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USC LOSES TO USF in disappointing fashion

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  • USC LOSES TO USF in disappointing fashion

    After watching this game, I can honestly say the Lady Trojans have a lot of work to do. They are just not that good. The lack of guard play is really really hurting this team. Angel Jackson in my opinion cannot play Power 5 ball. She just can’t. Between her and Desi, the lack of development is mind boggling. USC coaches need to focus on the development of Marshall and their other big.
    I love USC and it is so frustrating to see this team play. They had some bright spots/ Jenkins and Sanders. Marshall played well but needs to get stronger and as dedicated as she is, next year will be a breakout season for her. Pili was at a family member’s funeral, maybe that’s why she hasn’t been herself. Miura was in a knee brace so who knows when she will be back. I will stay optimistic but wow I was really not expecting what I saw today. No one seems interested in leaving it all on the floor. Looks like they’re just playing to get the game over. No one is playing with grit or fire.
    Last edited by Trojanjunkee; 12-05-2021, 04:17 PM.

  • #2
    I feel you Junkee, Lindsay certainly has her work cut out for her. A break-even season may be all she can hope for before she begins a roster revamp. That will not be easy, as the Trojans sit at 5-3, with 3 non-conference games remaining. Even if they were to win these and go into conference play 8-3, they would need to win 7 games in the Pac-12 (going 7-11) to finish above .500 for the season. Before the season I thought they would do much better than that, but now I am not so sure. The chemistry is not there yet.

    I do want to note that Tera Reed was aggressive today and efficient. She tied Jordan Sanders for scoring lead with 15 pts and led the team in both rebounds (9) and assists (5). This was her best game at SC and they are going to need her to continue this level of play.

    Fight on WOT --that means play harder and with passion, and win the 50/50 battles, get the loose balls, crash the boards, guard their shooters - leave it all on the floor. That's what the great WOT teams did.


    • #3
      I don’t know why LG gets a free pass when MT never did. And not at all saying it’s her fault, but they ALL have a role in this. We want to blame it on these aren’t here players but good coaches can make a dramatic difference year one and improve what they have. Look at the instant results in programs like Arkansas, UNLV, GCU, and others. First year makeover with the existing personnel. I’ve seen and heard the same rumblings Papap posted about her last days ar Cal and do we need to point out that her time in the NBA was spent with one of the worst teams in the league? At this point I have no idea if she’s an elite coach or not? I hope she is. I just want to SC win. But if she is elite, she can have a positive impact with what’s there.

      in a previous post I pointed out the rankings of our current classes. It was pointed out that Rogers was a big part of that and while her departure is felt, our two best players are Sanders and Reed; who were not included in those rankings, so there is some level of trade off.

      We don’t play hard enough and that’s on the players. But the 3 teams we’ve lost to plus UCI all had really good movement, spacing, shared the ball, and created mismatches. We do none of those.

      Our best players currently are Sanders, and then Jenkins and Reed. Sanders and Reed are penetrators. Penetrators get to the rim and get to the line. Penetrators draw help which thus creates for kick outs and dump offs. But where can these two possibly drive to when we have posts occupying both blocks? LG is known as a 2 post offensive style of coach. But our posts can’t win their match ups. Pili is banged up and out of sync. Jackson has regressed. Clarice isn’t ready. Jenkins and Rayah are both athletes that with a better offensive system could play to their strengths rather than playing 99% of the game with their backs to the basket. USF denied Sanders from the 2nd quarter on and the wheels came off because we don’t do much but stand on offense. If she wants a two post offense then go get two back to the basket posts next year. But if you want to get better with THIS year’s group, change the offensive philosophy and play to the strengths of your better players. Only play one post in spurts, slide Reed to the 4, get a continuity offense with driving lanes, big to little and little to big screens, and let’s get out and run. That’s when we’ve played our best because that is the strength of our current personnel.


