Wesley Gordon is a 6-foot-9 freshman forward that uses his length to guard stronger opponents. His length led to six blocks against the USC Trojans, a team-high. He was not the only one blocking shots. The best block of the day went to 6-foot-2 guard Askia Booker on USC senior center D.J. Haley. Booker’s block helped get the attention that the Colorado Buffaloes received.
In the first half, Colorado had nine total blocks. However, it was not just the blocks that made USC shoot so poorly. The length of Gordon, Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson got into passing lanes and forced long two-point jump shots. Making USC shoot from depth is what most teams want them to do, and Colorado executed it perfectly.
On the game, the Buffs finished with 10 blocks, eight steals and forced USC into 11 turnovers. The blocks not only created a strong defensive anchor performance, but it also altered shots that USC usually makes. The Buffs forced the Trojans to shoot just 36 percent from the floor, one of their lowest totals on the season.
This strong team defensive performance by the Buffs is something to build on. With star Spencer Dinwiddie sidelined for the season, they must play better defense and become deeper on offense. Scott picked up the slack that Dinwiddie’s injury brought forth. He scored 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds and two blocks of his own in the 83-62 win over the Trojans.
The Buffaloes’ length is going to help them reduce the stress that Dinwiddie’s injury brought forth.
John Lloyd is a Pac-12 Basketball Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII