Max Analysis: Good Things Come In Threes

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February 10, 2013 by Max Meyer

By Max Meyer

USC beat Washington for on Sunday night 71-60 at the Galen Center. USC is currently on a three-game winning streak, their first one that long since the 2010-11 season. USC also now has a winning record in Pac-12 play at 6-5. Let’s dig a bit deeper into this crucial win for USC.

One Thing I Liked: Chass Bryan

The backup point guard hasn’t played a lot of big time minutes this season. In fact, he’s only averaged eight minutes per game in USC’s last six contests. However, when Jio Fontan picked up his fourth foul four minutes into the second half, Bryan ran the point.

When Bryan came into the game, USC was beating Washington 45-35. USC’s largest lead in the game was 19, but it dwindled all the way down to six with just over 11 minutes left. After huge baskets by Eric Wise and J.T. Terrell, Bryan stole the show by knocking down three-pointers on back to back possessions.

Fontan came back into the game with over six minutes left with USC up by eight. However, Bryan’s 10 steady second-half minutes allowed the Trojans to keep their lead for good. He also added two assists and a steal, but his two big shots were arguably the biggest in the game.

Another Thing I Liked: USC’s Big Men

Finally! The biggest reason why USC beat Washington by 11 points was because Dewayne Dedmon and Omar Oraby played like collegiate basketball players. They combined for 17 points and 13 rebounds in 35 minutes. Now, that not may sound like much, but compared to their performances recently, the duo had a very productive night.

The reason why Dedmon played so well is because he never got into foul trouble. When Dedmon picked up his first foul of the game less than four minutes into the game, Cantu benched him for Oraby. Oraby promptly grabbed a defensive rebound and scored on two consecutive possessions.

After two made baskets by another USC big man, Aaron Fuller, Dedmon came back into the game after sitting on the bench for five minutes. Whatever was going through his mind at the time worked, because he didn’t pick up a foul the rest of the game. Maybe he’s finally gotten tired of watching his fellow big men play more minutes than him.

Oraby on the other hand, scored his most points in a game since December 30th against Dayton. However, he still doesn’t take advantage of his height to rebound the ball. In USC’s last 10 games, Oraby has eclipsed the five rebound mark only once. However, he did make an impact in this game, so I’ll take the baby steps.

The only negative about their performance tonight was the fact that they gave up a lot of second-chances. Washington had nine offensive rebounds, but fortunately they only managed six points on those extra possessions.

Quick Hits

1. USC scored 40 points in the first half this game. There were four games last season in which USC scored 40 points or fewer in the entire game.

2. USC’s free-throw shooting has improved under coach Bob Cantu. They shot 14-15 from the line against Washington, good for 93 percent.

3. Also, besides Dedmon, USC as a team did a great job staying out of foul trouble. Jio Fontan was the only player to have more than two fouls, which is why the starting lineup played their most minutes together in a while.

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