The USC Trojans narrowly escaped a damaging defeat against the Brown Bears on Sunday, preserving themselves from a significant setback. While the Trojans managed to secure the win, the shortcomings of the team were glaringly evident.
Isaiah Collier, Boogie Ellis, and Kobe Johnson combined to score an impressive 66 points in the game. Ellis and Johnson, who missed the previous game against UC Irvine, returned to the lineup, underscoring the team’s reliance on their key players. The Trojans’ loss to Irvine, with two of their best players sidelined, emphasized the team’s vulnerability in their absence. The defeat also exposed the team’s lack of depth, particularly in the frontcourt.
The absence of D.J. Rodman against Brown put added pressure on Josh Morgan and Kijani Wright to step up, as Vince Iwuchukwu continues to recover from injuries. However, both players struggled to make a meaningful impact, contributing to the team’s challenges.
The USC frontcourt struggled to make an impact offensively, with only 12 of the team’s 81 points coming from forwards and centers. This inability to capitalize on their size and length against smaller opponents was a significant concern.
Moving forward, USC’s coaching staff will need to develop strategies to involve the frontcourt in the offense more effectively, relieving pressure from Collier and Ellis. Iwuchukwu’s potential impact remains a point of anticipation, with his recent performance offering a glimpse of hope for the team’s improvement.
As USC works towards a more cohesive team dynamic, the burden falls on Morgan and Wright to contribute more significantly. The team’s fortunes seem to hinge on the ability of all players to step up and elevate their performance.