Fight-examined USC basketball is chasing elusive dominant wins around Oregon universities

In the aftermath of one particular of this season’s strangest victories, Andy Enfield peered down at USC’s statline very last Sunday, perplexed.

“This,” the USC mentor mentioned, “is a special box rating.”

USC had offered up 15 three-pointers to Washington State, five much more than any activity all season. The Trojans had almost 2 times as many turnovers (14) as helps (8). They have been outrebounded 41-34 and scored just 62 factors, among the the fewest they’d gained in a video game all year. And in spite of it all, they arrived absent with the acquire, thanks to a marvelous defensive hard work and a Boogie Ellis buzzer-beater.

It was an specially odd route to victory, a person USC would probably prefer not to enterprise down all over again as it heads to Oregon and Oregon State this weekend for its ultimate street vacation of the normal year. But as the Trojans have soared to 23 wins, superior for their ideal start off considering that 1974, they’ve gotten really employed to profitable in strange — and normally, unpleasant — ways. And with the postseason quick approaching, those people otherwise unseemly victories along the way may just enable hold USC alive arrive March.

“A 31-video game agenda, you’re not going to have your A-video game every single evening,” Enfield reported Wednesday. “When you really don’t have your A-sport, that usually separates the teams at the best of the standings and somewhere else. The teams at the leading of the standings discover strategies to win video games, a ton of near video games.”

USC has discovered a good deal of new strategies to acquire in spite of itself this season. It beat San Diego Condition in November even with hitting just six of 18 absolutely free throws, and Arizona Condition before this thirty day period despite shooting just 30% from the industry. USC has gained with 4 different foremost scorers and gained four online games with 14 or a lot more turnovers. It has gained starting off sluggish, and it has won finishing rapid.

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As Enfield sees it, which is a talent in alone.

“Especially with the event coming up, that performs in our favor,” Isaiah Mobley explained.

The most unfavorable path for USC really seems to be the one it took previous Sunday. In all 4 of the Trojans’ losses this time, their opponent has shot 40% or greater from powering the arc.

The final time they satisfied, Oregon Condition virtually upended USC at the three-place line, as it shot almost 53%.

“That’s a stage of emphasis going into this road trip,” Enfield mentioned. “We have to guard the 3-issue line and make it much more tough. Oregon Condition made 9 and Oregon built 10 on us.”

Faculty Park calling?

As USC enters a critical stretch of its time, rumors persist connecting its head mentor to the vacant job at Maryland.

Enfield did not reply right when requested on Wednesday if Maryland experienced contacted him about its coaching job, which has been open because December. But he claimed that he spoke briefly to his personnel about the rumors, noting only that any exterior desire “means that our coaching personnel and our players have completed a good career.”

“That’s genuinely what we think about when some rumors are floated out there,” Enfield stated. “I just assume of our gamers and personnel of how they’ve designed this program not just in the final few decades but around the previous 6 or 7 decades. So seriously, we’re just concentrating up. We’re not allowing any distractions get in the way of what we’re striving to do below.”

USC mentor Andy Enfield stands on the courtroom in advance of a video game versus Washington Point out on Sunday at the Galen Heart.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Involved Press)

In his ninth period, Enfield has guided the Trojans to 20-get seasons in 6 of the earlier seven yrs. A trip to the Elite 8 final period prompted USC to prolong Enfield’s deal via the 2025-26 year.

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Past week, soon after a earn about Washington, Enfield denied a report that he and USC athletic director Mike Bohn experienced a strained marriage. In an interview with The Situations previous thirty day period, Bohn claimed Enfield had proven himself to be “an elite coach”.

“It’s been a large amount of fun working with him due to the fact he’s so gung-ho and passionate about basketball,” Enfield explained of Bohn. “So I just can’t say enough about our administration and our promoting department.”


Point guard Ellis left observe on Wednesday on crutches just after landing on a teammate’s foot. But Enfield claimed he expects Ellis to be all set to go from Oregon Condition on Thursday. …

Following taking part in two video games with a protective mask masking his broken nose, Mobley explained he’ll no for a longer period be wearing it. “The mask is retired,” he additional. “I’m joyful it is gone.”

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