It's been nearly a week since USC basketball last played a game, which may not be such a bad thing. In its first true road trip of the season, the unranked Trojans surrendered a 20-point first half lead at Nebraska before losing by a final score of 60-58. Two days later, TCU similarly upended the Trojans by 12 points, dropping them to 4-4 on the season.
Sunday, however, marks a new challenge for Kevin O'Neill's youthful bunch, as it hosts No. 19 Texas at Galen Center as a part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, looking to rebound and avoid what would be its first losing record of the 2010-2011 season.
But understandably, the Longhorns (6-1), present quite a challenge in their own right, with three consecutive wins following their lone loss of the season, a 68-66 defeat at the hands of top-five foe Pittsburgh in the finals of the 2K Sports Classic in New York City.
Texas, which also notched a 69-50 victory over USC in Austin, Tex., features a rising star in sophomore forward Jordan Hamilton, who is averaging 21.7 ppg and 7.0 rpg thus far. Freshman Tristan Thompson (12.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and senior Gary Johnson (11.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg) round out an imposing front line, which could present USC's Alex Stepheson and Nikola Vucevic with a multitude of issues.
For more information on USC hoops, check out the SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.