Despite a herculean effort by Devan Downey, the Vanderbilt Commodores were too much for the Gamecocks last night. Downey led Carolina with 35 points, while A.J. Ogilvy led Vandy with 22.
Here are a few thoughts on the game.
- As I expected, we had a lot of trouble handling Vandy big man Ogilvy, who was 7-8 from the field and got to the line a whopping 13 times. Unfortunately, with Sam Muldrow our only elite post defender, we're going to have lots of problems against any team with an elite big man. Fortunately, Ogilvy is probably the best we'll face this year, but Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee are all going to challenge us, too.
- Because of our defensive liabilities, we will need to shoot the ball incredibly well against any team with a strong front court. We actually did a decent job of that against Vandy, shooting over 40% both from three and overall. We also forced many turnovers against the 'Dores. The fact that we still lost by 10 should tell you something about what we're up against with our small lineups.
- Downey's stat line: 35 points, 5 boards, 6 steals, 4 assists. Just unreal. It's really a shame that what happened to Dominique Archie and Mike Holmes is probably going to cost him a shot at the NCAAs.
That's a wrap on this one. This is a tough loss. We're going into a rough patch of games, with road trips to Ole Miss and Florida and a home date with Kentucky coming up. I'm not sure if I think we're going to win any of those. We do match up fairly well with the Rebels, so perhaps we can steal that one. We'll have to wait and see.