Friday, February 29, 2008

USC beats down Arizona

This picture (from ESPN) sums up the entire game for the Wildcats, whose top two scorers (freshman guard Jerryd Bayless and sophomore wing man Chase Budinger) were held to a combined 15 points, as the Trojans smothered them defensively all night. USC Coach Tim Floyd and his staff put together a great game-plan, keeping the Wildcats off balance by often playing that unconventional "Triangle and 2" defense, which achieved its purpose of taking Arizona's two big stars out of the game and forcing one of the other Wildcats to beat them. The win all but guarantees an NCAA Tournament bid for the Trojans, who improved their record to (18-9 overall, 9-6 Pac-10), and adds to their impresive list of Pac-10 road victories which already included fucla and Oregon. USC was able to frustrate Jerryd Bayless, who sat out with foul trouble early in the game, and held him to one of his worst games of his young career. O.J. Mayo turned in his 3rd straight outstanding performance since the fucla game, playing all 40 minutes and finishing with 21 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds. ESPN's Jay Bilas noted the maturation and development of Mayo as a player and his in-game decision making. Mayo read his screens well and was not hesitant to take the shot or drop it down to either Taj Gibson (14 points) or Davon Jefferson (15 points, 14 rebounds). Daniel Hackett returned from his back injury and played 24 quality minutes, including some clutch play down the stretch. This was a big win for the Trojans, and can now clinch a top 4 finish in the Pac-10 with a win on Saturday at Arizona State.

Tomorrow's game is apparently at noon (Pacific Time), so hopefully the early start won't throw off the team and will provide ample time for them to heal and rest up. ASU (17-10, 7-8) is two games back of the Trojans in Pac-10 play and is reeling after getting crushed by fucla for the 2nd time this season on Thursday 70-49. The Sun Devils are on that NCAA Bubble and need to win a few more games to solidify their spot. Let's get that desert sweep guys.

Fight On! Beat the Devils!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A round of OJ Mayos anyone?

As disgusting as that looks... I already know I'm gonna try one. Anyone else down? RG3?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hackett cleared, may play tomorrow

Trojan sophomore guard Daniel Hackett is set to resume practice and could see action this weekend against the Arizona schools. Hackett is probably the steadiest and most important player on this team. On the court, USC has missed his defense, rebounding, ball-handling, toughness, and leadership, but his absence has also given freshman PG Angelo Johnson more time to develop. Johnson has played nearly every minute of every game since Hackett went down with that back injury on January 31st against Arizona. Johnson appears to finding his comfort level and has been steadily knocking down open jump shots thanks to the attention O.J. Mayo regularly draws as well as the dominant play inside from Taj Gibson. Hackett must be ready to go because any back injury is a serious one, but don't expect him to come back and start. If Hackett can come in and contribute some quality minutes, then that, along with guard Marcus Simmons' return, means that Coach Tim Floyd can afford to rest the backcourt trio of Johnson, Mayo, and Dwight Lewis without suffering any let down.

As far as Thursday's game goes, we're in for a tough one. Arizona has always been tough to beat at home, so don't expect this one to be any different. The Trojans and the 'Cats have arrived to this game by similar paths. Both teams have played difficult schedules (Arizona ranks #1 nationally in strength of schedule), both teams got off to slow starts in Pac-10 play [U of A (1-3), USC (0-3)], and both teams are also banged up. The Cats are still without guard Nic Wise, who had a big game against the Trojans at Galen Center. USC (17-9, 8-6) is one game ahead of both the Wildcats (17-10, 7-7) and Arizona State, who they play on Saturday, in the Pac-10 standings and can create some separation with a sweep this weekend. Let's go out and get the first one fellas!

The key to tomorrow's game, make Chase Budinger play defense. If he gets matched up against Davon Jefferson, he needs to attack the rim and get him in foul trouble. It is much too difficult to defend both Budinger and PG Jerryd Bayless, so we to get one of them out of the game. Bayless is likely to get his, he's put up 30+ points in a couple of losses, and he always has the ball in his hands, but Budinger can be contained if they try hard enough. Be sure to tune in, the game will be televised nationally on ESPN at 6pm Pacific, hopefully my boy Jay Bilas will call the game.

