Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why I like our chances against USC

The reaction to playing USC is mixed among BC fans. Some fear playing the hot, young athletic team. Others think we match up well. Put me in the second camp. I don't take anything or anyone for granted this time of year. I just think USC is one of the better teams we could have faced, in part because of who they are and in part because who they are not.

Reasons I think we will win
-- USC is a terrible road team. I know this is a "neutral" game, but this will be a long cold trip for USC. 10 of their 12 losses were on the road. I think the travel and weather will impact them more.
-- We are playing in a Dome. Supposedly playing in a Dome takes an adjustment as far as shooting perspective and dealing with the noise, drafts, etc. We played in a Dome this week. USC hasn't played in a Dome all year.
-- They are not a midmajor. Given how our guys have played up and down to the level of their opponent, I feared playing a mid major. We won't come out flat against USC. They are a name and just won the Pac 10. Our guys will be pumped and ready.
-- They are bound to lose. They have just won five in a row, including three to win the Pac 10 Tournament. Two of those wins were by two possessions or less. They won't stay hot forever.
-- They are not a methodical, consistent offense. USC is not going to bury us with 3s or even run some sort of patient scheme that we have to prepare for.
-- They haven't face an offense like ours all season. A few Pac 10 teams have elements similar to our flex, but no one tries to run it as tightly with so many bounce passes. We haven't been nearly as dependent on it lately. I hope Al uses it over and over on Friday.
-- They are athletic rather than a bunch of shooters. I would say they remind me most of Georgia Tech or Florida State. Both those teams frustrated us, but we also won those games.
-- We left Atlanta with confidence. Andy Katz said it tonight. These guys know they could have won the ACC. They have unfinished business.

My concerns
-- They can and will press. They did it against Arizona State this past weekend. We will need to break it early so they have to abandon it.
-- They are hot. I know I put this as a reason why I think we will win, but it works both ways. They are on fire and we just might be their next victim.

Kenpom thinks very highly of USC.


Eagle in Brighton said...

Gus Johnson is calling the game...gotta love that.

downtown_resident said...

I agree with your take, ATL. To build on your point about U$C playing on the road, they won the Pac-10 tournament thanks to playing three virtual home games at Staples Center. And the home cooking was especially strong in the final against ASU, where they shot 23 free throws to ASU's four. ASU didn't go to the line for the first 36 minutes of the game! Every team is tough from here on out, and USC is no different, but I think if we play our game we'll be OK.

Deacon Drake said...

Yeah... too many people are making a big deal of USC winning the PAC10 tourney in LA... hell, Georgia Tech was a shot away from making the semis in Atlanta.

Both us and USC were over seeded (we panned out as closer to a 9/10, USC 11/12, Maryland a 12, and Arizona a 17.

I really fear a potential 2nd round matchup with Bob Morris... those guys have our number ;)

Opinionater said...

"They can and will press" was one of your concerns. Mine too!! BC's inability to execute any kind of an in bounds play, pressure or no pressure, has been my concern, frustration, pet peeve---for years!!
Having just returned from Atlanta, watching every game of the ACC tournament, it is still painful to realize that, our Achilles Heel--inbounding a basketball and breaking a press--cost us a win against Duke! Throwing the ball away (right to Duke!), at the end of the never should have come down to the last shot.

For some inexplicable reason, the coaching staff (all six "suits") are unable and/or incapable of remedying this situation?! So when you say USC "can and will press".....fuhgeddaboutit! We are T-O-A-S-T !