quite possible. Today they performed like a Top 5 team on both ends of the court, they carried over the offense from A&M game and showed the defense we saw most of the year.

3. JJJ continues his resurgence, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it largely has coincided with Tennessee playing better overall as well. He’s a huge part of our defense so you want him out there, but when he was bringing nothing offensively it really hindered us, but he’s really found something. I pointed out his shooting numbers over 6 game stretch and they just continue to get better and better, over his last 8 games he’s 16/40 from deep, 40%, and then today he even flashed a mid range pull up game as well. This team is obviously much better when he’s an offensive threat, it opens everything up and just makes everything easier, while also keeping us at our best defensively.

4. ZZ goodness, you are going to be a joy to watch and absolutely hated by opposing teams, what a steal late in the game from Barnes and his staff. He’s great defensively, really gets exposed for his size, and is really starting to adjust his offensive it would seem to this level. He was already a big factor and great player, but if he too continues to find his outside shot, WATCH OUT. Over his last 4 games he’s 11/20 from deep for 55%, that’s obviously not going to continue, but again if he’s a consistent 40% shooter or so from deep, and JJJ continues that as well and Vescovi is hanging at 40% this becomes so much better offensively. It spaces things for Chandler to drive, or our posts to get some looks, where Nkahmoua has been starting to look good as well.

5. After a game like that you can really point out tons of great things, Chandler with 10ast and 0to, Plav with 8rbd, Fulk bringing energy and some offensive pop, Nkahmoua prior to injury looking like he was gonna keep things going and continue to come on…just lots of great things after a win like that and not much negative. Negative I’ll throw out there is once again we have foul trouble in the first half, Vescovi this game JJJ last game, they are 2 of our most important players, they gotta stay out of foul trouble.

6. Ok so big picture…entering the 4 game stretch I said you gotta go at least 3-1, 4-0 would be overachieving a bit and would build some momentum…we are 2-0 to start it off with 2 of our best offensive showings on the year, got a road W and now looking for another. We sit at 16-6(7-3) and head to Starkville for an important game, they look like they’ll be one of the teams competing with us for a Top 4 finish so beating them would be huge. It’s also a chance at a Q1 win, something that helps your NET and NCAAT seeding projections, it’s a game that will likely be projected as a pick em’, a 50/50 game…it’s gonna take another good showing to get a W. They have a Top 25 offense and one of the best guards in the league in Iverson Molinar, not gonna be an easy trip but it provides a great opportunity.


GBO!!!
 
#3

ColinS

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#3
1. That was a hell of a win, what a showing from Tennessee today. I have been saying for weeks that road wins in conference won’t be easy, and they won’t, which makes todays performance all the more impressive. The win against UNC on a neutral court was nice, obviously the win at home against Top 5 Arizona was as well, but today quite possibly was the best showing from Tennessee overall that we have seen. That was a game Tennessee was projected to win something like 70-63, Tennessee was elite on both ends of the court today, what a showing.

2. When Tennessee left Austin, TX a week ago they were ranked #13 overall on KenPom, they had the #55 offense and #5 defense, 2 games later and Tennessee now has the #32 ranked offense and #8 ranked defense. Yes they are still #13 team overall but they went from about a 2pt difference from #13 to #12 to now just about 0.75 point difference, they’ve made a big move, and it’s mostly due to offense. Thinking of this Tennessee team as a Top 25 offensive team months ago seemed like an absolute joke, but with their recent play it’s quite possible. Today they performed like a Top 5 team on both ends of the court, they carried over the offense from A&M game and showed the defense we saw most of the year.

3. JJJ continues his resurgence, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it largely has coincided with Tennessee playing better overall as well. He’s a huge part of our defense so you want him out there, but when he was bringing nothing offensively it really hindered us, but he’s really found something. I pointed out his shooting numbers over 6 game stretch and they just continue to get better and better, over his last 8 games he’s 16/40 from deep, 40%, and then today he even flashed a mid range pull up game as well. This team is obviously much better when he’s an offensive threat, it opens everything up and just makes everything easier, while also keeping us at our best defensively.

