Too Bad USC Hoops Fans Can’t See This Team At Galen

Isaiah Mobley grabs a rebound away from ASU forward Kimani Lawrence during the first half on Wednesday in Los Angeles. (AP/Mark J. Terrill)

USC rides Isaiah Mobley’s career night to blowout win over Arizona State

Adam Grosbard (OC Register)  —  LOS ANGELES — When Tahj Eaddy ran onto the Galen Center court, he waved to the empty stands and threw an enthusiastic fist in the air, as if he were revving up the imaginary crowd.

It turned out USC’s game against Arizona State on Wednesday was one that would have sent fans into a tizzy all on its own.

The Sun Devils induced the 17th-ranked Trojans into an old-fashioned shootout, with both teams shooting the lights out of the gym. But despite grind-it-out USC playing out of style, it was the Trojans who had the firepower to outlast Arizona State, 89-71, for their seventh consecutive win and their 13th in their last 14 games.

USC improved to 18-3 to start a season for the first time since 1973-74 and 12-2 in Pac-12 play to increase its lead over the rest of the conference to 1½ games.

It was the type of game, and increasingly the type of season, that the Mobley brothers imagined when they came to USC.

“Him feeding me highlights, me getting him highlights, the team winning by good margins, us in first place in the Pac-12, it’s definitely, the only thing missing is the fans,” Isaiah said. “But it’s definitely been an excellent ride so far.”

Eaddy added 18 points, with 15 coming in the first half.

The early minutes foreshadowed what was to come. The Trojans made six of their first seven shots as Eaddy and Isaiah Mobley combined for the team’s first 14 points, Mobley strumming an air guitar after making a 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock.

“When the 3 dropped, I knew I could have a good game,” he said.

ASU, down four players including freshman guard and former Mayfair High standout Josh Christopher, was just as hot, making five of six to start. Remy Martin, the Pac-12 leader in scoring, drilled a corner 3-pointer over Eaddy’s outstretched arms and USC head coach Andy Enfield sent Ethan Anderson in to combat Martin.

But to no avail, as Martin quickly drained two more 3s on his way to a 30-point performance, three short of his career high.

“I thought the first half looked like the NBA All-Star Game,” Enfield said. “It was just free-flowing shot-making.”

Evan Mobley dunks during the second half against ASU in Los Angeles. USC won 89-71. (AP/Mark J. Terrill)

There was little any defensive effort could do in the first half, as Eaddy frequently proved. There was his pump-fake, side-eye-at-the-defender 3-pointer, followed shortly by a lob to Evan Mobley that just cleared the fingertips of Sun Devil defenders.

The Trojans made 17 of their first 21 shots, but a 6-0 run by ASU (7-10, 4-7) reduced the USC lead to two at halftime. But the Trojans opened the second with a matching run, with an Evan Mobley 3-pointer prompting Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley to call a timeout 68 seconds in.

But USC kept scoring. There was Evan Mobley drawing in the defense to dish to Isaiah for a one-handed, and-one dunk. Or the freshman center driving in to create an opening for Drew Peterson, who knocked down one of USC’s 11 3-pointers on the night.

And the USC defense clamped down in the second half, limiting Arizona State to 32.1% shooting and 33.3% from 3-point range.

ASU kept the game within single digits for most of the second half, but eventually, USC’s weapons became too much for the visitors. An end-of-the-shot-clock jumper from Mobley with 3:58 left put USC up by 11 and put the Sun Devils away for good.

“Hopefully we can ride this thing out and keep winning like this and make a run in the tournament,” Isaiah Mobley said.

ocregister.com

__________

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LawyerJohn
Knighted Member
February 19, 2021 7:31 pm

Don’t you just love it when fans talk about “not tolerating” a mediocre team. Really? Alabama has had years of mediocrity between their national championships. SC was pretty poor for a quarter of a century until some guy named Carroll came along. Perhaps fans could not “tolerate’ all that pedestrian-football, but they lived it anyhow. And as for paying the “amateur” footballers, there has to be some hard-core rules governing how this will be carried out. Otherwise you might have a bidding war for 5-star recruits similar to free agency in pro sports. Aaaah, college sports were more fun before… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
February 19, 2021 9:08 pm
Reply to  LawyerJohn

John, I beg to differ. There is a significant difference in being mediocre at football and accepting it. There is also a difference between accepting mediocrity in football and embracing it. For example, prior to Folt, SC kept trying to return to elite status and kept failing. But it never gave up. Same with AL prior to Saban. Folt seems not only to accept mediocrity in football but to embrace it. I really think Bohn and Williams have a different view than Folt. And, from what I am seeing, things are changing structurally and away from Folt’s view. It is… Read more »

Jamaica
Knighted Member
February 20, 2021 9:36 am
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

Let me put my two cents in here. Yes USC football was uneventful for awhile after JR left for the Rams. It took MG some 4-HC’s (Tolner, Smith, JR & Hackett) before we hit gold with PC. During those years though, there was always someone running the show that you knew wasn’t going to accept mediocrity any more than the fanbase (MG). We have yet to see Mike Bohn, with handcuffs removed, on what he will do. If there is any hope of a USC football resurrection, it is through him. But with this new Ivory Tower running the show… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by Jamaica
TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
February 19, 2021 11:35 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Fairly obvious what is going on. IMO, Williams is running his own department and Bohn has told him to build the best recruiting department in the nation. It is really smart as kids in the future will go where the money is and the money in playing collegiate ball is about to rotate to So. Cal, NY area, and Oregon (via Nike). Oregon is going to be a monster (Oregon football is, for all practical purposes, a minor league pro team owned by Nike and Nike will use its team to market its products and will pay its players quite… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
February 19, 2021 11:38 am
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

I forgot to add; if I have this right, SC will no option but to hire Donte. If they do not, look for him to go to UCLA. Either SC or UCLA is going to be the competitor for Oregon, not both.

TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
February 19, 2021 2:41 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Wisdom gained late is better than wisdom never gained! If I have this right (and it makes a lot more sense that Folt’s Ivy League dreams prevailing), then SC football is going to return to the big time very shortly. We simply have to endure two more years of Clay and GH (and right now, GH is mediocre – I think he will marginally improve in 2021, IF Kedon and Vavae do not go down). Once Donte has solified his position and staff, then Donte will also take over player development and marketing. I think the new law on paying… Read more »

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
February 19, 2021 3:14 pm
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

RJJ glad to read what have so very well said. I have had the opinion also that Donte is going to be the USC HC and we will again see USC recruit itself.

Jamaica
Knighted Member
February 19, 2021 3:35 pm
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

RJJ you could be very right or very wrong in your thinking here, but I like what you say in figuring out what could be going on behind the scenes and its future. If Name, Image & Likeness is not limited in its potential, the have’s will just take over this sport entirely. As for Folt allowing the football program to attain new life and energy would be welcomed relief. But the USC fanbase will have to see it first before believing this will end all the suffering we have endured..

Jamaica
Knighted Member
February 19, 2021 4:02 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Allen, would those institutions ever hire a Carol Folt? Maybe a Max Nikias due to his fundraising ability. But yet Max would know he had to fully support the football program at those above noted schools. I have never tolerated CH since he took over as HC. jAnd I think my posts have always supported that. And I think you know I hated even more that MG became the fall guy when USC got those horrific sanctions. I don’t care he was unpopular in relations to others. He was one of us in wanting USC football on top and never… Read more »

Jamaica
Knighted Member
February 19, 2021 3:46 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Donte is good at recruiting. But where has he shown he is HC material? In recruiting, your job is getting recruits to like you. As a HC, that isn’t enough unless you like what CH has accomplished these last 4/5 years. You have to push & demand of your players and certainly of your coaches. Be a good game manager and know how to win or the job is just halfway accomplished.

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
February 19, 2021 6:58 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

If Donte pulls this off it just proves he is a magician, the best there is.

Chris
Knighted Member
February 19, 2021 10:29 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

The biggest reason is he and Domani Jackson are really good friends and have both said they want to play together in college. Domani is our #1 recruiter on this. We have a legit shot.

usc50
Active Member
February 18, 2021 11:02 am

Next game on Sat at 3 on Fox will be on national tv.
It is a great chance for the nation to see the Trojans basketball.
Arizona always has talent. They have had some injury troubles also.
It has been awhile since USC had a basketball team this good.

TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
February 18, 2021 8:49 am

This is definitely the best team Enfield has fielded. Enfield’s MO for his entire career has been to fade badly in February. His best record is 4-3. They are now 4-0 for February. It stands a chance to be on a par with the other two “great” SC Basketball teams – Paul Westphal’s team (probably the best) followed by the Brian Scalabrine team that went to the elite 8. This team has a chance to become the best in SC history.