Obligatory joke on how surprised I am to be speaking of Miami and USC in back to back posts and ot have the NCAA Enforcement Department involved.
Obligatory note on Andy Enfield 1: Way to marry up.
Obligatory note on Andy Enfield 2: The DAC Pack (well, me) was present in Philadelphia when Dunk City was created and it was our crowd that deafened the Georgetown crowd that was present. WE MADE YOU ENFIELD!
Non Obligatory note to Andy Enfield: Thank you for pushing pace. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This game may be ugly, but at least it will get into the 60's.
Two teams that are BAD face off in the Charleston Classic today. No truth to the rumor that they are dropping the Classic before this game and just calling it the Charleston. As Alan Boston notes below, this USC team just hasn't caught up to the run and gun coaching that Enfield preaches. The net result of that is turnovers galore. With the offensive struggles that DU has had this year, one can hope that this is just what the doctor ordered for the Dragons. Rather than fighting the run and gun and trying to slow the game down, quick fast break scoring could really help this team right now, so the Dragons may be best off letting USC run their style, and run, run, run some more.
The Trojans are trotting out a crew of athletes who don't want to play the half court game, and it shows. They can hit water from a boat about as well as the Dragons from distance, so one might consider a zone against them, although Dragon fans know full well that they won't see it. The Dragon big men really struggled with help defense against Miami though, and they will be tested even more in this game. It's absolutely vital that Williams, Bah et al step up their game when the USC guards slip past their turnstile counterparts. That's the game: stop the USC penetration and once again, don't turn the ball over and give up fastbreaks. These guys aren't going to shoot 50% from 3 to take the game from you like Miami did. It'd be nice to get Damion a bit more involved as well, no?
KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid and this game could get the Dragons over the 50 point line and just maybe into the win column. Based on how well the Dragons defended inside and limited the fast break, this is a really bad matchup for a weak USC team. Look for FT's from Damion Lee down the stretch to seal it. If the Dragons don't win this one, it could be a long while til they do get in the win column.
Prediction: Dragons 65 - USC 56
Line - Dragons by 4
Alan Boston's Notes: Entering his 2nd year, Andy Enfield brings his USC team that has got off
to a very poor start. After losing at home to Portland St, they could
never put away Tenn tech and then in the first round of Charleston Classic, they
got blown out by Akron. Enfield, of course, found fame with his
entertaining Florida Gulf Coast crew that upset both Georgetown and San Diego St and
then led Florida before the referees said "we are not allowing you to win,"
and proceeded to allow Florida to do whatever they wished and not give
Gulf Coast the same privilege. I wonder why the powers that be, allow
refs to destroy NCAA Cinderellas. ESPN's highest rated game was the
Princeton Georgetown affair that turned late when a Princeton player ended
up in the 3rd row with a bloody nose courtesy of a Georgetown elbow+shove,
without a foul being called. It happens virtually every year. It sucks.
Florida got by Butler when Udonis Haslem was pushed by the Butler player
who he had applied a choke hold to and the foul was called on Butler. They
later lost in overtime. I do not get it because Cinderella is big for
ratings. They are always the main story. They are fun to root for. They
create good television. That creates money, which is all the NCAA cares
about. Enfield will turn USC around but presently, without his players,
they are struggling to understand his stuff. Drexel has a very good
chance to shut this team down and get their first win of the year.