I find it amazing how USC manages to be so good by excelling in so few areas. By percentage they are the absolute worst shooting team in the SEC. They do have a few guys who can make treys, who are surely chomping at the bit to pad their stats against us. Their offense is predicated on making a few treys, avoid TOs, hit the glass, and get to the line. Still, by any measure they are in the bottom half of the SEC on O. Of course, we’ve managed to not defend much worse offenses than USC on some nights, but we’ve also managed to defend better offenses on occasion.
Man, do they guard. They manage to combine elite shot-challenging with first-rate pass denial without giving it all back at the line and on the boards. That said, boards and FTs are where they are vulnerable. All in all USC is amongst the best in the country at that end.
Teams that they have had trouble with include UK, UF, Bama, and UGA. Those teams have good size on the frontline. This may be a game where our PFs have to show up. Some sets with both Kingsley and Thompson in the game in that matchup zone might be effective. On D keep them off the boards and don’t foul them. On the other hand, our guards and Moses have to punish their aggressiveness at the other end by getting to the line.
If we are able to give ourselves a chance, the game may turn on:
The trey battle - if they nail a bunch of threes, I doubt we can score enough to win. An upset probably requires us to win this category decisively.
Our TOs - a real x-factor. In general we don’t turn the ball over a lot, but we have been bursty in coughing up the ball. We have to get a shot up every time down the court. Makes may be difficult to come by. Their pressure is a level up from any we have seen so far this season.
Our Orebs - offset their boards with some of our own.
Fouls - we can’t help their O by giving them copious freebies. We could lose contact quickly if they can avoid droughts at the line.
If Kingsley goes out and only plays his 12 to 15 minutes a game and Thomas and Cook disappear as they can do along with Trey who the last 3 games does really nothing in the stats anymore, this will be a blowout! Like you said, to beat this team you just need good play from your center or foreward spots!!!