In what was supposed to be a down year for big men in the Pacific 10 Conference, USC has made the last two centers it has faced look like All-Americans.
Arizona State freshman Ike Diogu worked the Trojans for 26 points and five rebounds, then Arizona sophomore Channing Frye burned USC with career highs in points (25) and rebounds (14).
Next up: Stanford's Rob Little, a 6-foot-10, 275-pound banger.
With USC relying on zone defenses, USC center Rory O'Neil doesn't believe he should shoulder the blame.
"We feel we should be able to stop anybody as a team," he said. "It's not me versus him, per se. It's our five versus their five. We just have to really lock down and start playing hard-nosed defense."
Sophomore guard Errick Craven said payback was not the first thing on the Trojans' minds as they attempt to avenge their 80-72 loss at Stanford on Jan. 25.
"Hopefully we get some good refs this time," said a smiling Craven, alluding to USC being called for 28 fouls to the Cardinal's 14 the last time the teams met.
When told that the Pac-10 might frown on his comments -- USC Coach Henry Bibby is already on probation for criticizing referees -- Craven shrugged.
"Hey, I'm a player," said Craven, who was named to the NABC District 15 second team on Wednesday. "I'm just talking. Some games are ridiculous. We just don't get the calls."
vs. No. 21 Stanford, 7:30
Fox Sports Net 2
Site -- Sports Arena.
Radio -- KMPC (1540), KPLS (830).
Records -- USC 10-11, 5-7 in Pacific 10, Stanford 19-6, 10-3.
Update -- USC junior guard Roy Smiley hurt his right knee at practice Wednesday and will be examined by a doctor today.
Tickets -- (213) 740-4672.