January 18, 2007
Keys for Arizona against USC
With Arizona's loss to Oregon, many UA fans are worried about this weekend's road trip. The first game of the trip will be USC, a team that is certainly on the rise. While beating the Trojans will be difficult, there are certain things Arizona has to do if it is going to be successful.The Wildcats need to get some kind of contribution from the bench. It is easier to get away with a five-man rotation at home, but on the road it is nearly impossible. USC is a team that is not afraid to run and has athletic guards that will test Arizona's backcourt.
The Wildcats are certainly capable of running with USC, but there will come a time when a starter will need a break. Arizona does not need anything dominant from the bench, simply an effort that will allow the starters to take a break without losing too much ground.
Arizona's toughest task on Thursday may be containing Taj Gibson. Stopping him is asking a lot, but Arizona has a good chance of taking him out of his element. UCLA put a lot of pressure on him at all times and Gibson did not respond well, making some bad turnovers.
He is going to get his points and rebounds but the key is keeping them at a low amount and making sure he works for every one. Gibson is the Trojans' main post presence and the more Arizona can pull him out of the post, the better the chances of winning.
The Wildcats also need to pressure USC's guards. USC may have plenty of offensive power, but the offense still remains stagnant. Much of the offense comes in an isolation situation and Arizona has a good chance of taking USC out of its general offense if the UA can put pressure on the guards.
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