USC: Garrett Sim

Analysis: Oregon 68, USC 62

January, 13, 2011
1/13/11
11:53
PM PT
Remember how USC basketball coach Kevin O'Neill said the key to beating Oregon's zone was aggressively getting the ball inside to leading scorer Nikola Vucevic and letting the ball flow from there?

It's too bad the Trojans only abided by his plan in the final 10 minutes of Thursday's 68-62 loss to the Ducks, because USC was effective on that end in the final minutes. But the Trojans -- and Vucevic in particular -- were so stagnant offensively in the first 30 minutes that they gave themselves too much ground to make up down the stretch.

USC (10-7, 2-2 in Pac-10) will regret this one later this season when the NCAA Tournament comes into play. Dana Altman's zone defense puzzled the Trojans through and through for much of the game and USC similarly failed to set any sort of commanding tone on the defensive end.

Here's how a typical possession went: freshman point guard Maurice Jones would bring the ball up the court and wait for something to develop. Nothing would. Jones would then pass the ball off to Jio Fontan, Marcus Simmons or Donte Smith on the perimeter. They would then either look for a shot or attempt to pass the ball inside to Vucevic. A pass would likely be rejected or stolen; a shot would usually be missed. Once in a while the Trojans would get out in transition and score fairly efficiently, and Jones sometimes penetrated and created solid attempts.

Other than that, it was pretty pitiful.

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2013 TEAM LEADERS

PASSINGATTCOMPYDSTD
C. Kessler361236296820
RUSHINGCARYDSAVGTD
J. Allen1357855.814
T. Madden1387035.13
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
M. Lee5779113.94
N. Agholor5691816.46
TEAMRUSHPASSTOTAL
Offense174.2218.1392.3
TEAMPFPAMARGIN
Scoring28.521.37.2