February 16, 2014 by Jacob Freedman
By Jacob Freedman
For just the second time all season, Pe’Shon Howard did not start for the Trojans. For the first time all year, he didn’t suit up for the Trojans at all. Instead, he dressed in warm-ups on the Trojan bench as the USC lost 83-74 to Colorado.
“Violations of team rules,” head coach Andy Enfield said on why Howard sat out. “He should play on the road trip [against California and Stanford]. He should be back.”
Instead, sophomore point guard Chass Bryan started in Howard’s place. Freshman shooting guard Kahlil Dukes received his second start of the season at the shooting guard spot, while Julian Jacobs came off the bench and played 22 minutes in Howard’s absence. “Pe’Shon’s a great leader,” Bryan said. “It was great to see Kahlil Dukes and Brendyn Taylor step up. But when you take him [Howard] away, you take a great portion [away].”
Bryan had 7 points in the first half to lead the Trojans, but the undersized Trojans struggled to contain Colorado on the perimeter, as the Buffaloes hit five three-pointers in the opening half.
Howard is the Trojans’ leader in assists per game (4.3), and USC had just two assists in the first 20 minutes, neither from their two point guards. Bryan and Jacobs combined for one assist in the entire game, as USC had a season-low five assists. “When you lose a starting guard that averages over 4 assists, it’s hard,” Enfield said when asked on Jacobs and Bryan’s performance. “It’s self-explanatory.”