Fight On! Beat the Wildcats!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

USC rallies to beat Oregon 81-75

USC donned their new home uniforms and got some inspired play from forward Keith Wilkinson and a bounce back performance from freshman phenom O.J. Mayo as they came from behind to defeat the Ducks 81-75 on Thursday night. USC trailed by as many as 15 points and went into the half with a 42-33 deficit, and things looked bad. But that's when Wilkinson and Mayo took over the game.

Wilkinson played 17 minutes in the 2nd half in place of a disappointing Davon Jefferson and was seemingly everywhere Thursday night. He failed to score, but he contributed 11 rebounds (including some big offensive boards) and had several nice hustle plays on defense. Here is the game recap from Rivals and here's an excerpt of Wilkinson's big night.
Thursday's biggest difference: Reserve forward Keith Wilkinson. After Floyd utilized his bench for only eight minutes in the loss to UCLA, Wilkinson played 23 minutes Thursday, including 17 in the second half. He grabbed 11 rebounds, including three dramatic ones on the offensive end.
Mayo, coming off his forgettable 4 point, 10 turnover game against the bRUINS, came up big with a game-high 32 points (21 of which came in the 2nd half). Floyd needs to keep trusting his bench, as he got quality minutes out of Wilkinson and walk-on guard Ryan Wetherell. I'm off to the Oregon State Game, and then heading home to watch a big game between top-ranked Memphis and 2nd-ranked Tennessee.

Fight On! Beat the Beavers!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

USC vs Oregon Tonight

PCBestever and I are heading to the game in a few minutes. We'll be back tonight with some post-game thoughts. Here's the preview from the L.A. Times

vs. Oregon, 8, FSN Prime Ticket

Site -- Galen Center.

Radio -- 710.

Records -- USC 15-9 overall, 6-6 Pac-10; Oregon 15-10, 6-7.

Update -- Though Marcus Simmons said his sprained left ankle continued to progress, Floyd said there was "no improvement" in the freshman guard, meaning he might sit out a seventh consecutive game.

Monday, February 18, 2008

USC vs ucla: Final Look

First of all, our guys played hard and battled all night, but with that being said, we still lost. I'm not going to beat a dead animal though, RG3 had a great post-game right up in the previous post, so my focus in on the things that Coach Floyd and his staff can improve upon. I'm hoping we see these assholes again at Staples Center for the Pac-10 Tournament, but we still have 6 more regular season games to play, let's not get carried away. I do however, want to go back to the 3 keys to the game, that I posted prior to the game. Well, USC failed in all three of them so let's re-visit those items because the Trojans definitely need to correct them as they close out conference play and head into the post season.

(1) Davon Jefferson -- I mentioned that USC needed to feed the ball inside early and often, and we did that. However, it was Taj Gibson carrying us by himself. Jefferson picked up 2 early fouls that took him right out of the game. He sat the final 8 minutes of the 1st half and never caught fire in the 2nd half. Keith Wilkinson filled in admirably for him, and Taj played his heart out, but USC just isn't the same team with Jefferson watching on the bench. Maybe this will help Jefferson learn how to play with foul trouble and how to avoid silly fouls.

(2) Slow the Game Down -- This was a very big problem for the Trojans last night. O.J. Mayo seemed to be in a hurry all night and made several rushed decisions that led to his 10 turnovers. Point guard Angelo Johnson looked timid out there, maybe the game was moving too fast for him. USC needs to play more under control, especially without their leader and floor general Daniel Hackett. Coach Floyd didn't rest any of our 3 guards last night, he needs to take advantage of the media timeouts and get these guys some rest. Ryan Wetherell is a scrappy player and can buy our team a minute or two of game time. I'd like to see Coach Floyd use him a little about against Oregon's small lineup.

