USC - Arkansas Preview
USC (5) Vs. Arkansas (12)
Friday, 3/16 @ 9:45
Betting Line From Bookmaker: USC -2
The #23 USC Trojans (23- 11, 11- 7 Pac-10) finished the season in a three-way tied for third and then made it to the final game of the tourney where they lost to 18th ranked Oregon 57- 81. During the regular season the Trojans had beaten nationally ranked Washington State, Arizona and Oregon. The Arkansas Razorbacks (21- 13, 7- 9 SEC W) finished tied for third in their division and made it to the final game of the SEC Tournament where they lost to Florida 56- 77. During the regular season, the Razorbacks also beat nationally ranked clubs, including Vanderbilt, Alabama and LSU.
USC can score points but often shows weakness on defense. This up and coming team has a wealth of talented juniors and freshmen. Junior swingman Nick Young (17.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.4 APG) leads the teams in points and hits threes at 46%. Freshman forward Taj Gibson (11.8 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 1.6 APG) is a force in the paint, while senior guard Lodrick Stewart (14.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG) provides maturity and junior Gabe Pruitt (12.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 4.1 APG) is the team’s playmaker.
Arkansas has underachieved until recently, often lacking contributions from all five starters. Junior guard Gary Ervin (10.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.9 APG) must take charge of offense and defense. This is a team filled with talented juniors who need to keep their focus.
The Razorbacks offer well-balanced scoring as do the Trojans. The question is, which of these two teams will show up ready to play and win on Friday?