In a quest for the ultimate upset, the Trojans start off the annual Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas this week as the No. 12 seed. The Trojans will face off against the Arizona State Sun Devils, the No. 6 seed, on Wednesday.The Trojans hope that this tournament will be a bright spot in a season that saw the Trojans finish last in the conference for the second consecutive year. They ended their season with a loss to their crosstown rivals UCLA by a final score of 85-74. The Trojans allowed the Bruins to go on a 25-7 run in the first half, and they could never catch up. Redshirt sophomore Katin Reinhardt led the way in the loss with 22 points off the bench; the Trojans will rely on his scoring in the tournament during which they will continue to be underdogs every night.The Trojans are one of the youngest teams in the entire country; among the power five conferences, the Trojans have the youngest roster in terms of minutes played by class. Head coach Andy Enfield knows that his team is young, but he also knows they will go out ready to compete.“We understand that from a physicality standpoint and from an age difference, they’re much older and a little stronger than us physically,” Enfield said. “We feel that if we go compete, we have a great chance.”Arizona State will come into the tournament having won five of its last seven games, a run that catapulted them to the five seed in the tournament. Their last win was over California by a margin of 74-70 in which they were led by senior forward Shaquielle McKissic, who scored 21 points in his last home game for the Sun Devils. McKissic is the leading scorer for the Devils with an average of 11.5 points per game.The last time these USC and ASU faced off, the Sun Devils came away on top, 64-59. The Devils had to rally late to beat the Trojans, who had led for the majority of the game. In this game, USC was led by reserve sophomore guard Kahlil Dukes who scored a career-high 18 points. Dukes kept the Trojans in a game where they were missing three of their players. Reinhardt, junior guard Chass Bryan and sophomore guard Devon Pflueger were all sent home from the Arizona road trip for violating team rules.USC will not head into Vegas at full strength, as freshman guard Jordan McLaughlin is out for the season with a shoulder injury. McLaughlin was named to the Pac-12 all-freshman team on Monday. On the season, McLaughlin averaged 12.1 points, three rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. He led all Pac-12 freshman in assists and steals per game, and he is the first Trojan to be named to the team since Maurice Jones back in 2011.Without McLaughlin, the Trojans will lean on their two dynamic sophomores against Arizona State. Sophomore guard Julian Jacobs has proven lately why he was named captain of the squad, both with his production on the court and through his leadership on such a young team. In the last seven games for the Trojans, Jacobs averaged 11.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and seven assists per game. Jacobs has also been able to entertain the crowd as he leads the team with 18 dunks on the year. USC will also routinely go down low to sophomore forward Nikola Jovanovic, who averaged 12.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for the Trojans during the regular season. Jacobs stressed preparation when he talked about the pending tournament.“You have to have a chip on your shoulder when you play in these kind of tournaments where it’s win or go home,” Jacobs said.The game will tip off at 2:30 p.m. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The winner of the game will go on to face the UCLA Bruins, who earned a first round bye by placing fourth in the conference during the regular season. USC lost to UCLA in both matchups this year while the Sun Devils won the only meeting with the Bruins earlier in the year.
Share SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Related Articles Gamesys tops list for GambleAware Q1 donations July 10, 2020 Share William Hill accelerates transformation agenda to overcome COVID realities August 5, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon The first-panel session of the Payments Day track, held on day-four of the inaugural SBC Digital Summit, debated how COVID-19 disruptions will impact all dynamics related to AML, fraud and customer verification measures.Payment Expert Editor Joe Streeter led discussions on key industry disciplines that were in the midst of an overhaul, prior to the virus spreading and creating a pandemic.The first focus was on the ‘human element’ of the pandemic, in which panicked consumers’ daily habits are thrown out of sync. Streeter asked panelists if standard betting procedures and protections stand-up against the coronavirus chaos?Steven Armstrong, Group Director of AML at William Hill, said “In general, betting regulations are defined on a risk-based approach. From an operators’ view, this should help them adapt thresholds and their risk models, however, developing flexible procedures are trickier under this environment.”Rahul Das, Head of Payments for VirginBet, backed Armstrong’s statement on flexibility, detailing that standard AML procedures have been tested, as operators may be unaware of a customer’s monetary circumstance.He added: “Regulatory guidelines haven’t changed, but consumer circumstances have, making profiling more complicated. You might have a customer who passed affordability checks 2 months ago, but their financial situation might have changed drastically.” Whilst regulators continue to require checks and balance, Das continued that compliance demands do not account for radical changes in consumer behaviour under a crisis context. “We have built behavioural models observing customers, but predictive values are diminished if behaviour changes drastically in a short time,” he explained. “You are therefore left scrambling trying to protect customers… this is where I believe the puzzle is.” Working under unique circumstances, Armstrong said that William Hill affordability checks and customer profiling has had to adapt to the demands of the here and now rather than relying on retrospective reviews.“It gets me into trouble with KYC suppliers,” said Armstrong. “But I want to know what a player’s status is right now, not what check they were receiving six months ago. Their situation will have changed, for us it’s all about the present timestamp.”Working with diverse betting operators across Europe, Roger Tyrzyk – Country Manager for the UK and Ireland at IDnow – shared that its has been a period for technology incumbents to step up, filling holes in KYC procedures. Noting that customer verification and profiling have become harder disciplines in the pandemic, he said that software providers have to move provisions ‘beyond simple document checks’.“Operators have asked us to do face-to-face verifications, via video links,” said Tyrzyk. “They have also asked us to probe deeper questions making sure the customer is safe and that security is maintained.”Tyrzyk stated that IDnow customers are fully aware of the consequences of failing on AML and fraud demands during this unforeseen period as ‘tabloids are waiting to jump on negative headlines’.Das and Armstrong also recognised the high-stakes placed on AML and fraud conduct, which will be ramped up once the sports calendar comes back into play. Countering future impacts, Das advised betting operators to develop ‘frontline teams’ consisting of compliance, responsible gambling, customer service and AML stakeholders, in order to avoid being swamped by the sports schedule.When sports do come back, he said that all compliance teams should be ready to ask sensitive questions of their customers – something that cannot just be pawned off to the customer services.____________________________The SBC Digital Summit runs from 27 April to 1 May 2020, featuring seven conference tracks, a virtual exhibition and virtual networking lounges. It has attracted an estimated 10,000 delegates from around the world. There is still time to register for the event, with company discounts available HERE.