Feb 22, 2012; Nashville,TN, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Darrin Horn (right) talks with forward R.J. Slawson (33) during the first half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Memorial Gym. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE
In a game that might have taken offense back to peach-basket hoops, Vanderbilt defeated South Carolina this evening, 59-48. Vandy's John Jenkins led all scorers with 21, while Bruce Ellington led Carolina with 15.
As said, this was an ugly, ugly game. Both teams shot the ball poorly; that's par for the course for Carolina, but I wasn't expecting that kind of game from Vandy, which has one of the SEC's most impressive, balanced group of scorers. You have to give some credit to Carolina's defense for this one; even with the season completely shot, we've continued to play hard defense night in and night out, and that's allowed us to remain competitive. Damontre Harris was, yet again, impressive defensively, tallying four blocks. However, with a completely inept offense, there's simply no way we're going to win many games, particularly against teams like Vandy.
There are a few additional things to note about this game. First of all, for some reason, Horn decided to start Carlton Geathers over Harris. Geathers didn't end up playing very much, but I thought it was a curious move, regardless. Perhaps Horn is seeing some improvement on Geathers's part that's led him to consider giving Geathers a bigger role. Perhaps Harris did something to upset Horn. I'd be eager if anyone knows what the deal was there. Horn has been known to fiddle with his starting lineups, but starting Geathers over the productive Harris and only playing Geathers eight minutes seems a bit unusual.
The other personnel issue that warrants remark is that Damien Leonard once again got the lion's share of minutes at two-guard. Personally, I'd really like to see Brenton Williams getting more of those minutes. Leonard did make some big shots early in the game, which may reasonably explain why Horn gave him so much time.
Carolina hosts Tennessee this weekend.