The Trojans were lively and aggressive in practice today trying to regroup after last night's defeat.
- USC's zone offense will be tested again Saturday night against the Beavers, who switch between a 1-3-1 and 2-3 package to force turnovers and nullify opponent's big men. The Trojans saw similar looks last night and settled for far too many jumpers instead of driving the ball or getting it to Alex Stepheson and Nikola Vucevic. "Myself, probably Mo I guess, if we watch the film again, we would see some opportunities that we probably should have taken," said Jio Fontan, who is depended on to create offense.
- While the guards are working on driving, the Trojans best offense is still run through Vucevic, who is a skilled shooter and passer, so they cannot afford to let him be a non-factor. "We went in thinking we were going to get the ball to Nik and feed off Nik, but in a zone, it's kind of hard to get it going in the post," Fontan admitted. "It falls on the entire team to do a better job getting him involved."
- Head coach Kevin O'Neill seemed extremely pleased with the effort and execution of his team in practice today, which even prompted him to ask the rhetorical question, "Where was this last night?" Fontan believes the day's improvement is fueled by frustration. "We definitely believe that [Oregon] was a game we had the opportunity to win. It's over now. We have a game tomorrow and we have to try to get that one."
Fontan will look to get to the rim against Oregon State. (Photo by Jon SooHoo)