LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11: Jio Fontan #2 of the USC Trojans goes up for a shot against Derrick Williams #23 and Jordin Mayes #20 of the Arizona Wildcats in the second half in the semifinals of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
USC looks to make it two wins in a row when the take on UNLV in Las Vegas...
Here is one preview...
After five games the two things we can comment on regarding Southern California basketball is that scoring hasn’t been a strong point and this team will have to have solid defensive play to win games. We saw both versus Morgan State although both teams shot the ball well at 50% in the half court. The Trojans defense was busy posting ten steals and forcing 23 turnovers leading to a few extra shot opportunities. This game really didn’t need to be as tense at the end if USC had hit their free throws which has been an Achilles Heel to start the season. The Trojans were only 12 of 20 at the line and left too many points on the floor in a one possession game. The Southern Cal offense was a three man attack led my the tandem of Aaron Fuller and Maurice Jones who scored 19 points and 18 points respectively. Greg Allen followed with 14 points off the bench but production from five other players totaled just 14 points.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Here is the write-up from USAToday...
USC is 2-3 after a second-half comeback pushed it to a 65-62 win over Morgan State the last time out. Kevin O'Neal's team won its opener over Cal State Northridge before losing three straight as it fell to Nebraska, San Diego State and Cal Poly. The Trojans are off to a slow start offensively as they are only scoring 56.4 points per game on 40.2 percent shooting from the floor and 25.7 percent shooting from three-point range. At the defensive end, USC is holding opponents to 56.6 points per game and 34.5 percent shooting from the field.
UNLV is off to a 5-0 start as it took down Cal Poly 75-52 in its last outing. The Running Rebels started the year off with wins over Grand Canyon, Nevada, Canisius, and Morgan State. Dave Rice's squad is averaging 83.2 points per game on 49.2 shooting from the floor. The Running Rebels are outrebounding their opponents by an average of 7.2 boards per game. Defensively, UNLV is holding its opponents to 62 points per game and 36.7 percent shooting from the field.
The Trojans are led by their dynamic duo of Aaron Fuller and Maurice Jones. Fuller, a transfer from Iowa, is leading the team in scoring with 15 points per game in his first season at USC and is coming off of his best shooting performance of the year. The junior forward was a sniper from the floor against Morgan State as he shot 7-of-8 from the field on his way to a season- high 19 points. Jones is one of the quicker players in college basketball as opponents have their hands full keeping the 5-7 guard under control. Jones played all 40 minutes against Morgan State and scored 18 points and dished out six assists in the victory.
As usual, the game isn't on my cable provider based on the listings hopefully I can find it on line.
I will have a game thread up later.