Those "Young" TrOJans

I am not going to spend any more time on the gap closers after this post (unless we see them again down the line). But I had to make one more point putting a ridiculous meme of "young" Trojies to rest before moving on from Sunday. One of the main excuses for TroJies from Sunday night (emphasis added):

At least the Trojans had a decent excuse. This is a young team, prone to inconsistencies and mistakes anyway. They figured to wear down, with coach Tim Floyd making four of them play all 40 minutes.
A "young" team? Uh hum.

If you think the reporter was coming up with that excuse on his own, think again. From Ben Bolch, the Trojie beat "reporter" from the LAT after they pulled of their win at Pauley (and remember we didn’t make any excuses for that loss even though we played without Luc and Mata-Real for the entire second half, and of course without Mike Roll):
USC's young lineup had experienced growing pains, as evidenced by six losses, but everything clicked in Saturday's upset of UCLA.
Few weeks later Mr. TO himself used the "young" line:
"We're really trying to get better as a team," Mayo said. "We know we're a young team. We're not going to be a perfect team every night, but we're sure going to try."
I mean listening to these guys you’d get the idea that our Ben Ball warriors were taking on bunch of 18-19 year old young, Trojan puppies at Pauley West. But then I decided to go through the official websites of both Southern Cal and UCLA and check out the birthdays of the starters from each team.

And this is what I found the age breakdown for the starters from Sunday night:

Age Class UCLA JustSC Class Age
20.50 Jr. Darren Collison Angelo Johnson So. 19.67
19.25 So. Russell Westboook OJ Mayo Fr. 20.25
22.00 Jr.* Josh Shipp Dwight Lewis So. 20.33
21.42 Jr. Luc Richard M’Bah A Moute Davon Jefferson Fr. 21.25
19.42 Fr. Kevin Love Taj Gibson So. 22.67
20.52 - Avg. Avg. - 20.83

I added * mark in Shipp’s column because he got a medical redshirt because of his hip surgeries.

So tell me again which was the "young" team on Sunday night? Yeah I get that our starters have more game experience because you know they did the right the right way: go through high school in four years and then attend a legit four year college athletics program. But its ridiculous to somehow imply that the TrOJies were at some kind of disadvantage because they were a "young" bunch.

Its especially absurd considering on the other side we have Mr. TO, a 20 year old freshman who was getting clowned by a super sophomore who was a year younger in age.

Then of course you have Taj Gibson, a 23 year old "sophomore", and Devon Jefferson, a 21 year old "freshman," players who sound lot more like mercenaries (playing like thugs) than young lower classmen in a legitimate college. And its not like these guys all on a sudden picked up a basketball and started playing. They have been playing organized hoops most of their lives until getting to Timmeh's program either in their AAU program or whatever "high school program" they were part of before getting to "college".

If they are talking about experience in terms of being ahead in the classroom then yeah sure its not even close. After all Luc is proficient in three languages, while his counterpart Davon, who is only 2 months younger (but 2 light years behind in class level) cannot construct a single sentence in English.

Only in the clueless world of Southern California’s traditional media Timmeh’s mercenaries are looked as "young" basketball players so that they can come up with an excuse when their dumb, baseless narrative of Southern Cal emerging as a credible threat to UCLA’s basketball program, doesn't come into fruition.

GO BRUINS.

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