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Fogler's first USC team was absolutely horrible. The roster had Jamie Watson, who almost single handedly carried them in every win, Emmett Hall, who was pretty strong inside, Andy Bostick and Carey Rich, who were decent, and then some guys whose names I had almost forgotten like Norman Greene, George Formanek, Donnie Matthews, and Durrent Williams. They ended up with a record of 9-19 and 4-12 in the SEC. The lost to powerhouses like Old Dominion, George Washington, Coastal Carolina, and Campbell but they did manage to beat S.C. State in double overtime. Nevertheless, they came up with a huge upset over Kentucky at the Coliseum on a Saturday afternoon in March. That was my one and only experience charging the court after a win.
This team has more talent in my opinion. Guys like Bruce Ellington, LaShay Page, Damien Leonard, and RJ Slawson would've been superstars on that 93-94 team. If this team progresses during the year, they might finish near .500 but I wouldn't bet on much more than that. I would think besting the 9-19 mark would be very possible but I wouldn't bet on being much better than the 4-12 mark in the SEC.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by MCR 17 months ago
I agree. If we could have just had Geathers for this year the outlook would be much, much better, imo. I think that we have good talent at 2 guard spots, once Bruce gets back, and SF. It is talent on the inside that is going to be our struggle. RJ is athletic, and has the potential to be very good, but not at center. He could do fine offensively in time, but not on defense.
Bruce, Williams, Page, Jackson, Slawson, and Carrera are good, solid SEC players who Martin would succeed with. It's on the wing and inside that concerns me.
I do think that we will be better than people think. Our players that were OK, and decent the last couple of years will look good and very good under Martin. I hope that we can get to around .500. Hopefully, the league will be down a little this year. If those guys just get some confidence early, that could make a big difference.
This post was edited by steve miller 17 months ago
Ally will beat the crap out of Uga.
Also, ya'll need to give the guy some upvotes for knowing the names of George Formanek, Norman Greene, and Donnie Matthews. I could not have come up with those names in a hundred years.
I never forgot about the other Big George, but I have to admit I had to dig on the net to find the names of Greene and Matthews.
Eddie had better talent at the top. Not depth, but a better one two punch. Hall was very good and Watson played in the NBA for several years.
I will agree that there was a huge drop off after those two, but those two are much better than our best two on this year's roster.
In the end, I couldn't get mad at Martin of his record is the same as Eddie's was in his first year.
To be honest, I just want to see a team that can play defense. Starting with the very first team Horn had, we have been horrible on defense. Thank goodness we had some shot blockers over the last few years. Without them, we might be even worse than the defenses that were ranked in the mid 200's on FG percentage defense and points per possession given up.
He has to build this program on tough, hard nosed defense. That will allow him to compete once he gets better offensive players in. This year will have some downright ugly games, but if he can instill a sense of pride and fundamentals on defense (that we simply didn't have under horn), I will call it progress, no matter how bad the offense looks.
well hopefully Thornwell is Martin's BJ McKie next year
Funny, I was thinking the same thing recently. Very comparable teams, although..
Watson and Hall were much better than anyone we have right now. Either one had the ability to take over a game.
Good post. From what I've read I hope to experience the same type of team we saw in Fogler's first year.
I am certainly not an x & o basketball guy but I can remember seeing the beginnings of the offensive and defensive plans at work. Actual plays on offense that our guys often just couldn't make by a step or missed screen, but you could see something that had purpose when that wans't the case before.
What is sad is that Horn is a "defensive coach" also. That is the mind boggling part.
In hindsight, I should have known Horn's tenure was going to be a trainwreck when he couldn't make the NCAA's with that stacked 08-09 team. Downey, Fredrick, Archie, Holmes, Muldrow is a starting 5 easily capable of making the tourney, with Sweet 16 potential. That team absolutely choked down the stretch and didn't even bother showing up in the SEC tourney.
I couldn't agree more. There is no way that team shouldn't have made tourney.
Some things have to be seen...
Since Ellington will not be playing during the winnable game season, 9 wins would be amazing to me.
But some things have to be seen to be believed.
Anyway, I don't think we will be beating anyone with our superior depth this year.
For the record, Jamie Watson averaged 19 pts, 7 rebs, 2.4 ast, and 1.6 spg, and went on to play several years in the NBA. He would be the best player on this team by about 500 country miles.
I am not sure that our top two scorers combined will average 19 and I'm pretty sure his 7 rebounds would lead this team by a couple of boards.
He might also be the leading assist and steal guy on this team.
I cannot find Hall's numbers, but he was two time third team SEC, so I'd guess he would lead this team in scoring and rebounds as well.
Hall is arguably the best post player we've had in my lifetime, actually, which is pretty sad.
That was a good team, wasn't it?
Devan Downey, lord have mercy. That dude was just unstoppable in college. One of the best to ever play at USC.
Speaking of Fogler's teams. I think Melvin Watson is one of the most underrated Gamecock basketball players of all time. That was back when Ky played that full court press all the time. Watson was un pressable. One of the quickest and best ball handlers I've seen at USC.
Are we really at a point where we have to explain who Melvin Watson was?
I guess maybe we are.
George Formanek...poetry in motion man.
Coudn't agree more. Watson and four KA pledges would be a more talented starting lineup than this year's team. Especially without Ellington.
On paper, especially minus Bruce, this is the least talented basketball team at USC going back through Frank's first team in 1964-65.
This post was edited by 81 Alumnus 17 months ago
They beat clemsux at clemsux for the first time since 1972 also.
Eddie did a helluva job those first few years.
I went to most of Eddie's games from the first day on (from Greenville) and havent been back since midway of the following year. I dont know what it was about Eddy...maybe his results at Vandy and the other places but I had full belief in him. While not being a big roundball fan I do have some confidence in the new coach and wish him the best. I will go when when I can.
To be honest I wish Bruuuuuuce would go FullFootball...he is easily good enough to be one of our best receivers and a high draft choicie at football and I just dont have a feeling for basketball
ALL IN for Martin but without hero worship for an average job fromthe AD....we went downhill for waaaay to many years with our former coach
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