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The Patience of Job

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That's what it is going to take for Tim Floyd to turn this team around. I know this team is young and I am more than willing to be patient as they grow together but there is clearly a disconnect with what Tim Floyd is trying to stress in his expectations with this team and how they actually perform on the court.

I could not believe how much standing around I saw last night as WSU ran circles around us. SC has a hard time defending the perimeter while also having trouble converting points on the perimeter, its not very pretty. Team chemistry is a serious issue, as it appears at least to me that that both Gibson and Hackett have not improved their game from last season while there is too much expectation placed on O.J. Mayo to carry this team on his back. Couple that with Davon Jefferson being suspended for last night's game due to either grades or attitude or both, and it make this situation look dire.

Of course as the face of the program its easy to point towards Mayo a the root of the problem.

The supposedly brightest college basketball star in town glittered upon a nationally fourth-ranked team Thursday night.

[...] If the kid's brief pause here is going to be worth it, this was the night it would all start paying off, with USC against Washington State, the freshman lifting a young team and igniting a lukewarm fan base.

I think it's a bit unfair to say that Mayo has hurt this program with his arrival. Some of that has to be on coach Floyd, as he needs to find a way to get these guys to play together. I realize that Mayo is a polarizing figure and that there has been a lot of controversy in regards to his arrival and how he chose SC but the fact is he is here and we should support him regardless of whether he stays 1 year or 4 years.

I also think its is unfair to blame Mayo for all the problems that this team is seeing on the court. There was once again some sloppy fouls in this game committed by others that put Coach Floyd in a bad position of having to go small against an already tough Cougars defense. That's not Mayo's fault, there were a number of turnovers that were not committed by Mayo so he shouldn't be ridiculed for those. Then there is Davon Jefferson, this is not the first time it has been reported that he has had some attitude issues so coach Floyd has address that in the best way he knows how but that isn't Mayo's either.

This team is deficient in a number of areas like in the low-post as without that size in the middle it will be difficult grab a lot of rebounds but we have what we have so we can't cry about it. It is disappointing that Diarra has not progressed following his Hernia repair surgery, he will probably red shirt, but we need to keep moving forward and worry about what could have been.

Some of the players aren't buying into the inexperience excuse:

The current Trojans feature no upperclassmen in their starting lineup and only two juniors, Keith Wilkinson and RouSean Cromwell, coming off the bench. The inexperience has resulted in some inconsistency, with USC playing poorly on defense while surrendering 92 points to California and then struggling to find a rhythm on offense two nights later in the loss to Stanford.

Wilkinson said the Trojans have reached the point of the season where inexperience can no longer be used as an excuse.

"We've gone through this whole year, we're halfway through it now and into Pac-10 play, so I feel like we can't really blame our youth anymore because we've played together and we've had big games like Kansas, Memphis and Oklahoma," he said. "We've just got to get it rolling right now. We've got to get that first Pac-10 win and just keep going from there."

That's fine but I don't agree, Wilkinson was one of those who got into foul trouble early last night so he needs to practice what he preaches.

I am in complete agreement with AO in regards to the fans supporting this team. People seem to miss that we are still young and inexperienced and that we are essentially starting from scratch so the fans need to be more patient.

Injuries continue to be a problem as well and Kyle Austin transferring didn't help matters. I will continue to be patient but its easy for me, I can turn off the TV if I get bummed with what I am watching the team and the coaching staff have to see it through. Lets hope the view changes.