December 29, 2006

Pac-10 shows competitiveness in first day

The 2006-07 Pac-10 season is officially upon us and in the first day of action, our suspicions were confirmed - this is going to be an extremely competitive conference. From USC's double overtime victory over Washington to Washington State's impressive loss to UCLA, the first day of Pac-10 action definitely didn't disappoint.

The news of the day was USC knocking off Washington by the score of 86-79, a game that while may not be surprising, could end up being pretty damaging to the Huskies. Washington plays Sunday at UCLA and a loss would put the team at 0-2 to begin conference play.

Further, Washington's next game after the one at Pauley Pavilion is at home against Arizona, meaning the Huskies could very easily start the conference season 0-3. While the team is good enough to split its next two games, that isn't guaranteed and with such a young squad, falling into a hole at the beginning of Pac-10 play wouldn't be advised.

The story of the USC game may have been the play of freshman post Taj Gibson, who went head to head with highly touted UW freshman Spencer Hawes and had the better performance, scoring 22 points off of 8-11 shooting from the field to go with 10 rebounds.

Gibson gives USC a fourth option on an offense that already has three weapons in Nick Young, Gabe Pruitt and Lodrick Stewart. His emergence really makes the Trojans a difficult team to handle.

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