The Sooners have made their way to Los Angeles for the night to take on No.25 USC (4-2) for the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. This matchup has a special feel to it as the two teams will be under the bright lights of the legendary Staples Center.
What better way to be playing basketball in the City of Angels, than playing on the same court where basketball legends like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Paul and many more once dominated.
Being the home court of the Lakers, which is one of, if not the premiere NBA franchise, there’s not just a professional basketball feel when playing in Staples Center, but a championship feeling.
Sooners freshman star point guard Trae Young expressed his excitement about playing at the venue to reporters earlier in the week.
“That’s a legendary place to play. I’ve only seen the outside and all the statues,” said Young. “It’s crazy because I’m still a freshman and getting to do all this so it’s going to be fun. I can’t wait for it.”
The Trojans are a big test for the young Sooners. The Trojans have been having some trouble winning games as of late with two straight losses to SMU and Texas A&M. They’re looking to end that trend here tonight. This is a perfect chance for the Trojans to bounce back and get a win here tonight over a really good Sooners team.
Keys to Victory
The Big Boys – This is a game where head coach Lon Kruger is going to need the best game from his big men. The Trojans frontcourt is one of the best in the nation with the two leading scores on the team residing in the post. Forwards Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu both average over 15 points a game and seven rebounds. The Sooners have their work cut out for them tonight and starts in the paint.
Make and Deny Shots – It’s no secret the Sooners can score points. They average 94 points per game, so the Sooners will need to continue that trend and make their shots. This is a very confident team. The Trojans should have a hard time keeping up with the Sooners if they play to their ability. On the other hand, the Sooners are one of the worst teams when it comes to defending the 3-point shot. They’ve allowed opponents to shoot 38% from behind the arc.
Just Play Ball – Don’t let the bright lights of Tinseltown get in the way of just playing basketball. If the Sooners go into tonight’s game and play the way they’ve been playing, they should fly back home with the W.
Sooners 87, USC 85
When and Where?
Staples Center, Los Angeles. 9:30 p.m. CT – ESPN2