Preview: USC vs. Gonzaga

Game USC Trojans vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Date: March 30th, 2021 7:15 PM
TV: TBS
Spread: GONZ -9
Total: 155.5

Preview

USC Offense vs. Gonzaga Defense

USC checks in at 16th nationally in Bart Torvik’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings. The Trojans shoot 52.5 percent on twos and 36.3 percent on threes for a 53.1 effective field goal percentage.

Gonzaga is ranked 4th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. On the season, Gonzaga opponents make 46.6 percent of their twos and 32.2 percent of their threes for a 47.2 effective field goal percentage.

Basics
  • USC is underseeded according to efficiency metrics. The 6th seeded Trojans are ranked 6th nationally per Bart Torvik. Their computer numbers suggest they should be closer to a 1 or 2 seed.
  • The Trojans are one of the biggest teams in the NCAA Tournament with an average height of 79.38 inches according to KenPom.com. Gonzaga should match up well against the Trojans’ size, with an average height of 78.13 inches.
  • USC has struggled at the free-throw line all season, shooting just 65 percent at the stripe this year.
Extra Possessions
  • The game should be fairly turnover neutral on this side of the ball. USC turns it over on 18.1 percent of possessions and Gonzaga forces giveaways on 19.7 percent of possessions.
  • The Trojans are fantastic on the offensive glass and rebound 35.8 percent of their missed shots. Gonzaga is one of the better defensive rebounding teams in the field, grabbing 76.6 percent of opponent misses, which should negate this advantage.
  • Second chance points are crucial to USC’s offense. The Trojans score 12.0 points off of second chances and only allow 9.2 points per game, outscoring teams by 2.8 points per game just on second chance opportunities. Gonzaga has also been great on the glass this year, outscoring opponents by 2.5 points per game on second chances.
Shot Profile
  • USC’s offensive attack is interior-focused. The Trojans only attempt 31 percent of their shots from 3-point range. Despite not being a high volume 3-point shooting team, USC shoots an impressive 36 percent from outside the arc.
  • USC dominates the paint. The Trojans score 35.1 points and allow 24.2 points per game in the paint, outscoring teams by 10.9 points per game. Gonzaga has also been great inside this year, outscoring opponents by 19.2 points per game in the paint.
  • USC is one of the best teams in the country at finishing around the basket. The Trojans shoot 60 percent at the rim and Gonzaga allows 53 percent shooting inside of five feet.
  • USC’s offense is heavy on mid-range jumpers. The Trojans attempt 30 percent of their shots from the mid-range and connect at a 42 percent clip.
  • Gonzaga’s defense does a terrific job of funneling offensive players into pull-up 2-point attempts. Bulldogs opponents attempt 29 percent of their shots from the mid-range and connect at a 37 percent clip. USC’s offense shoots 42 percent on its mid-range attempts.
Style
  • Gonzaga’s defense is unique for its ability to prevent assists. Only 43.4 percent of made baskets are assisted against the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga Offense vs. USC Defense

The Bulldogs are ranked 1st nationally in Bart Torvik’s adjusted offensive efficiency ratings. Gonzaga shoots 63.6 percent on twos and 37.4 percent on threes for a 61.1 effective field goal percentage.

USC’s defense is ranked 6th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. Opponents shoot 41.5 percent on twos and 33.3 percent on threes for a 44.5 effective field goal percentage against the Trojans.

Basics
  • Gonzaga plays as fast as any team in the country. The Bulldogs average 75 possessions per game.
  • USC plays a notable amount of zone defense. The Trojans utilize zone defense on 13.7 percent of their defensive plays, per Synergy. That’s more than most Division I teams and they allow 0.7 points per play in zone defense. Gonzaga has done a great job of attacking zone defenses this year — 1.31 points per play — and that should help the Bulldogs create an offensive advantage.
  • Gonzaga makes 74 percent of its free throws which should come in handy in a close game.
Extra Possessions
  • Gonzaga does a great job of valuing the basketball, turnovers on just 16.5 percent of possessions, and USC’s defense doesn’t prioritize forcing giveaways. The Trojans only force giveaways on 17 percent of opponent possessions, so expect a low turnover performance by Gonzaga’s offense.
  • Gonzaga does a terrific job turning defense into offense. The Bulldogs score 19.4 points points per game off of turnovers. USC avoids turnovers for touchdowns, allowing only 11.2 points per game off of giveaways.
  • Gonzaga is unique because its guards are aggressive on the offensive glass. Perimeter players account for 34.8 percent of the Bulldogs’ offensive boards. That should put extra pressure on USC’s perimeter players to clean up the glass.
Shot Profile
  • USC does a fantastic job of contesting jump shots. On the season, USC contests 59 percent of if its opponents catch and shoot attempts. Conversely, Gonzaga excels at creating open jumpers. Only 44 percent of the Bulldogs’ catch and shoot attempts have been contested this season.
  • Gonzaga dominates the paint. The Bulldogs score 49.5 points and allow 30.3 points per game in the paint, outscoring teams by 19.2 points per game. USC has also been great inside this year, outscoring opponents by 10.9 points per game in the paint.
  • USC’s defense excels around the bucket, allowing 48 percent shooting within five-feet of the rim. Gonzaga is generally a great finishing team, making 71 percent of its shots at the bucket — setting up a key battle inside.
  • USC’s defense does a terrific job of funneling offensive players into pull-up 2-point attempts. Trojans opponents attempt 31 percent of their shots from the mid-range and connect at a 34 percent clip. Gonzaga’s offense shoots 42 percent on its mid-range attempts.
Style
  • Gonzaga loves to push the ball in transition. An impressive 22 percent of GONZ’s offensive plays are in transition and those transition plays create 18.5 points per game. USC’s defense does a great job of limiting transition opportunities and only allows 9.0 points per game in transition.
  • Modern basketball is a ball screen game and Gonzaga’s offense is no exception. The Bulldogs score 28.8 points per game out of ball screens and average 1.03 points per ball screen play. USC’s defense excels at defending ball screens, allowing just 0.79 points per play which should set up a key strength-on-strength matchup.
  • Gonzaga has one of the most dominant post-up offenses in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 11.1 points per game on 1.18 points per post-up play. USC’s defense should be up to the challenge, allowing 0.77 points per post-up play.

Bottom Line

According to Bart Torvik, Gonzaga is a 81-73 favorite with a 75 percent chance of advancing.

USC Personnel

#4 Evan Mobley

Role: Versatile Big
Height: 7'0" | Weight: 210 lbs

Post-Up Scorer Pick and Pop Roll Man Mid-Range Specialist Rim Protector Catch and Shoot Isolation Scorer Gets to the Line Efficient Shooter
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
16.3 8.7 2.4 119.9 24.1% 60.5%

#2 Tahj Eaddy

Role: Secondary Ball Handler
Height: 6'2" | Weight: 165 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Mid-Range Specialist Off the Dribble Shooter Catch and Shoot Takes Tough Shots Avoids Turnovers Efficient Shooter
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
13.8 2.8 2.6 117.7 20.6% 54.7%

#13 Drew Peterson

Role: Secondary Ball Handler
Height: 6'8" | Weight: 185 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Mid-Range Specialist Takes Tough Shots
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
9.6 5.1 2.8 106.4 19.8% 49%

#3 Isaiah Mobley

Role: Versatile Big
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 235 lbs

Post-Up Scorer Mid-Range Specialist Offensive Rebounder Gets to the Line Avoids Turnovers Below 65% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
9.4 7.4 1.6 106.6 20.8% 48.5%

#5 Isaiah White

Role: Tall Spot Up Wing
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 205 lbs

Pick Pocket Smart Shot Selection Gets to the Line
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
7.9 3.4 0.9 112.5 19.2% 57.2%
🔥🔥🔥: White is averaging 10.6 points per game over the last 5 games. That’s 2.7 points above his season average.

GONZ Personnel

#24 Corey Kispert

Role: Runaround Wing
Height: 6'7" | Weight: 220 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Off Screen Shooter Transition Scorer Off the Dribble Shooter Catch and Shoot Avoids Turnovers Efficient Shooter Above 80% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
19 4.9 1.7 134.5 20.7% 66.7%

#2 Drew Timme

Role: Post Up Big
Height: 6'10" | Weight: 235 lbs

Post-Up Scorer Finisher Roll Man Non Shooter Offensive Rebounder Go-To Guy Gets to the Line Avoids Turnovers Efficient Shooter
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
18.9 7.2 2.3 129.8 26.7% 66.7%

#1 Jalen Suggs

Role: Primary Ball Handler
Height: 6'4" | Weight: 205 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Distributor Transition Scorer Pick Pocket Go-To Guy Efficient Shooter
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
13.8 5.3 4.4 108.8 25.5% 54.8%

#11 Joel Ayayi

Role: Reluctant Shooter
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 180 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Transition Scorer Off the Dribble Shooter Smart Shot Selection Efficient Shooter
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
12 7.1 2.8 128.8 16.4% 63.7%

#3 Andrew Nembhard

Role: Primary Ball Handler
Height: 6'5" | Weight: 193 lbs

Ball Screen Creator Distributor Mid-Range Specialist Transition Scorer Efficient Shooter Above 80% FT
Pts Reb Ast ORtg Usage eFG%
9.2 2.4 4.3 124.2 15.3% 56.1%

ATS

Gonzaga ATS Performance

This Season

Gonzaga is 14-13-1 against the spread this year. The over has hit in 15 of 28 Gonzaga games (53.6%) this season.

Gonzaga is 8-2-0 against the spread at neutral sites this year. The over has hit in 6 of Gonzaga’s 10 games on neutral floors (60%) this season.

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
11/26/2020 vs. Kansas W, 102-90 -2.5 W 9.5 147.5 OVER 44.5
11/27/2020 vs. Auburn W, 90-67 14.5 W 37.5 158.5 UNDER -1.5
12/2/2020 vs. West Virginia W, 87-82 -7.5 L -2.5 154 OVER 15
12/19/2020 vs. Iowa W, 99-88 -3.5 W 7.5 173.5 OVER 13.5
12/21/2020 Northwestern State W, 95-57 -38.5 L -0.5 168 UNDER -16
12/22/2020 Northwestern State W, 95-78 -40.5 L -23.5 171.5 OVER 1.5
12/26/2020 vs. Virginia W, 98-75 -7 W 16 139.5 OVER 33.5
12/28/2020 Northern Arizona W, 88-58 -38.5 L -8.5 156.5 UNDER -10.5
1/2/2021 San Francisco W, 85-62 -19.5 W 3.5 162.5 UNDER -15.5
1/7/2021 BYU W, 86-69 -18.5 L -1.5 163.5 UNDER -8.5
1/9/2021 at Portland W, 116-88 -32.5 L -4.5 162.5 OVER 41.5
1/14/2021 Pepperdine W, 95-70 -25.5 L -0.5 163.5 OVER 1.5
1/16/2021 at Saint Mary's W, 73-59 -15.5 L -1.5 146 UNDER -14
1/23/2021 Pacific W, 95-49 -26 W 20 149.5 UNDER -5.5
1/28/2021 at San Diego W, 90-62 -27.5 W 0.5 156 UNDER -4
1/30/2021 at Pepperdine W, 97-75 -22 P 0 163 OVER 9
2/4/2021 at Pacific W, 76-58 -23.5 L -5.5 151.5 UNDER -17.5
2/8/2021 at BYU W, 82-71 -11.5 L -0.5 155.5 UNDER -2.5
2/13/2021 at San Francisco W, 100-61 -16.5 W 22.5 156.5 OVER 4.5
2/18/2021 Saint Mary's W, 87-65 -21 W 1 142.5 OVER 9.5
2/20/2021 San Diego W, 106-69 -32.5 W 4.5 153.5 OVER 21.5
2/25/2021 Santa Clara W, 89-75 -30.5 L -16.5 155 OVER 9
2/27/2021 Loyola Marymount W, 86-69 -25 L -8 153.5 OVER 1.5
3/8/2021 vs. Saint Mary's W, 78-55 -18.5 W 4.5 141.5 UNDER -8.5
3/9/2021 vs. BYU W, 88-78 -14 L -4 154.5 OVER 11.5
3/20/2021 vs. Norfolk State W, 98-55 -34 W 9 154.5 UNDER -1.5
3/22/2021 vs. Oklahoma W, 87-71 -14 W 2 154 OVER 4
3/28/2021 vs. Creighton W, 83-65 -13 W 5 159 UNDER -11

Head to Head

We don’t have any head-to-head games on file between these two teams.

