Can Trojan Basketball Get Right?

USC men’s basketball trying to right the ship to start March

The Trojans have two games to return to form before the Pac-12 tourney

Adam Grosbard (OC Register)  —  Wednesday’s game against Stanford still has implications for the USC men’s basketball team’s quest for a regular-season Pac-12 title. But the Trojans must have a simpler goal than that in the final two games before the conference tournament.

Get right.

The offense, the defense, and the general mojo the team had going for it the first three months of the season prior to this recent 1-3 stretch have vanished. The Trojans need to get it back on course before tournament games begin.

Of course, USC (19-6, 13-5 in Pac-12) can and should still aim for its first regular-season conference title in 36 years, though the Trojans need some help to get there.

If USC beats Stanford (14-11, 10-9) on Wednesday and UCLA on Saturday, it would still need Oregon to lose one of its final games (Wednesday vs. UCLA and Saturday at Oregon State) for the Trojans to come out as conference champs and the No. 1 seed at the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas next week.

But that’s out of the Trojans’ control for the time being. What USC can control, though, is how it plays this week.

The Trojans were practically unrecognizable in last week’s losses to Colorado and Utah. The Buffs and Utes both shot at least 47% from the field against the typically-staunch USC defense, and they combined to make 21 3-pointers in the two games.

And on the offensive end, the Trojans couldn’t crack 40% shooting in either game. But perhaps the most damning stat from the road trip was that over the two games, USC had just 15 assists on 45 made baskets, compared to 25 turnovers.

“We try to give these guys some freedom to play and with that freedom comes the expectation to share the ball like we have all season,” head coach Andy Enfield said. “Some of those decisions were just driving in the lane and jumping and flipping the ball up.”

So it’s on USC to get back on track against a Stanford team that has lost three in a row. The Cardinal’s best player, forward Oscar da Silva, has missed the last two games with a lower body injury and is considered day-to-day.

But regardless if he plays or not, now is the time for USC to get back on track, because there aren’t many opportunities left.

“They have to play at the level they’ve played all season,” Enfield said of his players. “And if they do that, we’ll be fine.”

Stanford at USC

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Galen Center

TV/Radio: Fox Sports One/AM 790

__________

TrojanDailyBlog members  —  Always feel free to add information or topics to the TDB which don’t necessarily pertain to any particular moderator post or member comment.

SUBSCRIBE HERE TO RECEIVE NOTICE OF NEW COMMENTS OR REPLIES.
Notify of
25 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
HOF19
Member
Knighted Member
HOF19(@hof19)
Online
March 3, 2021 7:18 pm

This is some of the lousiest basketball I have seen maybe in a couple of years………(And I am a Knicks fan )

TrojanRJJ
Member
Mt Rushmore
TrojanRJJ(@trojanrjj)
Offline
March 4, 2021 8:32 am
Reply to  HOF19

HOF19, You saw a rerun of last week’s game against Utah. SC stunk it up something fierce. Utah is NOT a good team. In fact, they are an awful team. And, they destroyed SC. A totally different SC team played Stanford last night. If the SC team that played Stanford had actually shown up in Utah, SC would have won by 20.

HOF19
Member
Knighted Member
HOF19(@hof19)
Online
March 3, 2021 7:02 pm

Maybe the next win for SC Mens Basketball will come next season (Based on the way they have played lately)……..SMH !!!!!

HOF19
Member
Knighted Member
HOF19(@hof19)
Online
March 3, 2021 6:58 pm

SC has GOT TO play better in the second half …..FIGHT ON !!!!!

HOF19
Member
Knighted Member
HOF19(@hof19)
Online
March 3, 2021 6:37 pm

If Utah and SC play like this in the Pac-12 Tournament they will not (either team) win a game .

HOF19
Member
Knighted Member
HOF19(@hof19)
Online
March 3, 2021 6:25 pm

Yes SC has the lead …….But no I am not confident yet .

HOF19
Member
Knighted Member
HOF19(@hof19)
Online
March 3, 2021 6:06 pm

A simple question…….Can the SC Mens Basketball team win a game ?????……We will see …..FIGHT ON !!!!!

HOF19
Member
Knighted Member
HOF19(@hof19)
Online
March 3, 2021 12:33 pm

Don La Greca on Yes Network’s (Yankees owned TV Network) Live TV show just said “The only reason you would announce to the world that you will take call from teams wanting to trade for Sam Darnold is to prepare Sam for being traded “…….You gotta understand there are very few athletes that call into La Greca’s show more often than Sam for live interviews…..Which will go away if Sam is traded.

Chris
Member
Mt Rushmore
Chris(@chris)
Offline
March 3, 2021 12:03 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Do you have any faith in the line? I don’t think it’s a coaching, technique, or talent issue (we keep sending 1st rounders out), I think it is 100% a culture issue. Clay refuses to be physical and he’s not changing. Unless the new line coach is a miracle worker it will still be an underperforming unit due to soft practices and leadership. My two cents

But… I do think TO has the defense playing aggressive and physical. Maybe they smash those guys into some sort of toughness, doubt it though.

Chris
Member
Mt Rushmore
Chris(@chris)
Offline
March 3, 2021 9:17 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I think going forward talent will be our issue, we have not recruited that position group well in the last few years, but before this recent history we did get better recruits. You can’t dismiss two first rounders in back to back years, Edoga and Simmons are recent OL in NFL. You don’t put guys in the NFL who aren’t talented. I agree that our center has been a mess from snap issues to just getting bullied, but Dedich and Nielon were number 2 rated centers in the country coming out of high school. They had offers from everyone. I… Read more »

Chris
Member
Mt Rushmore
Chris(@chris)
Offline
March 4, 2021 6:16 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I’m stumped as well. We just don’t get it done on the line, which is a football sickness that is almost impossible to overcome.

Terrific Tommy
Member
Diamond Member
Terrific Tommy(@terrific-tommy)
Offline
March 3, 2021 10:11 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Call me a Debbie Downer if you will, but the Jets are to the NFL as the Clippers are to the NBA. Sam will benefit being on another franchise IMO. 😎

Golden Trojan
Member
Mt Rushmore
Golden Trojan(@golden-trojan)
Offline
March 3, 2021 12:21 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Maybe he should talk to Tom Brady about how to pick a team to transfer to!😀

Terrific Tommy
Member
Diamond Member
Terrific Tommy(@terrific-tommy)
Offline
March 6, 2021 2:18 pm
Reply to  Golden Trojan

Well GT, if he had Tom’s record he could definitely pull that off. 😎

Steveg
Member
Mt Rushmore
Steveg(@steveg)
Offline
March 3, 2021 8:02 am

It seems as though teams are watching the films and figuring out how to shut down USC basketball, just like they did with USC football.