Recon: University of Southern California

Recon: University of Southern California

USChead

Outside of a vastly superior location, higher academic standing, an astronomically better-looking student body, a bigger and better athletic program and a more impressive body of alumnus, there’s not much separating Dayton from Southern Cal.

I have no clue why UD scheduled this game against Southern California, other than perhaps rewarding Mrs. Archie with a shopping trip down Rodeo Drive. This trip reminds me of a football program hampered by NCAA probation going to Hawaii for their last game of the season as a sort of “reward.” I really hope the Cagers get a chance to hit the beach and scope out America’s finest tail before heading back to Dayton. If not, this is literally the biggest waste of time and money since female condoms were invented (honest question — has anyone been with a girl who whipped one of these out? Didn’t think so).

Overview

Already in his fourth year as head coach, Kevin O’Neill has yet to make even an oily skid mark during his time in Los Angeles. Although in retrospect that’s not quite true, as some of you may remember this incident that perfectly embodies O’Neill’s reign at SC thus far:

Kevin O’Neill went on a drunken tirade along with his wife after beating Cal yesterday. In fact, he didn’t even change his suit and went straight to the JW Marriott lobby bar.

Sources have indicated that USC head coach Kevin O’Neill and his wife were drunkenly escorted away from their hotel after getting into verbal and physical altercations with Arizona fans on Thursday night.

O’Neill and his wife were in a hotel lobby of the JW Marriott and visibly intoxicated when they exchanged words with a group of Arizona fans. O’Neill reportedly threatened the fan that USC was going to “beat the hell out of Arizona.” Words were exchanged and our sources say that O’Neill’s wife struck one of the Arizona fans. O’Neill and his wife were escorted out of the hotel, and Arizona fans were left wondering what just happened.

oneill2O’Neill is exactly the kind of coach I wish Dayton would hire one day. An older guy with nothing to lose. He has to be divorced at least twice and must have a daughter that posed for naked photos in someone’s garage. That’s literally all I’m asking for in a coach.

Expected to have increased depth and offensive firepower, and finish somewhere in the middle of the pack of their conference, the Trojans are once again off to a sub par start. Southern Cal was expected to battle for a possible NCAA bid, now the SC faithful would just settle for a winning record.

Simply stated, this is a very, very bad Trojan basketball team. Coming off an awful 2011-12 season, where the Trojans finished a mere 6-26 overall, 1-17 in PAC 12 play, USC has yet to register a victory worth mentioning (they did beat Texas, which would have meant something a few years ago). O’Neill’s team did battle admirably against San Diego State, New Mexico, Marquette and Minnesota, so you can’t say that USC didn’t go out and schedule decent competition — although it doesn’t really mean anything if you can’t secure a win or two, now does it?

USC is a fairly abysmal offensive team, averaging a scant 62.3 points per game coming into Saturday’s contest, shooting 42% from the floor and just 32% from behind the arc. It’ll be like playing Wisconsin, only all the players will be in blackface.

The Trojans do have decent size and rebound the ball at an above-average rate. USC’s bigs are solid shot-blockers as well, rejecting round orange projectiles around five times per game. Southern Cal gets after it defensively, holding their opponents to 63 points per game and 41% field-goal shooting.

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O’Neill is 6-4 over his career against UD, mostly built over his time at Marquette in the early 90’s, so he’s got that going for him. Odds are, if asked, he wouldn’t remember  playing the Flyers in the past. We take no offense, Kev. Drinking does things to men, mostly positive, and sometimes minor details get lost in the wash. A day not wasted is a day wasted, we totally get it.

Meet and Greet

Flyer fans will recognize the Trojans’ starting point-guard, former Fordham Ram standout Jio Fontan. Fontan is USC’s leader and main playmaker. The senior from New Jersey is averaging 8.4 points and 5.2 assists per game. He still knows how to dish the rock, coming into the game with UD sporting a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Finally healthy after a series of horrific injuries, Fontan just wants to graduate from college and hike the Appalachian Trail this summer.

jio_web

Joining Fontan in the USC backcourt are JT Terrell (10.1 ppg) and Byron Wesley (9.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg). A former top-50 recruit, Terrell was one of the ACC’s most impressive freshmen while at Wake Forest, but had to transfer to a JC after things “didn’t work out” in Winston-Salem. Wesley, a 6’5″ sophomore, started every game during his freshman season with the Trojans, leading SC in total rebounds and scoring around ten points per game.

Senior forward Eric Wise is the Trojans’ most versatile player. He currently leads the squad in scoring, 10.8 points per game, and is USC’s second-leading rebounder, registering 4.8 boards per outing. Wise shoots an effective 53% from the floor.

The Trojans feature two monstrous behemoths down low. Omar Oraby, The Egyptian Enforcer, is a 7’2″ beast of a man who would probably be designing self-sustaining communities that would save future generations if he was just six inches smaller. Seven-foot Dewayne Dedmon has faulty knees and little offensive ability. Still, superior mass has its’ advantages, allowing Dedmon to pull down 7.3 boards and 5.3 points per game. Although Oraby and Dedmon may not possess natural basketballin’ ability, the two freaks of nature take up plenty of space and alter a significant amount of shots when on the floor.

Bryan Chass (1.8 ppg, 1.8 apg), a spritley first-year point-guard, and Aaron Fuller (2.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg), a grizzled veteran forward, round out USC’s main contributors.

SONG GIRL SLIDESHOW!!!!!!!!

Just an unfettered observation, but doesn’t it appear that the Song Girls tend to bend over more than your average cheer-squad? More than your average stripper?

Numbers Game

“In Vegas, I got into a long argument with the man at the roulette wheel over what I considered to be an odd number.”

scud

Prediction

UD has proven time and time again that it is capable of going on the road and beating a bottom-feeding BCS squad, why should this trip out West be any different? Your Flyers go into the City of Angels and come out victorious, 69-63. Devin Oliver is the star of the game, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Josh Benson fouls out, but looks good doing so.

daddyDusc

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Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.

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