After a convincing win over UCLA, the USC basketball squad has yet again lost. This time it was against Washington State who have a hot-handed scorer in Andrej Jakimovski who plans to torch the Trojans as they chase down Arizona to get the top spot on the Pac-12. Coach Andy Enfield and his squad with Bronny James and Isaiah Collier had a mission to get their second-straight win but they failed.

Everything started off great for the USC basketball program. They ended the first half with a 39 to 35 lead over Washington State and looked to build on that entering the second half. But, this is where things started to implode for the Trojans. Bronny James already had two fouls in the first half after just three minutes of action.

Things did not get better for James in the second half at all. He got two more fouls which meant that Coach Andy Enfield had to bench him to avoid further giving the Washington State squad more free throws. James had to end the night with only two points and a rebound to contribute to the USC basketball squad as they faced their 12th loss in the Pac-12 conference and 18th loss throughout their 2023-24 campaign.

The output from James prompted some fan reactions that were not too savory. Observations like, “Bronny James gets called for a block and the crowd lets him hear it. Chants of “Bryce is better.” Bryce is Lebron's younger son,” and, “Bronny James is the reason the stands are full tonight? Give me a break PAC 12 network!” were thrown around during the broadcast.

There is still a lot of work to do before this USC basketball squad becomes ready for a national title run or even just a shot at the Pac-12 championship.

USC puts up a fight against Washington State

Washington State Cougars forward Andrej Jakimovski (23) is fouled on the shot by USC Trojans guard Bronny James (6) in the first half at Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum.
© James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

This did not mean that the Trojans did not put up a fight. The USC basketball defense stole the ball 11 times from the 19th-ranked squad in all of college basketball. Their schemes also forced the opponents to make 14 turnovers. Whenever the Cougars tried to get a shot off, the Trojans always made sure that it was well-contested. It even netted them four blocks to stay within striking distance.

However, the scoring prowess of Andrej Jakimovski and Isaiah Watts was just too much. Andrej Jakimovski stayed on the floor for 36 minutes and gave the USC basketball defense a huge headache. He notched 18 points and five rebounds. Watts also wreaked havoc by putting up 18 points, two rebounds, and an assist. They also got help from Myles Rice who recorded an all-around performance with 16 points and four rebounds. Not to mention, Rice also did great on floor general duties and dropped eight dimes.

USC still had a heavy hitter in Isaiah Collier who got 24 points but he did not get much help. With James sidelined for most of the game. the best the Trojans could give was 11 points each from Kobe Johnson and Vincent Iwuchukwu. No one else managed to get close to double-digit scoring outputs for the Trojans. Had anyone else stepped up to fill James' production, USC would have had their 13th win of the season.

Washington is next in the USC basketball squad's schedule. They have just come off a dominant 17-point win over UCLA. Will Coach Andy Enfield and the Trojans be able to bounce back in this game?