The Trojans participated in an open practice and pre-tournament media session at the University of Dayton Arena today.
- If the field were not expanded this season, USC would likely be preparing for the NIT right now. Now that they are in though, they plan to make it count. "We are not just happy to be here," senior Donte Smith said. "We feel like we can make some noise in this tournament." Jio Fontan took it one step further saying. "We feel that we have a great shot at winning this tournament."
- As for the First Four match-up, VCU wants the game played at a much faster pace than Kevin O'Neill's team. "We know that we'll have to play our tempo, which isn't crawling," O'Neill compared the Rams to Washington. "We have a formula for winning. We have to impose our will on them." As for the formula, it revolves around defense, rebounding and getting the ball inside offensively.
- O'Neill began the press conference apologizing again to the Trojan Family for the incident that led to his suspension from the Pac-10 Tournament loss to Arizona. While the head coach has shown his true character by taking accountability for his actions, he commends his players for persevering and bonding when faced with adversity. "You guys are now a team of men," O'Neill relayed what he told the team after last Friday's loss. "We know we can count on you and you can count on each other."
- The Dayton Arena holds just over 13,000 fans and they are expecting a sell-out. We'll be sitting on press row Tweeting away. If you don't follow @USC_Athletics, now is the time!