USC rematch looms after layoff

Asked this week what it was like watching film of his team’s loss to USC, Ben Howland didn’t mince words.

“It’s depressing,” the UCLA coach said.

The Trojans stunned the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion three weeks ago, debuting in the new stadium with a 75-71 overtime upset. It marked UCLA’s only consecutive loss this season, and sent USC on a four-game winning streak that made interim coach Bob Cantu a legitimate candidate for the full-time job.

Point guard Larry Drew II had the most pointed words that night: “When we play SC again, it’s going to be war.”

The Bruins still have three full days until Sunday’s 12:30 p.m. rematch at the Galen Center — an unusually long layoff after the their win at Stanford last Saturday. The team will see film edits from the loss after taking Wednesday off from practice, but it’s not as if they need any reminders of what happened.

“Seeing how they beat us here, everyone’s a little pissed,” junior forward Travis Wear said. “More intense and angry. We want to go over there and we want to beat them. Simple as that.”

For at least one freshman, it helped sell the scale of the crosstown rivalry. Point forward Kyle Anderson still vividly remembers watching the Trojans celebrate, commenting on Twitter after the loss that he may hate losing more than he enjoys winning. Now, he’s just eager to return the favor.

“Just as a team, how excited they looked when they beat us,” he said. “They did all that extra stuff in the middle of our court. I’m sold on it now. I’m looking to go do the same thing (there).”

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  • Mark

    You know what’s depressing? Having to root for USC this weekend. That would be the final nail if Howland’s coffin!

    • SonOfWestwood

      Weak. You never, EVER root for Southern Cal. Even if you believe it’s for the greater good, it will never be acceptable ti root FOR the torgans.

    • bruinbiochem06

      I felt the same way about the USC football game in Neuheisels last year. I don’t feel the same way about this game though. I think Howland is on his way out regardless.

      Go Bruins! Beat SC!

    • maze949

      You know what’s more depressing? Having a mark (apropos name, by the way) attempt to represent the Bruin fanbase. I bet you get a cookie and juice from Murshed and Ty-diddles for every post you make here. “Did I do a good job trolling, Daddy?” F’n bum.

  • Mark

    Losing to SC the first time was the moment I officially pulled the plug on this season. I just don’t see any way around it.

    I just don’t get why people can’t see things more clearly about Howland. The team has been bad for a lot longer that it was good from ’06-’08. It’s always going to be like this now–revolving door of players, embarrassing losses, half-empty arena. Howland is just not going to be able to get the team back to being consistently elite.

    The only person who doesn’t see this is Guerrero. He’s desperate for any sliver of hope that Howland shows him. That’s why a total implosion is needed. I wish it weren’t like that, but it is.

    • Bru-Crew_UCLA

      Wash your mouth out with barbwire blades….. No Way, No How do U ever root for sc to beat us in anything other than defections and sanctions. Howland should have resigned long ago. He’s stealing money from UCLA and Dan Guerrero is allowing this spectacle to continue. FIRE DAN & BEN NOW Mr. Block!!!!!

      • http://twitter.com/FatBooster Joe Blow

        Right On! Bru!

  • http://twitter.com/FatBooster Joe Blow

    Lighten up. Big Dan will get it right. We have an average coach and the team isn’t that good. It hurt that SC kicked our @$$ on our home court! Horrible! But a new coach next year and more mature players will be much better.

    • http://twitter.com/DWGLOCK DW

      -Big Dan will get it right.

      What f*cken planet have you been spinning on for the past decade?

      • http://twitter.com/FatBooster Joe Blow

        Dude, I’m pals with BruCrewUcla and we know what is happening. Fat Dan knows all!