Take a quick glance at this week’s schedule for the Oregon Ducks.
At 14-2 overall and 3-0 within the Pac-12 Conference, Oregon has been a major bright spot for a league that is finally beginning to return to form. The resurgence of the Ducks this season has warranted enough attention for a bid within the Top-25 this week, but it’s a situation that cannot be taken for granted.
Earlier this week, USC made the decision to fire head coach Kevin O’Neill following their 7-10 start, so Thursday night marks a game in which the Trojans are transitioning forward without a man that they’ve called coach for the past 3+ seasons.
That, added to the fact that Oregon remains unbeaten in conference play, is enough to fire up the Trojans to make a statement. With that being said, the Ducks must be focused on USC on Thursday, and not be looking ahead to UCLA.
They call it a “trap game”, and that’s exactly what it is. At 7-10, a win over USC is expected for Oregon, but this is college basketball, and guarantees are not to be expected.
The rebounding edge and advantage inside needs to be the focus for Oregon once again on Thursday, and taking care of business must their only priority. Should the Ducks stand their ground and continue to make their case as a legitimate conference contender, Saturday’s contest at UCLA will go all that much better for them.
Tip-off between USC and Oregon is scheduled for 11:00pm (EST).
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS