Hoop Insights: The Importance of the Self-Scout

by Tony Perotti

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley is keeping a diary this season and sharing her thoughts publicly. After the Gamecocks’ loss to North Carolina State on December 3rd, Coach Staley stated the coaches were “going back to the drawing board.” Coaches term this as a self-scout. Here are a few thoughts that may have resulted from the early season re-examination.

South Carolina has an excellent inside game and working inside out was important to their 3-0 start. Using Just Play’s analytics tool, we can see that 137 of 197 (70%) shot attempts in these first three games were from inside the paint. The emphasis on paint points included perimeter players attacking the rim as well, demonstrated by only 32 (16%) shot attempts were taken from behind the 3-point arc. 

The Gamecocks followed this same game plan that had been successful into the top-10 matchup against NC State. South Carolina attempted 57% of their shots in the paint and 16% from behind the 3-point line. The difference in the loss was the defense by the Wolfpack. Using a strategy of double and triple-teaming in the post and an overall strategy of clogging the lane, NC State was able to make the inside shot attempts and attacking of the rim much more difficult. The result was a poor shooting performance and a loss by South Carolina. 

This is when Coach Staley went to her drawing board. I believe she and her staff ended up writing a big number “3” on it. In the Gamecocks’ last two games, they have attempted 48 3-pointers (35% of all attempts), more than doubling previous per game attempts. The paint shot attempts are down to 49% per game. 

These numbers will certainly fluctuate as the season moves along, but the self-scout produced a clear difference in the offensive approach the Gamecocks are using as we enter the holiday season. Using the understanding of the approach of NC State through statistical analysis, we can see why the Wolfpack was able to generate the upset in Columbia. We can also gain a little bit of insight into what might have been written on Dawn Staley’s drawing board.

To see more in-depth statistics and how to apply their use, visit https://justplaysolutions.com/analytics-academy.

Just Play Sports Solutions provides basketball staffs with a complete coaching solution – all in one application. From building playbooks, scouting opponents, teaching players, and coordinating recruiting schedules, you will prepare faster and engage better with today’s athletes using Just Play.

Tagged with: