The Oregon Ducks (17-8, 7-5) face a crucial road swing this week down in Los Angeles. Implications for the Pac-12 title and tournament are on the line with the USC Trojans (17-9, 8-5) up first.
Oregon is heading to Los Angeles with positive momentum. The Ducks play their best basketball in the second half, putting the conference on notice. With the sweep of the Washington schools last week, the Ducks have won five of their previous six games.
First-year students, Troy Brown, is coming off his best performances in conference play and hopefully brings his strong game to Los Angeles. Kenny Wooten has also risen to the occasion the past week with the block party he displayed against Washington.
Identity remains to be seen from this current Ducks team. Arizona sits on top of the conference with UCLA and USC behind. Oregon sits behind the LA schools and could be breathing down Arizona depending on how this week unfolds.
From the inconsistencies shown by the Ducks, wanting to take the spoils just does not seem likely. Oregon needs a durable finish to have consideration for the NCAA Tournament. At the moment, the Ducks do not appear to be heading for the dance.
At the very least, the Ducks needs to earn a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament to have a chance.
USC is coming off three-straight losses and hurting. Bennie Boatwright is dealing with a foot injury. He is the Trojans’ second-leading scorer in points per game with Chimezie Metu, the leader. Boatwright was the difference in the first meeting between the two teams in Eugene with his 18 points.
Tipoff begins at 6:00 p.m. PST with a telecast on ESPN 2