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Basketball Expectations - What did you expect preseason?

  • Expectations always rise as wins mount, many on this board let their expectations for this years version of Gamecock Basketball rise to levels that are not attainable this year.
    How many of you thought this was a NCAA team this year?
    How many of you thought this was an NIT team this year?
    How many of you thought this team would struggle to win 12+ games this year?

    I was in the latter group. This team has 2 seniors. 1 who decides when to play hard or not and you never know what you will get night in or night out. The other a player with massive offensive problems that was solely brought in to be a defender. Our best players happen to be freshman and sophomores that play overly aggresive and are streaky shooters (-Brain Richardson who can flat out shoot the rock, but doesn't shoot enough for my tastes). This year's team was a recipe for disaster, growing pains should have been expected and toleratred. We are not recruiting the same typoe of players as Duke, O State, Kansas, Kentucky that get elite recruits and see them go pro next year ar Player, Sullinger, SHelby, and Knight will do. We have to recruit 4 year guys that grow as players and as a team and build a team like a Butler or West Virginia of a year ago!
    Yes it is embarrassing to lose to Furman. But Horn has shown the ability to beat the big boys as well and he deserves credit for those wins just as he deserves tongue lashings for loses like last night. But if you let wins over Clemson and W Kent raise your expectations of this team to levels they aren't capable of reaching then you should not be offereing the lashing. If you are one of the many that haven't seen this team play a game yet this year then keep you trap shut or get out there and support a young and exciting, although unpredictable team play.

  • Kyle, Excellent points. I totally agree with your assessment. There are to many people with unrealistic expectations and their rants are counter productive. Give Coach Horn a reasonable time to change the situation that has long been Gamecock basketball. In my opinion, he has brought in more talent than we have had in years. It won't happen overnight but it is a process that will take several years to complete. With a little patience, I see a bright future.

  • I hoped to go .500 and maybe steal a game here or there and make the NIT. The SEC is obviously not very good this year so I think we can still accomplish that. But Horn has really upgraded our talent and the class he has signed for next year looks great. Except for 2 of the last 30 years we've sucked in basketball, DH was not going to fix it in 2.5 yrs.

  • I believe 5 years is a reasonable time. I agree that if 5 years pass and nothing has changed then at that time a change will need to be made. I am, however, optimistic that things will be much better at that time.

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  • Personally, I didn't think they was going to do much this yearand if we made into the NIT I have been thrilled. They have too much youth and failed to address the problems of inside scoring or rebounding in this class. So, I figured they would be up and down thoughout the season. My first assumption was that we would take a huge step back and be just a 10 win team, tops, but I revised it a little before the season after thinking about it to 13-16 wins.

    The SEC does look way down and nothing like world beaters to say the least. Florida and Tenn. are talented but seem lost on the court sometimes. Vandy is dangereous and Ketucky is Kentucky. I don't even know what to think of Georgia, they are about as preplexing a team as we are. They have so awfully losts and some not so thrilling wins against subpar teams. So the east doesn't look like it is a runa way race for any team as of yet. Plus like Whittle said the first 5 conference games will tell you a lot about this team present and future, I believe.

  • Roughly .500 record. 5 or 6 conference wins.

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  • Jelsik Sturm

    I was hoping for the NCAA, but that now seems unrealistic. I was hoping Muldrow and Jefferson would be more improved than they are. I was hoping Cook would be better than he is. I was hoping our sophomores would be more improved than they are. I was hoping our freshmen would be better than they are. Basically, I was hoping we would be more talented than we really are. I always have high hopes for the basketball team, and I am almost always disappointed. Been that way for 40 years.

    I do think that, in time(I hate that term and what it implies), Coach Horn can build a good program that gets to the NCAA regularly, and competes for the SEC Championship often. My disappointment is that it will take longer than I want.

    McGuire had the program rolling, and then USC made a mistake that ruined the basketball program: they got out of the ACC. That boneheaded move killed the basketball program and it has yet to recover. After 40 plus years of mediocrity, it is obviously very difficult to build a basketball program at USC. I think Horn has the best chance to do it of anyone we have had since the ACC days.

  • I expected NIT at best. It still looks that way, although I have generally been pleased with how the team played other than last night, and with one big exception. I expected Muldrow to be much more consistent, and to be a factor even when he had an off night. I never expected that he wouldn't bother to show up in several games.

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  • I was thinking and hoping we'd have a team that could barely break .500, make the NIT and actually win a game or 2. And then really look forward to next year. Unfortunately I don't think we're even an NIT team.

  • we have beat my preseason expectations. I was hoping for 5 total wins.

  • richcock1

    not much. lucky to make the NIT

  • I agree. It is too much to expect freshmen Ellington to put the team on his back.

    I also felt coming in that it was not in muldrow to do it. It is why I expected us to be about .500 overall and why I expected that horn would go into his last two years with a lot of heat on him.

    I do not believe muldrow's failure to develop as a post player is poor coaching. He is a thin framed kid who mentally prefers and has preferred to shoot jump shots.

    He has developed a little hook and back to the basket game, but it is inconsistent and it all has to fade away because he does not have enough mass to maintain his position or create space.

  • VBCock said... (original post)

    I agree. It is too much to expect freshmen Ellington to put the team on his back.

    I also felt coming in that it was not in muldrow to do it. It is why I expected us to be about .500 overall and why I expected that horn would go into his last two years with a lot of heat on him.

    I do not believe muldrow's failure to develop as a post player is poor coaching. He is a thin framed kid who mentally prefers and has preferred to shoot jump shots.

    He has developed a little hook and back to the basket game, but it is inconsistent and it all has to fade away because he does not have enough mass to maintain his position or create space.

    I'm not wanting to argue hear, just for comparison sake... Harris is currently smaller than Muldrow and has a similar frame. He doesn't have much offense at all, I'd say Muldrow is currently, and came in, with a better offensive game than Harris. Harris hasn't shown a back to the basket approach either. I think you're hihg on Harris, unless I'm mistaken. Why do you think Harris will be a better overall player than Muldrow?

    IYO, where do you see offense being generated next year? What offensive identitiy do you think we can take into next year?

    As much as we go back and forth(much bc I enjoy the debate) I actually appreciate your opinions and you seem to be one of the bigger basketball fans on the board. Do you go to many games, or live out of town?

  • My preseason expectations were to be above .500 in conference play and a possible bubble team.

    After that close loss to MSU, I thought that was a possibility but after what I have seen so far, I think this could still be an NIT team. MSU is not as good as everyone thought preseason so the "value" from that loss kind of went out the window after their rocky start.

    Losing to Ohio State was expected but I didn't expect it to be that badly. The Furman loss is beyond frustrating.

    Like many people, I prefer to see a strong post presence. I was hoping Muldrow would do a better job down low this season and sadly I was let down. Historically he hasn't been a strong scoring threat from the paint. I know he has been given the green light to shoot a 3 now and then but I find it discouraging to see your center (who is supposed to be a rebounder) throwing up 3s with nobody underneath.

    Also, I am a little disappointed in the half-court offense. It doesn't look like we have many set plays (especially cuts to the basket). I realize that they are inexperienced at playing together but I would hope that some of that would have been taken care of by now. And I know that Horn's system is more of an up-tempo/score in transition kind of offense and I thought the Weave left when Odom did, but that doesn't appear to be the case. I also don't see us doing anything to combat a zone defense. It seems like we take a lot of contested jumpers when it comes to facing it. Usually we seem to stand at the top of the key letting the shot clock run down and take a contested jumper or drive to the basket against 3 or more players.

    Ellington looks about where I figured he would. Still does a little too much coast-to-coast for me. Sometimes it seems like he tries to do too much and take a bunch of shots without even taking the time to slow down the offense and get some ball movement going.

    But it isn't ALL doom and gloom. I really like where Jackson is in his development. It is good to see a player out there hustling every time he steps on the court like he does. Also, he seems to have a genuine passion for the game and is usually smiling. Good to see that. Harris has been contributing more than I expected as well.

    I figured the SEC would be a little tougher this year but UT and UF are showing some cracks here lately. "Inconsistent" is the best term I can come up with at this time. They go out and play a good game against a quality opponent (UF against KSU, UT vs Pitt) but then go out and lose a blunder (Jacksonville State and Charlotte come to mind). I feel like we can steal a game or two away from them. Thankfully the West is down enough to get 3 or 4 there.

    I think that we are NIT bound unless we see a drastic improvement underneath, better set plays, and figuring out a way to beat a zone defense.

    signature image
  • NIT team in 2010-11 and NCAA in 2011-12 ... Anything less and a coaching change should take place ... The cupboard was not bare when Darrin Horn arrived and the facilities he has to offer student-athletes is well above average ... The wishy-washiness with the coaching shakeup last year and the lack of "style" for any of these three Horn-coached teams leaves me scratching my head.

    Same goes for Dawn Staley - put up or shut up (and I am in her corner, but am disappointed in the results thus far).

