clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Basketball Notes

It will be an all SC evening!

After SC beats ASU in Tempe the Basketball team will play USD in the Anaheim Classic. As we saw against Mercer, you can't take any team for granted so Coach Floyd is a little wary of this San Diego team.

"They are capable of beating us and they are capable of beating anybody in this tournament," Floyd said of the Toreros, who beat Hawaii on the road before suffering narrow losses to Nevada Las Vegas and San Diego State.

San Diego features two of the top players in the West Coast Conference in junior center Gyno Pomare and junior point guard Brandon Johnson. Pomare is averaging 17.3 points and 9.3 rebounds and Johnson is averaging 15.8 points and 4.0 assists.

SC continues to struggle with injuries as Marcus Simmons will sit to rest his sprained ankle, Kyle will sit with a back injury though Kasey Cunningham will be available after spraining his knee. Further complicating things, AO mentioned in his game review, is that Davon Jefferson still is not ready to go and that hurts us as well. I agree that Jefferson shouldn't play until he is up to speed and has earned playing time. He needs to get up to speed and soon.

The frustrating thing so far in this young season is that we are still not sure what team will show up at these games. The injuries we have make it difficult for this team to find its identity as is discussed in the Daily News yesterday.

"We had no identity going into last weekend, and we started to form an identity, which I think all good teams have," Floyd said. "We tried to view it as an opportunity to teach about a belief system and how we want to go play."

That will be tested. As the Trojans move along and the roster is bolstered, playing time and finding the right combinations will become an issue.

"(The identity) will be at risk as we bring along new players," Floyd said. "There will be guys coming in that don't understand that. We'll have to live with some mistakes as we integrate those guys into play for the first time.

SC doesn't have the advantage that ucla has with its stocked roster and its ability to plug experienced players in when one goes down. SC is a very young team and if Young and Pruitt stayed for their final season this team would look significantly different. It is what it is and we can't worry about the past. We are fortunate to have both Hackett and Gibson on the squad to help settle things down and help the freshman along. Of course this teams youth is underscored by the fact that both Hackett and Gibson are only sophomores and they both in a position of prominence on this team. That's how young we are.

Speaking of Daniel Hackett, he was named Sporting News player of the week.

In USC's 74-47 win at the Citadel on Nov. 15, Hackett's first game back, he scored a career-high 21 points, hitting nine of 12 shots. He followed that up with new career highs in points (22), rebounds (10) and assists (10) in the 85-75 win at South Carolina on Nov. 17. Hackett's triple-double was the first by a Trojan in at least 30 seasons. He also did not have a turnover in the victory at South Carolina.

Hackett, along with Taj Gibson, will be the two key players that that help this young tam come together. Hackett's great performance against the Gamecocks on Saturday really underscores just how important he is. Congrats Daniel!

USC's 2008 recruiting class is taking shape with the signing of both DeMar DeRozan and Romeo Miller on Monday.

In a scene worthy of a Hollywood movie, rap star Romeo Miller and basketball standout DeMar DeRozan simultaneously signed letters of intent to attend USC on Monday at a lavish news conference at The Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills.

Miller, the Beverly Hills High point guard better known in rap circles as Lil' Romeo, spoke of his desire "to go balling" and attend USC's film school in hopes of eventually being mentioned in the same breath as legendary graduates Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Singleton.

DeRozan, the Compton High guard who is considered one of the top prospects in the country, said he wanted to help put USC's basketball program "back on the map."

The 6-foot-6 DeRozan said Miller, a longtime friend and travel ball companion, took the lead in deciding to become a Trojan, raising the issue of whether USC coaches tried to curry favor with DeRozan by offering the lightly regarded Miller a scholarship.

Donte Smith signed last week.

It would be nice to see SC sign another big man but Coach Floyd is uncertain about the make-up of next years team but is keeping his eyes peeled for a possible signee.