November 27, 2010 |
For the first 20 minutes of its nonconference basketball game against Nebraska on Saturday, USC played nearly fundamentally perfect. The next 20 minutes? Not so much. After building a 20-point lead, the Trojans squandered all of it and more in a 60-58 loss. Nebraska hadn't come back to win from as big of a deficit since its 87-77 overtime win against Kansas State in 1997. It was finalized when USC freshman guard Maurice Jones missed a three-point shot at the buzzer.
January 11, 2011 |
USC has played 76 men's basketball home games at the Galen Center since it opened in 2006, and only four have been sellouts at the 10,258-seat arena. But Sunday's game was the first home sellout that USC won, as the Trojans (10-6, 2-1 in Pacific 10 Conference play) beat crosstown rival UCLA, 63-52. USC players and coaches said the crowd keyed the win, and even UCLA freshman center Joshua Smith was impressed. "The Galen Center, they have it pretty sweet," Smith said Tuesday.
January 5, 2011 |
Guard Bryce Jones and forward Garrett Jackson are neither gone nor forgotten freshmen at USC, even though both have all but disappeared from the lineup after impressive starts. Jones started USC's first 10 games and averaged 11.2 points in 28.1 minutes. But he has come off the bench in the last five games, averaging only 3.2 points in 12.2 minutes. Jackson hardly played in USC's first three games. But in the next five, he averaged 8.4 points in 16.6 minutes. Since, he has scored a total of four points and averaged 6.3 minutes.
January 2, 2010 |
Growing up, Leonard Washington hated it when people talked trash to him on the basketball court. But Washington, who became academically eligible for USC on Dec. 22, doesn't much abide by the Golden Rule. The USC sophomore forward loves to run his mouth and openly acknowledges he's a "bully" on the hardwood who loves to bang his 6-foot-7, 230-pound frame into opponents. "I'll admit that," he said, smiling. It showed in USC's 56-50 win over Arizona, as Washington, who finished with seven points off the bench in 22 minutes, hit the floor on seemingly every possession.
December 11, 2009 |
'Tis the season for giving, and the USC basketball team has been most charitable, giving opponents a hefty bounty of extra possessions this month -- 61 turnovers in three games. Two of those were losses against ranked teams from Texas and Georgia Tech, the third a win over Sacramento State on Tuesday when the Trojans had a season-high 25 turnovers. It's a problem, but one Coach Kevin O'Neill said won't be fixed quickly; the team is short-handed and waiting for two players to become eligible.
February 10, 2011 |
Kevin O'Neill boiled the eight games his team had left into a mini-season. Then USC's coach gathered his players during their first practice after last week's loss to UCLA and spread the word. Win half, plus maybe an extra win or two to be on the safe side, and they'd have enough capital to earn an NIT invitation. But, if not, just stitch some wins together to have steam heading into the Pacific 10 Conference tournament at Staples Center. The Trojans' mini-season opened with Oregon State on Thursday at the Galen Center, and USC took care of business with a 67-56 victory in front of 3,853.
December 11, 2010 |
The Trojans sulked inside their huddle, their double-digit lead whittled away to almost nothing. Their opponent had momentum and energy, needing only a good second-half push to knock a teetering team over. Then, a USC captain spoke up. "It's time to win," senior guard Donte Smith told his teammates. Out of that huddle, Smith did it himself, scoring 14 consecutive points during a game-deciding 14-3 run that gave USC a 60-52 win against Northern Arizona at the Galen Center on Saturday.
January 29, 2011 |
Reporting from Tucson Rotten irony, cruel fate or bad karma, USC can't be sure. But two of its former recruits, two players whose signature on 2009 letters of intent officially made them Trojans, ended up at Arizona and beat them Saturday. Derrick Williams and Lamont Jones each made all six of his shots against the team they nearly joined, and led Arizona to an 82-73 victory at the McKale Center. Williams, a superstar sophomore forward from La Mirada High who has become a national player-of-the-year candidate, scored a game-high 20 points, including 17 in the second half.
February 4, 2010 |
The halfway point of USC's postseason-denied conference basketball season is here -- and some Trojans were happy to apply something of a midterm grade to the team, which is 12-9 overall and 4-5 in Pacific 10 Conference play. Senior guard Dwight Lewis wasn't lenient: C-minus. "I don't think we've put too many whole games together," he said. Fellow senior Mike Gerrity was a tad more generous: B-minus. "I think we've had some good spurts along the way," he said. Coach Kevin O'Neill gave his team an "A" for effort, the only category he cares about.
January 10, 2011 |
On Sunday, USC's Kevin O'Neill earned something of a hat trick. His Trojans beat crosstown rival UCLA, 63-52, for the third straight time since he was hired as USC's men's basketball coach in 2009. While O'Neill won't downplay his recent success against UCLA and Bruins Coach Ben Howland, he won't say he has Howland's number, either. "No, I don't think that at all," O'Neill said Monday. "I would never be crazy enough to think that. " O'Neill's head-to-head record against Howland is 3-2 overall, the losses coming when he was Arizona's interim head coach in the 2007-08 season.