Saturday, February 02, 2008

Arizona at USC

Yet another day at the office in the Pac-10. This would have been a much closer game, had Daniel Hackett not injured himself 2 minutes into the game while trying to save a ball from going out of bounds. The loss of Hackett affected USC's rotation and depth, and the team lost its "soul" as Hackett had been part of the team's infrastructure so to speak.

Arizona continued to play well, and perhaps surprised some that they were able to continue shooting well, despite not playing away from the friendly confines of McKale. But can they do that against UCLA's multi-foul per-possession defense later today, in front of a national audience, and in a very high profile game with ESPN Gameday.

So USC is going to make sure the NCAA selection cmte footnotes this game because of the Hackett injury.

The game itself was very well played. and if it wasn't for USC tiring out on essentially a five-man rotation, this would have probably had a much more dramatic conclusion.

While Budinger scored a lot and got some rebounds, it was J-Mac (Jawann McClellan) who was instrumental to Arizona's win with his defense and his offense, especially in the first half. Game ball goes to McClellan.

USC had productive games from Jefferson and Mayo, but it was not enough. Mayo was able to win his matchup with Bayless who had a rather quiet game, and even more dramatic was a Mayo block on Bayless, and then a three pointer in Bayless's face in the next possession. But just like the Mercer game, OJ Mayo winning his matchup does not mean USC wins the game.

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