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Post Game Thoughts Arizona State vs. USC


Arizona State

Arizona State at USC




Young and Hackett Scrapping for the Ball
Photo:Gina Ferazzi-LAT
It’s obvious that there is a lot of buzz with this team right now. A competitive SC hoops program is good for everyone concerned as it further elevates the Pac 10 and forces other teams in the Pac 10 to adjust their game and take us seriously. I still believe we have a long way to go but how could you not be pleased and excited by the results that we are seeing? Each team sets goals for the season and fans always set their expectations high so it’s a real treat to see SC finally play some competitive ball.

We need to play our game and not worry about what other teams are doing or how we are being perceived. Coach Floyd has had to overcome a lot of adversity in order to bring this team together. We don’t have a tradition in college hoops as some do and I’m not necessarily sure that is a bad thing. Tradition, while an important part of the overall equation, sometimes place an undue burden on a programs effectiveness. Expectations, at times, can unattainable yet most everyone that I have talked to about SC Hoops, and there have been a lot as I try to educate myself in this sport, have pretty much said the same thing: take it one step at a time and lets play our game and let the chips fall where they may. I think its obvious that many SC hoops fans took a wait and see approach after the tragic death of Ryan Francis and the academic issues Gabe Pruitt but this team has come together and they are starting to make some noise.

We aren’t yet the dominant team in the Pac 10 and we have a long way to go before we can pry that title from you-know-who. But as I have said before you have to start somewhere and this is as good a place as any. You would expect our cross-town rivals to have the national attention that they are receiving. Ben Howland is a great coach who has put a great team together and with one of the top recruits coming to Westwood next year it’s obvious that they don’t plan to go away quietly anytime soon. But with that in mind SC is also trying to make a statement with the commitment of O.J. Mayo. I realize he will probably be one and done but just getting him to commit was real accomplishment and SC needs to make the most of it.

USC’s win over Arizona St. last night may have ranked them in the Top 25 for the first time since 2002.

As the Trojans let the final 30 seconds run off the clock, Nick Young waved both arms in the air, urging the crowd on their feet.

Most of the 5,824 fans at Galen Center were a step ahead of him, already showing their appreciation for the Trojans closing out a victory that could have them nationally ranked for the first time in nearly five years.

USC avoided a letdown following its upset of No.11 Arizona Thursday by handing cellar-dwelling Arizona State a 58-49 loss Saturday.

"Oh yeah, I'm going to check it out," Young said of the next Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today coaches' polls due out Monday. "We've all been checking them out. We're excited about the way we've been playing and want to see that Top 25. I (haven't) been ranked since I've been here."

The last time USC was nationally ranked was in March 2002.

I don’t know if I would call this win impressive but it is a win and sometimes ugly wins drive the message home harder than a convincing win. In the first half SC looked to have things well in control building up a 30-18 half-time lead. In the second half it looked like the air was coming out of the balloon as it looked like a letdown was in the making. It looked like SC was getting beat on the boards and their shooting from the field all of a sudden went cold.

The Trojans (15-5, 5-2 Pacific-10 Conference), who were listed in the middle of the pack among the "other teams receiving votes" in both polls last week, are on the cusp of breaking into the Top 25 after having beaten four ranked teams in their past eight games.

A game that was supposed to be a breather from a difficult Pac-10 schedule got a little too interesting in the second half.

Derek Glasser, who had said he would attend USC last year before deciding to head to Arizona State, hit a 3-pointer to narrow a once 14-point Trojans lead to 39-34.

Taj Gibson scored USC's next four points to spark an 8-0 run.

The Sun Devils (6-13, 0-8) got back within 53-46 with 1:27 remaining on an inside basket by Jeff Pendergraph.

This game wasn’t without a bit of a scare either as Gabe Pruitt "tweaked" his ankle with around 3 minutes left in the game. We’ve been down this road before when he broke a bone in his knee last season. Pruitt shrugged it off as no big deal as he expects to play Thursday Stanford.

This is a Good win as we avoided a letdown from a great win against Arizona. Lets keep it up!