USC Plays At Rival UCLA On Wednesday|
Jan. 11, 2016
The USC Trojans (14-3, 3-1) will play at the UCLA Bruins (11-6, 2-2) at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 13 at 8:00 p.m. The game will air on ESPN2 with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton calling the action. The last time a Trojan team started a season 14-3 was the 2001-02 season. That team lost its next game, so the last time USC had a 15-3 start was the 1992 season, which began 17-3. USC has started 3-1 in Pac-12 play for the first time since the 2007 season. The last time USC started 4-1 or better in conference play was the 2002 season (5-0).
BREAKING DOWN THE BRUINS - UCLA is coming off an 81-74 home win over Arizona State on Jan. 9. The Bruins have won nine consecutive home games after an 84-81 opening loss at Pauley to Monmouth on Nov. 13. Bryce Alford leads UCLA in scoring with 17.4 points per game, but five Bruins are averaging double figures in points. 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. USC last won at UCLA on Jan. 30, 2013, a 75-71 overtime victory. UCLA has won 12 consecutive Pac-12 home games dating back to the 2014 season.
TROJANS WIN INSTANT CLASSIC AGAINST ARIZONA -- After four overtimes, 12 ties and nine lead changes, USC defeated No. 7 Arizona 103-101 at the Galen Center on Jan. 9. Elijah Stewart tied his career high of 27 points when he hit a pair of free throws with 22 seconds left in the fourth overtime to secure the victory, USC’s first over a top 10 opponent since the 2011 season. Arizona led by eight points early and USC by 12 points late in regulation, but the game wasn’t decided until the 60th minute was played. It was the first 4OT game in Arizona history and the third for the Trojans, first since an 80-78 win at UCLA in 1985.
OREGON ON DECK – USC will next play at Oregon (13-3, 2-1) in Eugene, Ore. on Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. The Ducks will play at Utah on Jan. 14 and at Colorado on Jan. 17 before hosting the Trojans. Oregon is a perfect 11-0 at home this season. Sophomore Dillon Brooks leads four Ducks in double figures with a 15.2 scoring average. USC leads the all-time series 60-52 with two wins vacated in 2008, but has lost 10 consecutive games to Oregon. USC last defeated Oregon 80-66 at home on March 5, 2009 and last won in Eugene on Jan. 2, 2009, 83-62.
SC STANDS FOR SLAM CITY - USC has registered 67 dunks in the first 17 games, compared to its opponents’ 25. Chimezie Metu, who leads USC with 25 dunks, had three vs. ASU on Jan. 7 and has at least one in eight of the last nine games. Julian Jacobs, who led USC in dunks last season with 19, is second on the team with 19.
THREE AT LAST, THREE AT LAST... - USC has made 146 three-point baskets this season, tops among Pac-12 teams and tied for 38th in the country through games of Jan. 10. 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 14 of the 17 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 40.9 percent from beyond the arc (13th in the country), while its opponents are shooting 31.8 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 (34), Elijah Stewart (32), Katin Reinhardt (31) and Jordan McLaughlin (29) 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. With one more three-pointer from McLaughlin, the Trojans will have four players with 30 or more makes for the first time since the 2001-02 season (Brandon Granville, David Bluthenthal, Errick Craven and Desmon Farmer).
HOT START AT HOME -- USC is currently 11-0 at home this season, its most consecutive home wins to start a season since also winning the first 11 home games of the 1974 season. The last time USC won more home games to start a season was when it went a perfect 13-0 at home in 1943. USC won its last home game of the 2014-15 season so it has won 12 straight games at home for the first time since winning the final four home games of the 2007-08 season and first eight of the 2008-09 season. The last time USC won more consecutive home games was when it won 14 straight from the end of the 1992 season (9) to the beginning of the 1993 season (5).
HIGH-FIVE FOR STEWART - Sophomore guard Elijah Stewart has averaged 16.0 points (80 total) in USC’s last five games, twice matching his career high of 27 points. He has made 53.1 percent of his shots in the five games (26-for-49), including making 66.7 percent of this three-point attempts (16-for-24). In the four Pac-12 games, he is tied for the conference lead with a 66.7 shooting percent from beyond the arc (10-for-15).
MORE DOUBLE-DOUBLES THAN IN-N-OUT - USC has recorded 11 double-doubles in the first 17 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).
EVERYONE CHIPS IN -- USC has six players averaging 10.8 or more points and eight players have averaged 3.1 rebounds or more in the first 16 games. Seven different Trojans have scored at least 16 points in a game this season. USC has four players with at least 29 three-point baskets this season. Last season, USC had only three players all season make 16 or more three-pointers. USC had five players score in double figures vs. Monmouth on Nov. 16, the first time it had accomplished the feat since five scored in double figures in a 78-62 win vs. Boston College on Dec. 8, 2013. USC then had six players score 10 or more points vs. Cal Poly on Dec. 17, the first time accomplishing that feat since Dec. 28, 2004 vs. Southern. USC also had five players reach double-figures in points vs. Lafayette, at Washington St., at Washington and vs. Arizona.
POWERPOINT PRESENTATION - USC has scored 1433 points in the first 17 games of the season, its most to start a season since scoring 1521 in the first 17 games of the 1975 season. USC has scored 90 or more points seven times, including 100 or more points four times. USC had not reached the century mark in scoring in a game since the 2002 season. USC’s four games with 100 or more points ties the 1975 team for the most 100-point games in a single-season by a Trojan team. USC’s 84.3 points per game average ranks 19th in the country through games of Jan. 10. USC averaged 67.0 points last season.
WHAT ANKLE INJURY? - Julian Jacobs missed most of the second half at Washington on Jan. 3 with a sprained ankle, but returned vs. Arizona State on Jan. 7 with 15 points, five assists and four rebounds. He then played a team-high 53 minutes in the 4 overtime win against Arizona, scoring 18 points, grabbing six rebounds, handing out nine assists and making a career-high seven steals (T-4th on USC’s all-time single game list). He 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 played on Jan. 1 at Washington State after 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 eighth in a game this season among all Division I players. Jacobs is averaging 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game this season. He also leads all Pac-12 players in assist per game (5.8), is 3rd in steals per game (1.8) and is third in the conference with a 2.6 assist to turnover ratio.