The Loser: Who Wants to Occupy the Cellar?
At 3:30 p.m. PST, (Prime Ticket) the USC Trojans will host the Washington Huskies at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The loser of this game will be 0-forever in the Pac-10 and will have a difficult time crawling out of the basement cellar. Coming into the game, USC 9-6 (0-3) and Washington 9-6 (0-2) have nearly identical overall records and are in search of their first Pac-10 victories.
The Winner: Who Wants a Chance to Crawl Out?
While the Trojans have already started Pac-10 play 0-3, an 0-4 hole would be deep enough to just about throw out the rest of the season for lost. Look for USC to gather the muster to win this game. Make no mistake; it will not be easy for either team to walk away with a victory in this match-up. A loss for Washington would be just as disappointing for the Huskies, whose record would be 0-3 in the Pac-10.
What the Trojans Need to do to Win this Game
A winning formula for this game is simple for the Trojans: play Trojan basketball.
Defense: Before conference play, the Trojans held nine consecutive opponents to 62 points or less. On opening day of the Pac-10 season, the team gave up California 92 points. They allowed Stanford only 52 but lost that game anyway. Washington State came into the Galen Center and dumped 73 points on USC. To get back on track the Trojans need to play team defense.
Coach Tim Floyd has preached patience to the Trojan basketball team. He consistently states the team needs to trust their teammates and go for the extra pass. Floyd has stated on multiple occasions that they need to be patient on offense and not force early shots.
Additionally, this group needs to spread the ball around and play team ball. The best showings this season have been games where the starting unit has all scored in double figures or close to it and playing strong defense.
The lack of size on this teams means they will not overwhelm opponents on the boards. Thus, taking good shots and blocking out on rebounds is very important for success.
Finally, in order for the team to have long-term success, Davon Jefferson needs to be a contributing player and stay on the basketball court. It looks like depth on this team goes six or seven players and not having Jefferson or any other first team player is a severe blow to the team.