Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Postgame Scout: Appreciating the Defending NCAA Champs As South Carolina Tops Temple

Our Postgame Scout was on hand for the Temple game and Friday afternoon will be back in action at the Penn game.

PHILADELPHIA — South Carolina opened it’s game at Temple with the Gamecocks’ A’ja Wilson rejecting Tanaya Atkinson’s shot.  The visitors made it clear that the paint would not be available to Temple for scoring.

Coach Dawn Staley in a special homecoming appearance — she in the past played at Drexel and in a Saint Joseph’s tournament — showed a soft full court press that slowed down Temple and forced Owls to run their offense.  Temple got good looks early in the game, but failed to convert as this young team had to learn how to adjust to South Carolina’s high level of play.

Temple opened in zone defense. 

 South Carolina showed patience and poise as they reversed the basketball around the perimeter while their bigs X cut inside.

  The Gamecocks  used a baseline runner going behind the last line of Temple’s defense.  They consistently got the ball to the high post and she distributed the ball to runner/shooter in the corner.  

Temple’s zone had trouble keeping South Carolina off the boards.

The Owls opened the second quarter with a 5 out offense trying to create driving  lanes.  However, the lanes did not materialize and Temple would not throw the ball inside. A’ja Wilson’s 8 block shots could have been a factor.

 Consequently, Temple forced poorly advised shots. 

Temple would go back and forth between man and zone trying to disrupt South Carolina’s offense.  Despite the score, Temple’s young players did settle down and began to score.  But the game was out of reach. 

South Carolina is a cohesive, well- coached team.  They share the ball and effortlessly execute of their offense. 

 Part of what makes them so good, is that there is little wasted movement.  

They catch and shoot.  They do not dribble unless they have a purpose.  Their offense creates the shot.  The players are good athletes with fundamental skills who understand their game plan.


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