While Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield enjoys his time in New York, the OU basketball team will be on the other side of the continent for a top-25 matchup with the USC Trojans. Friday night’s game in Los Angeles will be played at the Staples Center, making the stage just a bit brighter than it otherwise would be.
Oklahoma (6-1) vs. USC (4-2): 9:30 p.m. CT
Commentary: Roxy Bernstein and Bill Walton
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM “The Franchise” in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa)
- The main campus of The University of Southern California is located less than two miles from the Staples Center, which is the site of Friday night’s game. The Trojans usually play at the Galen Center, which has a capacity of 10,258.
- USC head coach Andy Enfield is perhaps best known for an accomplishment that took place before his move to Southern Cal. Remember “Dunk City”? Well, Enfield was the head coach of that FGCU team that went to the Sweet 16 in 2013. Since taking the job at USC, Enfield’s teams have compiled a record of 74-66.
- The Trojans are led in scoring by big man Chimezie Metu, who has averaged 16 PPG while also pulling in 7.7 rebounds per contest. Senior PG Jordan McLaughlin has also been impressive, averaging 13.5 points, 5.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.
- The Trojans started the season with four straight wins before dopping consecutive games to SMU and Texas A&M.
- OU is 6-5 against USC in its history and won the most recent meeting on Dec. 4, 2008. Blake Griffin won that contest by a score of 73-72, but perhaps the most memorable moment of the game occurred when USC’s Leonard Washington elbowed Griffin in the nether-region, knocking him out of the game for a period of time. That USC team also had DeMar DeRozan and Taj Gibson on the roster, so that was definitely a memorable evening at the LNC.
- Defensive energy – Oklahoma’s perimeter defense actually did a pretty decent job defensing the three-point shot against UTSA on Monday, but the defensive effort was definitely lacking at times. UTSA scored a few too many easy buckets, and I think that sometimes happens when Oklahoma is confident in its ability to simply outscore teams. USC has struggled offensively against good teams, but OU can’t afford to be lackadaisical defensively.
- Trae Young’s ability as a floor general – Trae Young has been putting up some incredible numbers and likely will do so once again tonight. However, it’ll be interesting to see how well he does as a facilitator and floor general against very good defensive basketball team. Young is a fantastic talent who handles and passes the ball very well, but he’ll need to limit the turnovers in what could be a tight game.
- Bill Walton – This game is being played at the current home of the Los Angeles Lakers, so expect Bill Walton to get all nostalgic about the The Forum. I bet he’ll mention something about seeing the Grateful Dead three consecutive nights at the old venue. Feb. 10-12, 1989, to be exact. Actually… mark it down. I’m calling my shot on this one.
Despite losing consecutive games to good teams and being stymied offensively in the process, I think USC is going to be able to score a bit more against the Sooners. However, OU should be able to do just enough defensively to allow Trae Young and the supporting cast to win it with offense.
Oklahoma 83, USC 77
Source: Crimson and Cream Machine
Powered by WPeMatico