College Hoops

Absence of Vince Iwuchukwu hampered USC in March Madness

Absence of Vince Iwuchukwu hampered USC in March Madness

All week long, the health of freshman center Vincent Iwuchukwu was a major point of discussion for the USC Trojans. With the Michigan State Spartans using center Mady Sissoko, the Trojans needed Iwuchukwu to have a shot at winning.

Unfortunately, Iwuchukwu was unable to go despite being a game-time decision, and the loss of the talented freshman hurt Andy Enfieldโ€™s team in a number of ways.

The Spartans won the game, 72-62, and the absence of Iwuchukwu loomed large for USC. Somehow, USC won the rebounding battle, 35-34, but Iwuchukwuโ€™s defense and presence down low were severely missed.

In Iwuchukwuโ€™s absence, Joshua Morgan stepped in, scoring 14 points (a team-high) on 7-9 from the field with 5 rebounds. Spartans center Mady Sissoko had 4 points with 5 rebounds and a pair of blocks, and the presence of Sissoko was a problem all game long for USC โ€” something that would have helped if Iwuchukwu was in the game.

If Iwuchukwu was healthy, it wouldโ€™ve been a much different game for both teams, although the poor offensive outings from Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson also hurt this team a lot.

Nonetheless, the future is bright for the talented freshman, especially after his promising play and unreal return to the court following a traumatic cardiac arrest incident over the summer.

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