U$C (The Dynamic Trio) Preview

Just two weeks ago, USC was the hottest team in the West, while the Card stumbled to a 2-2 start in the conference. In the blink of an eye, Stanford is the tied for first place in the Pac-10 and the team to beat, while SC has dropped 2 of its last 3. After an emotional win for Stanford Thursday, and a draining OT buzzer-beater loss for SC, who knows what to expect Saturday. Well Stan4Hoops has some ideas...

3:00 pm Pacific -- ABC Regional

The Cardinal showed they could play transition basketball, beat their man off the dribble and play physical basketball vs. UCLA. That was yesterday and yesterday is over. Saturday the Cardinal plays USC who many think is tougher and more athletic. The Cardinal will need to play just as hard if not harder to win.

The dynamic trio of Sam Clancy, Brandon Granville and David Blumenthal lead the Trojans. All three players are Seniors who are quick and athletic. The trio played all 45 minutes last night which is a tribute to their value on the team and their great conditioning. These guys are warriors and will be ready for another 40 to 45 minute battle. Freshman Errick Craven starts at the off guard and reminds me of Mitchell Butler. Kostas Charissis from Greece starts at center and played 31 minutes vs. cal. As Jeff83 pointed out this week, if Charissis plays 25 to 30 minutes vs. Stanford, USC is matching us against us instead of the reverse. Desmon Farmer is an athletic wing and is the first player off the bench.

When SC is on Offense

USC will run some motion but run more of an NBA type offense. They will look at what match-ups they can exploit and run isolation plays for that player. They are athletic and like to create off the dribble. USC is very good at finding the open when a defense double teams or helps. It is imperative for each Stanford player to defend his man with the mindset that help will not be available. Like most teams, USC like to get out on the break. Stanford wants USC to work hard for their points. Both Arizona schools played a very effective 1-2-2 zone against USC.

When SC is on Defense

USC wants Stanford to work on offense. They will apply pressure, trap, rotate from man to man to zone and will be physical. USC wants us to breakdown offensively, turn the ball over and get out on the break. It will be important not to make any lazy passes or set any halfhearted screens.

Keys to the Game

  • Which team dictates match ups?
  • Which Sam Clancy Free Throw Shooter Shows Up (12-15 Vs Cal 57% for year)
  • Can Stanford defend USC players without any help?
  • Which team stops / slows each other transitions opportunities
  • Can SC maintain energy level for entire game? They want us bad!
  • Who gets the most offensive rebounds?
  • Teyo, Josh, Curtis & Justin Vs Bluthenthal

The Players

Starters

5 Brandon Granville 5-9 175 Sr 12.9 ppg, 5.2 apg
22 Errick Craven 6-2 190 Fr 11.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg
15 Kostas Charissis 6-11 250 Jr 2.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg
50 Sam Clancy 6-7 240 Sr 18.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg
34 David Bluthenthal 6-7 220 Sr 11.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg

Reserves

4 Robert Hutchinson 6-1 195 Jr 2.6 ppg, 1.9 apg
21 Rory O'Neil 6-11 220 Fr 3.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg
31 Jerry Dupree 6-7 200 So 3.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg
33 Desmon Farmer 6-4 225 So 9.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg

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