David Cloninger

Here’s how South Carolina can beat Marquette

The historical angles have been covered. Time for the nitty-gritty.

How does South Carolina beat Marquette?

The Golden Eagles are scorers, averaging 82.5 points per game with seven players averaging between 8-14 points per game. Andrew Rowsey, a high-scoring transfer guard from UNC Asheville, is third on that list with 11.5 points per game. Obviously, shutting down three or four of those shooters is a top priority.

The Gamecocks will rely on their defense, which has gotten better with the substitution of Hassani Gravett into the starting lineup, to swarm Marquette’s collection of scorers and knock them out of their rhythm. USC checks in at No. 29 nationally in scoring defense; Marquette has played two teams ranked higher – Wisconsin (a loss) and splitting a series with Villanova.

The Eagles are weak defensively, tied for 245th in the country by giving up 75 points per game. USC has struggled to shoot the ball, but it seems like they’ll be able to take advantage of several open lanes since Marquette wants to grab a miss and get downcourt. If the Gamecocks play at the rim, taking higher-percentage shots, they’ll be able to eliminate the Eagles in transition and set up their defense.

Making shots is making shots, but taking wiser shots will help that.

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