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USC Vs. Washington State: Trojans Look To Avoid 0-2 Start

Following a disappointing 73-67 overtime loss to Washington Wednesday night, the Trojans look to rebound less than 48 hours later against a visiting Washington State team that may be equally dangerous.  

The Cougars feature arguably the Pac-10's best all-around player in Klay Thompson, who averages 22.6 points per game and scored 26 in an 80-71 loss to UCLA earlier this week. 

But most threatening to 'SC's hopes at salvaging a split in the first week of conference play, is Washington State's zone defense. Throughout Kevin O'Neill's tenure in Los Angeles, the Trojans have struggled against the zone, particularly during Wednesday's loss to Washington. Collectively, USC went 5-of-21 from behind the arc and failed to show any signs of productivity offensively. 

"I'm confident our guys are going to make shots," O'Neill told Baxter Holmes of the Los Angeles Times.

If USC is going to "make shots" Friday afternoon, it will need production from junior guard Jio Fontan, who is battling an ankle injury since a Dec. 23 home game against Lehigh.

Against Washington, Fontan looked hampered by the injury and scored just 14 points - his second lowest output of the season. 

For more news and notes regarding USC basketball, check out SBN's Conquest Chronicles