If there’s one thing I hate, it’s any celebration of medi0crity. Let me give you some examples: Olive Garden, Nickelback, Renee Zellweger’s face, Digger Phelps’ dancing and Devan Downey’s 9 for 29 shooting performance against Kentucky on January 26th when South Carolina beat Kentucky 68-62. And, since I hate celebration of mediocrity, you should also conclude that I hate Devan Downey, because I do.
I decided to do a little research on Mr Downey. Let’s take a look at the amazing Devan Downey who will get more talk time tomorrow night when his team takes on the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena than Janet Jackson’s nip slip. First let’s start with the Kentucky game. Let me just say now, Devan Downey did not win that game for South Carolina, if anything, they were lucky to get the win with the way he played. A 9 for 29 performance will never be a good game. That’s all there is to it. That’s 31% and that’s bad. The rest of South Carolina actually shot 37% for the game. He would have been better passing the ball. Given Downey’s ball hogging, South Carolina was lucky to get the win. Downey’s misses gave UK a lot of opportunities for rebounds, but UK couldn’t pull them down, as they were outrebounded 40-38. And that’s where this game was lost. Well, that and an overall uninspired performance in which Kentucky committed 4 more turnovers than South Carolina went 3 for 12 from three and 22 for 57 overall. It’s tough to win against anyone when you play like that. Even when the opposing team’s best player misses 21 shots.
The reality is that if South Carolina had lost this game, folks would probably blame Devan Downey for the loss, and they would be right to do so. Because we love numbers here at the BBC, I have wasted most of my morning doing the research to back up that claim. I know, I know I should be working on “New Product Development” for my MBA but I love you guys so I put it off. Kentucky lost this game themselves, but usually Devan Downey loses the games for South Carolina with his shoot first ignore questions later attitude. Check out my pivot table below.
So what do we see here? This table indicates that in games where Devan Downey takes 13 or fewer shots, the Cocks are 6 and 0. That’s pretty impressive. But then again those games were against Alabama A&M, Georgia Southern, La Salle, South Florida, Western Kentucky and Longwood. In games where Downey takes between 14 and 20 shots, South Carolina is 5 and 5, not great, but when Downey takes 20 or more shots, South Carolina is an embarassing 3 and 7. So we can conclude that South Carolina’s chances or winning are inversely proportional to the number of shots that Downey takes. We can additionally conclude that Downey suffers from the classic ball-hog ego where the bigger the opponent, the less trust he puts in his team and the more shots he takes. Against Vanderbilt, Kentucky and two games against Tennessee, Downey averaged 22 shots per game and his team went 1 and3.
So, what does all of this tell us? It tells us that we should be saying, bring it on Devan. I welcome another 29 shots by this ballaholic. I hope he comes into Lexington and shoots his little heart out because I am tired of hearing how amazing he is. I’m tired of hearing how he’s so fast and so determined and so competitive. The only thing Downey’s competing against is his shots per game record against Kentucky.