The problem was, USC lacked the tools (talent, experience, skill) this time, especially against No. 12-ranked Kansas, which played like, well, Kansas.
The Jayhawks bounced back from a loss to Davidson on Monday and polished off USC, 63-47, before a Kansas-heavy crowd at the Galen Center.
USC had knocked off four ranked nonconference opponents in the last three seasons -- an impressive feat considering that during that span, the other Pac-12 Conference teams had five such upsets combined.
The Trojans had a formula for those wins.
In each, they shot well, took at least two dozen free throws and held the opponent to a point total in the mid-50s.
None of those feats was accomplished against Kansas (8-3).
USC shot 35% and took 13 free throws while Kansas had four players score in double figures, led by Elijah Johnson's 14 points.
Whatever offensive momentum USC (5-8) had from scoring a season-high 83 points in its win Monday against Texas Christian did not last.
Instead, against the always talented Jayhawks, who drew a slew of NBA scouts and executives as well as a legion of loyal fans, USC fell back into old habits, scoring at a tortoise-fast pace -- or not at all.
The first half was USC's lowest-scoring half since Kevin O’Neill took over as coach -- the Trojans mustered 13 points and had just as many turnovers.