USC came really close to playing Oregon State tonight for the Pac-12 Tournament championship.
I mention it because these opportunities don’t come along often and the Trojans had a great chance to win this tournament with a less-than-rigorous bracket.
But that would mean not going 0-7 against Colorado or losing three times in the same season to the same team, which is quite a hat trick.
Andy Enfield can pull it off, of course, which is hardly a surprise to the readers of this blog.
You can’t squander having a generational player like Evan Mobley, who was doing his part Friday night, with a near-perfect game. There’s no reason USC could not win the Pac-12 regular-season title or tournament this season.
But you can’t win a game when you go 6-for-12 on free throws Friday night.
I could go back 50 years, 60 years, maybe 70 years of USC basketball tripping up at a key moment. It’s why Mal Florence, the legendary USC grad/L.A. Times sports writer, once said, “USC basketball fans are always waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
But you need to get something from your bench besides a complaint/whine.
“McKinley Wright pushed (Tahj Eaddy) right in the back (on the last play) and they didn’t call it,” USC coach Andy Enfield said after losing to Colorado. “And that was the game.”
If that’s the attitude, no wonder USC is 4-4 since Coach Bohn yelled, “I’ve been to the Tournament the last 7 years in a row! It’s about the seed! Keep fighting for your seed!”
I still think USC can catch lightning in a bottle at the NCAA Tournament if Mobley keeps playing like he did the past 2 days. But why does that need to be the best-case scenario? Why can’t we all expect USC to win some games from an X’s and O’s standpoint? What a dream, right?
- One observation: I thought it was weird Noah Baumann hit a 3-point shot to end the first half and then doesn’t play at all in the second half. He doesn’t look athletic but USC had only three guys who scored in the first half besides Baumann, so maybe give him a few possessions in the second half to see if he is having a hot night. Or not.