      • #4
        1. StopNPop I agree to some extent with your assessment especially playing to the current teams strengths. However when you look at personnel that had been recruited by Trakh and company, . ..Desi, K white, and Angel are not Power 5 players. They are all Mid major players… where Trakh excelled. Although Angel was a Mc Donald all American, it doesn’t seem like she is all in. Doesn’t want to put in the work. I’ve been saying this about her since last year.Miura is a bright spot but injuries are her biggest enemy right now. Pili is having mental constraints from injuries and personal things going on. Jenkins is great but I feel like she has a lot being asked of her because of the challenges with the other post. Sanders is great at mid range but not as good in 3 point land since they moved the line back. So although I hear what your saying about this coach bearing some responsibility, there is alot more going on then just dialing up another scheme to suit the strength of the team. If players aren’t mentally focused at willing to put in work on there own, until she can recruit players who want to do that, it won’t change. If she creates a scheme and Angel still can’t hit a 2 ft shot around the rim, doesn’t matter. She needs players right now, that are capable of playing power 5 ball.. she doesn’t have that right now. Especially the guards. Just bad. Regarding what you said about coaches having immediate impacts. Oregon didn’t Oregon State didn’t, Washington St didn’t and Arizona didn’t. Each one had break out years in their second and third year coaching. The only coach that had a breakout season their first year was Cynthia COOPER, but year 2 fell apart because of her coaching style.
          You’re team can’t be elite without elite players at every position, I don’t care what changes you make to the offense. USC doesn’t have elite players in every position and until that changes it will be a tough road ahead. In my opinion


        • #5
          Trojanjunkee I agree and we are saying a lot of the same things. And I’m not saying run different offensive philosophy to get Jackson the ball. I’m saying stop force feeding the ball to her because she can’t play with her back to the basket and start using her as a screener and rebounder. Many of her best games last year she caught the ball off rebounds or lobs with her feet to the basket. Her footwork is poor and she doesn’t like contact so stop making her play with back to the basket and jamming it in to her. But if you open up the post and let kids like Sanders, Jenkins, Reed and Marshall have driving lanes, Angel and Clarice can clean up the glass.

          I think another area LG and staff need to assess is what made Pili, Pili? She was PAC-12 Frosh of the Year wreaking havoc in the paint. Now we come into the season wanting to run 3 bigs together and utilize her like Zion??? Maybe get back to her bread and butter and let her do what she does so dominantly. She’s a power post player that can step out and hit a couple. Not a wing that can post.

          Great coaches can showcase the skills of their players while hiding their collective weaknesses. By no means is it an easy fix or the talent to win the Pac12. I’m talking about stepping back and realizing what they thought would work isn’t, so now you have 10 days between games to make changes. Let’s hope they make some tweaks during this long break between games.


          • #6
            This is going on month number seven for C. Gottlieb. She has work to do on a roster that has limitations. It's a reason we haven't won alot of games the last 3 to 4 seasons. We have good wing play and that's really it. This lose was terrible but that's the breaks in the first season. We'll see if there are adjustments. There is something definitely wrong with Pili but at this point it doesn't matter what's wrong with her. The season I in full swing. Let's see how we adjust.


            • #7
              StopNPop I hear you 100%. They have tried Pili inside and she is just not producing like she was as a freshman. It is mental with her… that’s the issue. Jackson not liking contact at her size is a huge red flag. She needs to transfer out. She is hurting the team right now. She can shoot a good 15 ft shot but is bad around the rim even if she gets rebounds. It’s frustrating to see someone who has had 3 years to grow and hasn’t especially around the rim. I still believe in a perfect world what changes you would like to see are reasonable but when you have mid major players who know they have to get better to compete in the power 5, but don’t that’s a problem. When you see other team’s players get better year over year example Colorado players that’s an individual problem. USC has to 1. Recruit better. 2. Lay down expectations for self growth 3. Create a culture of accountability. When you look at Stanford and Cameron Brink, year 1 to year 2 you can see growth..

