This is the reason why the Pac-10 in general always gets a bad wrap...tonight's game starts at 8:30 PST.
A night owl special because of television, this game will start at 11:30 p.m. on the East Coast. That kind of national exposure is probably a reason the Pacific 10 Conference is considered to be having a down year. Not that USC Coach Tim Floyd buys into any of that talk. "Anyone who says the Pac-10 is weak, I don't know what they're watching," Floyd said after a 70-69 victory over Stanford on Thursday. "Arizona, our eighth-place team, has wins against Kansas and Gonzaga, and they beat Washington, our first-place team." California, which won its first four conference games, has lost three of its last four, including an 81-66 decision at UCLA on Thursday.
Sorry Tim, but nobody east of Phoenix saw that game on Thursday. I DVR'd it and I still haven't watched it
There is no way I am going to stay up to watch this game tonight especially with a house full of people coming over for the Super Bowl, I've got too much to do. I mean with respect to Cal they are still adjusting to new coach Mike Montgomery's system so to me regardless of who wins its not like I'm missing much.
With SC winning another nail-biter on Thursday the big question tonight is will they have enough in the tank tonight when they take on Cal at The Galen Center.
The Trojans are one game out of first place in the Pacific 10 Conference heading into tonight's game against California. But Floyd will need contributions from his reserves through the grind of conference play for USC to stay in contention.
The Trojans' depth has been hit and miss all season, and an issue of increasing importance in the later stages of the season.
"It's important to every team," Floyd said. "The X-factor in developing a bench is that almost every game we have played has been close. You have to rely on guys you can trust in certain situations."
Floyd is trying to expand that circle of trust.
It seems like injuries and a lack of depth have once again put this team on the verge of imploding. You can keep going to the well in these types of games and expect the team to always come out on top. Sooner or later the levy is going to break. Don't get me wrong, its wins like the one on thursday that build the character of a team but there also has to be some balance and SC always seems to walking a fine line.
About that lack of depth...
Now what kind of shape will the team's two most important figures be in when the Trojans (14-6, 5-3) take on the Golden Bears (16-5, 5-3) at the Galen Center?
The question takes on a crucial tone since USC has struggled mightily with its depth this season. Guard Donte Smith has not fit in as Hackett's backup, and USC's frontcourt reserves, particularly Keith Wilkinson and freshman Nikola Vucevic, don't have the post presence of Gibson.
Even with all the bumps and bruises and viruses that have plagued the team of late I was pleased that they really hung in there for the whole game on Thursday. Cal comes in after a bad loss to ucla so you know they are looking to get out of L.A. with a split and with a 3-way tie for 2nd place you know Cal is coming in motivated. As I write this ucla is abosolutely smoking Stanford so it would appear they are back on track so whoever wins tonight will at least be close to the top.
For those of you interested there will be a game thread up later on tonight.