USC ATS Performance

This Season

USC is 19-13-0 against the spread this year. The over has hit in 17 of 32 USC games (53.1%) this season.

USC is 4-3-0 against the spread at neutral sites this year. The over has hit in 4 of USC’s 7 games on neutral floors (57.1%) this season.

Date Opp Result Spread Cover By Total Over By
11/25/2020 California Baptist W, 95-87 -18.5 L -10.5 148.5 OVER 33.5
11/28/2020 Montana W, 76-62 -11.5 W 2.5 141 UNDER -3
12/1/2020 vs. BYU W, 79-53 -3.5 W 22.5 147.5 UNDER -15.5
12/3/2020 vs. UConn L, 58-61 -1 L -4 142 UNDER -23
12/8/2020 UC Irvine W, 91-56 -11.5 W 23.5 136.5 OVER 10.5
12/29/2020 Santa Clara W, 86-63 -11 W 12 134.5 OVER 14.5
12/31/2020 Colorado L, 62-72 -2 L -12 139.5 UNDER -5.5
1/2/2021 Utah W, 64-46 -5 W 13 138.5 UNDER -28.5
1/7/2021 at Arizona W, 87-73 4.5 W 18.5 140.5 OVER 19.5
1/9/2021 at Arizona State W, 73-64 -1.5 W 7.5 149 UNDER -12
1/12/2021 UC Riverside W, 67-62 -14 L -9 132.5 UNDER -3.5
1/14/2021 Washington W, 95-68 -14 W 13 138.5 OVER 24.5
1/16/2021 Washington State W, 85-77 -13 L -5 133.5 OVER 28.5
1/19/2021 at Oregon State L, 56-58 -10.5 L -12.5 138.5 UNDER -24.5
1/23/2021 at California W, 76-68 -8.5 L -0.5 135.5 OVER 8.5
1/28/2021 Oregon State W, 75-62 -12 W 1 135.5 OVER 1.5
2/2/2021 at Stanford W, 72-66 -2 W 4 137.5 OVER 0.5
2/6/2021 UCLA W, 66-48 -3.5 W 14.5 135.5 UNDER -21.5
2/11/2021 at Washington W, 69-54 -11.5 W 3.5 145.5 UNDER -22.5
2/13/2021 at Washington State W, 76-65 -8 W 3 132.5 OVER 8.5
2/17/2021 Arizona State W, 89-71 -11.5 W 6.5 146 OVER 14
2/20/2021 Arizona L, 72-81 -5.5 L -14.5 139.5 OVER 13.5
2/22/2021 Oregon W, 72-58 -3.5 W 10.5 140 UNDER -10
2/25/2021 at Colorado L, 62-80 3 L -15 136.5 OVER 5.5
2/27/2021 at Utah L, 61-71 -5.5 L -15.5 138 UNDER -6
3/3/2021 Stanford W, 79-42 -7.5 W 29.5 137 UNDER -16
3/6/2021 at UCLA W, 64-63 -2.5 L -1.5 135.5 UNDER -8.5
3/11/2021 vs. Utah W, 91-85 -7 L -1 141 OVER 35
3/12/2021 vs. Colorado L, 70-72 1.5 L -0.5 134 OVER 8
3/20/2021 vs. Drake W, 72-56 -6.5 W 9.5 138.5 UNDER -10.5
3/22/2021 vs. Kansas W, 85-51 -1.5 W 32.5 134.5 OVER 1.5
3/28/2021 vs. Oregon W, 82-68 -2 W 12 138 OVER 12

Head to Head

We don’t have any head-to-head games on file between these two teams.

Note: Our ATS data dates back to the 2017-18 season.