              At SC they need players that want to get better. They have players that have been their 3-4 years that have not.. Miura is the only one that has improved imo. But injuries are hurting her. Madison Campbell is okay but she is not a Power 5 player. Clovis west is like a division 7 school in Fresno. She got the attention because her dad was the coach. Madison can shoot but is slow and can’t play defense.

              They need Power 5 type players at every position. Again until that changes, it won’t matter what scheme you run, because they won’t be able to keep up with the level of talent that’s in the top tier of the PAC 12. Got to give LG time to get players in. Mark Trakh recruits well but more geared to the mid major.

              Even the transfers Sanders and Reed come from Mid majors. Jordan Jenkins and Rihah Marshall in my opinion are the only 2 real legitimate Power 5 recruits on this entire team. Pili is but needs to get her mental back to where it was. Think about it am I wrong in this analysis?


              • #8
                There are P5 kids and then there are elite P5 kids. I think Marshall and Jenkins have the most upside. But even Jenkins is limited when not allowed to attack athletically. Look what happens when she has to think and make reads vs just attack. She coughs the ball up a lot. But the upside is there and she is young.

                Just because Sanders and Reed came from mid majors doesn’t mean they aren’t P5 players. College coaches miss all the time, both directions. Sanders was an All-Pac12 selection so obviously she’s a P5 player.

                Caldwell was a Team USA U18 player. Hasn’t developed. Still can’t shoot at all 4 years later.

                Jackson was a starter on Cal Stars EYBL and a MDAA. Hasn’t developed. Muira and Campbell also started on that team along with Brink and Haley Jones. One program has developed their players and one hasn’t. And look at the movement of Stanford’s offense. Tara had a tremendous run in the 90’s and in the mid 2000’s Stanford started to struggle. Her hi-low offense had gotten stale and predictable. She actually brought in other coaches to learn new offensive concepts and systems and it reinvigorated her team and recruiting. Our current offense reminds me of the temporary fall of Stanford before realizing it was time to adjust.

                Miura is a natural PG that can score but she can’t defend the elite P5 guards. She was also a state champion in HS.

                White’s only P5 offer I believe was SC. So yes, probably a stretch on her. Another defensive player that can’t shoot.

                Campbell’s injury clearly took a toll on her. Clovis West is D1 in California which is the large school division. Not D7. They were state champions in the top division her sophomore year and recognized as national champions in a couple polls. She is slower footed defensively but with our struggles on offense I would like to see her and Muira on the perimeter together more, especially against zone defenses. Because our kids that are supposed to be defenders can’t defend either.

                Perkins showed some flashes agaisnt Hawaii but really hasn’t impressed much since. I’m more familiar with the west coast and south than east coast recruiting. She played at a very highly respected high school but not sure what her recruiting was.

                Clarice and Angel are of the same mold. They are 6-5/6-6 so they are P5. I see more upside in Clarice and more maturity.

                Oliver played high level high school and club ball as well. She’s probably more of a mid major too. She is a high emery kid and athlete, but like Jenkins, struggles when she has to make reads and rely on skill vs athletic ability.

                It’s hard to say some of these kids aren’t P5 when they’ve played and won at the highest levels in high school and club. We have many state champions from talented states that carried their teams. Many played on elite club teams that won. So these kids were winning against the best of their peers throughout the country. Now they suddenly can’t play? Or are they not being developed? Are the schemes poor? Are the kids passionate about putting in time on their own? How badly do the kids want to work to win or are they content being on campus and wearing the jersey? Maybe we don’t have many P5 players that are complete but we have several players that are very good at a few things. Don’t play a kid that can only defend for 36 minutes. But play a shooter that can’t defend for 36 minutes. Use a big bodied post for rebounding and defensive schemes vs an offensive staple when that’s not their game. Again, emphasize the strengths and hide the weaknesses to maximize the positives of each player. There’s lots of questions that only the coaches and players can answer. But all parties should be taking a big look inward and reflecting on what they truly want and what they are willing to do to get there. Because it looks like a team that could fold and implode if changes aren’t made by all.