Lets Keep Focused

With SC's big win against Oregon on Thursday they now turn their attention to Oregon St. the Beavers are 0-14 in the Pac-10 and they have struggled game in and game out. It is always easy to over look an opponent who is struggling and this time is no different.

The phrases "Arizona State" and "last year" entered the discussion Friday as USC prepared to face another Pacific 10 Conference team with an uh-oh-and-14 conference record.

It was almost exactly a year ago that the Trojans traveled to Tempe, Ariz., and emerged with a 68-58 loss that provided the Sun Devils their first Pac-10 victory after 14 consecutive losses to open conference play.

Tonight at the Galen Center, USC faces an Oregon State team that is 0-14 in the Pac-10 and has lost 16 consecutive games overall.

There is one significant difference between last season's Sun Devils and this season's Beavers: Arizona State routinely challenged its opponents and Oregon State has lost its 14 conference games by an average of 18 points, including a 68-44 defeat against USC on Jan. 24 in Corvallis.

I would agree that there is a difference between this year and last year but that doesn't mean SC can take the Beavers lightly. If they want to make the tournament they need to beat the teams they are supposed to beat and be competitive against those that are better than us.

Having not seen the Oregon game it is apparent that coach Floyd may have found the right mix now that Daniel Hackett is pretty much done for the season. Of course I would like to see of they can get same sort of results against a tougher opponent but if Floyd can achieve the same results tonight like he did with the line-up on Thursday the we might have something to help us get to the tournament. Taking the pressure off of Mayo seems to be the right approach as there is only so much he can do.

The Trojans got unexpected contributions from freshman guard Angelo Johnson, who scored 14 points and made a key steal in the final minute, and junior forward Keith Wilkinson, who finished with a career-high 11 rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.

They also proved they could win without sophomore guard Daniel Hackett, who is sidelined indefinitely by a stress fracture in his lower back. USC had been 0-3 in games in which he sat out or barely played.

The Trojans improved to 16-9 overall and 7-6 in the Pacific 10 Conference, moving into sole possession of fourth place in the conference standings.

"That was the best second half we've played this year on both ends," said USC Coach Tim Floyd, whose team wiped out a nine-point halftime deficit. "We certainly needed it."

Again, this team can't take any team lightly regardless of their record so they need to keep focused on what they need to do and not be distracted by anything other than playing their own game. going forward we still need 3-4 wins to make the tournament but to me that is only part of the battle, if we make the tournament we need to play our best game and not get eliminated early but we'll worry about that when the time comes.

I will have a game thread up later.

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