Here’s the GRT Four Factors Forecast for Tennessee’s game against South Carolina tonight.
What to Watch
Oh, good: With the exception of offensive rebounding (see below), South Carolina is struggling in all of the key Four Factors. There are huge disparities between what the Vols generally do and what the Gamecocks generally do, and those disparities should result in a relatively comfortable Vols victory. Those differences are especially pronounced when the Gamecocks are shooting against the Vols’ defense, when the Gamecocks are trying not to turn it over to a thieving Vols squad, and when the Vols’ offense is forcing the issue and getting to the foul line.
But, but, but: Apart from the Vols’ own consistency problems, South Carolina is extremely active on the offensive glass and could earn a frustrating number of second chances and leverage them into a closer contest than it should be.
Vegas has the Vols as 10-point favorites, and with an over/under of 142, the anticipated score should be something like Tennessee 76, South Carolina 66.
KemPom’s projection is Tennessee 75, South Carolina 65), which equates to an 83% chance of winning.
Our Hoops Statsy Preview Machine likes the Vols by 15 (Tennessee 78, South Carolina 63) with 10 comps and by 14 with all comps (Tennessee 80, South Carolina 66).
The Vols are better everywhere except the offensive glass.
Four Factors: Straight-Up
Conclusion: Among the Vols’ prior opponents, South Carolina is most like Cincinnati and Texas A&M. In other words, not especially good at getting the ball into the basket.
Conclusion: Similar story here; most like Cincinnati and Mississippi State, and not especially good.
Offensive Rebound %
Conclusion: This, however, is a very different story, as the Gamecocks are extremely good on the offensive boards, currently tied with Georgia and not far off Mississippi State. In this category, South Carolina will be one of the three best we’ve played.
Free Throw Rate
Conclusion: And back to the other story. Not good at getting to the free throw line. Most like Colorado and USC Upstate.
Four Factors: Opponent impact
Tennessee’s inconsistency on the offensive side of the court has produced a very mediocre effective shooting percentage. Fortunately, South Carolina’s defense shouldn’t make things worse tonight. On the other end, that is an absolutely huge disparity with a team that struggles to find the bottom of the net going up against a team that is very good at keeping you from doing it.
Each defense appears to have an advantage over its opponent’s offense when it comes to creating turnovers. Fortunately for the Vols, SC’s advantage is not nearly as pronounced as Tennessee’s, which is massive. Expect the Vols’ offense to turn it over some — especially if the Gamecocks ramp up the pressure and the traps — but also expect the Vols’ defense to go racing the other direction quite often after forcing a ton of turnovers themselves.
Offensive Rebounding %
As good as South Carolina is at grabbing offensive rebounds, their advantage over Tennessee’s defense on that end of the court isn’t as big as it is for the Vols on the other end. Make no mistake, expect to be frustrated at the number of second chance opportunities for Carolina. But Tennessee should have an opportunity to mitigate that problem by doing pretty much the same thing under their own basket.
Free Throw Rate
Okay. If they want to, tonight could be a good time for the Vols to re-establish themselves at the free throw line.