Statistics don’t always present the whole picture of a team.
One USC basketball statistic is telling, however, even after only five games.
The Trojans, who play six or seven players most games, have a noticeable drop in second-half shooting.
So far, USC has made 69 of 159 shots in the first half, a 43.4% rate. In the second, they have made 57 of 152, or 38%.
Against Cal State Northridge and Utah State, the Trojans made fewer than 10 field goals in the final 20 minutes. Only once in five games have they shot a higher percentage in the second half. Against North Carolina, USC made 14 of 40 shots in the first half (35%), and 15 of 33 in the second (46%).
Of course, the Trojans have just finished a stretch of five games in nine days, three in three days at the Maui Invitational. The schedule will revert to two games a week, starting with Wednesday’s meeting with UC Santa Barbara.
Still, unless USC finds a seven-footer, they will rarely find front-court lineups that they can physically dominate for easy baskets. That would suggest a greater dependence on outside shooting.
And outside shooting becomes harder as legs and arms tire during a game.