USC Saturday Buzz: The Madness Of March

USC lost to UCLA on Friday night. Big surprise.

Look at the March results: Loss to Arizona, loss to UCLA, barely beat Washington, loss to UCLA.

Before that, USC barely beat Washington State, Oregon State and Oregon.

Does this feel like the best USC team in history based on the number of regular-season victories?

The schedule was too easy. It didn’t really prepare USC for facing good teams. And now that USC had a stretch vs. good teams, it paid the price. A 1-4 record vs. the only other Pac-12 teams who will make the NCAA Tournament (Arizona, UCLA).

I’m sure the apologists will have a retort. But I’d rather USC win 22 games and play some elite teams than coast to a 26-win season that makes people think the Trojans are better than they are.

If you win 26 games, you should probably come close to winning the Pac-12 title or get to the Pac-12 Tournament championship game. Who picked Arizona to do either of those things before the season?

  • Lincoln Riley loves that cardinal and white pullover.

23 thoughts on “USC Saturday Buzz: The Madness Of March

  1. let’s see…ucla was picked to win the Pac12 this year and Ariz was right behind…I think SC was maybe #6…they ended up 3rd? SO THEY DID BETTER than all,incl you expected…what a failure, and get an ncaa bid too…you did not pick them to do anything wolfman.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I said it the other day. Enfield is Sark 2.0. Great recruiting classes who do not all that improve all that much, horrendous situational basketball, poor defensive effort, playing down to the level of the competition, and bad rebounding. Offensively, it is glorified street ball with no rhyme or reason of an offensive pattern. The fact that Bohn giving Enfield an extension proves that USC is not all in on basketball.

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    1. actually they rank fairly high on defense,and above avg on offense…pretty good for a team that has no real point guard or real shooting guard ; all their premiere players leave early…he has improved SC basketball to 20 + win seasons over the last several years

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What’s their defensive rank against Arizona and UCLA? The last three games they got taken to the woodshed against them.

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  3. u so rite john!thay keap givin theese so call couching jobs to the poeple who now the baskit ball gaim,but wate til u and me fineully see r tose then thay will higher us to couch and we can sho them how to scor moar and win,smdh

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Yeah I have a retort: who the F ever believed that the 21-22 SC hoops team was “ the best USC team in history”?

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    1. they won more games during regular season than any other SC team in SC history…I never read or heard them called best in history…most mention the ’72 team 24-2 was perhaps the best …

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  5. Let’s see how they do in the upcoming tournament. The program is in good shape, but improvement in recruiting is needed at the guard position specifically point guard. Sure we have size, but we need more quickness at all positions as we look too mechanical and awkward on offense. Losing KJ Simpson, Johnny Juzang, and Walker (Colorado) all Southern California elite players to other schools is not acceptable.
    We have lost alot of great players to the NBA- Okongu, E. Mobley. Imagine if both would have stayed 2 years most programs would have struggled for a year or two after losing those two, and yet still had a good season without any future NBA stars on this current roster. UCLA has a very experienced team with probably 3-4 future top NBA draft picks, but the key is those players stayed in college 3-4 years, and we are seeing a finished product that can win a national championship, and at USC we are not getting the chance to see that.

    The last 4-5 games clearly show Issiah Mobley is not a great player especially after what Jaquez did to him the last two games. He is maybe a late 2nd round pick. A good college player, and a bit overrated because of his name and relation to Evan. His poor lateral mobility, lack of quickness, and jumping ability might get him into the NBA, but as a role player off the bench at best.

    Recruiting is very good for next year with 1 exception – point guard, and you can’t win championships without a point guard. College Basketball is all about recruiting all five pieces that can play together, and USC has not had success getting a top point guard in recent years which has been their downfall. Everyone knocks Enfield, but imagine trying to win in college football without a quarterback!! Our higher game turnover rate is a clear sign of VERY POOR POINT GUARD PLAY. Time to recruit smarter, or hit the Portal for one of the best point guards available.

    Schedule tougher teams—–maybe. I think we need to all ask ourselves did this team exceed expectations after being picked 6th in the Pac 12 which has two teams very capable of winning a national championship, and we finished 3rd without a true point guard, and a true big man. The talent level we have is way below Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Colorado, and maybe Washington but most of you continue to knock the coach after a very good season. Are we close to making it to the top probably yes if Coach Enfield recruits smarter at the guard positions as we seem set inside with the recruits we have coming in. The schedule is not the reason this team finished 3rd in the Pac 12 the real reason is this team is not as talented as everyone thinks, and probably exceeded those that had realistic expectations. UCLA has everyone returning, and kept NBA players around for an extra year or two that’s the team that needs to have a national championship expectation or the coach failed mentality not USC.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great points! At one USC was ranked as high as #7 . Like many others I thought Wow, we have a great team. As time went by realized they weren’t so good as they struggled against even bad teams barely winning alot of those games.
    Baseball is the same. They are piling up wins against lots of weak teams and will do their annual nosedive once conference games begin 🙄

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I still don’t like the half-court offense (too much dribbling, guys picking up their dribble and getting trapped), but on the other hand, the team is what it is, not nearly at the talent level of the best teams in college hoops. Mobley should probably stay another year in terms of getting ready for the NBA, he has plenty to work on.

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    1. Gee, we start to read a good article, and then suddenly up pops the requirement to pay to read any further.

      No freebies. Life is getting nastier in some ways. Thank goodness for nature.

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      1. “On Friday, a five-star recruit in the Class of 2023 signed an agreement with a school’s NIL collective that could pay him more than $8 million by the end of his junior year of college, The Athletic has learned. He’ll be paid $350,000 almost immediately, followed by monthly payouts escalating to more than $2 million per year once he begins his college career, in exchange for making public appearances and taking part in social media promotions and other NIL activities “on behalf of (the collective) or a third party.”

        While there’s no centralized database to reference other contracts, two NIL experts believe it’s the largest individual NIL deal signed by a non-professional athlete.

        Blake Lawrence, the founder of the NIL marketing platform Opendorse, said a deal that high seems like an outlier but added, “Whatever casual sports fans or coaches think student-athletes are earning from collectives, they’re (undershooting) by 10X. While $2 million (a year) is wild, $200,000 isn’t, but most people are thinking they’re getting $20,000.”

        Lawyer Mike Caspino, who drafted the contract, allowed The Athletic to review and verify the contract in exchange for keeping the player and collectives’ identities anonymous. It provides a window into how donor-driven third parties tied to specific schools operate.

        As per NCAA rules, the contract explicitly states, “nothing in this Agreement constitutes any form of inducement for (the athlete) to enroll at any school and/or join any athletic team.” There is no mention of any specific university, only that he be “enrolled at an NCAA member institution and a member of the football team at such institution,” ostensibly to avoid violating the NCAA’s pay-for-play rule.”

        Liked by 1 person

  8. A lot of good analysis of SC basketball above (Are you listening George Tirebiter?– The blog is more than MG, although he is its soul)

    As has been documented there have been good teams such as 1970s
    Westphal-Riley-Williams, and the 90s Harold Miner, and the 2000s Clancy-Blumental, but there was no sustained excellence over a 5-year period.

    Now SC may have it– there have been several good years prior to this one, and 2022 is not yet over. And having a 1-4 record against Arizona and sucla is not unexpected inasmuch as those 2 teams are probably Top-10 national squads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi LJ. Yeah. Lots of good stuff today. —- for my $$$$ our 24-2 team was our best ever. Re Enfield I’m glad we have him. I give him an A for recruiting—- or an A minus and re his coaching ability I think the jury is still out.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. UCLA is again playing it’s best ball at the right time- thanks to Mick Cronin. People forget UCLA benefitted from having NBA quality talent returning for their 3rd, 4th, and 5th years, and the NBA quality talent USC had left after 1 year. You add Okongu, and Mobley, and Taj Eddy to this year’s team, and it would have been lights out even against the Bruins with that front line. UCLA has to meet expectations this year with all their top players returning. USC in reality is in a rebuilding year. UCLA will have to re-build next year- Juzang, Bernard, Jaquez are all top 2 round NBA draft picks, and Riley could choose the free agent route after 5 years in the program unless he returns due to the Covid waiver which would be silly after that much time at UCLA.

    This year is UCLA’s chance, and then time to rebuild even though there is talent coming in. I pick UCLA to be Arizona tonight quite easily. USC has some great talent coming in except at point guard (Top 8 national recruiting class, and it’s up to Enfield to fill that void for the last couple of year.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Two excellent basketball teams played tonight. Both UCLA and Arizona are very capable of playing again for the National Title. Great game but the Midget -UCLA goes down this time.

    Hard to believe there are two better teams this year in college basketball. Also, hard to believe many are saying USC played a cupcake schedule with how strong the Pac 12 conference was with Arizona, and UCLA at the top, and SC played UCLA 3 time.

    Liked by 1 person

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