USC Basketball

Hall Of Fame Classic USC vs LSU Notes & Observations

December 21, 2019

Normally Trojan and Tiger fans would be on social media going at it talking some smack and reminding each other who won the 2003 football national championship(s).  However, this is basketball, and most of the LSU fans are probably focued on next weekend’s semi-final game vs Oklahoma in the college football playoff.   Maybe a win on the hardcourt tonight can give Trojan fans something to feel good about for a minute.

In the early game the Utah Utes are taking on the San Diego St  Aztecs, and the PAC-12 is taking it on the chin.  With 9:27 left to play in the contest, the Aztecs lead the the Utes 52-37.  The Utes are coming off a victory over the Kentucky Wildcats the other night, so there could be a little bit of a hangover effect.  Make no mistake about it though, the Aztecs are a very well coached and disciplined team.  They’re a physical team.  San Diego St. is going to improve to 12-0 on the season...Aztecs lead 64-43 with 4:42 to play and their fans start the “UN...DE...FEATED” CHANT, 80-52 OUCH! Aztec Fans are kind of cocky...“Little brother conference” syndrome, maybe?

**It’s 5:27PM and the Trojans are scheduled to tip off at 6:00PM.

**Once the Aztec/Ute game concluded the arena emptied out too.  It’s really a shame the local fans can’t get behind the basketball program.  It is winter break so the students are out of town, nevertheless, Los Angeles is just not a very good sports town unless teams are winning.  With that said, USC season ticket holders, were rewarded to tickets to the game and there was a pretty good  Trojan crowd.

**The Trojan Dance Force is here performimg during intermissions as well as alomg the Trojan bench baseline.... I’m going to assume the Song Girls are down in San Diego doing a Holiday Bowl promotion...the football team is not scheduled to head down until the 24TH.

**Team intro videos on the scoreboard...Advantage USC!

**Ethan Anderson celebrating his 12 assist game with a a new hairdo!

**There’s a Trojan fan and a Tiger fan sitting next to each other right next to me.  The convo should be interesting.  Just a few feet away under the basket near the Trojan bench is a large group of LSU fans whpo are talking a whole bunch of of good natured stuff.  Oh how I would love to join the party. LOL

**Trojans are cold from the outside to start out the game.  Looks like the early  strategy is for the LSU defense to sag off of Ethan Anderson forcing him to be the shooter missing two from behind the arc.  Anderson is 0-2 from behind the arc and Jonah is 0-1.

**Coach Enfield might pick up an early technical at the first TV timeout.  He’s really upset at the no call on Anderson getting fouled when the ball was knocked away giving the ball back to LSU following the missed shot and rebound.--and to be honest, It was a horrible call.  Trojans trail 11-6 with 15;54 left in the half.  

**Trojans with poor transition defense and Coach Enfield has to call a timeout before the Marquette effect takes over.  The Tigers are beating the Trojans in the paint even though USC has the size advantage.  TRANSITION DEFENSE ON MISSED SHOTS IS POOR and the Tigers are driving the ball to the basket before the defense can get set.

**TROJANS SETTLING FOR THE EARLY 3-ball in the shot clock and not moving the ball.

** So far the point guard production between Anderson and Sturdivant has been poor with bad decision making...too much dribbling and not enough ball movement.  Tigers lead 17-12 with 11:57 to play in the half.  The Trojans are shooting 31% to the Tigers 47%

**Trojans take their first lead of the night 21-19 with 8:06 to go...they had a chance to go up by three but Mobley misses the FT on the And 1.

**4:00 to go in the half at and the Trojans are in the double bonus with Onyeka Okongwu at the free throw line for 2...he misses both and the Trojans are now just 2-5 from the FT line and trail by 2.  This is an area the team is going to have to improve upon in order to win the tight games down the stretch.

**The Trojans are 4-17 from behind the arc and the Tigers are 1-9.  The first team that gets consistent outside shooting  will win this game.  And give the fans something enjoyable to watch. It’s an ugly grind it out type of game.

**I Just noticed USC did not even bring their basketball band to the game and campus is just down the street ...Sad.  San Diego State brought their band. I have to say, the Aztec fans  really do support their team well.

**Nick Rakocevic has a 3 point basket so far and not much else...Nick has put on his Casper the Ghost costume again.

**Overall LSU has just been quicker to all the loose balls and 50/50 balls, as well as on the glass rebounding the’s an effort thing.--The Tigers lead on the boards 27-20.  LSU leads 35-28 at the half as the Trojans fell asleep on defense allowing LSU to drive  for a layup just before the halftime buzzer sounds.


**Two possessions and two drives to the basket for the Trojans...GOOD!

**Nick is pleading with Enfield to leave him in the game after picking up his 2nd foul...this also comes following a warning from the official to Nick for getting chippy with a Tiger player following a made LSU basket.  Trojans trail 39-31 with 17:31 to play and Coach puts Rakocevic on the bench to protect him.

**Out of the timeout the Trojans run some really good offense passing the ball inside and back out to Jonah for the made 3.

**Rakcovic so far has been a no-show and  he’s getting out physicaled by smaller guys,  

**The Trojans send the Tigers to the  free throw line for two...the Tigers miss both but they get the rebound and the extra attempts are successful.  This does not sit well with Coach Enfield.

**There’s 10:00 minutes left in the game and Rakocevic seems to have found is “ON” swithch and is getting involved in the game.

**Trojans using a  short bench tonight...Adlesh, Weaver 2ND half?

**6:00 left in the game and the Trojans trail 57-56. 

**The Trojans now lead 58-57 with 4:48 to go... Trojans extend the lead to 63-59 with 3:45 to play.

**Trojans lead 66-59 with 2:57 to play and the Tigers are going to the FT line.  FT’s will decide this game with 2:57 to play and both teams are finding themselves in another close game down the stretch.  

**Trojans are acting like they’ve never seen a press defense before...attack the press and make the Tiger defense pay, by either getting to the basket or drawing a foul and getting to the foul line.  With 1:08 left in the game Trojans are  up by 4, and Ethan Anderson is at the line for 2... he makes both and the Trojans 68-62.

**Trojans win 70-68 after Nick tips in the miss with 4.9 seconds to play.  It took him awhile to get involved in the game, however, for the second time in the last three games Nick found a way to lead by example when the team needed him most.  It was also nice to see the freshman, Ethan Anderson battle through his earky shooting struggles and bounce back in the 2ND half with some key baskets complimenting Jonah Matthews and daniel Utomi.  Matthews would be named MVP of the game.

The Trojans next game will be Sunday at Galen on 12/29 when the Coach Enfield goes up aganst his old team Florida Gulf Coast for the first time...after the game agsinst the Eagles, the Trojans will begin conference play at the Washington schools the following weekend.






Tags: Basketball, USC, LSU
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