NCAAW SEC: South Carolina remains undefeated as Arkansas, UGA impress

It’s been 2 weeks considering that we signed in with the SEC. Let’s have a look at 2 groups that are cultivating brand-new identities: the Arkansas Razorbacks (9-0) and Georgia Lady Bulldogs (8-1). But initially, it’s worth considering what we’ve discovered the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks (7-0) considering that our last upgrade.

Is South Carolina susceptible or unavoidable?

On Tuesday night, the Gamecocks made their 17th-straight win over a ranked challenger, beating the No. 15 UCLA Bruins 73-64.

However, en path to an ultimate nine-point success, South Carolina fell under a double-digit deficit of 10 points. Similarly, South Carolina routed No. 2 Stanford by 12 points prior to a 76-71 overtime win in Palo Alto.

Is this propensity a cause for issue, waiting to burn the Gamecocks earlier than later on? Or, should it, in truth, motivate even more self-confidence?

On the sidelines, head coach Dawn Staley regularly has actually revealed her distress at her group’s efficiency.

But South Carolina’s unequal play through the very first 3(ish) quarters in contests versus superior challengers can be discussed by Staley’s broadened rotations. In the very first halves versus Stanford and UCLA, Staley discovered a couple of minutes for her rawer children, providing court time to sophomore Sania Feagin, redshirt freshman Raven Johnson and freshman Ashlyn Watkins, even if they may not be prepared for such competitors. Yet, it’s likely better for Watkins, for instance, to get 3 minutes in the extreme environment of Maples Pavillon than it is for her to play 22 minutes in the comfier boundaries of Colonial Life Arena versus an overmatched group like Hampton. If an injury scare or unforeseen nasty problem strikes in March, South Carolina’s younger charges need to be more prepared to increase to the minute in the intense lights of the postseason.

Down the stretch versus Stanford and UCLA, Staley rode her reliable senior core, releasing some mix of Aliyah Boston, Zia Cooke, Brea Beal, Victaria Saxton and Laeticia Amihere. From there, Staley has actually pressed the ideal buttons, depending on an energy increase from Bree Hall versus Stanford. Against UCLA, it was some zone-busting pull-up shooting from Kierra Fletcher and the paint existence of Kamilla Cardoso.

Then, right on hint, the defense called up while the ball discovered Boston on offense, enabling the Gamecocks to two times eliminate not-insignificant deficits and stay unbeaten. In completion, Staley’s rotational method not just makes good sense however likewise may make a second-straight title for South Carolina unavoidable.

Outside of a Dec. 15 contest versus South Dakota State, South Carolina shouldn’t deal with any major difficulties up until the conference slate starts at the end of December.

The unbeaten Hogs have actually flashed some protective chops

Entering the 2022-23 season, Arkansas was open about developing a more powerful protective culture, a state of mind emerged by the “Locked In Chain” granted after preseason practices.

A 9-0 record, highlighted by a triumph over No. 25 Kansas State at the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam Reef Tournament, suggests Arkansas’ success up until now. The win was attained in a manner irregular for Arkansas groups of current vintage. Whereas the Hogs have actually been a high-scoring team that has actually won with offense, they held the Wildcats to 53 points, permitting a win regardless of a 26.7 percent efficiency from 3.

For the season, Arkansas still lags in protective playmaking statistics. However, the Hogs have actually prospered in ending ownerships, amounting to 32.9 protective boards per video game.

Of course, head coach Mike Neighbors likewise has several gamers who can put the ball in the basket. Senior guard Makayla Daniels was called MVP of the Paradise Jam Reef Tournament, balancing 17.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.7 helps and a set of takes over the 3 contests.

Redshirt senior forward Erynn Barnum leads the SEC in basket portion, shooting a searing 70.9 percent as she has actually scored 16.9 points per video game up until now this season. Redshirt freshman guard Saylor Poffenbarger likewise has actually appeared the early going, making SEC Freshman of the Week honors for her efficiency in the 3 video games in the Virgin Islands, where she published approximately 12.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3 helps and a take.

If Arkansas preserves a better protective effort to opt for an effective offense, the Hogs can attain their aspiration of challenging the conference’s anticipated upper crust.

After dispatching Troy 87-70 on Thursday night, Arkansas need to not be evaluated once again up until a Dec. 17 match at No. 13 Creighton. Then, the Hogs head to California, where they’ll open the San Diego Invitational versus No. 19 Oregon.

Aggression is specifying the start of the Coach Abe age in Athens

UGA started the Paradise Jam Island Tournament with 2 crazy wins, utilizing a 26-0 go to conquer a 20-point deficit and get the 68-60 win over Wisconsin in its very first video game prior to making it through 5 ejections to beat VCU 68-54. The Dawgs dropped their last video game to a hot-shooting Seton Hall group, yet fifth-year guard Diamond Battles was called MVP while fifth-year forward Brittney Smith made All-Tournament honors.

In addition to Battles and Smith, senior guard Alisha Lewis was a brilliant area in the Virgin Islands, working as a constant port and supplying plus 3-point shooting. All 3 gamers concerned UGA from UCF, much like brand-new head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson.

In addition to having experience under Coach Abe, the trio has actually brought brand-new, required characteristics to Dawgs, especially Battles. The leading scorer at 15 points per video game has the capability to develop her own offense off the bounce in manner ins which gamers who have actually used the red and black over the last few years might not.

Coach Abe likewise has actually presented a brand-new protective technique, using her gamers’ athleticism and motivating their aggressiveness when releasing full-court presses and zone defenses.

Projected to end up ninth in the conference, Georgia has actually up until now revealed a quality of play that recommends it can considerably surpass those expectations. After delighting in a breezy 78-58 success over Furman on the Thursday night, a big non-conference difficulty gets here on Monday when No. 12 NC State concerns Athens.

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