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USC Basketball: Kansas-63 USC-47... Can't defend that effort


That is what USC scored in the first half of last nights game against Kansas.

That is pretty disappointing.

It is clear that USC is deficient on offense. Fontan is out and we are a young team. But we have also seen some pretty good defensive performances, last night wasn't one of them.

Still, 13-points is embarrassing...

Whatever offensive momentum USC had from scoring a season-high 83 points in its win Monday against Texas Christian didn't last.

Instead, against the always-talented Jayhawks, who drew a slew of NBA scouts and executives, as well as a legion of loyal blue-clad fans, USC fell back into old habits, scoring at a tortoise-like pace.

The first half was USC's lowest-scoring half since O'Neill took over, as the Trojans mustered only 13 points and had just as many turnovers.

"When we turn it over, that's when we really give ourselves some problems," O'Neill said.

After a grinding start, Kansas used a 17-3 run — most of which on fastbreak baskets — to take a 12-point lead at halftime.

I realize it is Kansas, but I thought we could keep it closer.

On a positive note, USC got a commitment for the 2012 class.

Dewayne Russell, a senior point guard at Peoria (Ariz.) High, verbally committed to USC on Thursday while the 5-foot-10 guard was on campus for a visit, he said in a phone interview.

"It just feel like it's a good fit for me," said Russell, a four-year starter who is averaging 28.5 points, 5.6 assist, 5.1 steals and 3.3 rebounds this season for the 11-0 Panthers.

Hopefully he sticks.

Pac-12 conference play starts next week...