USC Hosts No. 7/No. 6 Arizona Saturday At The Galen Center|
Jan. 8, 2016
The USC Trojans (13-3, 2-1) will host the No. 7/No. 6 Arizona Wildcats (13-2, 1-1) at the Galen Center on Jan. 9 at 4:00 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Arizona with Kevin Calabro and Don MacLean calling the action. The last time a Trojan team started a season 13-3 was the 2001-02 season. That team was 14-3 after 17 games. USC has started 2-1 in Pac-12 play for the first time since the 2011 season. The last time USC started 3-1 in conference play was the 2006-07 season.
BREAKING DOWN No. 7/No. 6 ARIZONA - The Arizona Wildcats (13-2, 1-1) are coming off an 87-84 loss at UCLA on Jan. 7 which snapped an eight-game winning streak. The Wildcats only other loss this season was to No. 8 Providence on Nov. 27. 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 10.6 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.
TROJANS’ FLURRY DEFEATS ASU -- USC saw a late 10-point lead shrink to two with 1:49 left in the game, but scored 10-straight points to put away Arizona State 75-65 at the Galen Center on Jan. 7. After a Tra Holder three-point attempt with 1:09 remaining could have given the Sun Devils the lead, Julian Jacobs hit Chimezie Metu for a breakaway dunk, followed by layups by Katin Reinhardt and Jacobs, two free throws by McLaughlin and a floater by McLaughlin to put the game away. USC shot 49.1 percent to Arizona State’s 38.2 percent. USC had only two players score in double figures (Jacobs-15, Bennie Boatwright-14) for the first time this season.
TRIP TO CROSSTOWN RIVAL UCLA ON DECK – USC will travel across town to face UCLA (10-6, 1-2) at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. The game will air on ESPN2. UCLA is coming off an 87-84 home win over Arizona on Jan. 7. Bryce Alford hit a three-pointer with 1.8 seconds left to win it. Alford leads UCLA in scoring with 17.4 points per game, but five Bruins are averaging double figures in points. UCLA will host ASU on Jan. 9 before taking on the Trojans. USC has lost six-straight to UCLA, including three times last season, and trails 104-138 in the all-time series, which reflects one USC victory in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty.
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 10-0 at home this season, its most consecutive home wins to start a season since also 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 62 dunks in the first 16 games, compared to its opponents’ 24. Chimezie Metu, who leads USC with 24 dunks, had three vs. ASU on Jan. 7 and has at least one in seven of the last eight games. 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 137 three-point baskets this season, tops among Pac-12 teams and tied for 38th in the country through games of Jan. 7. 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 13 of the 16 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 41.1 percent from beyond the arc (13th in the country), while its opponents are shooting 31.1 percent from long-range. Last season USC made a total of 170 three-pointers for an average of 5.3 makes per game.
FOUR FROM DEEP ON THE FLOOR - Bennie Boatwright (32), Katin Reinhardt (30), Jordan McLaughlin (27) and Elijah Stewart (27) all rank in the top 15 among Pac-12 players in three-point baskets made. No other conference team has more that two players in the top 15.
MORE DOUBLE-DOUBLES THAN IN-N-OUT - USC has recorded 11 double-doubles in the first 16 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).
YOU CAN COUNT ON CLARK - Forward Darion Clark matched a season high with 10 rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench against Arizona St. on Jan. 7. He also had nine rebounds in 17 minutes at Washington on Jan. 3, giving him 19 rebounds in his last 33 minutes on the court. In 40-minute prorated stats, he leads the team with an average of 17.0 rebounds, while Nikoa Jovanovic is second with 12.9 rebounds per 40 minutes.
DEFENSE COMING UP BIG - USC held Arizona State to 38.2 percent shooting on Jan. 7. It was the eighth time in 16 games this season that USC’s opponent shot under 40 percent in a game. For the season, USC is making 47.1 percent of its shots, while its opponents are hitting 37.9 percent. The 37.9 shooting percentage by its opponents ranks 17th best in the country through games of Jan. 7. USC has held its last 10 opponents to 42.6 percent shooting or less and 14 of 16 opponents this season. In fact, only one opponent has shot over 43.5 percent against USC (46.8 percent by Xavier on Nov. 27).
NIK STARTING TO CLICK - Forward Nikola Jovanovic has had a double-double in three of his last five games and has six on the season. He has averaged nearly a double-double the last six games, scoring 14.5 points (87 total) and grabbing 9.8 rebounds (59 total) per game TROJANS HOSTING SEASON-LONG BLOCK PARTY - USC has registered 105 blocks in the first 16 games to lead all Division I schools in total blocks through games of Jan. 7. USC’s average of 6.6 blocks per game ranks fourth 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 1330 points in the first 16 games of the season, its most to start a season since scoring 1331 in the first 16 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 83.1 points per game average ranks 26th in the country through games of Jan. 7. USC averaged 67.0 points last season.