After a disappointing home stand last week against the Arizona schools by losing both games, WSU will be looking to bounce back this week when they make the trip to the city of angels. WSU will be taking on the 9-13 (4-5 Pac-12) USC Trojans tonight at the Galen Center. The Trojans are coming off of an impressive win against one of the hottest teams in the Pac-12 in the UCLA Bruins (75-71).
Playing on the road has been very tough for the Cougars as they have only won only one road game this season and it was against the Oregon State Beavers, who are considered to be one of the worst teams in the Pac-12. Though the Cougars have shown signs of improvement, I believe they have a pretty good shot at winning this game. This won’t be a walk in the park, and just because the Trojans have an under .500 record doesn’t mean the Cougars should take this one lightly.
The Trojans come into this game averaging 65.7 points per game while the Cougars average 63.5 points a game. The Trojans have played a very tough schedule this year and have been competitive in most of their games. The Trojans are very spread out with their scoring as three of their five starters average in double figure points. USC’s best player is Eric Wise who is averaging a team high 12.5 points a game and 5.5 rebounds a game. Another player the Cougars must contain is J.T. Terrell, who is averaging 10.2 points a game.
What do the Cougars need to do to win this game? First off the Cougars must shut down Wise and also not allow three players on SC to score in double figures. Brock Motum will need to step up as well for the Cougars, and score at least 15 to 20 points. Plus Royce Woolridge will need to continue his strong play and score in double figures.
The Cougar bench will need to step up as well, and finally making free throws. This is probably the most frustrating part about watching Cougar basketball this season is the missed free throws. This is what hurt the Cougars against Oregon, Arizona State and Arizona. “MAKE YOUR FREE THROWS” is what WSU Head Basketball Coach Ken Bone must address his team. If the Cougars can shoot around 75 to 80 percent from the line, they’ll have a chance in this game.
This will be a close game and I expect the Cougars to pull this one out on the road given the weapons they have on offense and how well defensively they’ve played this season.
–Evan Baron (Follow Me on Twitter: @BaselineBaron09)