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The Final Drive - Game Day Notes

So the regular season ends today with USC playing Stanford at the Galen Center. The game will be on CBS at 11:00am PST.

I want to see SC win and finish strong. It has been reported that if SC wins and Wazzu loses that SC would be in sole possession of third place. It was also reported that the Pac-10 tournament schedule does not favor the third place team who would get 8 hours less sleep between games. That's the least of my worries these kids will be playing on sheer adrenalin so I'm not sure if the extra 8 hours would help anyway.

SC just needs to play some solid basketball and finish the season on a strong note. As I have said before the more wins the better, why take a chance with a fickle selection committee just keep winning and solidify your position. Stanford will come to play and want to wash the bad taste out of their mouth of their tough loss to ucla. BTW, that was a terrible call, there may have been some minimal body contact but not enough to justify a whistle that late in the game. Pac-10 officials continue to embarrass all of college basketball.

We all know that this will be Mayo's last home game before the post season gets underway and he is being no-committal as to what his future plans are.

Ask O. J. Mayo if he considers today's game something of an honorary Senior Day sendoff because he's out of here, one-and-done with the other NBA lottery picks in this freshman class, and you get a straight answer, and as almost always, with a grin: "No comment."

Mayo isn't talking about what comes next -- unless it's playing at Staples Center for the first time in next week's Pac-10 tournament.

"It'll be a great experience," he said, but right now "my focus is on Stanford."

This kid has not turned out to be anything like his critics thought he would be. He has said all the right things he has done all the right things and he never put SC in a bad light. I will admit I was one of those who had my doubts but Mayo has completely proved me wrong. I wonder if guys like Michael Wilbon will take back the harsh words they had for Mayo at the beginning of the season.

Of course we will also keep our eyes on the futures of both Taj Gibson and Davon Jefferson. Personally I think all three need another year in school but that's not happening and the question will be who will leave with Mayo.

Gibson has shown a lot of improvement in the second half of the season.

Despite going against the likes of Cal's 6-foot-11 DeVon Hardin and 6-10 Ryan Anderson on Thursday and Stanford's 7-foot Lopez twins today, Gibson leads the Pac-10 for conference games in both field goal percentage (.664) and blocked shots (46). That puts him just ahead of No. 2 Brook Lopez (2.41) and No. 3, brother Robin Lopez (2.00).

Gibson will look at the NBA hard and I'm pretty sure he will go. Of the three Jefferson needs the most work but there is no question that he has some raw talent and athleticism.

Anyway we are a few weeks away before that is all settled.

There was some clarification this morning in regards to the WSJ article that I wrote about last night.

(claiming he was misquoted)

Don Wetherell said he had heard from other sources that Miller and DeRozan, who will both be freshmen next season at USC, were a package deal, a contention that Coach Tim Floyd has denied.

Nevertheless, Wetherell said his son welcomed Miller even though it meant there would be one fewer available scholarship.

"Sure, my son wishes there was less competition for scholarships, but whether he gets one is not determined by 'Little Romeo,' " Don Wetherell said. "And he thinks it's going to be fun to have a guy who's a celebrity on the team.

I understand that Wetherell will defend his son but doing it in the papers is not how it's done. He actually may have hurt the situation more by trying to back. If he has a problem why not discuss t with coach Floyd privately?

Moving on...(hopefully)

Finally, just a couple of other basketball things.

PB over at BON has a great write-up on his first trip to Pauley Pavilion. Regardless of your feelings towards ucla if you are a sports fan it should be a must see on your list, as it is one of the 2 or 3 college gyms you should see. Also, check out PB's mobile post on his trip to Pauley. This is something new we are working on at SBN and I see a lot of promise for this in the future.

Lastly, I want to direct you to this post here on BN. I don't usually link them up but this way too important not to, as it shows that there is so much more to our respective lives than a petty rivalry. I kept in touch with Insomniac during this tough time offering what I could in moral support and just checking in on how he and his little man were doing. I couldn't be happier for him and I am thankful that the little man is doing better. He has a way to go yet but from the pictures in the post he looks to on the right track. Heck, even I admit that I'm jealous that he gets to hang with those ucla hotties. Good for him! I'm just glad that he has turned the corner for the better.

A big FIGHT ON! to Tyler!

I will have the game thread up later today.