USC 56, UC Riverside 35: You hate it. I hate it. Kevin O’Neil loves this crap. He’s got his strewn together squad of transfers and misfits playing just how KO wants. Like the low riders of San Francisco’s Mission (follow that link, good stuff from my buddy Trevor Traynor) KO’s got his boys “slow and low.” Slow: 60.4 possessions per 40 minutes is the fewest in the conference and 341st fewest in the country. Low: 57 points per game is the lowest in the conference and 326th lowest in the country. That’s KO ball. If you’re looking for flashy in the Galen Center, watch the sweatered cheerleaders or KO’s red, glistening dome or Lane Kiffin’s wife. But hey, winning is winning and KO can get that done. Somehow this has turned into a Kevin O’Neil review so back to last night’s game. The Trojans held UCR to just 11 points in the second half which is impressive regardless of how bad an opponent they’re playing. Offensively (giggles), the reigning Pac-12 POW, Maurice Jones, scored just 6 points while struggling from distance (0-6 from three) but dished 7 assists. Impressively, in such a defensive struggle, the Trojans committed just 10 fouls.
Washington St 69, Grambling St 37: Perhaps basking in the glory of the hiring of Mike Leach to guide their maligned football program, Ken Bone’s squad took it to GSU (On the topic of Mike Leach, consider this: he’s about to make $2.2M a year in Pullman, WA. That’s a a 360% raise from what Paul Wulf was making. That pay increase is all Larry Scott and his new TV deal. More to come). In this battle of large breed cats, the Cougars held the Tigers to 25% shooting and just 16% from three. That said, maybe the Cougs had less to do with the poor shooting than we’re giving them credit for? Grambling is now 0-6 and shooting a sweltering 27% as a team, the worst shooting percentage in college basketball. But here’s a Grambling fun fact: sophomore guard Rondale Lucas, through six games, has played every minute but eight. He’s the smallest of the Tigers at 5’10” but is second in rebounding (5.7 rpg). But enough about the SWAC, we’re about the Pac and Brock Motum is rolling. Dare I consider a “Brock for POY” campaign? He went for 11 and 10 last night and is averaging 15 and 7 thus far. I’m telling you, keep an eye on the Motum.
Colorado 64, Colorado State 65: Rivalry fail here. The Buffs, just as we thought they were maybe turning a corner, go and lose to their arch rivals. I suppose one could chock this up to the fact that often rivalry games are a toss up, but Colorado really had a talent advantage here and squandered it. Of course, it never helps to shoot 45% on 29 free throw attempts. Think that makes a difference in a one point game? Also, the high flying Andre Roberson scored all of one point in thirty three minutes. He did grab twelve boards but when there’s NBA hype, you gotta score more than one point. Sigh – this was yet another Pac-12 fail.