A Little Prodding Goes a Long Way in USC’s Victory
Harold Miner needed a wake-up call.
Phil Glenn needed a pep talk.
USC Coach George Raveling obliged them, and the guards combined for 52 points Saturday afternoon at the Sports Arena to lead the Trojans to a 92-77 victory over Robert Morris.
After the officials missed what he believed was a traveling violation in the second half, Raveling turned to his bench and said:
“Hey, who are these guys?”
The same question could have been asked about the Trojans’ opponent, the Colonials from Coraopolis, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh.
Seven days after defeating fourth-ranked Ohio State before a national cable television audience, USC came out flat in front of 2,314. Miner, whose alley-oop basket had beaten the Buckeyes in overtime, was benched after he missed a slam dunk and threw away the ball in the first 2 minutes 25 seconds against Robert Morris.
“I thought he needed a wake-up call,” Raveling said.
The All-American sat down for 90 seconds, then scored 17 of his 29 points to help the Trojans to a 49-26 lead at halftime. He made eight points on two jump shots and two layups during a 16-point run that increased USC’s lead from 20-16 to 36-16.
Miner moved past Derrick Dowell and John Rudometkin and into the No. 3 spot on the all-time USC scoring list with 1,499 points.
The Trojans’ other junior starting guard, Glenn, is 1,325 points behind Miner.
But after going scoreless in his last two games, Glenn, a 6-foot-2 perimeter shooter, scored 23 points and showed some of the form that made Raveling believe he had NBA potential when he was recruited at Mount Tabor High in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Glenn made seven of 10 three-point shots.
“He had two mediocre games, so we sat down Friday and talked about some things,” Raveling said. “I’m happy with the way he responded to what we discussed.”
Glenn was told to keep shooting and not lose his confidence.
“Coach Rav knew I was down. That’s why he called me in,” Glenn said. “Today, I hit my first couple of shots. When I do that, I know I’m going to have a good day.”
Raveling needed to be convinced.
“I’ve always said the toughest game for a team is after a big win,” he said. “To be honest, I was scared to death.
“For the first time in a while, I substituted when guys made mistakes. I wanted them to be upset at me. I wanted them to look at me like I was crazy. Anything to keep our focus on Robert Morris.
“I saw in the paper where Tim Hardaway went 0 for 17. I kept thinking that Miner was going to go 0 for 17, and that we would struggle.”
It developed that the Trojans struggled only the first nine minutes. Then they started forcing turnovers. The 16-0 run was ignited when reserve guard Dwayne Hackett pressed Wade Timmerson into a five-second violation. By halftime, the Colonials (2-5) had 14 turnovers.
“Our half-court trap defense pulled us out,” Raveling said.
Besides the victory over Ohio State, the Trojans (8-1) have beaten Tennessee Martin, Cal State Sacramento, St. Louis, Gonzaga, Kent, UC Irvine and Robert Morris.