Is Kobe Johnson the 'x-factor' in USC Basketball's success?

Kobe Johnson, USC Basketball, USC Trojans
Kobe Johnson, USC Basketball, USC Trojans / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Through USC Basketball’s 7-3 start to the year, head coach Andy Enfield has done a phenomenal job constructing a solid game plan. The premier duo of stars Drew Peterson and Boogie Ellis has guided USC, but there is one player whose contributions are noteworthy.

The former three-star recruit (247Sports), Kobe Johnson, has been dominating for USC this season. Johnson’s leap has ultimately elevated the team’s ceiling, as he is only a sophomore. His defense and offensive IQ fits perfectly next to the talents of Ellis and Peterson.

Furthermore, Johnson’s role with USC Basketball is very crucial. Not only can he defend any position, but he is also one of the team’s best three-point shooters. Having a player who can consistently shoot the three-ball eases Enfield’s overall strategy.

That said, Johnson averages 7.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists on 48.3% from the field and 36.4% from three. In addition, he is posting 2.1 steals per game in 21.1 minutes of playing time. These numbers add to his impact, proving how valuable he can be next to Ellis and Peterson.

Not to mention, Johnson’s performance against Oregon State is a prime example of why Enfield has to play him as much as possible. He finished the one-point victory with 17 points, six rebounds, and five steals on 7-10 shooting. It is also worth mentioning that Johnson scored several timely baskets down the stretch, which put USC over the edge.

Kobe Johnson is the ‘x-factor’ for USC Basketball.

After evaluating the last ten games for USC Basketball, the two-way wing Kobe Johnson has been a fundamental piece to the team’s success. He brings a spark on both ends that Enfield’s game plan has been missing for quite some time. It is safe to say that USC would be much further behind without Johnson’s impact in all aspects of the game.

Moreover, there is a reason why Johnson was the team’s best defensive player last season despite only playing 7.5 minutes per contest. This shows how he can change the game regardless of his playing time. When he is at his best, USC Basketball is one of the best teams in the country.

Next. Ranking USC Football's Heisman Trophy winning seasons. dark

Nonetheless, Enfield and his squad have a solid shot at making a run during the tournament. Especially if Johnson gets the job done defensively, players like Ellis and Peterson will hold it down on the other end. The potential of this team is limitless when the foot is on the gas.