USC women’s basketball can be dangerous if it reaches modest targets
The USC women’s basketball team just completed a victory against Washington in which it made only 13 shots and committed 14 turnovers.
The Trojans won despite shooting 28 percent from the field and only 23 percent from 3-point range. Their defense was — and is — that good.
Last Friday, USC nearly completed a sweep of the mighty Stanford Cardinal, a team which is 27-3 and which has clinched a share of the Pac-12 title. The Trojans held the powerful Cardinal to just 50 points.
USC lost by only three at Stanford despite shooting just 22 percent for the game.
USC is a legitimate defensive powerhouse. The Trojans have set a defensive standard few teams can match. No. 1 South Carolina is the gold standard in women’s basketball, but USC isn’t far below the Gamecocks at the defensive end of the floor.
USC obviously needs scorers and shooters in the transfer portal in the coming offseason. Juju Watkins will provide plenty of scoring punch. Getting at least one shooter to accompany her will be huge.
In the meantime, this team — while not expected to make a run to the Final Four — could still make things interesting if it can just reach some modest goals on offense.
Consider this point: USC star guard Destiny Littleton — whose defense makes her supremely valuable even if her shot isn’t falling — hasn’t hit 40 percent of her shots in seven of her last eight games. Only once in those eight games has Littleton made at least 40 percent of her field goal attempts.
If Littleton and the rest of USC’s offense can just make 40 percent of their field goal attempts — which is not wildly amazing, just moderately efficient — and hit a relatively average 35 percent of 3-point shots, this team has the capability of making life hell for its opponents.
Losing to Stanford by three when shooting 22 percent.
Beating Washington by four when shooting 28 percent.
Gosh, if USC can hit 40 percent of its shots on a consistent basis, the ceiling for this team becomes much higher. Let’s see what happens in March.
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