College Hoops

USC tries to turn rest into a revival for inconsistent offense

USC tries to turn rest into a revival for inconsistent offense

The power conferences in womenโ€™s college basketball play their tournaments one week before the men do. The Pac-12 Tournament final was on Sunday, March 5. The Big Ten, ACC, and SEC joined the Pac-12 in playing conference tournament championship games on that day. Only the Big 12, among the Power Five conferences, played its tournament one week later.

USC, having lost in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament on Wednesday, March 1, has therefore had two full weeks of rest leading into Fridayโ€™s NCAA Tournament game against South Dakota State.

We all know that when players are tired, their jump shots are often short. Having to work extra hard at the defensive end of the floor can take away from the precision, fluidity and effectiveness of a teamโ€™s offense.

No one questions the quality of USCโ€™s defense, but maybe this two-week break gives the Trojans a chance to step back, re-evaluate their offense, and hit the court with a new understanding of whatโ€™s possible at that end of the floor.

Everyone will be paying attention to the main event, the battle between South Dakota Stateโ€™s supercharged offense (79.4 points scored per game) and USCโ€™s tremendous defense (54.8 points allowed per game, including several overtime periods). Yet, it is often the case that when one matchup gets all the hype, itโ€™s the other matchup which decides the outcome.

Indeed, the result of this game might be forged more by USCโ€™s offense than its defense.

Two weeks off โ€” to rest those weary shooting legs and also get a fresh seminar from Lindsay Gottlieb and Beth Burns โ€” could be just what the shot doctor ordered for the Women of Troy.

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