Johnson Cuts Bibby Off at the Pass


In the middle of Monday’s practice, after point guard Gary Johnson had narrowly missed stealing a pass, USC Coach Henry Bibby abruptly whistled the session to a halt.

“You can’t wait Gary. You missed because you hesitated,” Bibby exhorted. “You got to go for it in that position. . . . Why?”

Johnson responded on cue: “Because three steals will lead the nation.”

The senior from Washington, D.C., is averaging 2.41 steals this season, leading the Pac-10.



Bibby is stressing defense at this week’s practices. On Monday, he said the team is scoring enough points to win but isn’t stopping anybody.

The Trojans are ninth in the Pac-10 in scoring margin, ahead of only Oregon State. USC (6-11) is averaging 73.6 points but is giving up 84.7.

“It’s tough to make shots but you can always work hard on defense,” Bibby said. “If you play defense and rebound, you’ll stay in the game. It’s up to the guys to go out there and do that for us.”