The USC Gamecocks are visiting the number 23 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday. South Carolina has seen Vanderbilt already this season, and beat them 83-75 on January 8th. Last season, the Gamecocks went 1-1 against the Commodores. Over four years, South Carolina has gone 3-6 against Vanderbilt, and 1-3 at Memorial Gym (TN).
Can USC beat them again? Let’s provide a short preview of this game:
The Gamecocks are ranked #102 in the RPI and the Commodores are at #24. For USC to have lighting strike twice and defeat Vandy, they will need inspired play from Sam Muldrow and Bruce Ellington. These two Gamecocks are the catalysts for USC and they will have to play big to aid the team’s efforts in beating Vandy again this season.
Vandy is 11-1 at home so the Gamecocks have a challenge. USC will have to shut down Vandy’s two primary scoring threats -John Jenkins and Jeff Taylor – which means USC has to play really good perimeter defense. When you look further at the stats, the two teams are pretty equal but what USC must do to win is win the rebound war, have Muldrown with at least 14 points/10 rebounds, Ellington must shoot hit at least 4 key three pointers and USC must get penetration from the guards.
My prediction is USC will not muster up enough fight to win the game. I hope I am wrong but the way USC played versus LSU and Auburn of late hurts my confidence in this young team. Look for a 81-68 type score in the Vandy favor.