I think a lot of people may be dissappointed with the outcome of this game, despite the fact that the Trojans picked up the win. USC entered the game as a double digit favorite and was down by as much as 12 points in the first half. In fact, SC had its first lead of the entire game with just seconds to go in the first half. But while it may be fair to be a bit disappointed, I think that those fans would be missing the greater point entirely.
This game was the first game of the entire season where both Dwight Lewis and Daniel Hackett overcame their early struggles and came back with dominant performances. So far this year Taj has been playing extremely well and San Francisco's game plan was basically to take him out of the game, forcing Hackett and Lewis to make the plays happen on offense. At the beginning the shots were just not falling and when USF built a double digit lead I was certain those two would go into a funk and that the game was lost. Instead our veteran guards showed great leadership and gritted out a tough win against a better than expected opponent.
I may be getting a little over the top here, but I really think this game may serve as a turning point for this team. Taj has certainly shown the right stuff during the early part of the season, and now Dwight and Daniel have also shown the toughness to take over and pull out a win in a close game. This is doubly important considering that SC currently has three first year players (Derozan, Washington, and Smith) who are seeing serious minutes on the court. Hopefully the veteran players can maintain this same poise and effectiveness against a very good Oklahoma team this Thursday night. Fight On!