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Basketball Notes

AO wrote up the game summary on SC's win last night over The Citadel, so make sure you check it out.

From the OC Register:

The Trojans (1-1) never trailed as they bounced back from a shocking loss to Mercer to open the season.

Hackett, who missed the opener because of a broken jaw, made his first shot, a 3-pointer. Demetrius Nelson hit two free throws on the next possession for the Bulldogs (1-2), who then went cold.

USC scored the next 19 points to take a 22-2 lead with eight minutes left in the half. The Trojans shot 60 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, while the Bulldogs made just 7 of 27 shots.

The Trojans led by 15 at halftime and the 27-point final margin matched their biggest lead of the game.

I am not going to get all worked up over this win other than the fact that it was SC's first win in this young season The citadel isn't very good and their shooting showed it.. The loss to Mercer, while disappointing, also didn't surprise me as this young team finds a way to come together.

It was a game that SC handled in a fairly routine manner even though the Cadets tried to find a way to rattle O.J. Mayo. Mayo is going to have to go through that all season but for now it seems that he is handling it just fine.

The cadets came equipped with signs reading, "Please don't assault our refs" and "Mayo: The Next Michael Vick." One even held up a poster with a picture of Mayo alongside a mug shot of O.J. Simpson.

Mayo drew a suspension as a high school senior for making contact with a referee and was cited for marijuana possession, a citation that was later dropped.

Whatever...the best way to thumb your nose at it is win and that is just what SC did.

As mentioned above, it was also nice to see Daniel Hackett back on the court as he returned from being out with a broken jaw that he received from Mayo in a pickup game in the summer.

After missing USC's upset loss to Mercer in its opener while recovering from a broken jaw, Hackett packed a wallop in his return, leading the Trojans to a 74-47 victory over the Citadel on Thursday night at McAlister Field House.

A surprise addition to the starting lineup, Hackett scored a career-high 21 points in 29 minutes and fueled the Trojans' game-opening 22-2 run that proved insurmountable. He made nine of 12 shots and had three assists and three steals.

"It took a weight off my shoulder," said Hackett, who joined a reconfigured starting lineup that also included redshirt freshman Kasey Cunningham in addition to regulars Taj Gibson, O.J. Mayo and Dwight Lewis.

Hackett's experience and leadership will be key as the season starts to take shape. To me it will be imperative that both he and Taj Gibson use their experience from last season to help the freshman settle into their game and provide some stability on the court. A lot has been placed on this team this season, probably unfairly, but with all the inexperience that SC has in this raw talent leadership and experience from the upperclassmen will be key in bringing this team together.

There is a lot of pressure on Mayo as well, as he is expected to try and fill the roles of both Young and Pruitt. Davon Jefferson has also yet to take the court in for reasons that have been described by coach Floyd as "lagging in his conditioning and understanding of team concepts." There has been some speculation that Jefferson may have been suspended by Floyd but that has yet to confirmed. Jefferson's absence also puts undue pressure on the team as he was expected to play an important role on this team. Whatever the reason he needs to get it together and quick so he can be a productive member of this squad. I am tending to believe that Coach Floyd probably did suspend him. He was highly touted and it would seem to me that Floyd's system shouldn't be that difficult to learn for a recruit that is seen by the experts to have a lot of talent. No one said it was going to be easy.

Basketball's early signing period saw SC get to the party with the announcements of who is signing their Letters of Intent.

Basketball Signings

DeMar DeRozan and Romeo Miller announced today they will sign with USC on Monday during a press conference in Beverly Hills. Point guard Donte Smith signed on Wednesday.

Good to hear.

SC plays South Carolina on Saturday in Columbia AO should have a game preview up later tonight or tomorrow.