Trojan Basketball Is Looking Good!

After four-year absence, USC men’s basketball returns to AP rankings at No. 20

USC forward Max Agbonkpolo shoots over UCLA guard David Singleton during the Trojans’ 66-48 win Saturday. (Mark J. Terrill / AP)

The Trojans debuted at No. 20 in the AP poll Monday, after key victories over Stanford and UCLA last week moved them into a tie atop the Pac-12.

The rest of the conference wasn’t so fortunate. UCLA, which was ranked 21st, fell out of the rankings. Oregon and Arizona State are the only other two Pac-12 teams to have been ranked at any point this season, but the Ducks have lost three of five games since last ranked, and the Sun Devils have lost six of eight, dating to mid-Dec.

In a wildly inconsistent Pac-12, USC has emerged as a top contender for the conference title. The Trojans just earned their first victory over a ranked opponent — albeit one that immediately fell out of the poll — when they beat UCLA on Saturday. More importantly, they’ve lost just one game since the start of the new year, winning many by a wide margin.

That was the case again Saturday, as point guard Ethan Anderson turned in a career night and USC rolled over its crosstown rival, holding one of the conference’s top offenses to a season-low 48 points.

The teams are tied atop the Pac-12 at 9-2. The Trojans will take to the road this week to face Washington and Washington State, two of the conference’s bottom three teams.

latimes.com

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volunteerTrojan
Active Member
volunteerTrojan (@volunteertrojan)
February 12, 2021 7:22 am

Interesting Duck perspective, mostly true unfortunately.

https://fishduck.com/2021/02/usc-is-not-oregons-equal/

TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
February 12, 2021 9:39 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Totally agree. The problem is not desire, it is ability to execute. SC has not been able to run the ball effectively starting with the UT game in the Coliseum Sam last year. In fact, the last game SC ran effectively was the week before when SC destroyed Stanford in Clay’s best game as a HC. Ran for 300 yards and passed for 300 yards. UT came in the next week and totally shut down the run game; Todd Orlando figured out how to stop the run game in the Tee Martin/Clay Helton “gumbo” and SC has never run effectively… Read more »

volunteerTrojan
Active Member
volunteerTrojan (@volunteertrojan)
February 12, 2021 5:17 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I thought the premise of the title, that USC is not equal to the ducks at present is true, as much as I abhor admitting that. The scoreboard the past few years and the recruiting results bear that out. But I also disagree that it is because of desire in establishing the run game. I think the state of the O-line GH inherited has made it hard to determine what he desires to do. If he hadn’t been saddled with Drevno and his talent/coaching, would he have run more? His North Texas run/pass ratios seem to indicate he would. And… Read more »

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
February 12, 2021 5:57 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

He is a fool trying to sound like he knows something he obviously has little knowledge about. How in the world could any team rated as bad as USC was in the run, taking all the heat they have, not be interested in getting the run game going. He actually makes himself sound like a complete fool from Oregon. Which he is.

Jamaica
Knighted Member
Jamaica (@jamaica)
February 12, 2021 10:32 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Are we forgetting that McGuire was not the 1st, 2nd, and maybe not even a 5th choice. We all felt during the time you mentioned who Bohn/Helton were interested in, in your posts, it was the same old story: no one good wants to work for Helton. Adding to that, McGuire’s work last year at N Texas St was nothing special and in fact poor with the rushing game. Yes, Bohn, GH and maybe if he really cares, Helton craves a running game. But here we go again waiting to see a suspect OL coach come in and expect immediate… Read more »

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
February 14, 2021 6:50 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

As with any person, coach or otherwise, they should be judged by the results, nothing else. Give the guy a shot, what the hell, could the line play get any worse? See what we have at mid season.

Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 11, 2021 12:12 pm

Did any of you have that one kid you were terrified to matched up against in the Oklahoma drill? I can still remember Jason , he had a beard (kind of) in jr high. He killed everyone. It was not fun to tackle or be tackled by him.

Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 11, 2021 12:48 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

That’s crazy! No chance that happens today.

Jamaica
Knighted Member
Jamaica (@jamaica)
February 13, 2021 9:03 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Remember “the Burma Road Drill” where the whole team would form a single line and the player who screwed up too much would line up against each player one at a time and take them on. You were meat after it was over.

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
February 11, 2021 4:47 pm
Reply to  Chris

I was a prima donna QB with the red vest on all the time.

LawyerJohn
Knighted Member
LawyerJohn (@lawyerjohn)
February 11, 2021 11:27 am

Just read Rialto’s take on the game of basketball. One could also put-down the game of football. It is a 3 or 3 1/2 hour contest packed with less than 10-minutes of action, and is played by Neanderthal-type men whose goal is to physically punish opponents.

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
February 11, 2021 4:46 pm
Reply to  LawyerJohn

And the problem is?

Jamaica
Knighted Member
Jamaica (@jamaica)
February 11, 2021 4:53 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

So is Jinx gonna help recruit better OL’s and help the new OL coach (who couldn’t produce open running lanes at his last stop) as well as the present OL on how to open running lanes in the AR offense? How long will that take?

LawyerJohn
Knighted Member
LawyerJohn (@lawyerjohn)
February 11, 2021 12:19 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Russell caught a lot of criticism for that Patrick piece– something along the lines of ‘keep it in the house,’ Wilson. Reports are that players working with this quarterback say he is no walk in the park. And somehow Wilson eludes bad press, such as blowing a Super Bowl win with a last second interception. Instead his coach Carroll shoulders all the blame for failing to run for the winning touchdown with his red-hot running back.

RialtoTrojan
Noble Member
RialtoTrojan (@rialtotrojan)
February 11, 2021 8:21 am

I was just visiting to see what was new. Nothing I see. Then I wondered what was so interesting about Basketball? They run wind-sprints for half the game interrupted by posturing and the person in possession of the ball throwing the ball into a bottomless trash bin. Then they take a break and come back for an exciting finish of more wind-sprints and posturing. Well, at least we’re good at it this year. Baseball is a little better. they have elevated the art of expectorating to a level that can be called art. In both sports the act of bench… Read more »

RialtoTrojan
Noble Member
RialtoTrojan (@rialtotrojan)
February 11, 2021 10:17 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I am totally in agreement here and there. First I went to high school in Covina where Doc. Sooter was coach and basketball was king, so I used to love the games (also being in the pep band got me in free) My dad was the supervisor of Audio Visual for Cal State LA so he ran the sound system for their basketball games. I was allowed to sit in that booth when I was a little kid. I saw USC play the Diablos and also The Harlem Globetrotters. USC basketball held my interest until I kinda got busy and… Read more »

Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 11, 2021 10:56 am
Reply to  RialtoTrojan

Rialto, In high school I played baseball against a kid who ended up pitching in the big leagues (not for long). He was 6’7” and maybe weighed 150, but threw in mid 90’s. He was all legs and elbows and had no idea where it was going. It was terrifying. I was a 14 year old fresh out of babe Ruth where hitting was easy. I was pretty sure I was going to die. My coach looks at me and says “go in there and swing as hard as you can just in case you hit it” I nodded, and… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Chris
Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 11, 2021 12:09 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Pretty much. There was no bull to hit, but he would have by accident. He was a super nice guy, just had no idea where he was throwing. It’s crazy how we all have these lifetime stories around sports, love hearing them.

I have a kid who hopes to play college baseball or basketball at low level, he’s a junior now. that’s been the best time ever. Being a sports dad is awesome!

Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 11, 2021 12:51 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Thanks. He has JC and offers at small schools for baseball with no athletic scholarships just academic. This summer will be the litmus test, lots of showcase tourneys in both sports, if they can happen.

TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
February 12, 2021 9:32 am
Reply to  Chris

Chris, Based on my experience, take the academic scholarships and have your son be an invited walk on. Both my sons played waterpolo for Jovan Vavic at SC. Both were on academic rather than athletic scholarships. Both were invited walk ons. They were admitted under the same program that got all the criminal indictments. My sons were both legit. One would have been at least a two year starter and the other would have been a sub who played a lot. Both were redshirted their frosh year. One son had the highest GPA for any athlete at SC his frosh… Read more »

danielmcd1
Active Member
danielmcd1 (@danielmcd1)
February 12, 2021 5:51 am
Reply to  Chris

Chris, If your son is good enough to play baseball in college D1 or D2, there are good D2 programs out there. They play good baseball. My son who was a lefty pitcher/ first baseman, got a scholarship to D2 Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu in 2006. They played good California schools like Chico State, Cal State Sonoma, Cal State Dominguez Hills. It helped him to be on a travel team with the head coach having good college connections. We went to Hawaii one time and my son pitched two innings and the pitching coach at HPU gave him a… Read more »

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
February 11, 2021 4:52 pm
Reply to  RialtoTrojan

Hardest thing to do in sports is hit a 90 mile an hour fastball.

Jamaica
Knighted Member
Jamaica (@jamaica)
February 11, 2021 5:02 pm
Reply to  Steveg

A moving knuckle ball ain’t easy nor an inside slider. But of course you could have told Tommy Lasorda a golf ball was harder to hit and get this response (on Utube).

Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 11, 2021 8:16 am

Listened to Donte on Ryan Abraham podcast today. It’s easy to see why recruits love him. Donte will for sure make his way to a head coaching spot someday.

Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 11, 2021 9:34 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Two things- he’s driven, like crazy driven. He always speaks to getting better, not settling, and the work it takes to get there.
the second is he is brutally honest. He is not going to blow sunshine and he will tell you what you need to hear, but in a relatable and genuine way. At least that is what I get from hearing him speak.

it’s easy to scream and yell and to push people. It’s much harder to motivate in a firm and relatable way. I think he just is that kind of guy.

ATL D.D.S.
Diamond Member
ATL D.D.S. (@atl-d-d-s)
February 11, 2021 3:21 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Huggs sux. Always has, and always will.

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
February 11, 2021 4:50 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Donte is the one guy we could hire as HC without HC experience and he would be successful. IMHO

UtahTrojan
Knighted Member
UtahTrojan (@utahtrojan)
February 10, 2021 10:52 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

These guys all sound like out secondary is in good hands, but my take away is that Williams says that Clay preaches “it” is a team effort. I can’t imagine Clay is referencing recruiting when he says that. Otherwise why would he have had so many coaches on his staff that did not recruit?

TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
February 11, 2021 6:50 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Allen, Thank you for the write up. It simply confirms what I thought – Donte Williams is the HC of recruiting and does not answer to Clay. And, Donte Williams is elite. His DB class is outstanding, probably as good as any in the nation (including ALs). He is the only HC (we have now four of them) that is elite. I think Orlando is very good as is Sean Snyder. I think GH, the HC of the O, is mediocre but has potential. And, I agree. You can ignore anything any of the four HCs (or their staff) says… Read more »

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
February 10, 2021 5:06 pm

I have been watching video of 2021 recruit Prophet Brown. They call him a corner back, but the guy is a very good running back with speed, receiver, and kick returner. It almost seems a shame to put him on defense.

UtahTrojan
Knighted Member
UtahTrojan (@utahtrojan)
February 10, 2021 12:41 pm

UCLA’s athletic department was $21.7 million in the red during the 2020 fiscal year, bringing the Bruins’ two-year shortfall to $40.6 million, The Times has confirmed. Still waiting to receive the full fiscal report from the school.

TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
February 10, 2021 1:11 pm
Reply to  UtahTrojan

Utah, UCLA’s Fiscal Year 2020 went from June 30, 2019 to June 30, 2020, so does not include the fiscal impact of Covid on Football or Men’s Basketball or the loss of the Pac12 Network funding. It also does not include the loss of the $13 Million per year from Armour All terminating its contract with UCLA in June, 2020. Those losses were incurred when UCLA was “fine”. If you factor in Covid and the loss of the Armour All contract and the loss of income from the Pac 12, the fiscal year 2021 losses will be staggering. The new… Read more »

Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 10, 2021 12:02 pm

I have it under good authority, meaning my 17 year old kid, that Clay Helton is “buns” and Mike Bohn is going to “merc” him soon. So go ahead and run with that.

