Two big keys loom large in USC-Arizona basketball collision on Thursday

USC faces a distinct uphill battle on Thursday night in Tucson against the Arizona Wildcats. We talked to the Arizona SB Nation website AZ Desert Swarm about the keys to the matchup. Here’s what we came up with:

“You know that Arizona’s guards haven’t been very good of late,” we wrote. “That’s the key to this game in the McKale Center. Can Kerr Kriisa and the other Arizona guards hit 3-pointers? USC has length. Andy Enfield recruits length, he gets his defenses to clog passing lanes and make it hard to play over the top in terms of post feeds and attacking the basket. USC will give up the 3-point shot. Washington State made 14 in its win over USC on January 1. The Cougars made 15 3-pointers when they lost to USC 11 months ago in February of 2022. Arizona 3-point shooting and Arizona free throw attempts are the two stats I would look at the most as being indicators of who wins in Tucson.”

USC will try to take away Arizona’s big men, just as Oregon and other U of A opponents have tried to do. If the Trojans can contain Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo in the paint, Arizona’s guards will have to step up and make plays. USC has to make this an ugly game, limiting Tubelis and Ballo while not allowing Arizona to get to the foul line a lot. If the Trojans can do that, they have a chance.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire