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Meet South Carolina State, which might be the worst shooting team in the country

This game might be interesting, but only as scientific exercise.

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina State at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After a brief foray into a respectable non-conference schedule, NC State is back to slummin’ it on Saturday afternoon, this time against the South Carolina State Bulldogs. SC State is 1-6 on the season, it’s lone win a 100-91 triumph over Morris, an NAIA school. The Bulldogs have played five games against teams in the KenPom top 200 and have lost all five by at least 25 points.

Now you may be wondering, “Steven, is that bad?” And my friend, I can tell you with great confidence that is bad. SC State, like many schools at the tail end of the food chain, plays a lot of buy games this time of year, which means a whole lot of road trips. They’ve already played at Wisconsin, UCLA, Yale, Winthrop, and Boston College. The money’s good, but the results, not nearly so much.

The SC State Offense

SC State OFF_EFF (rank) eFG% TO% OR% FTR 3FGA/FGA 2FG% 3FG%
SC State OFF_EFF (rank) eFG% TO% OR% FTR 3FGA/FGA 2FG% 3FG%
2018 89.8 (349) 37.4 (351) 21.5 (268) 27.7 (221) 32.5 (220) 26.8 (335) 34.3 (351) 30.6 (275)
2017 99.0 (271) 47.4 (300) 18.0 (134) 28.1 (214) 30.4 (298) 31.2 (293) 47.1 (266) 32.0 (301)

Behold! This is the worst two-point shooting team in the country, and no, that 2FG% is not a typo. Most power-conference schools would probably be disappointed with shooting 34.5% from three-point range, and here is South Carolina State barely hitting a third of its twos. This performance transcends the English language, as there is no adequate combination of words capable of fully putting into perspective just how awful the Bulldogs have been in this regard.

SC State’s offense might best be described by an extended shrieking groan, but really it’s difficult to say. The Bulldogs are missing four key scorers off a team that at least was vaguely serviceable in MEAC play last year, and they have not come close to compensating for those losses. This is some painful shit, man.


Janai Raynor Powell (5-10, 155) — Can’t shoot.

Donte Wright (5-10, 190) — Not good at shooting.

Justin Jones (6-2, 185) — Shoots like a vertiginous octogenarian.

Damani Applewhite (6-8, 200) — Poor shooter.

Ozante Fields (6-7, 220) — Enjoys other hobbies.


Ah the hell with it, who cares.

The SC State Defense

SC State DEF_EFF (rank) eFG% TO% OR% FTR 3FGA/FGA 2FG% 3FG%
SC State DEF_EFF (rank) eFG% TO% OR% FTR 3FGA/FGA 2FG% 3FG%
2018 113.2 (344) 57.5 (319) 21.7 (73) 40.4 (345) 38.3 (233) 43.7 (315) 57.8 (324) 38.1 (264)
2017 118.5 (348) 54.3 (319) 17.6 (224) 35.8 (345) 39.1 (258) 34.7 (116) 55.7 (340) 34.4 (135)

SC State is not only under-skilled, it is also short. This happens to be a significant detriment to success at the defensive end. The Bulldogs are playing a lot of bodies this season and it looks to me like they play a good amount of zone, but whatever gains they’ve managed in the turnover department are completely erased by their horrifying terribleness in every other respect. Their entire stat profile makes by eyes hurt.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes NC State by 27.