Postgame thoughts

The Cats lost to the Trojans in McKale for the first time since the Reagan administration. USC snapped a 21-game losing streak in Tucson and swept the Wildcats.

*As strange as it may sound, I feel better about the play of the Wildcats in the USC loss than I did after the Oregon win. Frankly, the Cats were outplayed for 35 minutes in Eugene. In Tucson the Cats seemed like the better team until the final five minutes where they were just terrible.

*The rapid aging of Jawann McClellan's knees is a growing concern. In the first half the Wildcats could not run their man-to-man defense with McClellan in the game. Over the first 20 minutes the Cats had to use the zone exclusively. To make matters worse, McClellan even struggled to get to his man in the zone that was designed to take the pressure off of him. He just isn't the same player he was two months ago and probably won't be back until he gets a full offseason to rest up.

*At 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists you'd think that Marcus Williams had a very nice game. Unfortunately he also had seven turnovers and fouled out with 2:00 to play. The Cats used him as a 'point forward' for much of the game, and actually used him as the back-up point guard.

*Mustafa Shakur played well until the final minutes of the game. He had the lazy pass with over a minute to go and then took way to long in the final :30 to set up a shot when the Cats needed two possessions.

*Daniel Dillon was very impressive in the first half but I have to wonder why he didn't see more time in the second half. He knocked down two key three pointers and made snap decisions on offense. In the past he often looked like he was thinking too much when he touched the ball. With McClellan struggling and Williams saddled with foul trouble, I would have been interested to see the junior guard get a little more time.

*USC did a lot of the little things well. When Taj Gibson got into foul trouble, the Trojans went into the zone and double teamed the ball handler on the perimeter to keep him from getting the ball down low where Gibson was roaming. They also did a great job setting screens and making the extra pass on the offensive end to get good looks. Just a well coached team.

*Still liking Jordan Hill. He was 3-3 from the field and pulled down six rebounds. I would have actually seen the Cats go to him a bit more, especially with Gibson out of the game.

*The stat of the game was the 16 Wildcat turnovers. Other than that they were really good on offense. They shot 50% from the field against a team that usually limits it's opponents to the low 40's.

*Matt Muehlebach never lost a game at McKale in his four-year career. This current crop of Wildcat freshmen have already lost four times at home this season.


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