One problem with USC is that this year like last is that the team is trying to finad an identity. Gibson and Hackett are clearly the faces of the program as they are into their third year at USC. Last year we were star struck with OJ Mayo and pleased, for the most part, with Davon Jefferson and the performance they put forth.
Both are gone and now SC has new faces with DeMar DeRozan and Leonard Washington. How Tim Floyd is able to secure this type of talent is impressive but not without a price. Both Mayo and Jefferson were one and done with Mayo going high in the draft and Jefferson....well who knows where Jefferson is now. We all know the issues with Mayo so there is no need to discuss that here.
With the issues that swirled around the Mayo mess it was surprising that Tim Floyd was able to get DeRozan to commit. Most everyone thinks that DeRozan will be one and done but unless he gets to that Mayo type of production he may end up staying for an extra year. Washington's commitment on the other hand was iffy at best. He had academic issues and he then he waffled on his commitment but in the end he was acdemically cleared and he honored his commitment to USC.
But is it worth it?
The cheap shot that that Washington committed on Blake Griffin was an embarrasment on many levels for all the obvious reasons and regardless of why he did it there is simply no excuse for him to go down that road. What makes it even more embarassing is that Washington actually tried convince Tim Floyd that he didn't do it.
Washington was ejected after officials huddled to see replays of his elbow striking Griffin below the waistline as the Trojans prepared to set up their offense.
"What do you think he said? 'I didn't do it,' " said Trojans Coach Tim Floyd, who didn't see the play happen live. "He's a freshman. He doesn't know that we film everything. But he's a good guy."
These guys never watch Sports Center. They have never seen replays of all the plays on from all the differrent angles....right.
That's a thug move...period. And Washington should be benched by Tim Floyd because of it.
USC basketball is having a hard enough time trying establish a positive identity especially after the Mayo mess and this doesn't help things. The other problem I have is that the press is out there saying that SC really hung tough in only losing by one point. Well, if you look at that carefully the run that SC went on that got them back in the game started right after Blake Griffin went to the bench after he shot the free-throws because of Washington's cheap shot. If it never happened would SC have made that run to get back into the game? Hard to say but becuse they did it AFTER Griffin went to the bench to me its tainted. SC was holding their own but it was clear that OU was getting the upper hand, if Griffin was on the floor it could have really gotten out of hand.
I realize that SC is wants to claim their share of the college hoops headlines in LA but this is not the way to do it and this only perpetuates the opinion that SC will only be able to recruit players with questionable actions both on and off the court. SC has enough things to deal with without tarnishing their image more with a thug play on national T.V.
Tim Floyd needs to send a strong messasge that this will not be tolerated.