Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor
The Trojans snapped a three-game losing streak, thanks to their most complete 40 minutes of basketball on the season. USC never trailed in the contest and put up a season-high 83 points.
- Sophomore guard Maurice Jones was on his game Monday night, carving up the Horned Frogs' defense from inside (4-of-8 in the paint) and outside (4-of-7 from three-point range) en route to a season-high 25 points, seven assists and two steals. The standout from Saginaw, MI was so impressive, that for the first time on the current four-game homestand, O'Neill sat him for a whopping four minutes."I loved how Mo [Jones] controlled the game, and he made it very easy for everyone else," O'Neill said. "If he does that we will have a chance to win games." Coming into the night, TCU led the Mountain West Conference in turnovers forced (19.2 per game), but Jones and Co. only had four on the night.
- The low post presence of forward Aaron Fuller (nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds) and center Dewayne Dedmon (14 points, six rebounds, three blocks and three steals) was on display early and often in the 24-point route. The dynamic duo down low limited TCU's big men (who came in with a MWC-high 12 offensive rebounds per game) on the glass, as Craig Williams, Adrick McKinney, Amric Fields and Cheick Kone combined for just eight rebounds. "I think we've played well at both ends lately, and part of that is because Aaron [Fuller], Dewayne [Dedmon] and these guys have finally been able to practice," said O'Neill, referring to the shoulder tear and foot fracture that have limited Fuller and Dedmon's practice time respectively. "I feel bad for our guys when they look bad out on the court, when they haven't been able to practice for a whole week. We've played these last two games with force, and have done a great job of defending, outside of the second half against Georgia."
- Next up for USC is a date with the No. 11 Kansas Jayhawks on Thursday night at the Galen Center. Each of the last two years, the Trojans have beaten a ranked non-conference team at home in the month of December (Tennessee in 2009 and Texas in 2010). And, on a night when the Trojans routed TCU, the Jayhawks actually lost a rare home contest to unranked Davidson by a score of 80-74. "I know they lost tonight, so they are going to be pissed. I was hoping they'd win but that's the way it is." USC has lost their lost two games against Kansas, and is just 5-9 in the series' history.
- Here's freshman Byron Wesley (14 points, six assists and four rebounds) talking about the team's offensive outburst, their confidence level heading into Thursday's showdown with the Jayhawks and his own development through the first 12 games of his Trojan career...