4. ZZ goodness, you are going to be a joy to watch and absolutely hated by opposing teams, what a steal late in the game from Barnes and his staff. He’s great defensively, really gets exposed for his size, and is really starting to adjust his offensive it would seem to this level. He was already a big factor and great player, but if he too continues to find his outside shot, WATCH OUT. Over his last 4 games he’s 11/20 from deep for 55%, that’s obviously not going to continue, but again if he’s a consistent 40% shooter or so from deep, and JJJ continues that as well and Vescovi is hanging at 40% this becomes so much better offensively. It spaces things for Chandler to drive, or our posts to get some looks, where Nkahmoua has been starting to look good as well.

5. After a game like that you can really point out tons of great things, Chandler with 10ast and 0to, Plav with 8rbd, Fulk bringing energy and some offensive pop, Nkahmoua prior to injury looking like he was gonna keep things going and continue to come on…just lots of great things after a win like that and not much negative. Negative I’ll throw out there is once again we have foul trouble in the first half, Vescovi this game JJJ last game, they are 2 of our most important players, they gotta stay out of foul trouble.

6. Ok so big picture…entering the 4 game stretch I said you gotta go at least 3-1, 4-0 would be overachieving a bit and would build some momentum…we are 2-0 to start it off with 2 of our best offensive showings on the year, got a road W and now looking for another. We sit at 16-6(7-3) and head to Starkville for an important game, they look like they’ll be one of the teams competing with us for a Top 4 finish so beating them would be huge. It’s also a chance at a Q1 win, something that helps your NET and NCAAT seeding projections, it’s a game that will likely be projected as a pick em’, a 50/50 game…it’s gonna take another good showing to get a W. They have a Top 25 offense and one of the best guards in the league in Iverson Molinar, not gonna be an easy trip but it provides a great opportunity.


GBO!!!
To me the thing that sticks out the most is how we have transformed from a soft team that couldn't handle physical play to a team that will take your best punch and not miss a beat. South Carolina played very hard and was extremely physical without many fouls being called on them in the first half. We didn't separate from them but we took that best punch and still had the lead. I had a feeling we would open it up in the second half and we did.
 
#4

cncchris33

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#4
Zeigler's performance was all the more impressive because his 1st half was probably the worst half of basketball he's played in a month, or more. He had a real defensive back mentality to forget about that half and come back for the next, and he was truly special in that 2nd half.

I'm putting and APB out for the JJJ haters.

Chandler was MUCH better, today, than he has been recently. No lazy passes, no ill-advised drives under the basket where he leaves himself no out. Super solid performance from him.

If we lose ON for any period of time, that will hurt. I'm possibly his biggest critic, but he has played much better and much more aggressive over the past two games, and I'll give him credit when he deserves it. And he'll be missed if for no other reason than he is our highest upside post player, but more so because he seemed to be turning a corner.

Lastly, sure, it's Texas A&M and South Carolina. Not world beater teams. But is this team peaking at the right time? 🤔👀
 
#5

Maxwell865

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#5
The Vols have the next Muggsy Bogues on their roster. The future of our program is in good shape. This is a completely different team when the perimeter shots are falling. Hopefully we can carry this positive momentum into March. Thanks for the writeup BTO.
Muggsy Bogues was 5’3” haha ZZ ain’t that short
 
#6

youcancallmeAl

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#6
1. That was a hell of a win, what a showing from Tennessee today. I have been saying for weeks that road wins in conference won’t be easy, and they won’t, which makes todays performance all the more impressive. The win against UNC on a neutral court was nice, obviously the win at home against Top 5 Arizona was as well, but today quite possibly was the best showing from Tennessee overall that we have seen. That was a game Tennessee was projected to win something like 70-63, Tennessee was elite on both ends of the court today, what a showing.

2. When Tennessee left Austin, TX a week ago they were ranked #13 overall on KenPom, they had the #55 offense and #5 defense, 2 games later and Tennessee now has the #32 ranked offense and #8 ranked defense. Yes they are still #13 team overall but they went from about a 2pt difference from #13 to #12 to now just about 0.75 point difference, they’ve made a big move, and it’s mostly due to offense. Thinking of this Tennessee team as a Top 25 offensive team months ago seemed like an absolute joke, but with their recent play it’s quite possible. Today they performed like a Top 5 team on both ends of the court, they carried over the offense from A&M game and showed the defense we saw most of the year.

3. JJJ continues his resurgence, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it largely has coincided with Tennessee playing better overall as well. He’s a huge part of our defense so you want him out there, but when he was bringing nothing offensively it really hindered us, but he’s really found something. I pointed out his shooting numbers over 6 game stretch and they just continue to get better and better, over his last 8 games he’s 16/40 from deep, 40%, and then today he even flashed a mid range pull up game as well. This team is obviously much better when he’s an offensive threat, it opens everything up and just makes everything easier, while also keeping us at our best defensively.

4. ZZ goodness, you are going to be a joy to watch and absolutely hated by opposing teams, what a steal late in the game from Barnes and his staff. He’s great defensively, really gets exposed for his size, and is really starting to adjust his offensive it would seem to this level. He was already a big factor and great player, but if he too continues to find his outside shot, WATCH OUT. Over his last 4 games he’s 11/20 from deep for 55%, that’s obviously not going to continue, but again if he’s a consistent 40% shooter or so from deep, and JJJ continues that as well and Vescovi is hanging at 40% this becomes so much better offensively. It spaces things for Chandler to drive, or our posts to get some looks, where Nkahmoua has been starting to look good as well.

5. After a game like that you can really point out tons of great things, Chandler with 10ast and 0to, Plav with 8rbd, Fulk bringing energy and some offensive pop, Nkahmoua prior to injury looking like he was gonna keep things going and continue to come on…just lots of great things after a win like that and not much negative. Negative I’ll throw out there is once again we have foul trouble in the first half, Vescovi this game JJJ last game, they are 2 of our most important players, they gotta stay out of foul trouble.

6. Ok so big picture…entering the 4 game stretch I said you gotta go at least 3-1, 4-0 would be overachieving a bit and would build some momentum…we are 2-0 to start it off with 2 of our best offensive showings on the year, got a road W and now looking for another. We sit at 16-6(7-3) and head to Starkville for an important game, they look like they’ll be one of the teams competing with us for a Top 4 finish so beating them would be huge. It’s also a chance at a Q1 win, something that helps your NET and NCAAT seeding projections, it’s a game that will likely be projected as a pick em’, a 50/50 game…it’s gonna take another good showing to get a W. They have a Top 25 offense and one of the best guards in the league in Iverson Molinar, not gonna be an easy trip but it provides a great opportunity.


GBO!!!

Thanks or this write-up and all the stats. Excellent stuff.

Big picture: with two freshman point guards, it was never really in the cards for us to be the SEC reg season champs. The best hope was to develop those guards on a steady pace so they would be ready come tournament time to complement the veterans we have at the other positions. That seems to be happening now. If it continues, we can be a beast in the tournaments. In addition, we are seeing JJJ, ORN, and Uros develop before our eyes, making this team even more dangerous. I was really impressed with ORN today and Uros. The team seems to be improving with each week. The future looks bright for our chances in the tournaments.
 
#7

bleedingTNorange

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#7
Lastly, sure, it's Texas A&M and South Carolina. Not world beater teams. But is this team peaking at the right time? 🤔👀
2 best offensive games of the year, definitely reason to be cautiously optimistic…I think we are all pretty confident the defense will be fine, but reason to believe the offense is starting to find something.
 
#12

Namorto1

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#12
I’ll even give a thumbs up to Barnes today. He went to a passive full court man to man defense early and threw out a zone at appropriate times. Both changed tempo while we were in control. When South Carolina got impatient and started turning it over the game was ours. Overall a quality win on the road. Let’s just hope this offensive consistency continues. We string two more prior to getting Kentucky that games becomes a fight for the #2 spot in SEC.
 
#15

GregAmsler

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#15
Zeigler's performance was all the more impressive because his 1st half was probably the worst half of basketball he's played in a month, or more. He had a real defensive back mentality to forget about that half and come back for the next, and he was truly special in that 2nd half.

I'm putting and APB out for the JJJ haters.

Chandler was MUCH better, today, than he has been recently. No lazy passes, no ill-advised drives under the basket where he leaves himself no out. Super solid performance from him.

If we lose ON for any period of time, that will hurt. I'm possibly his biggest critic, but he has played much better and much more aggressive over the past two games, and I'll give him credit when he deserves it. And he'll be missed if for no other reason than he is our highest upside post player, but more so because he seemed to be turning a corner.

