USC Must Win To Reach NCAA Tournament
February 25, 2016
The USC men’s basketball team has come to that NCAA fork in the road. If they win least four or five more games they will make the NCAA Tournament. If they lose four or five games their tournament dreams will probably disappear.
They lost their first home game of the year last Sunday, to Utah 80-69. Utah was led by its 7-foot center Jakob Poeltl from Vienna, Austria. He dominated the Trojans in the paint. USC is now 15-1 at home.
“I am proud of the team’s effort,” said USC head coach Andy Enfield after the loss to Utah. “Our effort level is good but our execution is not good sometimes. We have never had to coach effort with this team but execution wins games. We have a chance to win a few more games but we can’t give up points in the paint.”
One of the main reasons the Trojans are giving up inside points is power forward Darion Clark is not on the court. The 6-7 forward separated his shoulder in practice a few weeks ago and is day to day.
“He is one of the best rebounders per minute in college basketball,” said Enfield. “Our players that are on the court need to take up the slack until he returns.”
USC’s games this week are against Stanford on Thursday at 8 p.m. and California on Sunday at 5 p.m. They return home to the Galen Center next Wednesday, March 2, against Oregon State at 8 p.m. and they battle Oregon on Saturday, March 5 at 1 p.m.
The Trojans are 19-8 overall and 8-6, which is good enough for fifth place in the Pac-12.
The USC women are 18-10 overall and 6-10 in Pac-12 play. They are at home this weekend. They play No. 9 Arizona State on Friday at 6 p.m. and Arizona on Sunday at 2 p.m. They start Pac-12 Tournament play next week on March 3 in Seattle.