3-Points: UCLA 107, USC 73

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The Trojans get blown out in their Pac-12 opener at Pauley Pavilion.

Click here for the recap and box score.

Welcome to the Pac

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 2.42.07 PM.pngIn the first Pac-12 game of the season, the Trojans suffered the second worst loss in the history of the Crosstown Rivalry which left new head coach Andy Enfield shaking his head.  "What positives? None," Enfield succinctly summed it up. "It wasn't too fun."  UCLA blitzed USC from the opening tip leading by 22 at the half.  "We just didn't come out ready to play," said junior Byron Wesley, who led the team with 21 points and 9 rebounds.  "The first five minutes really set the tone for us as far as the whole game was considered.  We just dug ourselves into too deep of a hole early on.  It is not acceptable."  Nevertheless, Enfield and the Trojans see the big picture with 17 more conference games to go.  "It's a long year," said Wesley.  "We've been in this position before.  It's just the first game.  We just have to have a short term memory and get ready to lock in for Thursday."

Turnovers and Missed Free Throws

Offensively, the two stats that stuck out the most were turnovers and missed free throws.  The Trojans could not get a handle on the ball committing 17 turnovers, including 13 in the first half.  "We made some really unusually turnovers for us," said Enfield. "UCLA's ability to shoot the ball rattled us a little bit in the first half.  We started to press and not perform like we have been."  USC did a good job getting to the free throw line, but the Trojans made only 16/30 from the stripe. 

Guard Play

The Trojans' advantage was in the front court, so UCLA made it a perimeter game.  "The simple explanation was that our guards played poorly.  Pretty simple.  Their guards played great and ours played poorly," Enfield said. "We thought they were really good on film, and they were even better in person."  In particular, sophomore Kyle Anderson controlled the action for UCLA scoring 23 points with 12 rebounds and 5 assists.  Wesley called the 6-foot-8 guard "a match-up problem" to which the Trojans never found a solution.

1 Comment

First there is nineteen more games to play in the conference. Second this game was a pathetic performance by everyone except Wesley. Enfield got lucky in two games last season in the ncaa tourney not even winning his crappy conference. All of a sudden he is such a good coach. The team quit on him big time today. Tell me if SDSU and Syracuse are missing Bland and Hart on their staff.

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