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January 16, 2009

Daniel Hackett’s Outstanding Four-Point Game

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Gasaway @ 9:40 am

I know it’s hard to get real excited about a team that lost to Oregon State, but USC beat Arizona State 61-49 in L.A. last night. Given that I had been contemplating a piece on the Sun Devils having perhaps the nation’s best offense, I’d say the Trojans have something to brag about.

No, Tim Floyd didn’t pull another triangle-and-two out of his bag, like the one that almost beat Memphis last year. This time it was straight-up man-to-man, deployed in a painfully slow 57-possession game. It was as if a Big Ten game had been transported to the Galen Center, but it must have looked beautiful to USC fans.

Daniel Hackett scored only four points but he held ASU’s James Harden to an identical number on 0-of-8 shooting from the floor. Harden will be in the NBA this time next year and, unless I miss my guess, doing well. (Hey, Kevin Pelton says Russell Westbrook is doing well. How hard can it be?) Hackett will always have this game to tell grandkids about. I don’t know where it came from, exactly (the strangest explanation I’ve heard is that Hackett “was raised in Italy“–oh), but I’ve started contemplating a piece on the USC defense. It’s early but this could be the first season in recent history where the best Pac-10 defense in L.A. is not headquartered at Pauley Pavilion.

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