Cue "Bennett's Triumphal"
It's hard to know what to make of the season. We finished with a record of 15-15 / 5-12 in conference including the tourney. That's a 7 game improvement overall and a 3 game improvement in the SEC. We also moved from 12th in the SEC Final Standings to 10th while moving from 212th in the final 2005 RPI to 101 in 2006 (as of March 8). So we did undeniably improve. The talent is also undeniably better than in 2005.
However, we continue to struggle with ball movement, player movement and adjustments on offense. We also struggled with defensive execution in both the zone and man sets. These malfunctions result in 5-8 minute routine stretches where we don't score more than a single Field Goal while giving up points in bunches on Defense. Versus UK in Rupp, we had three such periods resulting in 4 points in 19 minutes.
[Photo: Mercer was a true bright spot on the season]
In SEC play, we were also a ridiculously poor offensive rebounding team. Versus SC at home we pulled 5 offensive rebounds against 30 missed shots, and the Gamecocks were the 10th worst defensive rebounding team in the league.
When it comes to defensive rebounding, we were bad pretty much all year, but we did OK at the offensive end during our wins. There were a few games where our opponent pulled more (or almost the same number) of offensive rebounds to our defensive rebounds.
Final SEC Stats of Note:
- - We scored 10 more points/gm this year vs last year
- 6th in scoring offense
- 2nd in Steals
- 3rd in Turnover Margin
- 11th in the SEC in Scoring Defense
- 10th in the SEC in Assists
- 10th in Assists to Turnover Ratio
- 3rd in Offensive Rebounding (#s inflated by non-conference)
- 8th in Defensive Rebounds
- 8th in Free Throws Attempts (vs. SC we attempted 1)
- 12th in Field Goal percentages (we shoot too many 3s)
- 11th in FG percentage on defense (we give up too many in the paint)