Thoughts on the USC game

Bumped from the diaries. Many thanks to funk for sharing his thoughts on the game. --Jake

Jake asked me to post a few thoughts on the USC game, particularly the atmosphere.  Don't know how helpful my comments will be, since this is my first year going to games, but I'll share anyways.

For those of you hoping that OSU fans would rally around a new coach and get behind the team, I'm sorry to say you would have been thoroughly disappointed had you been at the game. lists the attendance at over 5,000 but that seemed a little generous.  More people might have shown up had it not been snowing fairly heavily (for a Texan, at least) the two hours before the game.  Bad luck on that.  For the people that were there, I don't think they were particularly amped up about having a new coach on the bench.  It's pretty obvious this team is not good no matter who's coaching.

I got there a minute into the game and still got student tickets on the lower level, where there was plenty of room throughout the game.  USC opened the game on a big run, so that took the crowd out of it from the beginning.  During the run at the end of the half, Gill actually seemed to get pretty loud for how many people were there.  I can see a lot of potential in that place as a great home court advantage.  Keep in mind though, my main comparison to Gill is where the Longhorns play: the Frank Erwin Center, aka "The Morgue".  The students that do show up for the games are ready and willing to cheer, if only there were something to consistently cheer about.

Somewhat ironically, Mike Montgomery was doing color for FSN at the game.  At half time, all the students were sitting down at half court not looking too happy.  As Montgomery was going back to his seat, he sort of tried to give the students a pep talk, telling them to cheer up.  Maybe he was starting early on getting on the good side of the students?  A guy can dream.

As far as the actual game goes, this team is just really bad.  They seemed to have a little more pep in them than usual in the first half, and I think that really showed up on the defensive end.  The run to end the half was great, but USC's run to start the second half took all the momentum away from the Beavers, and they seemed to give up after that.  There were a bunch of times when players did the wrong things on offense and the other players on the court were visibly frustrated, Marcel Jones in particular.  Don't know if Mouton put in a new offense or what, but it was not pretty at times.

Seth Tarver plays hard, but if he never takes another shot past five feet I'll be pretty happy.  Sean Carter played hard tonight also, but he is really, really not good at free throws.  Unfortunately, he knows it, and he got very down on himself each time he missed a pair (0-6 overall).  Someone needs to tell him to keep his head up.  Schaftenaar shot the ball well, but did a bunch of stupid things also.  He started the second half, and immediately turned it over and was the cause of another turnover.  Marcel Jones was 1-11 from the field and spent a lot of time forcing shots.  It seems pretty clear we'll being seeing more from Calvin Haynes, which means a good dose of poor shot selection.  Although, to his credit, he is one of the few people on the team who can create his own shot.

I probably won't be at the UCLA game, but if any of you out there can make it to the game, I would encourage you to go support the team.  They clearly need all the help they can get.

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