With USC's phenominal run in the Pac-10 tournament it shouldn't surprise anyone that some on the team might be a little bit tired...
USC's Marcus Simmons was alive and well, and upright, Monday afternoon.
It was a dramatic change from when he was last seen, ice packs on his left ankle and left knee after spending three days chasing around smaller guards in the Pacific 10 Conference tournament.
From California's Jerome Randle to UCLA's Darren Collision to Arizona State's Derek Glasser, it was a tiring, but rewarding, weekend for Simmons.
"After that last game, I was exhausted," the 6-foot-6 sophomore said. "I needed a day off."
Simmons earned it.
You bet he did.
While DeMar DeRozan was the offensive player of the tournament and with Taj Gibson the favorite for the defensive player of the tournament it can easily be said that Simmons was the
not so invisible man for USC. His stellar defense was one of the keys to USC's improbable run to the Pac-10 Tournament title.
USC will face Boston College on Friday in Minneapolis. BC is led by Tyrese Rice, a 6'-1" senior averaged 17.1 points and 5.4 assists per game during the regular season. When he is on the theam feeds off his energy. You can just about gurantee that Simmons will be called upon once again to guard the opposing teams best player. The other player to key ion on will be center Josh Southern. Southern, at 6-10 and 242 pounds, might the "big man" on the team but he has been streaky and is not considered a consistent scorer at this point in his career.
Southern, it would appear, also likes to run his mouth...
"I know that they have some athleticism, but maybe they're lacking a little toughness," Southern said. "We have some toughness on this team and we've demonstrated that over the course of the season."
I give BC credit for some solid wins against UNC and Duke, but they also lost to Harvard- at home so it's not like BC are a bunch of world beaters.
...the Eagles (22-11), who finished tied for sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference and have a blue-chip victory over then-No. 1 North Carolina on the road and a red-faced loss to Harvard three days later at home. The Eagles lost four of their last six regular-season games, then lost to Duke in the second round of the ACC tournament.
USC is in because they won the Pac-10 Tourney and I think its safe to say that they probably would not have made it had they not won it all so Josh Southern needs to settle down and not get carried away...it would appear that he is looking ahead to Michigan State. When USC is on they are tough to beat. One interesting stat that was mentioned under the announcers breath on Saturday was that USC is 7-0 when everyone is healthy...we are pretty much there now and while I thought SC might have their bubble burst in the Pac-10 Tourney I am not prepared to say that now...I think this team is now focused with a new resurgence after Saturday.
A little more...
That puts Boston College in the what-gives category with the Trojans (21-12), who lost six of seven games in February, then gritted out three games in three days to win the conference tournament.
Right now I think this game is a pick 'em. SC has had their issues this season but they have the hot hand right now. Of course a let down can come at any moment after playing on such a high level of adrenalin while BC has just kind of moved along kind of under the radar.
SC has really showed some grit this past week...
Pick your cliche' SC has lived it. They have a real shot at making some noise in the tournament they just need to keep it up. Because they they threw everything including the kitchen sink the past week. This team is tough...a lot tougher than Josh Southern gives them credit for...lets hope we make him eat his words.