Just like football.
USC, a football school, gained national notice on Sunday for its feat on the hardwood. The Trojan women’s basketball team dealt mighty Stanford its first Pac-12 Conference loss since January of 2021. Stanford — still in first place in the Pac-12, still a juggernaut, still widely expected to make the Final Four — could not solve USC’s defense. The Women of Troy allowed only 10 free throw attempts. They forced Stanford to take 3-pointers. The Cardinal made only 4 of 21. Stanford couldn’t rebound enough missed shots to get easy layups and putbacks near the rim. USC outfought Stanford thanks to a remarkable defensive display.
The three players who led the charge were all transfers.
Destiny Littleton came to USC from South Carolina. Taylor Bigby came to the Trojans from Oregon. Okako Adika transferred to USC from TCU.
Those three players played 119 total minutes. Bigby rested for only one minute. Littleton and Adika went wire to wire, locking down Stanford despite getting no rest (except for timeouts). That’s 119 minutes of elite defense, rebounding, and low-mistake basketball.
The transfer portal transformed USC women’s basketball in a short period of time, much as the transfer portal changed USC football in a short period of time.
The transfer portal makes large-scale change easier — and quicker — to come by in college sports.
Just like — and in addition to — football.
USC women’s basketball is living proof of that reality.
The relationship between Mike Bohn and Lincoln Riley will be tested if USC defense doesn’t improve