USC Basketball

Basketball Game Day: Notes & Observations USC vs South Dakota St.

November 12, 2019

**One hour before tip off and the first thing which really stands out is the size differential between the two squads.  The Trojans have a significant size advantage.

**There’s less than 30 minutes till tip off and it’s looking like it will be a small crowd tonight.  With a marketing campaign like this it’s easy to see why. *sigh*. 

**10 minutes till the tip and the arena is EMPTY.  These are types of games where a Jackrabbit team can sneak up and bite you in the butt when there’s no crowd noise to contend with...would also be cool to see the arena filled with people impressing the new AD.

**Both teams start out in man to man defense

**Bit of a slow start for both teams offensively out of the the first TV timeout, the Trojans trail 4-3.

**Ethan Anderson is the first guard substitute in the game...Jonah Matthews did not start for the 2ND time in three games.  The last time for missing class.  Hopefully, Coach Enfield addresses the issue after the game.  He’s only 5 points shy of 1000 in his career.  It appears that he’s icing his hand or wrist on the bench.  EDIT: Jonah was late for class again.

**Two games in a row where Onyeka picks up two quick fouls thus taking himself out of the game.

**Talanoa Hufanga sitting behind the media here at the basketball game tonight.

**Beautiful AlleyOop pass from Ethan Anderson to Max Agbonkpolo who misses the flush on the receiving end...good read of the court by Anderson though.

**10 minutes and Rakocevic already has 11 points and 7 rebounds.  Nick looked like a 1ST Team All America during last season’s out of conference schedule too.  Consistency has always been Nick’s weakness.

**At the 9:40 mark of the 1ST half, Jonah Matthews enters the game.  JONAH GET TO CLASS ON TIME!!!

**Max Agbonkpolo might barely weigh 200lbs, however, he plays bigger than his size and has no fear of guys who are bigger(STRONGER)...and he has ice in his veins from behind the arc.  3-3 to start the game.

**Starting to sense some frustration from Chuck O’Bannon...his game has no fluidity to it and he forces the offense.  Following his made FT’s, Ethan Anderson replaces O’Bannon on the court.

**Soft full court press tonight and poor baseline defense

1ST half summary.

The Trojans lead 38-31, and the lead should be at least 15 points.   The Trojans shot a paltry 4-17(23%) from behind the arc, with Max Agbonkpolo making 3 of the 4.  As a team, the Trojans only shot 35% from the field, and 6-9 from the FT line.  Meanwhile, the Jackrabbits were 11-27 from the field, shooting 40.7%...their 2-pt shooting kept them close as they were only 3-12 from behind the arc and 6-9 from the charity stripe.  The Trojans outrebounded the smaller Jackrabbit squad 25-19, and the Trojans only committed 4 turnovers in the first half taking care of the ball, however, they only had 5 assists compared to the Jacks 7 assists and 9 turnovers.

If the Trojans focus their efforts on getting the ball down low to Rakocevic and Onyeka Okongwu, the rest of the guys will find themselves with open shots.  Sometimes they’re playing a little too unslelfish with the extra pass instead of taking the open shot or when penetrating the lane.

2ND half Notes & Observations

**Coach Andy enfield calls a quick timeout after 1:18 seconds... the Trojans come out a soft on the defensive side of the ball giving up a 3 in the corner and then allowing the Jackrabbits to penetrate the lane with little to no resistance scoring 5 quick points..

**Elijah Weaver with the 3 point shot to stop the 8 point run by the Jackrabbits.

**The Trojans are having a hard time finding their offensive rhythm early in the half settling for too many outside shots.  

**Jonah Matthews with his 1000 career point becoming the 41st Trojan to accomplish the feat.

**Trojans watch a 10 point lead evaporate quickly and CAE calls anoter timeout.  Kyle Studivant seemed a little hesitant with his decision making and the Trojan base line defense was soft.  9:34 to go and the  Trojans lead 59-56

**Mr. Offense Max Agbonkpolo enters the game at the 9:02 mark with Nick shooting two FT’s making 1

**Rakocevic joined the 1000 point club tonight too!  He becomes the 42nd Trojan to reach the milestone.

**Trojans allowing too much penetration into the paint by the Jackrabbits in the 2ND half.

**The Trojans need to work on their fast break game spreading the floor and getting the ball to the middle of the court.

**Nick with 21points & 13 rebounds to go with his 4 steals and 2 blocks with 4:19 to go in the game...Big Onyeka Okongwu adds 12 points &7 rebounds to go with his 2 steals and 1 block.

**Nick forces the Jacks into a flagrant foul penalty on the smallest guy on the court Brandon Key who did not appreciate the screen Nick set...ironic, as it’s usually Nick who loses his cool..

**2:50 to go and the Trojans with a 13 point lead.


It took a while, however, the Trojans eventually wore the smaller Jackrabbit team down with their size and length down low, putting the Jackrabbits away away for a final score victory of 84-66.  Nick Rakocevic lead the team 27 points & 16 rebounds...and for good measure he added 5 steals and a couple of blocks.  Defensively the Trojans struggled with the 2-3 zone and the baseline defense seemed a little loose too, however, for the most part the guys played with great effort and really rotated well defensively save for a few occasions,  

Now the team hits the road for the first time this season when they travel to Reno, Nevada to take on the Wolfpack.  The game tips off at 8:00PM on the CBS Sports Network

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