Nothing like a 41-point victory to raise Trojan confidence before the start of Pacific 10 Conference play next week.
But USC will bask in the glow of their 85-44 drubbing of Northwestern a little while longer, considering the way they handled the Wildcats both offensively and defensively.
In holding Northwestern to 36.2% shooting, the Trojans had season highs in steals, 15, and blocks, 10, and equaled their season low in turnovers, eight. In fact, Brian Scalabrine was the only USC player with more than one turnover, and he had only two.
“This game, we put things together,” guard Brandon Granville said. “We didn’t have those stretches of being stagnant.”
“This team believes [again] it can win,” David Bluthenthal said. “The coaches have been giving us good game plans. All we have to do is go out and do the things they want us to do.”
What the Trojans still have to prove is that they can play as well against good teams. They also must withstand the adversity of the road.
Their Pac-10 opener at Washington State will provide the first road test. In their last visit to Pullman, the Trojans fell behind, 7-0, and had to play catch-up the rest of way. They never got closer than four points and lost 95-86.