News

News Updates

News updates via RotoWire.
  • Drew Timme (03/28): Timme recorded 22 points (10-14 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 2-3 FT), six rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes during Sunday's 83-65 win over Creighton.
  • Andrew Nembhard (03/28): Nembhard posted 17 points (7-9 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 0-0 FT), four rebounds and eight assists across 36 minutes in Sunday's 83-65 victory over Creighton.
  • Corey Kispert (03/23): Kispert posted 16 points (5-11 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 2-2 FT), three rebounds and zero assists in 30 minutes during Monday's 87-71 win over Oklahoma.
  • Drew Timme (03/23): Timme tallied 30 points (9-12 FG, 0-0 3Pt, 12-14 FT), 13 rebounds and four assists across 34 minutes in Monday's 87-71 victory over Oklahoma.
  • Evan Mobley (03/23): Mobley recorded 10 points (4-6 FG, 0-0 3Pt, 2-4 FT), 13 rebounds and five assists in 27 minutes during Monday's 85-51 win over Kansas.
  • Isaiah Mobley (03/23): Mobley posted 17 points (6-14 FG, 4-5 3Pt, 1-1 FT), eight rebounds and four assists across 31 minutes in Monday's 85-51 victory over Kansas.
  • Anton Watson (03/21): Watson posted 17 points (7-7 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT), seven rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes during Saturday's 98-55 victory over Norfolk St.
  • Drew Peterson (03/21): Peterson recorded 14 points (5-10 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 3-5 FT), two rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes during Saturday's 72-56 win over Drake.
  • Joel Ayayi (03/21): Ayayi posted 15 points (6-12 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), nine rebounds and two assists across 28 minutes in Saturday's 98-55 victory over Norfolk St.
  • Tahj Eaddy (03/21): Eaddy tallied nine points (4-11 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 0-1 FT), six rebounds and 10 assists across 33 minutes in Saturday's 72-56 win over Drake.
  • Evan Mobley (03/13): Mobley recorded 26 points (11-16 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 3-7 FT), nine rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes during Friday's 72-70 loss to Colorado.
  • Evan Mobley (03/12): Mobley tallied 26 points (7-14 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 11-14 FT), nine rebounds and two assists across 37 minutes in Thursday's 91-85 double overtime victory over Utah.
  • Isaiah White (03/12): White recorded 14 points (6-10 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 1-2 FT), five rebounds and one assist in 25 minutes during Thursday's 91-85 double overtime victory over Utah.
  • Isaiah White (03/11): White (back) is expected to take the floor Thursday against Utah, Ryan Kartje of the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • Jalen Suggs (03/09): Suggs recorded 23 points (7-15 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 5-8 FT), five rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes during Tuesday's 88-78 victory over BYU.
  • Evan Mobley (03/09): Mobley was named the 2020-21 Pac-12 Player of the Year on Tuesday, in addition to being given Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors.
  • Joel Ayayi (03/09): Ayayi posted 16 points (7-9 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 0-0 FT), eight rebounds and one assist in 28 minutes during Monday's 78-55 win over Saint Mary's.
  • Tahj Eaddy (03/06): Eaddy posted 12 points (5-14 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 0-0 FT), three rebounds and one assist across 37 minutes in Saturday's 64-63 victory over UCLA.
  • Max Agbonkpolo (03/06): Agbonkpolo is in the starting lineup for Saturday's game against UCLA.
  • Tahj Eaddy (03/04): Eaddy posted 16 points (6-8 FG, 4-6 3Pt, 0-0 FT), one rebound and two assists in 21 minutes during Wednesday's 79-42 win over Stanford.
  • Andrew Nembhard (03/02): Nembhard was named the West Coast Conference Sixth Man of the Year on Tuesday.
  • Jalen Suggs (03/02): Suggs was named the West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year on Tuesday.
  • Corey Kispert (03/02): Kispert was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year on Tuesday.
  • Drew Timme (02/28): Timme tallied 16 points (5-9 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 6-11 FT), seven rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes during Saturday's 86-69 win over Loyola Marymount.
  • Tahj Eaddy (02/28): Eaddy recorded four points (2-10 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 0-1 FT), two rebounds and two assists across 34 minutes in Saturday's 71-61 loss to Utah.