USC Returns Home To Take On Arizona State Thursday|
Jan. 5, 2016
The USC Trojans (12-3, 1-1) will host the Arizona State Sun Devils (10-4, 0-1) at the Galen Center on Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Arizona with Kevin Calabro and Steve Lavin calling the action. The last USC team to have a better 15-game start was the 2001-02 team which began 13-2. That team started 13-3. USC is seeking a 2-1 start in Pac-12 play for the first time since the 2011 season. USC's 12 wins matches its total from the 2014-15 season. (12-20).
ASU OPENS UP HOMESTAND - Arizona State (10-4, 0-1) went 10-3 in nonconference play with wins over Creighton, UNLV and Texas A&M, but lost its conference opener 94-82 at home to Arizona on Jan. 3. The Sun Devils have four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by sophomore guard Tra Holder at 15.2. USC and ASU split a pair of games last season with the Trojans falling in Tempe, Ariz. 64-59 and then winning its Pac-12 first-round game against the Sun Devils, 67-64. USC leads the all-time series 51-38, which reflects two wins vacated by the Trojans in 2008 due to an NCAA penalty.
TROJANS TRIPPED UP AT WASHINGTON -- USC led by 10 points at the half, made its first seven shots of the second half and built up a 22-point lead, before falling 87-85 at Washington on Jan. 3. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Trojans. USC committed 21 turnovers, including two in the final minute to aid the Huskies' rally. Washington didn't grab the lead until 25 seconds left, when Andrew Andrews put back a missed shot. He added a free throw 21 seconds later and Katin Reinhardt's contested three-pointer as time expired rimmed out and Elijah Stewart's putback came just after the buzzer.
ARIZONA ON DECK -- The No. 7/No. 6 Arizona Wildcats (13-1, 1-0) will come to the Galen Center for a game on Jan. 9 at 4 p.m. Arizona will play at UCLA on Jan. 7 before facing the Trojans. Arizona is riding an 8-game winning streak after a 69-65 loss to No. 8 Providence. Arizona has three players scoring in double figures, led by redshirt senior Ryan Anderson who is averaging a double-double of 15.1 points and 10.2 points. USC has lost its last two games versus Arizona and trails in the all-time series 62-40, with a win vacated due to NCAA penalty for each team in 2008. USC has won four of its last six games against the Wildcats at the Galen Center.
NO SCHOOL, BUT HOME WORK TO DO -- Classes do not resume for USC until Monday, Jan. 11, but the Trojans have work to do to keep their home record perfect. USC is currently 9-0 at home this season, its most consecutive home wins to start a season since winning the first 10 of the 2001 season. The last time USC won its first 11 home games was the 1974 season.
SC STANDS FOR SLAM CITY - USC has registered 59 dunks in the first 15 games, compared to its opponents' 24. Chimezie Metu leads USC with 21 dunks, but had a seven-game streak with at least one dunk snapped on Jan. 3 at Washington. Julian Jacobs, who led USC in dunks last season with 19, is second on the team with 17.
THREE AT LAST, THREE AT LAST... - USC has made 130 three-point baskets this season, tops among Pac-12 teams and tied for 36th in the country through games of Jan. 4. USC has finished 11th or 12th among Pac-12 teams in three-pointers made the last four seasons. USC has made six or more three-pointers in 12 of the 15 games and six times has netted 12 or more, with a season-best 13 makes vs. CSUN on Nov. 23 and vs. Lafayette on Dec. 23. On the year, USC is averaging 41.0 percent from beyond the arc (14th in the country), while its opponents are shooting 31.3 percent from long-range. Last season USC made a total of 170 three-pointers for an average of 5.3 makes per game.
NIK STARTING TO CLICK - Forward Nikola Jovanovic has had a double-double in three of his last four games and has six on the season. He has averaged a double-double the last five games, scoring 16.0 points (80 total) and grabbing 10.6 rebounds (53 total) per game.
MORE DOUBLE-DOUBLES THAN IN-N-OUT - USC has recorded 11 double-doubles in the first 15 games this season. USC had a total of eight double-doubles during the 2014-15 season. Nikola Jovanovic leads USC with six double-doubles, followed by Julian Jacobs (3), Jordan McLaughlin (1) and Elijah Stewart (1).
NOT ALL FIRSTS ARE GOOD... - In USC's 87-85 loss at Washington on Jan. 3, the Trojans suffered their first loss of the season when leading in several categories: USC is now 11-1 when leading at the half, 12-1 when ahead in the game with 5:00 minutes left, 4-1 when five players or more score in double figures, 6-1 when holding the opposition to under 40 percent shooting, 11-1 when out-shooting the opposition (percentage) and 7-1 when scoring 80 or more points.
TROJANS HOSTING SEASON-LONG BLOCK PARTY - USC has registered 96 blocks in the first 15 games to tie for second among all Division I schools in total blocks through games of Jan. 4. USC's average of 6.4 blocks per game ranks fifth among all NCAA DI teams. USC had a total of 133 blocks in 32 games last season for a 4.2 blocks per game average.
POWERPOINT PRESENTATION - USC has scored 1255 points in the first 15 games of the season, its most to start a season since scoring 1261 in the first 15 games of the 1991 season. USC has scored 90 or more points six times, including 100 or more points three times. USC had not reached the century mark in scoring in a game since the 2002 season. USC has scored 100 or more points three games during a season for the first time since the 1991 season and sixth time in school history. The school record for 100-point games in a season is four (1975). USC's 83.7 points per game average ranks 23rd in the country through games of Jan. 4. USC averaged 67.0 points last season.
JACOBS TWISTS ANKLE AGAIN - Julian Jacobs has been in and out of the lineup since injuring his left ankle on the Dec. 8 off day. He originally felt discomfort in the Achilles, but it turned out to be due to pressure from swelling in the ankle. He reinjured the ankle early in the second half on Jan. 3 at Washington when he came down with a rebound and landed on another player's foot. Prior to that, Jacobs had scored 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting, which included four dunks. He sat out the remainder of that game. He played on Jan. 1 at Washington State following missing the previous two games, and had 12 points, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 dunks. He also played on Dec. 17 vs. Cal Poly and he posted a double-double with 13 assists and 10 points. The 13 assists tied for fourth (now fifth) on USC's all-time single-game list and are tied for fifth in a game this season among all Division I players. Jacobs is averaging 12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game this season. He also leads all Pac-12 players in assist per game (5.6), is 11th in steals per game (1.4) and is second in the conference with a 2.8 assist to turnover ratio.