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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

No. 5 USC Still Trying to Shake Rust After COVID-19 Stagnation

LOS ANGELES – USC men’s basketball survived Thursday night with a win over Oregon State, but the fifth-placed Trojans didn’t take it easy against the Lowly Beavers.

The defense quickly deteriorated, allowing the state of Oregon to bombard the Trojans from a 3-point range. The offense was out of character, shooting the ball from behind the arc rather than attacking the paint.

For the third game in a row, all coming after a 19-day COVID-19 pause, the Trojans didn’t look like a team that was 12-0 ahead of the outbreak. And with three games in five days this week, the Trojans don’t have much time to iron out the kinks.

“We are a bit harsh, especially on the offensive end at times,” head coach Andy Enfield said after Thursday’s win. “We’ve lost so much practice time that some of the defensive concepts that we drill all the time and our offensive stuff that we run… I think it hurt us. But there’s no excuse. We have to do it quickly.” Will have to unravel and our players have to figure out how to get back in the flow.”

On Thursday, there were signs of enthusiasm in the second fortnight. After a blistering start from the Beavers, USC (14-1, 4-1 in the Pac-12) restricted the Beavers to 33.3% shooting in the second half. The Trojans ended the game 11–0 after trailing one with 3:55.

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Still, it was 3-12 against the Oregon State team that has struggled to follow its Elite Eight run from a year ago. On Saturday, USC will play Oregon (10-6, 3-2), which overtook No. 3 UCLA on Thursday and will be looking for some revenge after losing to USC in Sweet 16 in March.

“Now we’re bunching up games, squeezing them out as best we can,” Mobley said. “But this is what’s on our plate. We just have to handle it.”

So the plan for Friday’s exercise was to keep things light. Enfield and their staff planned to show the team some films and walk them through some concepts on the practice court. But there is no scramble or live work as the team tries to rest its feet before taking some time off to regroup next week for a two-game slate.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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