Previewing USC Upstate

2010 Scouting Report / 2010 Game Plan / 2011 Scouting Report / 2011 Game Plan
2011 Stats
2011 Roster
2011 Schedule

 

USC Upstate Offense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 45.8 289
Turnover Rate 25.1 340
Off Reb Rate 32.8 173
FTA/FGA 35.5 230
USC Upstate Offense 10-11
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 40.8 330
Turnover Rate 21.3 178
Off Reb Rate 32.2 198
FTA/FGA 29.8 301

 

 

 

 

 

The University of South Carolina Upstate, founded in 1967 by the late William Upstate III, Esq., is located in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  The school's athletics programs have a short and undistinguished history, though the men's basketball team did win an NAIA national title in 1982.  About the most interesting thing about them is they used to be known as the Rifles. For whatever reason, that was changed and they're now known as the Spartans.  Maybe finger gun/wink combos were getting out of control.  Even if that were the case, the change is lamentable.  I especially liked that they called the women's basketball team the Lady Rifles. 

Anyway, the Dude Rifles represent yet another program clamoring for the opportunity to get pounded by non-conference foe after non-conference foe at the division I-A level.  This is their fourth season in I-A, and the transition is going about as poorly as it always does for these schools.  They won 7 games in 2008, 9 in 2009, then slipped back to 6 last season.  They could be doing all of this sucking with a unique nickname and a killer logo.  That's their loss among many, many others.

They are a complete disaster at the offensive end, utterly incapable of scoring with any effect from any area of the floor.  The difference between this year's team and those of the last few years is threes.  They are taking a lot of them.  They've only made 28.8% of them, but when you're shooting sub-40% inside the arc, there's no right answer.  At least a perimeter-oriented attack helps them slow the pace and mitigate turnovers to some extent.

Starters

Josh Chavis (5-9, 174) -- Chavis is a decent distributor, takes reasonably good care of the ball, and shoots well from the free throw line, all of which Upstate desperately needs.  Most of his field goal attempts come from three, where he is a career 33.3% shooter.

Tony Dukes (6-2, 175) -- A passable three-point shooter (34.3%) but otherwise unremarkable.  He's one of a few guys with an above-average workload (he takes 22.6% of the shots).  That's less than ideal considering his low offensive rating, but what are you gonna do.

Mezie Uzochukwu (6-5, 220) --Along with Chavis, Uzochukwu has been with the program since the move to I-A.  He's a career role player who took a step forward last season; he still wasn't good, generally speaking, but certainly good by Upstate standards.  He hit 48% of his twos (he rarely attempted threes) and proved a decent rebounder at both ends for the first time in his career.  He'll look to score inside against the Pack but should remain more of a peripheral contributor.

Torrey Craig (6-6, 200) -- Craig is Upstate's leading scorer at 11.1 points per game and is without question the focal point of the offense.  It isn't working out real well for him--his 3FG% (36.4) is higher than his 2FG% (35.7), which is always a bad sign.  If you're Sidney Lowe, you want to make him put it on the floor and try to score inside the arc.  In addition to the low 2FG%, he's not very good from the line and he will turn the ball over in traffic.  His outside shooting is the only thing showing life at this point.

Chalmers Rogers (6-7, 220) --There are two things Rogers, a junior, is doing this season that he's never done before.  He's making shots--his 50.0 eFG% is a team-high.  He isn't turning the ball over--his turnover rate is the 9th lowest in the country.  Considering his unfortunate track record, are these things early-season flukes? Probably. 

Bench

Carter Cook (6-5, 225), Babatunde Olomuwiya (6-7, 210), Marquis Sloan (6-0, 185).  Because the Rifles lack size, Cook and Olomuwiya should get plenty of time off the bench if they don't start.  Cook has been one of the team's most useful guys, as he's a decent shooter inside and out.  He's the team's second-leading scorer.  Olomuwiya's value is elsewhere.  He rebounds well at the offensive end and blocks quite a few shots.  Marquis Sloan should not be allowed to touch the ball until his crimes against basketball come to an end.

Upstate will be without forward Ricardo Glenn (6-7, 260), who had been a regular starter before going down with an injury.  While he wasn't much of a scorer, he was critical to the team for his size and rebounding ability. 

 

USC Upstate Defense 09-10
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 47.4 100
Turnover Rate 21.3 112
Off Reb Rate 36.7 311
FTA/FGA 35.6 132
USC Upstate Defense 10-11
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 48.7 174
Turnover Rate 19.8 237
Off Reb Rate 41.3 337
FTA/FGA 39.1 188

 

 

 

 

 

Anchored by 7-3 big man Nick Schneiders, Upstate's interior defense was actually quite good in '09 and '10--their 2FG% defense ranked in the top 40 both seasons, and they swatted a lot of shots.  Not so much anymore.  They've never rebounded well at this end (zone defense may be one reason for that), but at least Schneiders prevented a complete collapse.  This season, opponents are grabbing over 41% of their misses.  This is where Glenn's absence really hurts.  Craig is doing a fine job but he's the only active player with a DR% better than 12.1, and he's still just 6-6, 200.

With the exception of Olomuwiya, their forwards are committing a lot of fouls, which is a sign that they're having to hack their way through too many second-chance layup attempts.  Their defensive free throw rate is only going to get worse if they can't find a way to improve here.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes State by 23.

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