Final Score: USC 58, #4 Washington State 73
Current Record: 9-6 (0-3)
Current Ranking: Not Ranked
Next Up: Washington (Sat.)
I'm as disappointed as anyone from tonight's game. Like I mentioned in the game preview, I really felt we had a good shot to pull off the upset. Apart from our sloppy play, I thought the absence of Davon Jefferson really hurt us in this game. I'm not sure why he was benched, but he was one of the mismatches I was hoping would be difference in this game. But excuses aside, we played a pathetic 2nd half and the Cougs deserved every single bit of this win. This was the first time all season I saw our players whine and throw up their hands after every negative play; it was astounding to me how unfocused our team was coming into this game. The play where Aron Baynes scored a dunk off of a breakdown in the half-court press and then Kyle Weaver followed it up by stealing the in-bound pass for a dunk pretty much sealed it for me. It epitomized tonight's game and it seemed like the players gave up after that play.
As much as I'm sickened by our play tonight, I'm just as equally disturbed by the response of some fans. Our team deserves to be criticized, but it's almost amusing how some fans are trying to place blame squarely on the shoulders of specific players. It isn't the fault of any single player that we don't have a solid low-post presence. Believe me, I have a few select players on the team that I feel should be benched for the rest of the year, but I know it's plain stupid to blame our current slide on them squarely. Early in the year I felt this team could compensate for lack of size with athleticism, but at this point I've been very wrong. I still feel we're not pushing the ball hard enough on the break and playing too much on the perimeter, but I trust Coach Floyd's judgment on the gameplans. Some fans have already packed it in and given up on the season, and this is the perfect time for the rest of you who are on the fence to hop off the bandwagon, but I still believe this is a tourney team. Maybe my feelings will change 4 or 5 games from now, but I still believe it's too early to be conclusive about this team.