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USC BASKETBALL

Dwight Lewis, Taj Gibson are still questionable

Guard Dwight Lewis is still trying to get back from a sprained left ankle and forward Taj Gibson missed a second day of practice with pneumonia.

January 28, 2009|Chris Foster

There is plenty of uncertainty surrounding the USC basketball team this week. Guard Dwight Lewis is still trying to get back from a sprained left ankle and forward Taj Gibson missed a second day of practice with pneumonia.

That could leave the Trojans without their top two scorers for games against Stanford on Thursday and California on Saturday.

Lewis, out the last two games, tested his ankle during practice Tuesday.

Gibson was treated with medication and has been given IVs because of dehydration. He has not required hospitalization, trainer David Borchardt because, "we think we caught it early."

As to Gibson's availability, Borchardt said, "It could take three days or it can take five."

Gibson averages 14.7 points and 10.4 rebounds a game. He is third in the Pacific 10 Conference in rebounding. Lewis averages 15.8 points and is among the team's top perimeter defenders.

Lewis said he would be available for Thursday's game and Floyd said, "I assume he is close to 100% as he did not go to treatment today."

Lewis did a shoot-around, then was checked. He went through most of practice before leaving the court.

"I don't have pain. I'm good to play," Lewis said. "The team has done well without me, but I want to get in there and help any way I can. It's not a necessity that I play, but I'm ready."

The Trojans were also without point guard Daniel Hackett on Tuesday, as he missed practice with flu.

"Last week allowed us to look at different lineups," Floyd said. "We looked very big against Washington State with three 6-10 guys starting."

Marcus Johnson had eight points in the loss to Washington and seven in the victory over Washington State last week. Nikola Vucevic had eight points and five rebounds against Washington State.

"Preferably, we'd love to have Dwight back and increase our depth by playing those other guys," Floyd said.

Washington slowed

Power forward Leonard Washington practiced, but he is struggling to recover from a high ankle sprain, suffered against Georgia Tech on Dec. 22.

"He is a shadow of what he was before," Floyd said. "He's probably 50%."

Stat sheet

USC leads the conference in field-goal percentage defense. Opponents are shooting 39.8%. . . . Whereas the basketball team scored 48 points in 40 minutes against Washington State last week, the USC football team scored 48 points in 39 minutes 35 seconds against the Cougars last fall.

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chris.foster@latimes.com

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