USC's twin towers (Nikola Vucevic and Alex Stepheson)
Nikola a Sophomore who stands 6'10" 230 lbs power forward showed some flashes last season particularly against Michigan St in the NCAA Tournament has played like a future NBA first round draft pick thus far. Nikola had a great game against Texas where he scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. This past weekend against Tennessee he put up 15 and 10 and also had 3 blocks.
He's averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds per and shooting 56% from the floor. FYI he was also Serbia Montenegro's U20 second leading scorer this past summer (13.2 ppg) also led the team in rebounds (12 per) So I'm sure NBA scouts have taken notice of this young Serbian who has been tearing it up thus far at USC.
His counterpart, Alex Stepheson was originally part of the 2006 North Carolina class that included; Brendan Wright (Golden St), Tywon Lawson (Denver), Wayne Ellington (Minnesota), and Deon Thompson who's currently the leading scorer for the Tarheel's. Ended up transferring out of North Carolina after his Sophomore season to be closer to his ailing Father.
Alex is a 6'9" 240 lbs forward who possesses a chiseled frame. He's always had the reputation of being a workhorse on the glass. So far, he hasn't disappoint. Alex out played Derrick Favors in their head to head meeting against Georgia Tech, and posted 22 pts, and 7 rebounds on the future NBA lottery pick.
What surprised me is how good of a shot blocker he is. Currently leading the PAC-10 with 2.6 per game, and had 7 of those against Sacramento State.
For the season Alex is averaging 13 and 10 to go along with his 2.6 blocks per game.
IMO these two aren't even the best players on the team. Once Leonard Washington becomes eligible this week in the Diamond Head Classic he will only improve the Trojans already good front line. Which is probably the best in the PAC-10 this season.
USC sucks this year. trust me i know there team. i know stepheson too, because i follow UNC. i doubt they make the tournament this year, but who knows.
lol I know their team also. Thanks for actually "responding" within the context of the original post.
i usually follow the pac 10 real well, but haven't been able to catch many games so far this season. Thanks for the update on those two. I knew Stephenson was supposed to make an impact. If they have 2 nba type bigs, what do you think their problem is this season?
I watched them againt Texas a few weeks ago, and they have bad guard play. I don't like any of their guards, none of them are any good. They also didn't make any adjustments to the plays Texas was running with the screens and pick and rolls. Stephenson and the Euro kid are good, especially Stephenson, but they are just another team in the weak Pac-10 this year. They shouldn't be a tourny team...maybe not even NIT worthy.
There seems to be a solution in the form of former Mater Dei/Pepperdine (WCC frosh of the year)/Charlotte PG in Mike Gerrity. He played his first game against Tennessee and was instrumental to the Trojans upset victory over the Vol's. Finished the game with 10 pts and 11 assists.
It also doesn't help when you lose your entire recruiting class; Lamont Jones, Solomon Hill, and Derrick WIlliams all ending up in Arizona, Noel Johnson to Clemson, and Renardo Sidney who has yet to play a second with the Mississippi Bull Dogs. So depth was clearly an issue.
I'm telling you guys, keep tabs on Leonard Washington when he gets eligible this week. He is a 6'7" 230 lbs power forward who is in the mold of a Paul Milsap with a solid midrange jumper.
So I guess Lil Romeo wasn't the answer at point guard, huh?
I knew that Stephenson would play well. He was a solid role player at UNC, although he did have a little bit of trouble with fouls. I'm glad to see him finally get his foul woes under control. Vucevic has really surprised me. He pretty much came out of nowhere to become one of the best frontcourt players in the PAC-10. I love the fact that he isn't your stereotypical European big, who camps away from the basket and cringes at contact.
I still don't understand how Lil Romeo got a scholarship to play at USC (other than bringing DeMar into the program). What boggles me is how he's still on scholarship, when he can easily pay his own tuition to walk on and still continue his studies.
Nikola isn't your typical Euro big. He's pretty physical, and has a nice back to the basket game. What I love the most about him his the way he positions himself to grab rebounds and score easy baskets. The kid simply has a high IQ, he also isn't no slouch when it comes to athleticism. I've seen him have some sick put back dunks, and stapling blocks.
I would like to see him go up against Enes Kanter when he suits up for Washington next season.
USC isn't near as bad as most of you all are saying. They are a pretty talented team. Dwight Lewis is a solid guard. They just blew out Tennessee!
Also one thing most people don't know is that Mike Gerrity was just now eligible to play. He has only played one game so far. He scored 12 points, 5 rebounds, & 10 assists. He is really going to help this team. I believe he transfered from Charlotte.
USC still probably isn't a NCAA tourney team but I expect them to make it too the NIT. So I definitely wouldn't say they suck.
I love Alex Stepheson. I wish he was at UNC right now starting over Deon Thompson. He is a monster defender and rebounder. It would be very hard for other teams to get shots over a PF/C combo of Davis and Stepheson. I wish he was still at UNC.