(3) Defensive Rebounding -- Taj Gibson and O.J. Mayo finished the game with 12 and 9 rebounds, respectively. However, fucla managed to grab 19 offensive rebounds. That, coupled with USC's 22 turnovers is why they were able to overcome their poor shooting night (34%). The Trojans were getting defensive stops, but when the opponent attempts 21 more field goals, and make more free throws than we attempted, a loss should not be too surprising. USC is playing excellent defense, now they just have to put it together by winning the defensive glass.

There were some things from this game that Coach Floyd and his staff can build on as we get closer and closer to March. USC is (15-9 overall, 6-6 in the Pac-10) with 6 games remaining. The Trojans close out the current 3 game homestand by hosting Oregon on Thursday and Oregon State on Saturday, then visit the Arizona schools the following week, before closing out the regular season at home against California and Stanford. I believe 20 wins is more than enough to get USC into the Big Dance, so that means winning 4 more regular season games and advancing to the semifinal of the Pac-10 Tournament. This team is not built for winning 3 games on 3 consecutive nights, so the Trojans need to take care of business in the regular season and not put themselves in a position where they have to win the Pac-10 Tourney to get in. Our run towards March Madness is in full swing and continues Thursday against the visiting Ducks. Let's pack the Galen Center again, our guys will need it against a very explosive Oregon team that is also fighting for a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Fight On!

USC 46 fUCLA 56

There's only one picture to sum up last night's game:

A teabag?

The Galen Center was electric last night as the crosstown rivalry was renewed for another game between our schools. USC came out with black jerseys, which looked pretty tight. Unfortunately for us, USC was on the losing end. OJ Mayo was held to only 4 points and committed 10 turnovers. It was a shame because the rest of the team was fighting and clawing their way all over the court, but Mayo just didn't show up tonight. Taj Gibson had a big game with 16 points, 12 rebounds and an effort that we hadn't seen all season. Jefferson was in early foul trouble that didn't allow him to get into any rhythm. I understand that we can't expect Mayo to shoot lights out every game, but even superstars have bad shooting nights. All of us at USC Sports Talk were critical of Mayo because it looked like he just wasn't trying out there. Case in point, we present you Exhibit A:

A great effort on defense.

If his shot wasn't on tonight, the least he could do was play ferocious defense or make smarter passes. There were at least 200 errant passes by Mayo last night.

Another thing I blame for this loss is the lack of intensity by the scumbag students who were sitting over the UCLA tunnel. We got there kind of late, so we didn't get the tunnel seats that we had been longing for all season. Part of the home court advantage is having those handful of students who make the night miserable for opposing coaches and players by yelling every obscenity they can think of. The assholes around the tunnel were in their seats the whole fucking game. The fUCLA players weren't assaulted with a barrage of insults when they were walking in or out of the tunnel. We needed people who would remind Love that the Beach Boys suck and that he's fat. We needed people who would berate Shipp for being a piece of shit. The scumbags around the tunnel failed in that mission. It was also bullshit how the students right above the tunnel were none other than Kevin Ellison, Kevin Thomas, Cary Harris and Marc Tyler, all of them part of our football team. If anything, the rivalry should mean a lot more to them as players, but instead they were fucking sitting down the whole fucking game.

Our shitty seats didn't stop us from going down to the tunnel when the game was over. We were able to get front and center over the tunnel to yell all of that hate down onto the fUCLA players. We know they all heard us because of the smiles and acknowledgments we got from Mbah a Moute, Keefe, Westbrook, Collision and Shipp. I also have a new most hated player: Michael Roll. I was too busy calling Shipp a fucking cunt, when Roll straight up stopped and yelled something at us. I really wish I knew what that piece of shit had said, but I didn't catch it. If he's reading this, please comment on the post.

Fuck you, Michael Roll.

