Culver City Observer -

By Steve Finley
Sports Editor 

UCLA and USC basketball hope to play well in the Pac-12 Tournament

 

March 12, 2020

George Laase - FSG

All hands on deck. Bruins Chris Smith (5) and David Singleton cannot beat USC's Jonah Mathews to the loose ball as his teammates, Nick Rakocevic (31) and Elijah Weaver (3) look on. The Trojans beat the Bruins last Saturday at USC and this week both team are playing the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas

Now that the regular season is over the UCLA and USC men's basketball team can concentrate on Pac-12 Tournament that began last Wednesday in Las Vegas. If they win their games on Thursday they will advance to play in the semifinals on Friday (today). If both teams win on Friday it will be a UCLA against USC championship game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Both teams need to win at least one or two more games to be selected to play in the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans are 22-9 and the Bruins are 19-12. UCLA placed second in the Pac-12 with a record of 12-6 and USC was third at 11-7.

Both teams are playing some of their best basketball of the season right now so hopefully that will continue for another few weeks. Both teams rely on their defense because offensively they are not consistent.

"We are playing great defense," said USC head coach Andy Enfield after the Trojans beat the Bruins on a last second shot by senior Jonah Mathews last Saturday at the Galen Center on the USC campus. "We are 15-0 when we hold teams under 65 points. We are a really good defensive team. We are really tough. Our guys have brought in all year."

Enfield continued to talk about the defense. "Our coaches have really done a great job on our defensive game plan. Our offense is extremely streaky but we have won 22 games because of our defense."

UCLA was riding a seven game winning streak before their loss to the Trojans but they are just like USC when it comes to offensive production. The final score of the game last Saturday was 54-52. The Bruins starters made only 10 out of 35 shots and the team was 16-51. When you shoot that bad even great defense can't save you.

 

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