Berkeley, CA – USC (11-5) only needed 6-11 junior Chimezie Metu for one half to cruise by Cal (7-8) 80-62. Metu was suspended for the first half tonight after punching a Washington State player in the groin last Sunday night.
It didn’t matter. USC put the clamps on Cal, including a strangling first half, outscoring them 40-21 and forcing 15 Cal turnovers. The Trojans held Cal to 31 percent from the field in the first half.
6-11 sophomore, Nick Rakocevic led USC with 19 points (8-of-11 FG) including 13 points in the first half. Rakocevic benefited all night long from hi-lo easy layups and only needed to shoot one outside shot all night.
USC 6’10 junior forward, Bennie Boatwright added 15 points (6-of-15 FG, 3-of-6 3PT). Boatwright made plays all over the floor, grabbing seven rebounds and drawing two charges. USC freshman, Jordan Usher had his best game of the season, putting up 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field.
Cal looked lackadaisical for most of the game, lacking cohesiveness and unable to handle USC’s zone, while USC dominated the paint, outscoring Cal 44-28.
Chimezie Metu, 6-11, F, Jr.
In 11 minutes, Metu made his presence felt as a rim protector. He has ability to finish above the rim for alley oops and can stay with guards on perimeter/showing good quickness getting down in his stance. Metu showed impressive dribbling ability for his size and great coordination with a quick first step. He prefers to drive to his right. He wowed the gym with elite finishing ability off a pick and roll with a thunderous dunk outside the lane, he even showed flashes of passing ability.
Bennie Boatwright, 6-10, F, Jr.
Boatwright has a quick/smooth release off the hop and anticipates well on defense (drew 2 charges). He’s a good passer off hi lo and plays controlled. He rebounded well defensively and has ability to shoot a set shot and on the move, but not off the dribble. He doesn’t have much vertical elevation, not much of a creator and not much acceleration or lateral quickness,
Jordan Usher, 6-7, G/F, Fr.
Usher gave active effort. He has a quick shot with ability to shoot on the move. He’s a high energy competitor with active hands. Usher showed flashes of dribble drive and the ability to finish in traffic, but he’s not yet totally comfortable as a playmaker.
Jordan McLaughlin, 6-1, G, Sr.
McLaughlin lacked energy tonight and played lackadaisically. He was very quiet for most of the night. He has a slow shot release, is in control with the ball and is a good decision maker.
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