Arizona Has Letdown Against USC

by February 25, 2011

by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

If it weren’t for Tim Floyd’s resignation in 2009, All-American candidate Derrick Williams would have been on USC. After Thursday’s 65-57 loss for Arizona to the Trojans, he probably wishes he was.

In their first test since cracking the top-10, the Wildcats fell flat on their face in a Pac-10 road loss. Williams in particular was off his game, scoring a season-low 8 points on 3-for-11 shooting.

On the other end, USC leading-scorer Nikola Vucevic poured in 25 points to go along with 12 rebounds. At 6 feet 10 inches, he was a match-up nightmare for the much smaller Wildcats, exposing a weakness that might haunt them in March.

The performance was special for Vucevic, who’s dad was on hand to watch.

From The Los Angeles Times:

After that game, USC junior forward Nikola Vucevic was especially angry.

But playing before his father, Borislav, who played professional basketball for 24 years in Europe, the Montenegro native took out that anger, scoring a game-high 25 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, his Pac-10 leading 17th double-double.

“It’s the first time he’s watched me play live since I’m 16,” Vucevic said. “It meant a lot knowing he was in the crowd watching.”

The loss for Arizona sets up a showdown with UCLA on Saturday. If the Bruins win, they will pull themselves into a tie for first place in the Pac-10 with two conference games remaining. UCLA is on a roll lately, winning seven of its last eight games. In the teams’ earlier meeting on January 27, Arizona prevailed 85-74.