It was a tough loss, but our players need to bounce back and regroup in the remaining Pac-10 games if they want to have any chance of making the NCAA tournament in March. Fuck Michael Roll.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

USC vs ucla: Keys to the Game

The fiercest rivalry in college sports continues tonight at the Galen Center as the Trojans go for the season sweep over the hated bRUINS. USC comes into this game extremely thin at the guard position after the injury to Daniel Hackett, but the atmosphere should be electric and should give our guys the spark they need to pull this one out. Westwood College is reeling after dropping their last game at Washington and could also be a man short if forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute can't go tonight. Don't expect USC to shoot 61% from the field like they did in the first game, but do expect Coach Howland to make several adjustments for his bRUINS. All the signs point to fucla winning this game, but don't think for a second that they are going to come in here and dominate on our home court. The contributors to this blog will be there, loud and proud, and making life hell for the bRUINS all night. Tim Floyd is an excellent head coach and his staff will undoubtedly put together another nice game-plan like we've seen them do before. Here's what I believe are the keys to tonight's game (in order of importance).

(1) Davon Jefferson -- The freshman forward had a monster game in the first meeting at Pauley, throwing down 25 points to go with 9 rebounds and this thunderous dunk that sealed the game...
We need more of that from Davon and less of his pre-game chatter as DC Trojan pointed out over on Conquest Chronicles. He's put himself on the spot with his nonsense, but he needs to assert himself into the game early. USC needs to feed him in the post, where one of 2 things will happen, isolation on Alfred Aboya or Kevin Love, or he'll likely get double teamed. If Davon gets doubled, he can then look to Taj Gibson underneath for a dunk or kick it out for an open three. If somehow he gets a one on one matchup, he needs to go to work and get fucla's big men in foul trouble.

(2) Slow the Game Down -- The Trojans have no scholarship players coming off the bench at the guard spot, so Angelo Johnson, Dwight Lewis, and O.J. Mayo need to walk it up the court and play smart. Unless they get a clear break away lay up or a 3 on 1 opportunity, they need to play under control. Once in the half-court they need to spread out the defense and get a good shot going towards the basket. If the Trojans can get to the free throw line, they'll not only get the bRUINS in foul trouble, but they'll catch a blow and regroup for the next possession. Coach Floyd needs to use the media timeouts wisely as well, by subbing out Johnson, Lewis, and Mayo right before each media timeout which occurs at the 16, 12, 8, and 4 minute marks. If he can buy a minute of game-time, the media timeout will extend it to at least five minutes of actual time for our guards to rest.

(3) Defensive Rebounding -- Gibson and Jefferson must control the defensive boards, doing so will cause three things. First, it will eliminate easy buckets off put backs. USC's half court defense is solid, but they can't waste good defensive possessions by giving up a cheap two. Second, defensive rebounds limit the number of defensive possessions, which in turn, decreases the chances for our guys to get in foul trouble. Last, if our guys our boxing out and winning position, then we're bound to get some over the back fouls on Love and Aboya.

I think I will refrain from making any predictions, except that we have a much better chance than people think, nevertheless, this game promises to be a good one. We've had some memorable games against these cats at home the last few years, including Aaron Awful-O's heartbreaker last year, Ryan Francis leading us to victory in 2006, or Desmond Farmer playing out of his mind in our 2004 victory. Let's just say the money line for USC to win is $240 bucks, that means betting $100 wins you $240, I might just take that bet. Fuck it, let's make a prediction, it worked for Plaxico in the Super Bowl. USC wins a close one by winning the battle at the free throw line, and nestor and the rest of his misfits over at bRUINS Nation cry all week about the poor officiating.

Let's get loud and Black Out the Bruins tonight!

Fight On!


The USC basketball team takes on the fucla tomorrow night at the Galen Center. It should be a hard fought game, especially with USC winning the first meeting this season at Pauley. I'm sure both teams will get up for this game. USC will be without sophomore guard Daniel Hackett who is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his lower back. Hopefully the Trojans can man up and play a well-rounded game. Davon Jefferson will need another monster game and OJ Mayo will have to be smart with his shot selection if the Trojans hope to come out victorious. We all expect a noisy crowd and I'm sure there will be a lot of venomous remarks aimed at the bRuin bench tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised if there are several fan ejections, maybe even arrests at the game. It should be a hell of a night. Here are a few choice images to get everyone in the right mood.

Fight On!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Recruiting Wrap Up

This past Wednesday, USC wrapped up another Top 10 recruiting class with tons of blue chippers and future NFL stars. While this class may have lacked the missing one or two guys to truly make it an elite class, we got what we needed. Lots of linemen, linebackers, and some athletes make this class better than it seems. Here are some key players that will no doubt lead USC to more national championships and BCS games.

Matt Kalil/ Tyron Smith: Both stud offensive linemen will make sure that Barkley and Mustain have time to shred Pac-10 defenses with their cannons.

Brice Butler: Can anyone say Steve Smith? This year we really missed that all-important slot receiver with great hands and terrific route-running ability. Not anymore, this kid knows how to play the game.

Nick Perry/Malik Jackson: Defensive end is a position we are lacking skill players. Everson Griffin is changing that, but Lawrence Jackson proved that and recruiting websites make some players seem better than they really are. Carroll and staff stole Perry from Michigan and Jackson from Fresno State. Bananas man.

2008 National Signing Day wouldn't be without a few surprises, good and bad, so here are some surprises.

T.J. Bryant: KABOOM!!!!! The gem of this years signing class. A starter in 2008 in the USC secondary is written all over this kid. The fact that Pete Carroll went into Florida and stole him from the likes of Urban Liar and the Spear speak volumes about his talent. Bryant will be a lock-down corner the likes that USC has never seen before.We mentioned this guy back in June 2007 and our opinion has not changed. We needed this kid. And we got him.

Uona Kavienga: Big time linebacker who committed to UCLA and BYU only to decommit and sign with SC. A linebacker in the mold of Big Rey. Sick no doubt.

Joe Adams: Committed to SC, only to back out and commit to Arkansas. Word is he wanted to play WR and being recruited as a DB, not sure how we lost this kid. But Bryant eases the pain of that loss.

Julio Jones: We all shared the same feeling.


We'll keep everyone up to date for next year's recruiting class, which has already gotten underway with 8 commits. More to come. Fuck UCLA, Fight On!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It Never Gets Old

A friend sent me this. I know RG3 will enjoy it...along with everyone else.

Overconfident Tom Brady - Watch more free videos

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Giants Crowned Super Bowl XLII Champions

The New York Giants stunned the world tonight, defeating the heavily favored New England Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII. Tom Brady faced relentless pressure from the Giants' front 7 and Eli Manning didn't play like the usual Eli Manning we all know and laugh at. For once, Eli didn't have "deer in the headlights" look. Give credit to Giants wideout David Tyree for making one of the best catches in Super Bowl history to keep the Giants' winninig drive alive. This was probably the first and last time I ever cheer for the Giants. What brought me much more joy was the look of dejection on Brady's face after the game. Here are a few choice images from tonight's game.

No tuck rule this time, asshole...

Badass catch by Tyree.

I wouldn't doubt if the '72 Miami Dolphins get together every year from now on January 3: Eli Manning's birthday. They will sacrifice a goat in honor of the younger Manning brother and drink to his health.

Congrats to former USC receiver Steve Smith on a solid performance. Other than an early tip that led to an interception, Smith made some key receptions and had some crucual catches on the winning drive.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

USC aims to bounce back without Hackett

The USC Trojan basketball team will try to split this home series against the Arizona schools tonight as they take on the Arizona State Sun Devils. To do so, they will have to rebound from that tough 80-69 loss on Thursday to Arizona. Complicating matters further will be the absence of Daniel Hackett, whose presence was sorely missed in the loss to Arizona. The LA Times is reporting that Hackett is not expected to play today. The sophomore guard took a nasty fall in the opening minutes of Thursday's game, but his injury is believed to be "not serious." The diagnosis appears to be a "deep pelvis bruise," according to Hackett.

Arizona State comes into this game with a record of (14-4) overall and (4-4) in the Pac-10 after suffering an 84-51 beat down at Pauley on Thursday. We had a great college basketball atmosphere at the Galen Center on Thursday (just ask ESPN's Jay Bilas), so lets come out and support our guys again.

Fight On!