Los Angeles, CA – The USC Trojans let out some frustration after their tough loss to Oklahoma last Friday by dismantling the Eastern Washington Eagles 106-78 on Wednesday night. Boogie Ellis led the charge with a spectacular performance. He put on a show for the home fans tallying 28 points on eight made three-pointers. Isaiah Collier, Kobe Johnson, Vincent Iwuchukwu, and Kijani Wright all scored in double-digits as USC put up a season high in points. Jake Kyman led Eastern Washington with 25 points and LeJuan Watts also had a nice game nearly achieving a double-double with 16 points and 8 rebounds.
The game started off very fast as both teams came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. Both teams shot around 60% from the field the first 10 minutes of the game and Eastern Washington kept it close trailing only 24-19. That’s as close as it would get though as the Trojans really started to pull away the rest of the half. They went on a 17-3 run and by the 5-minute mark USC had opened up a 41-22 lead. Ellis had an unbelievable half with 19 points and five made threes. For the visitors, UCLA and Wyoming transfer Kyman did his best to keep the Eagles in it by racking up 13 first half points but Eastern Washington really struggled to find a second source of offense and went into the half trailing 52-33.
In the second half, USC continued to open up the lead and never let their foot off the gas going up by 30 points as the game went into the under-16 media timeout. The big name that everyone wanted to see is potential first overall pick Isaiah Collier and he didn’t disappoint. After a very quiet first half scoring only two points, Collier found his groove and really woke up finishing with 15 points and six assists. He kept his turnovers down as well, finishing with only two which is a good sign for him and the Trojans as they continue to move forward in their season. The game never got close after the opening 10 minutes and USC coasted to the 28-point victory to improve to 5-2 on the season.
The one aspect that really stands out with Collier is his physical frame. He uses that frame to his advantage by getting to the rim and drawing fouls at will. He’s unstoppable when he gets going to the basket. This game had to be very encouraging for NBA scouts even though he had a bad first half. The fact that he was able to stay engaged throughout the duration of the contest even though he had a discouraging first half is a great sign. In the second half he stayed with it and showed a complete offensive game making a three pointer, getting to the rim, and going 4-of-4 from the line. He doesn’t hang his head after a bad performance and stays engaged whether he’s on the bench or on the court.
While Collier is undoubtedly the big NBA prospect on USC, Boogie Ellis was the one who had the performance of the night. Ellis was red hot as he poured in 28 points in 27 minutes going 9-of-13 from the field and 8-of-10 from beyond the arc. If the game was closer there’s no doubt he would’ve gotten 30 points and maybe even broke the 40-point mark. But with the game being so one-sided coach Andy Enfield made the decision to sit him in the later part of the game. Ellis did a great job against Eastern Washington of relocating after the initial pass to free himself up for a jump shot. He is a phenomenal score-first guard who has been highly efficient in his college career. After making First-team All-Pac-12 last season and averaging over 20 points so far this season, Ellis isn’t on many mock drafts but could see a role at the next level as a microwave scorer off the bench. Efficiency, shooting range, and scoring like his don’t come around very often at the collegiate level.
A couple bright spots for Eastern Washington were Jake Kyman and LeJuan Watts. Kyman was able to lose Collier and Kobe Johnson a few times as he finished the game with 25 points on an excellent 7-of-10 from three. He’s not the type of player that will fill the stat sheet, but he has proven both at UCLA and now Eastern Washington that if you fall asleep on defense and leave him open he will make you pay. Watts continued to play hard even in a blowout loss and finished the game with 16 points and eight boards. He only went 2-of-7 from the free-throw line, but getting to the line seven times is a great sight to see if you’re head coach David Riley and the Eastern Washington coaching staff.
USC was ranked in the AP Poll top 25 before their loss to Oklahoma last Friday and have since fallen out of the polls and become unranked. However, their next game is on Saturday night in Las Vegas vs #11 Gonzaga and a win could go a long way towards them becoming ranked again. Meanwhile, Eastern Washington has no doubt had a very frustrating season as they sit at 1-6 after this blowout loss. Eastern Washington has lost every game this season by double-digits but will look to turn things around as they play Air Force on Saturday afternoon.