Stanford Turns in Horrific Night Against USC


USC has had some impressive defensive performances in my 1+ seasons of watching them, but nothing, compares to the job they did tonight against Stanford. Admittedly, Stanford had a poor shooting night as well, and that combination spelled absolute doom for the Cardinal. USC was guaranteed to come out stronger at home than they did  on the road in Oregon, and the intensity is evident in the statistics. The Trojans may not have set any defensive records, but the numbers are simply astounding. Sitting in the Galen Center, it seemed impossible that Stanford’s offense was that bad and that USC’s defense was that good.

To the numbers…

Overall, Stanford netted 42 points. While that is a very low total for 40 minutes of basketball, it doesn’t tell the whole story. With 2:08 left, coach Kevin O’Neill emptied the bench. At that juncture, the Cardinal had just 31 points. That amounts to 0.82 points per minute. Stanford isn’t an offensive powerhouse, but the fact they scored 31 points in 38 minutes when they average 65 in 40 minutes for the season is incredible.

Of the 63 shots Stanford took, they made an unimpressive 14. Despite attempting 18 more shots than the Trojans, the Cardinal made 11 less. Their percentage on the night was a jaw-dropping 22.2%, but like the point total, that doesn’t even tell the whole story. With 2:08 to go, Stanford was 11 for 60 from the floor. That is 18% from the floor. Stop and think about that for a second. Stanford was shooting 18% from the floor after 38 minutes of play. Finally, Stanford finished 3-18 from beyond the arc, including making their one attempt in the final two minutes against the complete second unit.

When the starters went to the bench, Stanford had just one more point than rebounds. It isn’t uncommon to see that in the first minute or two of the game, but that fact that Stanford had 31 points to 30 rebounds blows my mind.

Stanford’s leading scorer finished with nine points. Our game preview indicated that the Cardinal would struggled with Marcus Simmons guarding their main offensive threat, but no one could have anticipated them not even having a double-figure scorer. Leading scorer Jeremy Green scored 5 on 2 of 9 shooting.

By my unofficial count, Stanford air-balled five times. In the course of a regular game, it is normal to see one air-ball, maybe two. The Cardinal managed five on their own. USC did a nice job of closing out on three-pointers, but not to the point where it should have forced an air ball.

USC managed eight blocks in the game. They usually average 3, but they didn’t let anyone shoot inside without a big hand in their face. As a result, Stanford was sent packing.