UCLA’s men’s basketball team was climbing back up the charts, and could have moved up to No. 3 in the country, but USC had different plans.
USC was badly in need of a conference win after starting PAC-10 play with a disappointing 1-3 record. Freshmen Davon Jefferson and O.J. Mayo made sure they would not fall to 1-4.
Jefferson scored a career high 25 points and Mayo added 16. USC shot a scorching 60% from the field while UCLA was limited to only 33%. UCLA’s interior defense was horrible as they allowed USC to convert 17 lay-ups and dunks during USC’s 72-63 upset victory.
UCLA’s Josh Shipp scored 21 points and freshman Kevin Love scored 18. Love, UCLA’s leading scorer for the season, was limited to 6-of-15 shooting.
The loss breaks UCLA’s nine-game winning streak and drops them to No. 8 in the polls. UCLA does have time left in the season to climb back up the rankings and possibly get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. But they will have to nearly win out to do so.
This week UCLA and USC will travel to the Oregon schools for games on Thursday and Saturday.
UCLA hires Norm Chow
On a brighter note for UCLA, their football team has hired Norm Chow to be the offensive coordinator.
Chow is known as one of the greatest offensive coordinators in college football history, and he helped Pete Carroll and USC win back-to-back national titles. Chow is credited for the development of Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart.
UCLA now has two top-notch coordinators, both of who were in the running for UCLA’s head coaching job. Defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker was in the running for the head coaching job, along with Chow and new head coach Rick Neuheisel. So UCLA was able to hire all three coaches that they had their eye on for the head coaching position.