Last edited 2 months ago by Chris
Golden Trojan
Diamond Member
Golden Trojan (@golden-trojan)
February 10, 2021 4:10 pm
Reply to  Chris

Uh, English translation please, I am deer in the headlights on that.

John Weld
Admin
Diamond Member
John Weld (@johnnynumbers)
February 10, 2021 4:35 pm
Reply to  Chris

Went to my local 16 and 18 year informants and they both agreed that ‘buns’ translates to ‘ass’ but ‘merc’ was short for mercenary and one said ‘hired hitman’ the other said ‘beat down’ but they both agreed on ‘going rouge’. How did we do?

John Weld
Admin
Diamond Member
John Weld (@johnnynumbers)
February 10, 2021 6:35 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I think your answer is a little more official. Urban dictionary is a must have when talking to anyone under 25. I wonder how well these people will do when they start interviewing for a job.

Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 10, 2021 5:29 pm
Reply to  John Weld

Seems like you nailed it.

Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 10, 2021 5:31 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

17 year old logic “he can’t stay terrible forever, he will have everyone hate him or he will hate himself and change the way he coaches”.

Trojan5
Knighted Member
Trojan5 (@trojan5)
February 10, 2021 6:02 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Positivity is contagious. None of us are immune; except maybe Jamaica. ( just kidding Jamaica). Don’t worry Allen we will probably get a healthy dose of the positivity antidote when SC travels to South Bend. PS. My case of positivity is letting me think SC actually can beat ND. They will be breaking in a new QB and that is always dicey. Hope springs eternal.

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
February 10, 2021 6:42 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Jeez Allen, the kook aid hasn’t even been poured yet. Wait until July, we are going to have to keep an eye on you.

Jamaica
Knighted Member
Jamaica (@jamaica)
February 10, 2021 7:36 pm
Reply to  Trojan5

You got me (or merc’d) me on that one Trojan5. But I’m not buying any of this Bohn is going to do what….. Helton has his contract and he’s not going anywhere until he gets the last dime owed him. He already has CFB shaking their heads over his egg-head management of a flagship program. He is shameless and just fine thank you, in letting USC football melt down to the level he leads or, forcing others to do his job for him if they want and he’ll gladly promote the party line with a straight face if his bosses… Read more »

Jamaica
Knighted Member
Jamaica (@jamaica)
February 10, 2021 7:49 pm
Reply to  Jamaica

As for positivity, the day Helton is no longer associated with USC football, you will be amazed at how quickly I become positive & excited on this website. Mark that down folks. For Mike Bohn will have to look long & hard to find another beauty like CH.

Jamaica
Knighted Member
Jamaica (@jamaica)
February 11, 2021 4:45 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Won’t happen Allen…. Helton will ask for a raise to re-up and Mike Bohn would not want to be labeled a Lynn Swann clone.

UtahTrojan
Knighted Member
UtahTrojan (@utahtrojan)
February 10, 2021 9:06 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Allen, step away from the internet and slowly back away. Once you have spent a day not watching the USC hype videos you will start to view next season more logically.

usc50
Active Member
usc50 (@usc50)
February 9, 2021 12:16 pm

It is an exciting time to be a USC basketball fan.
First place in the Pac12.
No 20 in AP poll.
After all these years of drought it is finally a drink.
Hope the team can keep it up.

ATL D.D.S.
Diamond Member
ATL D.D.S. (@atl-d-d-s)
February 10, 2021 7:30 am
Reply to  usc50

Well, SC 50, I don’t know about you, but USC football and basketball the last few years has caused me to drink. Is that what you mean?😎

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
February 10, 2021 8:04 am
Reply to  ATL D.D.S.

I can’t say that football caused me to drink, but it sure spurred me along.

LawyerJohn
Knighted Member
LawyerJohn (@lawyerjohn)
February 9, 2021 8:54 am

The 2021 SC Basketball team has a chance at a Sweet-16 run if the Trojans win the Pac-12 Conference, and then earn a high seed for the NCAA March Madness. Those first 2 games SC would likely be favored, and if won, they are Sweet-16 bound. Can you imagine?– Well, apparently no Trojans are. This inspiring SC article got only 2 comments on the blog. A football article would have conjured up 20 to 100 comments here. I get it. Football is king. But you’re missing out if not an SC basketball fan. So knowing no one is reading any… Read more »

Golden Trojan
Diamond Member
Golden Trojan (@golden-trojan)
February 9, 2021 12:37 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Don’t forget the great game plan by the Tampa defense. Shut down the best passing offense this season.

Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 9, 2021 3:08 pm
Reply to  Golden Trojan

KC with its hurt line stood no chance. Tampa did not need to bring any extra guys to disrupt everything for KC. That will pretty much win every football game played.

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
February 9, 2021 6:50 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I agree, it reminded me of USC in a lot of repects but the lack of adjustments just blew me away. These are supposed to be professionals. KC not in that game for sure. Hope Slovis saw how to throw the ball 40 yards on his way to the ground, Mahomes is incredible.

Last edited 2 months ago by Steveg
Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 9, 2021 7:17 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

They did dare them to run, but it’s really difficult to run your way to a win. Sustained 10, 12, 15 play drives just don’t happen regularly against good defenses. KC could have been right there if healthy, but the OLine losses were too much to overcome. Maholmes was their only shot, and with his injury it was too much to ask.

LawyerJohn
Knighted Member
LawyerJohn (@lawyerjohn)
February 9, 2021 7:44 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Not true, AW, you have censored me in the past, but not lately, and I was surprised that you did that because you value varied opinions.

And 31-9 is a score that indicates there was little or no drama as to who was going to win that game, especially 21-6 at halftime. KC needed 3 scores to catch Tampa Bay, and where I come from, if a game is settled at halftime, it is a colossal bore.

Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 9, 2021 9:32 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Was there any point after halftime in which there was even a hint of drama? Comebacks are awesome to watch, but KC never sniffed one. I wasn’t bored because of the Brady story, but the game wasn’t good.

UtahTrojan
Knighted Member
UtahTrojan (@utahtrojan)
February 9, 2021 10:18 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I would say the two missing offensive linemen were huge for KC. But my biggest take-away was I think KC came into the game thinking they had already won it. Same thing that Oklahoma did when they faced USC in the Championship Game and you had the same outcome.

UtahTrojan
Knighted Member
UtahTrojan (@utahtrojan)
February 9, 2021 10:55 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I agree the Bucs were confident. But the Chiefs were arrogant

LawyerJohn
Knighted Member
LawyerJohn (@lawyerjohn)
February 8, 2021 6:39 pm

Some say this might be the best ever SC basketball team. Most would say the 1971 the All-American guard-oriented team was the best. But they were beat twice by sucla with an All-American forward dominated team. When guards are shooting coldly their team usually loses, whereas forwards can make up for their poor-shooting by rebounding. Give me tall forwards over the smaller guards. And this 2021 Trojan team is tall and forward-oriented, and I believe it has a fair chance at a Final-4 run. The usual suspects– Kansas, Duke and Kentucky all lost last weekend, so there are few elite… Read more »

Chris
Diamond Member
Chris (@chris)
February 9, 2021 6:39 am
Reply to  LawyerJohn

Like you said, It’s really hard to beat a big team with skill. That is exactly who we are. Our length is a nightmare on the defensive end. I’m not sure about final four, but we are a really tough out.
for some reason Kentucky and Duke are just not good this year. Kentucky is flat out terrible. I don’t think either will make the tourney. I think Gonzaga is head and shoulders better than everyone else this year, but we shall see very soon.

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
February 9, 2021 8:26 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Pretty obvious this is mostly a football blog. But then football is king.
😄