Quite A Day At Galen Center As USC Wins In Last Seconds

USC defeated UCLA in thrilling fashion and still perfectly illustrated why it can confound fans Saturday.

The Trojans missed four free throws in crunch time but more importantly showed that Andy Enfield just lets his teams play in the final minutes with little plan.

Did you see the possession where the Trojans didn’t know what to do and it forced Onyeka Okongwu to simply drive to the basket with 7 seconds left on the shot clock? He charged.

Did you like the last shot strategy? Jonah Mathews just brings the ball down the court and then launches a step-back three-pointer?

Meanwhile, UCLA was actually running some plays at the end. Luckily, Jake Kyman fell down with 30 seconds left.

USC shot 41 percent on field goals, 3-point field goals and free throws. Free throws??

USC gets a bye now for the Pac-12 Tournament and is safely in the NCAA Tournament.

Now, some observations:

  • Why doesn’t USC get Okongwu the ball more often?
  • USC president Carol Folt was there with what looked like a personal assistant in a USC shirt and shoes. But a USC employee told me it was her dept. of public safety “undercover” security guard. Just in case someone gets rowdy at the Galen Center?

She was with friendly boosters most of the time I saw her Saturday.

  • Folt was watching by the tunnel late in the game and looked as stressed as everyone else as USC finally let UCLA take the lead before Mathews’ heroics.
  • Mike Bohn was there in his omnipresent red jacket.
  • The game might have been a sellout but there were large blocks of empty seats in the upper deck, some of which might have been for students.
  • I was sitting on the floor next to the USC bench (in the white shirt). Just a few seats down were former USC player Desmon Farmer and LaMelo Ball, who played at Chino Hills with Okongwu. After a thunderous dunk by Okongwu, he gave five to Ball behind the basket.

Also courtside were Adoree’ Jackson, Rasheem Green, Jordan Simmons, Frostee Rucker and Brandon Granville.

  • During the second half, there was the sight of Clay Helton and his assistant coaches coming out to throw T-shirts to the crowd. I think there was some boos for Helton but they got drowned out by the loud music.
  • Among the current football players at the game were quarterbacks Kedon Slovis and JT Daniels.

14 thoughts on “Quite A Day At Galen Center As USC Wins In Last Seconds

  1. Scottie on the floor! Nice!

    Yes, the Trojans did look like they were playing pickup ball at the end. But in any case, it was a sweep of ucla, and more important, ucla went 3 and out between football and hoops season.

    ucla TRIED to run some plays, but they weren’t very successful. The Trojans holding ucla to 52 points shows that USC is a very effective defensive team.

    Trojans really need to clean up the TOs, get the ball to Onyeka near the post, and please, pleasem practice free throws.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Although I took a jab at Wolf earlier I’ll have to agree that Enfield just doesn’t show any strategic poise and sense to realize or say to himself and coaches “it’s time to win these next possessions”
      And here’s what he doesn’t do at all.
      First off before anything Enfield needs to be more assertive on the way his teams approach a game and the way they play. Meaning he has to burn it into them from the get go that if we’re up 22-6 we keep playing, if we’re up 48-34 with 10 mins to go…..we keep playing. If it’s where we are on the other side of the that…..WE KEEP PLAYING.
      That has to be an all game neccessary as a coach.
      You dont pump the breaks until it’s absolutely necessary to start mixing up the lineup to work on getting players time or a player more rest than he needs. And like I’ve said said in the past if we trail 8-0 to start a game get a f****ng time out and get in their faces while it’s early to slow a team from really getting hot and putting it on you.
      Also it’s simple to get more touches for Okongwu if some things happen like Rakocevic has to be tougher and a threat because he’s not a problem to teams like Walton or they claim on tv. If he’s more aggressive regularly instead of on occasion then teams will have to keep a guy on him more where Okongwu can play against just one man instead of them trying to collapse on him. And the offense has to run to Okongwu for that reason. He touches the ball and two men are there most of the time and that’s when your shooters and “All Pac 12” big guys like Rakocevic have to dominate and take advantage. You get an offensive rebound you dont come down with it and bounce the ball allowing a defender to arrive, you keep your arms high in the air never bringing down the ball and put it back aggressively with some real authority. He’s soft but damn he shouldn’t be this behind in his confidence.
      Enfield is lucky but the fact is he’s beaten the Bruins twice and the way you beat them doesn’t matter at the end of the day when you get a win against your rival in the final seconds.
      I think Mathews hasn’t played as well as he should this season but he’s put some good games together and I’m happy for his moment he had today against UCLA.
      That SLAM DUNK….. was a way of Okongwu saying “Get the **** out of my way!”.
      That was awesome!✌

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “Thanks, Enfield!”

    Flow’s just bitter because ol’ Andy has a hot wife and Flow continues to live rent-free in Mommy’s basement.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love how Wolf will run down a long list of players yet we can NEVER GET A COMMENT FROM ONE OF THEM.

      Haaaaaaa. They will not interact with our blogger.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Proud of our mens BB team.
    Back in December I predicted an 11-7 conf record (possibly 12-6) and a trip to the NCAAM tourney. I was mildly criticized here for being “pessimistic.”
    This is where the program “is” at the present time. I remain positive that the program is on the right track and will continue to play at the top of the conference. I think we should all expect that the Trojans receive an annual invitation to the NCAAM tournament.

    The two inexplicable losses to UW and UU (and the fade vs ASU) will now loom large at tourney time. Gotta’ win those games if the program is to continue to improve in recruiting and results.

    I’m hoping for a #3 seed to the Pac 12 tourney with the concomitant bye.
    Our lads would then get almost a full week to rest the legs!
    ESPN’s Lunardi has USC as a #9 seed in the MW playing Houston. Gotta wonder if a good result in Vegas bumps us up a little in the bracketology…..

    Cuz if Lunardi is correct and the Trojans manage to beat Houston, then they (we) are rewarded with a date with KU.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. With all of the famous people in attendance listed by Wolf at a Los Angeles basketball game, I’ve got to know, was Jack Nicholson there?


    Liked by 2 people

  5. Scooter,

    It was great seeing you at the game. Btw, Sc shut down the ruins in the paint. They had to outside with their shots. Good defense.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It was a real thrill throwing and shooting t-shirts to the Trojan fans.

    Didn’t hear any boos, but had earlplugs in, so I couldn’t tell.

    Glad that our starting QB, J.T. Daniels was there.

    Fight on!


  7. I thought SC looked well coached. Teams do not play that kind of defense except with good disciplined coaching…and ucla has a fine coach also. SC had the play for the end of the game , and it worked. The only real negative at the end was as usual , the free throw shooting , when SC has usually choked in the past. I think it is obvious SC is practicing very hard now and playing with a good game plan,very disciplined…hope it continues.

    Liked by 1 person

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