Pac-10 preview: USC

Prior to the commencement of the 2009-2010 college basketball season, Hoopism will profile various NCAA teams. Today, the sixth installment of the Pac-10 previews: the USC Trojans.

If there’s a team with a bigger question mark on their backs, I don’t know who it would be.

Here we have a team that has classically underachieved for the last several years, that has lost its brilliant point guard (Camille LeNoir) and gained a coach who has never worked at the college level. A team that has me thinking the University is cursed because I’ve never seen so many injuries as have occurred in the last few years. A team that has had a number of players de-commit since Coach Michael Cooper’s hiring was announced, and now has a roster thinner than paper.

What’s going to happen?

If it’s business as usual, then it’ll be a game like the Dec. 19, 2008 contest at Galen Center, which saw ranked Duke visit. The Trojans had dominated the visitors the entire game, but fell apart in the last 2 minutes and gave the game away by eight points.

Or maybe it will be a new team – of which we saw the flashing possibilities in their victory last March over Cal in the Pac-10 tournament.

I hear Cooper has had the players running a lot and shooting many free throws because he doesn’t want them to lose games at the charity stripe. There’s also a rumor that ESPN 26th-ranked Cassie Harberts will sign with USC by next week, making her the first major “get” of the Cooper era. But other than that, I have no idea what’s going on in the land of Troy.

I hope, for the sake of the players and fans of the long-suffering program, that it’s good stuff.

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  1. There's something very ironic here though, USC getiing players falling in their lap without having done any work on the recruiting front, kids who can't make up their mind and those who have not fulfilled NCAA requirements yet.