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JwgreDeux

Things I saw - Coastal Carolina

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FINAL: Auburn 117 Coastal Carolina 74

Well that was fun, and that 117 is not a typo, here is the box score to prove it: 

Screen-Shot-2016-12-15-at-9.49.16-PM_rba

Screen-Shot-2016-12-15-at-9.49.24-PM_kus

This game was about a leader stepping up and a gut check about where this team stands and I'm happy to say they obviously passed this test with flying colors. Purifoy was assertive from early in the game, Harper commanded the floor (7 assists and only 2 TOs), McLemore stepped up (8 rebounds) and everybody made shots. Let's not get too carried away with ourselves after a game like this but it was an encouraging effort given the uncertainty surrounding us at tip-off. 

One of the things I was watching was the playing rotation. There weren't any surprises there, with us playing extended minutes for McLemore and Smith, along with some quality minutes from Waddell to fill in for the loss of Spencer. This rotation was serviceable vs Coastal but will not be if this suspension lingers. To cover for Brown, Lang and Dunans played extended time, with Dunans getting 23 minutes. As expected many of our starters played a lot of minutes, with Harper, Heron and Purifoy all getting 25+.

Offensively we didn't do much different scheme-wise, we simply made shots. Lots and lots of shots, setting a school record and tying a conference record for made three-point shots en-route to shooting 56% from the floor and 50% from three. I have been waiting for a breakout shooting game, and here it was. 

Defensively, we played pretty well. I said in my preview that we needed to keep them in the 60s, which we basically did until we emptied the bench for the last few minutes of the game. Speaking of which, that was fun to get to see those guys have some fun and make some plays. 

In the rebounding department we still have issues. At times it was much better, boxing out and spacing was there, at other times their guys ran right past ours for boards. We out rebounded them in total rebounds, but that is a bit deceiving due to our shooting percentage. With us shooting such a high percentage, they didn't have as many defensive rebounding opportunities, making our +8 in the rebounding battle not feel quite as good. Add to that their 18 offensive rebounds and our pattern of poor rebounding continued. That isn't surprising as that will be an issue for this team all season long, but to see the stretches where they were more sound on the glass was encouraging. Due to our ability to turn teams over, we don't have to out rebound teams on a consistent basis, just hang in there and keep it close on the boards should be good enough.

Purifoy is really coming into his own, and he is being noticed by a lot of writers and media out there, but with all the threes going in last night, it was easy to miss a quietly beautiful game from Heron. His stat line: 17 points (5-8 from the field, 1-2 from three, and 6-7 from the charity stripe), 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. This is an indication of the talent that is on this team, when that stat line is not our leader in any category. 

I'll say it again, that was fun. While this game didn't really boost our RPI, it does keep the tourney hope alive (a loss would have pretty much killed it).

We will see if there are any developments with Brown and Spencer (and possibly Wiley)  before our next game Sunday at home vs Mercer. That will be the first of 3 games in 6 days. No matter your feelings about player disciple, it would help to be at full strength for that stretch of games. 

On to the next one. War Eagle. 

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You hit it on rebounding. They had 7 more offensive rebounds and we had 1 less turnover than they did. That translated to 6 more possessions in this game for them. They had 78 shots and we had 72 shots. Credit our defense for their bad shooting night, but that is not a good trend of giving up more possessions than you have.

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Forgot to include that it was absolutely wonderful to see Dunans make a few jump shots. He is a very important part of this team, I'm sure coming off the bench, benhind freshmen has been a bit of a struggle for him. Seeing some balls go down will go a long way to boost his confidence. He also had some highlight reel passes. 

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2 hours ago, JwgreDeux said:

Forgot to include that it was absolutely wonderful to see Dunans make a few jump shots. He is a very important part of this team, I'm sure coming off the bench, benhind freshmen has been a bit of a struggle for him. Seeing some balls go down will go a long way to boost his confidence. He also had some highlight reel passes. 

Dunans might might be the missing link we need for a complete team at times. You saw the other night, we looked discombobulated and unsure of what to do against BC. TJ might be the one to bring a leadership to the team on any given night. That may not show up in the stat column as much as, say, Purifoy and Heron, but it's important for our team's psyche.

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1 minute ago, tigerbrotha12 said:

Dunans might might be the missing link we need for a complete team at times. You saw the other night, we looked discombobulated and unsure of what to do against BC. TJ might be the one to bring a leadership to the team on any given night. That may not show up in the stat column as much as, say, Purifoy and Heron, but it's important for our team's psyche.

Looked like a different team and IMO, not just because CC was pretty soft.  BC was better of course but the shooting and effort in the game last night was well above what we've seen in the last few games.   Dunans might be the difference....and maybe cracking down on violations of team rules got the guys attention too.  

It will be interesting to see which AU team shows up for the next game...which should be a cakewalk.....or not.  Mercer probably somewhere between BC and CC in difficulty?

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13 minutes ago, AU64 said:

Looked like a different team and IMO, not just because CC was pretty soft.  BC was better of course but the shooting and effort in the game last night was well above what we've seen in the last few games.   Dunans might be the difference....and maybe cracking down on violations of team rules got the guys attention too.  

It will be interesting to see which AU team shows up for the next game...which should be a cakewalk.....or not.  Mercer probably somewhere between BC and CC in difficulty?

Based on RPI and predictive metrics, Mercer is actually ranked higher than both. 

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44 minutes ago, JwgreDeux said:

Based on RPI and predictive metrics, Mercer is actually ranked higher than both. 

Thanks....sometimes I forget how much trouble teams like Mercer, Wofford and such can be....they seem to enjoy making life difficult for the bigger schools though Clemson beat them by 40 a few days ago.      They have some size on the roster but still, we should handle them at home pretty easily. 

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