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A Road Win in February is More than Just a Win

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  • A Road Win in February is More than Just a Win

    This was a huge win for Enfield and the team. Without continuing to belabor the point, after stellar play in the 1st Half of the Pac-12 seasons (USC is one of only three Pac-12 schools -- Oregon and Arizona are the other two -- to have 30 wins during the First Half of conference play the last five seasons), Enfield's teams have been decidedly weaker in February and March -- posted a losing record (20-25) in the Second Half of conference play the last five seasons.

    Last season, after yet another loss in Tempe, I infamously posted that era of Enfield at USC was effectively over; I clarified that comment by explaining that, while Enfield was unlikely to be fired, he was also unlikely to receive another contract extension. I am not yet ready to back away from that opinion; admittedly, this team has performed better than I thought they would; but there is still a lot of basketball left to play (including, in theory, five more conference road games). meaning plenty of tests left for SC to prove this team is more than a bubble team.

    A few notes about the Stanford game:

    To me, the most interesting thing about yesterday's game was that USC pretty much outperformed Stanford in every aspect of the game, except for shooting. Indeed, SC was getting repeated (and frustratingly missing) wide open look after wide open look; meanwhile, Stanford was hitting tough shot after tough shot.

    In fact, it's tough to think of too many good looks Stanford got the entire game. The real story of the game for Stanford was Delaire and McConnell hitting lots of contested shots. Very impressive shooting display.

    Meanwhile, SC obviously missed a ton of really good looks, which seems to be (along with turnovers) the Achilles heel on this team.

    In general, however, SC's defense was absolutely stellar.