Maui Invitational Preview: USC vs. Texas


Nov 19, 2012; Lahaina, HI, USA; Texas Longhorns forward Jonathan Holmes (10) dunks against the Chaminade Silverswords during the2 012 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center. Chaminade defeats Texas 86-73. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

USC Trojans vs. Texas Longhorns

2012 Maui Invitational | Maui, Hawaii2:00 PM Pacific | ESPN2All-time Series: USC leads 6-5Last meeting: USC 73, Texas 56 in 2010

The Trojans began their second ever appearance at the Maui Invitational last night on the wrong foot, struggling mightily against the Fighting Illini of Illinois, losing 94-64. Illinois shot 69 percent from the floor in the first half and the Trojans helped them out on fast break opportunities with 24 first half turnovers.

Throughout the game, Illinois pressured the Trojans with an aggressive man to man defensive scheme that left USC without any answers. The pressure forced Troy into poor shot selections, particularly by two guard J.T. Terrell who had his worst effort of his brief USC career, shooting 5 of 14 from the floor and just 1 of 6 from distance.

Illinois on the other hand was red hot from three point range, sinking 13 from downtown including eight in the first half to help build a 57-26 lead at the break.

To try and get back on the right foot, USC gets a hungry Texas longhorns squad this afternoon. Rick Barnes’s team was stunned by Division-II Chaminade 86-73 last night, which improved the Silver Swords’ record as hosts of the Maui Invitational to an abysmal 7-76.

Texas played without point guard Myck Kabongo, who is awaiting word from the NCAA on his eligibility this season after allegations of improper benefits. Without Kabongo, Barnes is forced to play Sheldon McClellan as a combo guard, even though he’s a natural two guard as a scorer. The result has seen Texas average just nine assists per game, which is good for 323rd in the nation.

The lack of a point guard is something the Trojans know quite well from being without Jio Fontan last season, and it should be something Kevin O’Neill will look to exploit on the defensive end of the floor. The Trojans let Illinois get buckets from all over the floor last night, and against Texas they’ll need to be aggressive and not allow McClellan to get in a rhytmn.

Projected Starting Lineups