USC's basketball team will have learned more about the State of Washington than it ever wanted to know by the time this weekend is over.
Fog closed down the Spokane airport Friday, so the Trojans had to travel from Pullman, Wash., to Seattle by bus, a seven-hour ride across the state, just for the prospect of getting blown off a basketball court.
That's a distinct possibility. Washington's Huskies, well rested and pumped up after routing UCLA Thursday night, 90-65, are finally performing to preseason expectations.
Taking all this into account, the Huskies could do a number on the Trojans today (Channel 2, 1 p.m.) at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
"Matching up with them is difficult with their size," USC Coach Stan Morrison said. "I don't know what we'll do."
He was referring specifically to 6-9 forward Paul Fortier, who he says may be the most valuable player in the league, and 7-foot center Chris Welp.
Welp got 28 points, and Fortier had 24 against UCLA, and they accounted for a total of 15 rebounds. The Trojans had problems with two 7-footers, Washington State's Todd Anderson and Ken Mathia, Thursday night at Pullman.
The big men clogged the middle late in the game and were factors in the Cougars' 65-58 win over the Trojans.
"They created a lot of problems inside," USC forward Derrick Dowell said.
Welp and Fortier will create more.
Trojan Notes USC is 6-6 overall and 1-2 in the Pac-10. Washington is 8-7 and 2-1, respectively. . . . The Trojans and Huskies shared the conference championship last season with 13-5 records. . . . The teams split their season series. . . . USC center Rod Keller is the tallest Trojan at 6-9, among the players who play regularly. Ivan Verberckt is 6-11, but he made only a cameo appearance against Washington State. . . . USC point guard Larry Friend had an unproductive game against WSU. He didn't attempt a shot and had only four assists, three below his average. . . . USC freshman guard Tom Lewis has a sprained right ankle; even so, he played for 35 minutes against WSU and got 16 points, although it appeared that he was tiring late in the game.