When Pac-12 meets Ivy League, the results usually comes out in the Pac-12's favor an in tonight's matchup between the Cornell Big Red and undefeated USC Trojans, prospects look good for the Pac- 12 Conference and the Trojans as these two teams are at two completely different levels.
Squeezing Into the Ap Top 25
While USC hasn't faced any top level competition and that's a concern, they've basically destroyed every team on their schedule as 7 out of their 10 victories have been double-digit victories. Tonight, the Trojans face a Big Red squad that's traveled cross country and that in itself is tasking and the Cornell Big Red haven't really shown that they're going to put up a fight as a significant underdog.
This is a team that's lost to the likes of Siena, Colgate, and Monmouth; the list goes on. What makes anyone think that this team will even be competitive nevermind defeat USC?
The Big Red will need a "Big" in performance out of their leading scorer, guard Matt Morgan. One thing that Morgan has shown in his career at Cornell and that is that he's not afraid to shoot or get physical in the paint and his team leading 18.6 points and 5.3 rebounds indicate this fact.
Morgan recently lit Northeastern up for 34 points with 7 3-pointers in an 80-77 victory. Look for Morgan to get his points, but he'll need to put up another 34 points just to make this game interesting where competitiveness is concerned.
A Deep Trojans Squad
Where USC is concerned, they have a ton of options to choose from as they carry 5 players that are averaging double-figure points. While Benny Boatright has been out, the Trojans get plenty of leadership from players such Elijah Stewart (16.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 42.3% 3-point shooting) and Jordan McLaughlin (13.4 points, 4.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds). This is a Trojans squad that's averaging 83 points per game and their key players know how to "clean the glass". They're not a team that will commit a ton of turnovers and beat themselves.
Elijah Stewart is really the player that has stepped up his game from last season. His shooting percentage is a bit deceiving as most of his misses come from the 3-point land and he still shoots well over 40% from beyond the arc. Look for Stewart to lead the way on both ends of the court as this is a 6 foot 5 athletic player that's been known to reject a shot or two. I look for him to have a field day against weaker competition.The bottom line is Cornell has difficulties in defeating teams in their own conference. This is a major step up.