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Upside / Downside

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Joined: 14 May 2008
Posts: 4348
Location: Columbia, SC

PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:08 pm    Post subject: Upside / Downside Reply with quote

The Gamecock women looked to have nearly the entire team that won the NCAA tournament back for next year. Senior Alaina Coates (who is projected to be a top three pick in this spring's WNBA draft) was injured and missed the entire tourney. That left a starting lineup of two juniors, two red-shirt juniors, and a freshman. I, and a lot of other fans, were looking forward to going up against UConn (with a very young team this year) in 2017-18.

However, Coates' absence opened up the offense and allowed transfer students (and red-shirt juniors) Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray to shine in the tournament. Today, Davis and Gray announced that they were declaring for the WNBA draft. All we Gamecock fans can do is thank them for their contributions to a championship season and wish them well in their professional careers. Coach Staley did an amazing job in revamping the offense after Coates' injury. She did it so well, she made her job for next year that much harder. I think she's up to that task.
Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin
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Joined: 08 Apr 2013
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To your point, I am amazed how many high D1 coaches are SO attached to playing 2 posts. I agree, USC's offense was better without Coates and I don't think the added spacing for A'ja Wilson to operate and guards to penetrate was a coincidence. Coaches like Coach McKillop and Mike Brey at Notre Dame have had such successful offenses for years playing smaller with 1-post and lots of shooting on the floor, I'm surprised coaches don't do it more in both the men's and women's game.

This happens a lot in college basketball. A big post player gets hurt and their offense gets better (see Kansas' men this year - http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/big-12/university-of-kansas/article136837143.html)

But, UCONN brings everyone back except for Chong and will have an All-American honorable mention transfer from Duke who is 6'6" that will be eligible next year. If they hadn't lost this past year, people were realistically talking about 200+ straight for them.
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