    This post was edited by Kubby 4 years ago

    "As 'X' says: People are suckers for the truth. And the truth is on your side, Bubba."

  • Kubby said... (original post)

    NIT team in 2010-11 and NCAA in 2011-12 ... Anything less and a coaching change should take place ... The cupboard was not bare when Darrin Horn arrived and the facilities he has to offer student-athletes is well above average ... The wishy-washiness with the coaching shakeup last year and the lack of "style" for any of these three Horn-coached teams leaves me scratching my head.

    Same goes for Dawn Staley - put up or shut up (and I am in her corner, but am disappointed in the results thus far).

    If the cupboard wasn't bear when he arrived, it was awfully thin. He had five SEC caliber players his first year (Muldrow, Fredrick, Downey, Archie and Homes) and won the SEC east. He did something with those players that Dave Odom couldn't do in seven failed years as SC's Head Coach, have a winning record in the SEC and win his division. In year two, Horn lost three of those players, and only had two experienced SEC caliber players on the team (along with the two freshman he brought in - Jackson and Galloway). Also, upon arriving at SC, the academic situation for the basketball team was a disaster. He has since turned that around.

    With the exception of Fogler's two years, we have been out of the basketball business for 35 years. It's takes time to build a program, and I am really sorry to see some of our fans have unrealistic and, to be blunt, idiotic expectations. Horn has brought in some good young talent who are going to be productive SEC players over their careers. However, they are not their yet on a consistent basis. Coach K can coach these same kids and the results would still be up and down. That is just the facts. It's good to finally have a coach who believes you can win at South Carolina and is working his butt off selling the program to talented high school players who other major programs want also.

    Another strong recruiting class is on the way next year. Calm down people and let's be rational about our expectations. There is no one out there that we could have hired that would be doing a better job than what we are getting right now, both from building the progam, to putting a system in place, to improving the academic situation that the past coach left in a compete mess.

  • Kyle4usc said... (original post)

    Expectations always rise as wins mount, many on this board let their expectations for this years version of Gamecock Basketball rise to levels that are not attainable this year. How many of you thought this was a NCAA team this year? How many of you thought this was an NIT team this year? How many of you thought this team would struggle to win 12+ games this year?

    I was in the latter group. This team has 2 seniors. 1 who decides when to play hard or not and you never know what you will get night in or night out. The other a player with massive offensive problems that was solely brought in to be a defender. Our best players happen to be freshman and sophomores that play overly aggresive and are streaky shooters (-Brain Richardson who can flat out shoot the rock, but doesn't shoot enough for my tastes). This year's team was a recipe for disaster, growing pains should have been expected and toleratred. We are not recruiting the same typoe of players as Duke, O State, Kansas, Kentucky that get elite recruits and see them go pro next year ar Player, Sullinger, SHelby, and Knight will do. We have to recruit 4 year guys that grow as players and as a team and build a team like a Butler or West Virginia of a year ago! Yes it is embarrassing to lose to Furman. But Horn has shown the ability to beat the big boys as well and he deserves credit for those wins just as he deserves tongue lashings for loses like last night. But if you let wins over Clemson and W Kent raise your expectations of this team to levels they aren't capable of reaching then you should not be offereing the lashing. If you are one of the many that haven't seen this team play a game yet this year then keep you trap shut or get out there and support a young and exciting, although unpredictable team play.

    I think you make very good points. My expectations were above .500 and the NIT. I think next year we make a big move with the new guys and Hollaway or I'll begin to really doubt Horn. I don't expect to lose to Furman though. That is unacceptable anytime, any year. Lack of effort is never acceptable and that seems to be a big reason we lost.

  • Other than the Furman loss, we are about on schedule. Beating Western Kentucky on the road and Clemson at home are two games that could have gone either way so I'd say we are on schedule or slightly ahead. I do expect them to improve as the young players get to play together a little longer.

  • My expectations after 3 years of Horn's recruiting is a NIT team every year. I don't understand why he wants to be the smallest team in Div. 1 basketball every year. We will not make it to the NCAA tourney with an average height of 6'5 or less.
    As far as ill-motivated players, if Sam or anyone else takes games off then I personally blame the coach. If there is a player on the team that lacks motivation or takes games off then you sit his *** on the bench and play someone who wants to win and contribute to the team.
    Horn should be given at least 5 years to prove himself and right the ship but I think he needs to make some adjustments to his recruiting tactics and team discipline philosophy right now.

  • Freehawk

    To respect all opponents, fear none. Beat Clemson, winning record, and a playoff berth.