The Trojans had won eight in a row, six since transfer Mike Gerrity became eligible and took over at the point, before arriving in the Bay Area. But they lost their first two games after being informed they are ineligible for postseason ban, and will face questions about motivation until they demonstrate they have rediscovered their winning formula.
Usual Starters -- F Nikola Vucevic, F Alex Stepheson, Marcus Johnson, G Dwight Lewis, G Mike Gerrity. Key Subs -- G Marcus Simmons, F Leonard Washington.
USC 47, Arizona State 37
Stanford 54, USC 53
Cal 67, USC 59
at UCLA, Saturday, Jan. 16
vs. Washington State, Thursday, Jan. 21
vs. Washington, Saturday, Jan. 23
at Oregon State, Thursday, Jan. 28
at Oregon, Saturday, Jan. 30
The Trojans should have no trouble getting ready for their next game, the season's first clash with L.A. rival UCLA. USC lost twice to the Bruins in the regular season a year ago, but won the Pac-10 tournament semifinal matchup on its way to capturing the event. This will be an opportunity to show their Bay Area defeats were not the result of a hangover after learning that the postseason is off the table for them this year.
--Senior SG Dwight Lewis scored 16 points in first 30 minutes of the Cal game, then managed just four more after the Bears brought senior Nikola Knezevic off the bench to face-guard him the rest of the way.
--Junior PF Alex Stepheson had 13 points and eight rebounds in the loss at Stanford, then 12 points and seven rebounds against Cal.
--Backup PG Donte Smith, who sprained an ankle at Stanford, played just eight minutes, all in the first half, at Cal.
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