The good folks over at Conquest Chronicles were kind enough to answer some questions about USC to give us a little more information about the Trojans for today's game. You can check out my answers to their questions at Conquest Chronicles.
BOTC: Are you unhappy to have USC placed in Omaha, which is about a three-hour drive from Manhattan, Kan.?
CC: Not exactly unhappy, of course you would like to have home advantage or complete neutrality, but SC has played just as good, if not better, on the road this year than at home and have had their best performances away. Also, with Kansas being in the same region and the Jayhawks having a game earlier in the day, who knows we might have some of their fans rooting for us.
BOTC: Early in the season, it seemed like O.J. Mayo was trying to do too much. Tell us how he has progressed through the year.
CC: He started the year trying to do too much single-handedly and then followed it up by trying too much to allow the game to him. The biggest progression in O.J.'s game this season was finding the right balance of being aggressive at times and laying off at other times.
BOTC:We know USC can play some serious defense. Do they do it with a zone or a man-to-man? And will that defensive philosophy change when playing against someone like Michael Beasley?
CC: Floyd primarily runs a man-to-man defense to get on-the-ball pressure; USC is athletic and disciplined enough to do this. Floyd will run 2-3 zone, triangle-and-two, and other modified zones usually against teams with a dominant inside presence to compensate for the lack of big man on SC's roster. We ran these types of zones against Memphis, Kansas, etc.
Not sure if we'll run any type of zones against Beasley since he excels from outside as well as inside. You might see a triangle-and-two because it still allows man-to-man coverage around the perimeter. My guess is Floyd will put a smaller player on Beasley with help defense nearby.
BOTC: Give us one player for the Trojans we probably don't know about who could have a big hand in the outcome.
CC: Dwight Lewis. He can put up 10-12 pts easy if he is matched up against someone he can take off the dribble. Dwight disappears when matched up against athletic defenders (e.g. Chase Budinger). He gets to the hole well and has a decent outside shot. Can score in bundles or float around and do nothing.
BOTC: Give us your prediction or, if you don't want to do that, give us your keys to a USC victory.
CC: No prediction, but the keys to victory is putting pressure on Beasley/Walker and forcing K-State's guards to beat us. Also, keeping Beasley out of the paint for put-backs and tip-ins, etc.
Thanks again to Conquest Chronicles for giving us a little more information about USC. Here's to a great game tonight.