USC’s main key against Washington State could not be more obvious

USC’s main key against Washington State could not be more obvious

Sometimes the sport is not very complicated and the analysis is not like nuclear physics. Sometimes the equation of a competition is painfully simple. Such is the case when the USC men’s basketball team hosts Washington State on Thursday night at the Galen Center.

Washington State made 15 of 31 3-pointers last February and nearly upset the Trojans, who were saved by a bucket-beating Boogie Ellis buzzer.

On New Years Day, Washington State scored 81 points against the USC defense, torching the Trojans with 14 3-pointers on 29 attempts.

Do the quick math: Washington State is 29 of 60 on 3-pointers in its last two games against USC. Hell, what could be the biggest key to USC’s win over WSU on Thursday night?

No guesswork is needed here. No one has to look for complicated answers.

Washington State’s Justin Powell and Jabe Mullins both hit four 3-pointers on Jan. 1 against USC. DJ Rodman hit three triples and Andrej Jakimovski hit two. In addition to making all of those 3-point shots, Wazzu’s four main gunners all made at least 50% of their 3-point shots.

One thing that’s obviously different for USC today, compared to Jan. 1, is that Vince Iwuchukwu is in the roster, playing nearly 20 minutes per game (17 vs. UCLA). When he’s on the floor as a rim protector, one would think – and hope – that USC can be much more aggressive in getting over the screens on the perimeter, aggressively playing the Cougars to deny them shots at 3 points. If they want to drive to the edge, the Cougars will have to face Vince The Prince.

We’ll see how well USC can defend. A normally good defensive team under Andy Enfield struggles with Wazzu’s heavy 3-point attack. It’s the key to your big game Thursday night at the Galen Center.


Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Rankings as of January 30

The story originally appeared on Trojans Wire

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