Though the final margin settled at ten points, it was not very reflective of the run of play, as Coach Stallings emptied his bench with three minutes to play and up twenty. Moments earlier the lead had stretched to 24, perhaps a more fitting margin based on the way the two teams played this particular night. South Carolina's starters finally got hot down the stretch against the cold Vanderbilt subs, and were able to largely neutralize the vast margin in only a few short minutes. Though Commodore fans might wish that the margin was more reflective of the play (as some Top 25 voters or talking-heads-on-three-and-four-letter-television-networks might only pay attention to box scores), this really is the classy move by a true coach's coach. This is a Stallings hallmark move and I'm glad he grants mercy upon his victims. You could see the gratitude in Darrin Horn's eyes as the two coaches made their traditional postgame handshake.
I wrote the following after the Vanderbilt-Lafayette game on December 21st: "The Commodores finished with an effective field goal percentage of 70.8%, easily the best mark since a two-game stretch in the 2009-2010 season where the Dores beatTennessee St. 84-71 (73.6% eFG) and throttled Mercer 99-59 (70.7% eFG)." Well, the Dores set a new AOG record for eFG% (since 2009), finishing the game at an otherworldly 73.8%. Damn. There isn't a team in the country these Dores can't beat with a shooting performance like that.
Turnovers were a big issue last night, though Stallings made an excellent adjustment in having Brad Tinsley inbounds the ball versus the Gamecock press. One would have to imagine that he'll be quicker to make that adjustment should teams look to press in the future. That switch completely changed the complexion of the game, and led to a couple quick dagger-threes from Jenkins that blew the game wide open for the Dores.
Another number that stood out was the assists to field goals made ratio. Vanderbilt's ball movement last night was incredible. Brad Tinsley finished with nine assists to two turnovers. Free throws were also much improved over the Auburn game.
|Points Per Possession||1.22||1.03|
|Assists/Field Goals Made||82.6%||18.2%|
|% of Points by 3FG||58.2%||21.1%|
Periscope prediction: "Vanderbilt wins eFG%, FTRate and OReb%." Result: 3/4. So close on FTRate...
*** Each game, AOG's army of statistics monkeys laboriously pore over the box score and play-by-play to calculate the mysterious plus/minus game statistics. These are those statistics. Please share your observations via the comments. Note: these are only the stats from the last five games. Click here to view the entire 2012 season.***
Plus/Minus Adjusted Per 40 Minutes