Lastly, sure, it's Texas A&M and South Carolina. Not world beater teams. But is this team peaking at the right time? 🤔👀
If you aren’t ORN’s biggest critic, I am. And I’ll say he’s played very well the last 2 games. I’m cautiously optimistic that he’ll be okay soon, since he was back on the bench later in the game and didn’t have a cast or brace on.

We need him to keep playing this way down the stretch.
 
#16

walkenvol

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#16
Ive been critical of JJJ for awhile... And mostly because he seemed to play too soft and not use his size and skills... The last few games he has been more aggressive than Ive ever seen and just keeps coming. Big props to him coming back strong after the missed game winner! Atta boy JJJ
JJJ is clearly finding his outside shot that struggled with the finger injury. Keep that up and his next opportunity will be driving to the hole as other teams start trying to play him close on the perimeter. Do those and continue to rebound and play D then the nba might be taking notice!
 
#20

cncchris33

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#20
Ive been critical of JJJ for awhile... And mostly because he seemed to play too soft and not use his size and skills... The last few games he has been more aggressive than Ive ever seen and just keeps coming. Big props to him coming back strong after the missed game winner! Atta boy JJJ
Even those were at least fair criticisms. He has played soft in the past and he also still continues to have this innate inability to finish at the rim, which perhaps has discouraged him from driving more often. Those are things he needs to continue to clean up.

My issue with most of JJJ's critics revolve around the idea of him being a bust and a total absentee offensive player. Those are the kinds of people that cracked open their Knoxville News Sentinel three years ago to find we signed a 5* player and automatically assumed it meant 20 ppg as a freshman and a lottery pick. Never once watched him play in high school to see that being a primary scorer wasn't really in his DNA. A lot of what he does doesn't go in a box score, or it falls under less noticeable categories.

I'll be honest, and I'm a little hesitant to say this without a fee more games of sample size, but JJJ is starting to track along that Josh Richardson career path. JRich wasn't as highly regarded out of high school, but had a similar player profile to JJJ. Elite defender, great athlete, but pretty raw offensively, and JRich turned an offensive corner midway thru his junior year. Are we seeing that same transformation happen out of JJJ? Maybe too early to tell, but early signs are positive.
 
#22

ShowSomePride

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#22
Even those were at least fair criticisms. He has played soft in the past and he also still continues to have this innate inability to finish at the rim, which perhaps has discouraged him from driving more often. Those are things he needs to continue to clean up.

My issue with most of JJJ's critics revolve around the idea of him being a bust and a total absentee offensive player. Those are the kinds of people that cracked open their Knoxville News Sentinel three years ago to find we signed a 5* player and automatically assumed it meant 20 ppg as a freshman and a lottery pick. Never once watched him play in high school to see that being a primary scorer wasn't really in his DNA. A lot of what he does doesn't go in a box score, or it falls under less noticeable categories.

I'll be honest, and I'm a little hesitant to say this without a fee more games of sample size, but JJJ is starting to track along that Josh Richardson career path. JRich wasn't as highly regarded out of high school, but had a similar player profile to JJJ. Elite defender, great athlete, but pretty raw offensively, and JRich turned an offensive corner midway thru his junior year. Are we seeing that same transformation happen out of JJJ? Maybe too early to tell, but early signs are positive.
Perhaps. JRich was an incredible on-ball defender and had a nasty mid range game. If JJJ continues to improve his 3 ball it might be similar.
 
#23

RockyTop140

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#23
The tourney is all about guard play. If this squad plays like they did today, they’ll be a tough out for anyone.
GBO!!
It’s awfully hard to expect 50% from 3. But if they can shoot close to 40%, play some good D, and get some production from the bigs, we can go further than most of us think.
 
#24

PandamoniumReigns

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#24
My only concern with ZZ is NIL. Hope that guy remains loyal to Barnes and UT.

NIL and Transfer rule has turned college sports into a massive free agency. ZZ is a spark plug for the team and others in need of a PG may start throwing some NIL $$$ his way.
 
#25

The Dog

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#25
My only concern with ZZ is NIL. Hope that guy remains loyal to Barnes and UT.

NIL and Transfer rule has turned college sports into a massive free agency. ZZ is a spark plug for the team and others in need of a PG may start throwing some NIL $$$ his way.
This kid is loyal and he will get paid, well. I won't be surprised if his NIL deals are comparable to Chandler's. Watch. Plus, I think UT being the only Power 5 team to offer means a lot to this particular kid
 

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