January 14, 2011 |
Few basketball coaches use a 1-3-1 zone defense. Too risky. It can win its employer games and lose them just as easily. It's seductive, but it's unfaithful. And that's why it's rare. But Oregon State Coach Craig Robinson swears by the high-risk, high-reward half-court trapping scheme that can cause turnovers and produce fastbreak baskets. So far this season, his Beavers (7-9, 2-3 in Pacific 10 Conference play) have produced the statistics to indicate it works ? they lead the nation in steals (11.1)
January 13, 2011 |
Reporting from Eugene, Ore. Money can buy many things ? some even say happiness, if you know where to shop. But Oregon rarely shops. Rockefeller-rich alum and Nike co-founder Phil Knight often just fits the Ducks' bills, no expense spared. His latest donation debuted Thursday night, the pristine Matthew Knight Arena ? named in honor of his late son ? for which he helped pay half of its $200-million cost. And the Ducks delivered "Uncle Phil" and "Matt Court" a 68-62 win against USC, ending a six-game skid to give Oregon, 8-9 overall, its first win in five Pacific 10 Conference games.
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 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.
January 9, 2011 |
In the final seconds, USC forward Nikola Vucevic waved his arms in triumph near midcourt before stepping over to high-five Alex Stepheson. Several feet away, UCLA's Reeves Nelson stood with his hands on his hips. Bruins center Joshua Smith could only sit and stare from the bench. When it came to the battle of the big men Sunday night at the Galen Center, it was advantage, Trojans. A super-sized one. Vucevic scored 20 points on nine-for-16 shooting, and Stepheson logged a double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds during USC's 63-52 victory over the Bruins.
January 8, 2011 |
Most basketball coaches pray for one, just one, grade-A big man . But if a coach has two, as UCLA's Ben Howland has in Joshua Smith and Reeves Nelson and USC's Kevin O'Neill has in Alex Stepheson and Nikola Vucevic, then consider that coach lucky because good big men are hard to find, harder to keep and even harder to stop. Just ask Washington State Coach Ken Bone, whose Cougars recently visited Los Angeles and were feasted on by the L.A. schools' down-low duos. The foursome scored 55 points, grabbed 38 rebounds and threw Bone two losses, which left him gushing, "They're very efficient, very good.
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.
December 30, 2010 |
USC's lock-down defense shut down Washington's high-powered offense Wednesday. It held the Huskies to 35.5 points below their season average by the start of overtime ? and didn't give up a fastbreak point. It forced Washington into 17 turnovers ? after the Huskies committed a total of nine in their two previous games ? and kept star guard Isaiah Thomas (10 points, six turnovers) in check. But that all went for naught in an 73-67 loss, forcing USC (8-6, 0-1 in conference play)
December 29, 2010 |
As USC basketball Coach Kevin O'Neill walked into his news conference Thursday night, still trying to swallow his team's 73-67 overtime loss to Washington, he muttered, simply, "Guess we're not top-20 like everyone thought. " The Trojans (8-6) entered their Pacific 10 Conference opener with momentum, having won four of five, including beating two ranked teams. And they had started to believe, along with a growing audience, that they were better than the predicted sixth-place league finish designated for them in the preseason.
December 23, 2010 |
From the mid-size town of Bethlehem (Pa.), Lehigh entered the Galen Center on Thursday, offering USC a potential letdown threat the night before the night before Christmas. But instead of letting down two days after a narrow upset at Tennessee, the Trojans issued a start-to-finish beatdown, the 76-49 romp handing Coach Kevin O'Neill an early present and USC its fourth win in five games. "We've come a long way from when we were at TCU," O'Neill said. "We're really making some strides.