#38 USC Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

USC Trojans

Overall Rank: #38
Conference Rank: #6 Pac-12
#38 USC Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
USC Team Page


The first season of the Cynthia Cooper-Dyke era at USC laid the foundation for a return to the glory days as the Trojans won the Pac-12 conference tournament. The signature moment of last season was in the conference tournament semifinal as USC rose up and beat rival Stanford 72-68. That win was significant for the Trojans and for West Coast women’s basketball to show that there is more parity in the women’s game.

2013-14 Record: 22-13, 11-7
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Cynthia Cooper-Dyke
Coach Record: 22-13 at USC, 172-119 overall

This is a very tough minded team that is only to going to get better in year two under Coach Cooper-Dyke. This team was in a battle pretty much every night to get wins and, when it counted most down the stretch, the Trojans found a way to get results to get into the NCAA Tournament. The backcourt is going to be the foundation of USC’s success this season as they return experience. Senior guard Alexyz Vaioletama scored just under eight points per game last season and was a force defensively as she was an Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 team member defensively. The efficiency of shooting the three-point shot was very good last season for the Trojans, but the key is going to be finding a way to take more outside shots to maintain a balanced offensive approach.

The ability to replace the lost production of Cassie Harberts and Ariya Crook is going to be a very vital component to the success of USC this season. Crook was tremendous from the behind the three-point line and overall offensively. She averaged nearly 16 points per game. Harberts was a force down low on the boards and she gathered just under eight rebounds per game, while also scoring over 15 points per game. Overall, the Trojans are going to have to be stronger on the boards this season and more efficient defensively so they can have some breathing room in games down the stretch. The inexperience up front with highly talented incoming freshmen Kristen Simon and Amy Okonkwo is going to take some time to come together, but by the end of the season they should be strong.

Final Projection:
The Trojans are going to find out right away where they stand when they take on South Carolina on the road in the season opener. Fresno State visits on November 23rd and Oklahoma State will be another big time test in the non-conference schedule on December 21st. The crosstown rivalry with UCLA kicks off the conference schedule at the Galen Center on December 30th. Other key games for USC in conference play include a visit from Stanford  on January 25th and a tricky road trip at the end of the season to the Washington schools. If this team can come together chemistry wise as the season goes along, they will be in position once again to get back to the NCAA Tournament and maybe this time make a little bit of a deeper run. Overall, the foundation is in place for USC to be in the mix as a consistent threat to Stanford more years than not.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Brianna Barrett, Junior, Guard, 7.4 points per game
Alexyz Vaioletama, Senior, Guard, 8.6 points per game
Kiki Alofaituli, Senior, Guard, 4.4 points per game
Kristen Simon, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Amy Okonkwo, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.1 (177th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.6 (109, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.3 (124, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.9 (108, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.9 (210, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.2 (62, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.1 (243, 8)
Rebound Margin: 0.5 (158, 7)
Assists Per Game: 14.5 (97, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.5 (142, 8)

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#16 McKenzie Calvert
#54 Kristen Simon
#91 Amy Okonkwo


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