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Mile High Sports

Enemy Territory: Inside USC hoops

Behind Enemy Lines
Game Preview: CU Men’s Basketball (18-7) @ USC (10-14)
Sunday, Feb. 16, 6p | ESPNU
One on One with Scott Wolf, sportswriter for the L.A. Daily News

In your opinion, which player (or position) represents the best matchup in USC’s favor?

Scott Wolf: Byron Wesley. The junior guard’s averaged 22.3 points in the past four games and will likely remember going 3-14 against the Buffaloes in the first meeting, one of his worst games of the season.

On the flip side, which players/positions for CU represent the biggest challenge for USC?

SW: Josh Scott. He scored 20 points against USC last month and the Trojans’ center, Omar Oraby, is foul prone, which makes Scott even tougher. USC tends to struggle with athletic big men.

In looking at the standings and the records, it would appear that Colorado should – in theory – win this upcoming game. But, the Pac-12 is one of the toughest conferences in the country to win on the road. At 1-9, does that home court advantage still exist at USC, or does fleeting interest nullify that?

SW: There were only 3,200 at the Galen Center on Thursday night for the Utah game so the home-court advantage was negligible. But there might be more students Sunday because Thursday night is the big party night at USC. You just never know how the turnout will be with the students. It was great against Arizona and UCLA. But those were marquee games.

USC hasn’t played well, but the team did recently hold UCLA to a 40 percent shooting night. Interestingly enough, UCLA just beat Colorado by shooting extremely well in the second half. Can USC’s defense steal a game from a team like Colorado?

SW: Considering USC beat Cal, it is possible they could upset Colorado. But the Trojans need to avoid second-half lulls like in the past two games where UCLA outscored them 27-5 and Utah 15-0 during early second-half runs.

You’ve covered a lot of college basketball, what’s your “outside looking in” view of Tad Boyle as a coach?

SW: The most impressive thing to me about Tad Boyle is that he has come to Southern California and gotten players like Askia Booker, Xavier Johnson and Spencer Dinwiddie. Frankly USC should have landed with those players right in its backyard. Even though Utah and Colorado have taken their lumps in football since moving to the Pac-12, Boyle’s made an easy transition. He’s one of the best coaches in the Pac-12.

For more great insight on Southern Cal and other sports in Los Angeles, follow Scott Wolf on Twitter @InsideUSC, or check out his blog http://www.insidesocal.com/usc/

For complete coverage of all college athletics in Colorado.

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