In advance of Saturday's game between the Arizona Wildcats and the USC Trojans, we spoke to Conquest Chronicles' Julian Lopez about the hot start to USC's season, Andy Enfield, and who Arizona needs to stop on Saturday.
1. USC has started the year very strongly, going 13-3 and even cracking the top 25 on Ken Pomeroy's rankings. How has the fanbase reacted to this hot start?
Despite having one of their best starts in recent history, the USC Men’s Basketball Team are going unnoticed. Part of the reason why is because of all of the coaching changes with the football team and the other reason is that USC Men’s Basketball just doesn’t get enough publicity.
2. Prior to the season, some speculated that Andy Enfield might be on the hot seat. Has USC's performance so far this season put those rumors to rest?
The performance this year is impressive but USC needs 18-20 wins and perhaps a postseason tournament berth to get Enfield off the hot seat. Even if USC struggles the rest of the season, Haden won’t fire Enfield this season because if he fires Enfield, Haden will most likely be leaving as well - a lot of coaching changes under his tenure.
3. What players on USC should Arizona fans expect to see play well on Saturday?
Julian Jacobs and Nikola Jovanovic. Jacobs averages over 12 points per game as well as 5 assists and 5 rebounds per game and we saw the effect that he has on the team when he went down with the injury against Washington. He is the primary ball handler for the Trojans and is a huge key for the Trojans the rest of the season. Jovanovic is USC’s best rebounder and with the size that Arizona presents, he will need to stay out of foul trouble and limit the second chance opportunities for the Wildcats.
4. What is your predictions for the game?
It’s going to be a close game but in the end, Arizona will win and I will say, 85-77.