Meet USC’s best defensive coordinator

USC can really use a good defensive coordinator in football. In women’s basketball, it has a great one.

Basketball doesn’t officially have coordinators the way football does, but on some staffs, head coaches have assistants who heavily teach or plan one side of the ball. For example, on the 2008 NBA champion Boston Celtics, head coach Doc Rivers had assistant Tom Thibodeau serve as his defensive coordinator. Thibs developed defensive plans which maximized the talents of Kevin Garnett and the rest of that Boston roster. The Celtics defeated Kobe Bryant and the Lakers to win the 2008 NBA Finals.

USC has an elite defensive tactician on its staff. Head coach Lindsay Gottlieb made a brilliant offseason hire when she brought aboard Beth Burns, the former head coach at San Diego State and Ohio State who was previously a USC assistant. Burns more recently served as an assistant to Jeff Walz, the highly successful coach at Louisville, which is an annual Final Four contender.

Beth Burns has helped Gottlieb create a defense which has allowed more than 62 points — or an average of 15.5 points allowed per quarter — only once in 17 games this season. USC is shooting under 40 percent from the field, under 34 percent from 3-point range, and only 72 percent at the line, all underwhelming numbers. Yet, the Trojans are 13-4 because their defense is so good.

That’s Lindsay Gottlieb, but it’s also Beth Burns, USC’s elite defensive coordinator.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire