February 27, 2010 |
Senior day tradition dictates that Mom and Dad will cry, so pack extra tissues. Chin up, chest out, dry eyes only. "I'm not going to cry," USC guard Dwight Lewis said. "It won't hit me until after." That's when Lewis will lose his cool, when the final buzzer sounds after USC's game against Oregon State on Saturday. That's when he'll join parents Rosa and the elder Dwight Lewis. They'll cry, hold each other and smile. It won't be the Lewis most people see, the laid-back player with the Southern drawl that rolls off his tongue like a smooth jazz tune from Bourbon Street.
February 26, 2010 |
Help, USC needs somebody . . . Help, not just anybody . . . No, to be specific, only help from California and Arizona State would do now for the Trojans -- that is, if they want to end their tumultuous season with an improbable league title win following Thursday's 54-44 loss to Oregon. Before the loss, USC needed just to win out and have California lose one game to be assured at least a share of the title. But now, the Trojans (16-11 overall, 8-7 in Pacific 10 Conference)
February 24, 2010 |
USC can beat the best, but not the worst this season. The Trojans are 7-1 versus the Pacific 10 Conference's top six teams and 1-5 against the current bottom four. USC Coach Kevin O'Neill's quick explanation was "most of those [losses] came on the road." USC's losses to Oregon, Oregon State and Stanford all came on the road, while Washington State beat USC both home and away. "The important thing," O'Neill continued, "is that we've been in every game with a chance to win it."
February 20, 2010 |
Coaches sell their idea on how to win all the time. If players believe, they buy. If not, they move on. When USC hired Kevin O'Neill last June as its basketball coach, his pitch was clear: "We're going to be a great defensive team," he said. Not "try to be." Not "strive to be." But "going to be," as if no other option existed. "He demands it," USC guard Mike Gerrity said. "And if you want to play, you're going to buy into the system. If you're not playing defense, you're not going to be on the floor."
February 19, 2010 |
USC walked into Bank of America Arena as if it owned the joint Thursday, made itself comfortable, then bullied and bloodied the Washington Huskies before stealing a rare road win it nearly gave away. Mike Gerrity hit a clutch jumper with 15.2 seconds left to put USC up 65-61. Following a timeout, two Washington players missed desperation shots, and Dwight Lewis grabbed a key rebound and secured the 67-64 win with two free throws. For USC (16-9 overall, 8-5 in Pacific 10 Conference)
February 17, 2010 |
Blame cardboard-consistency airline food, unfamiliar beds and large quantities of opposing fans. But blame something, because Pacific 10 Conference teams don't travel well. Home teams are 44-19, with USC's Thursday night's matchup with Washington in Seattle featuring a paradoxical pair: Washington is 16-1 at home and 1-6 on the road. USC is 11-3 at home and 1-6 on the road. USC Coach Kevin O'Neill said the conference's lack of teams with veteran players, aside from California, the Pac-10 leader at 9-4, is why no team has fared well on the road.