USC Hosts Arizona State At Galen Sunday|
Jan. 21, 2017
The USC Trojans (16-4, 3-4) will host the Arizona State Sun Devils (9-10, 2-4) at the Galen Center on Jan. 22 at 5:30 p.m. USC began the season 14-0 which ranks tied for the fourth-longest winning streak in school history and was the best USC start since the 1971 season. USC’s 16-4 start is its best since the 2002 team also went 16-4. Fans can purchase tickets to USC games by going to USCTrojans.com/tickets Click Here. The game vs. UCLA on Jan. 25 is already sold out.
BREAKING DOWN ARIZONA STATE -- Arizona State (9-10, 2-4) is coming off a 102-80 loss at UCLA on Jan. 19 and has lost three consecutive games for the first time this season. The Sun Devils average 81.5 points per game and feature four double-figure scorers led by senior guard Torian Graham at 18.5 per game. USC leads the all-time series with ASU 52-39 which reflects two USC wins vacated due to NCAA penalty. USC and ASU split the 2015-16 season series with each team winning at home.
RALLY AGAINST ARIZONA COMES UP SHORT -- Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen banked in a long three-pointer as the shot clock wound down to put an end to USC’s second-half comeback with 33 seconds remaining and the Trojans fell 73-67 to No. 14/No. 13 Arizona at the Galen Center on Jan. 19. USC trailed by 23 points five minutes into the second half at 44-21, before cutting the lead to 67-64 prior to Markkanen’s shot. USC still trailed 56-35 with 10 minutes remaining, then went on a 29-11 run to cut the lead to three. Elijah Stewart keyed the rally with 15 second-half points, making four of his five three-pointers after the break and finishing with 20 points. USC got in a hole as it shot 25.8 percent in the first half and going 1-for-10 from three-point range. Jordan McLaughlin added 14 points and had eight assists. Markkanen led Arizona with 23 points, making five of six three-point attempts. USC shot 50 percent in the second half and held Arizona to 35.5 percent shooting after the break. USC trailed 29-19 at halftime, its fewest points in a first half since scoring 14 vs. Washington State on March 3, 2012.
No. 3 UCLA ON DECK -- No. 3 UCLA (19-2, 6-2) is coming off a 96-85 home loss to No. 14/No. 13 Arizona on Jan. 21. UCLA has averaged 93.0 points per game and has ecliped the 100-point mark seven times. UCLA has six players averaging at least 10.2 points per game, led by senior guard Bryce Alford at 17.2. USC defeated UCLA three times last season, including 95-71 in the Pac-12 Tournament. USC trails in the all-time series with UCLA, 107-138, which reflects one USC win vacated due to NCAA penalty. USC is 8-10 in its last 18 games against the Bruins, but are only 1-4 at home in the last five games at the Galen Center.
J-MAC CRACKS 1,000-POINT PLATEAU -- Junior guard Jordan McLaughlin scored his 1,000th career point with his last basket vs. Arizona on Jan. 19. McLaughlin is the 37th Trojan to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
STEWART SHOOTING UP THE 3-POINT CHARTS -- Junior guard Elijah Stewart made five three-point baskets against Arizona on Jan. 19 to give him 142 in his career. He is 11th on USC’s all-time career three-point baskets made list, three behind Stais Boseman who is in 10th with 145. Dwight Lewis is ninth on the list with 149 career three-pointers made as a Trojan.
STILL IN RARIFIED AIR -- USC is one of 45 Division I schools (out of 351) which has four losses or less through games of Jan. 20 and its .800 winning percentage is tied for 27th best in the country.
GALEN HAS BEEN GOOD TO THE TROJANS -- USC is 9-2 at the Galen Center this season, but has lost consecutive home games for the first time since Feb. 1, 2015 vs. Utah and Feb. 11, 2015 vs. Oregon which was part of a five-game home losing streak. Still, USC has won 26 of its last 30 home games dating back to the last home game of the 2014-15 season.
SULTANS OF SWAT -- USC set a school record for blocks in a game with 14 vs. Pepperdine on Dec. 11, but did not record a block at Colorado on Jan. 15, its first game without a block since Jan. 19, 2012 at Oregon (snapping a streak of 161 consecutive games with at least one block). USC bounced back with eight blocks against Arizona on Jan. 19. For the season, USC is averaging 5.9 blocks per game which ranks 11th in the country. Four different Trojans have at least 15 blocks : Metu (34), Stewart (26), Melton (24) and Rakocevic (15).
SECOND HALF SURGE -- USC scored 53 points in the second half against UCSB on Nov. 27, 52 in the second half against BYU on Dec. 3 and has averaged 41.3 points (825 total) after halftime this season. USC’s opponents have averaged 37.9 points (757 total) in the second half against the Trojans. USC has won or tied in second-half scoring in 14 of its 20 games this season.
BALANCE WITH THE BALL -- Eight different Trojans have scored at least 13 points in a game this season and six are averaging at least 9.0 points per game.
STEW CAN DO -- Junior guard Elijah Stewart made a career-high seven three-point baskets vs. Pepperdine on Dec. 11 to tie for fourth on USC’s single-game three-point baskets made list. He had made at least one shot from beyond the arc in 20 consecutive games dating back to last season, before going 0-for-5 at Oregon State on Dec. 28. He now has at least one three-point basket in 24 of his last 27 games. His career total of 142 three-pointers made ranks 11th on USC’s all-time list, three behind Stais Boseman who is 10th with 145. Stewart has averaged 13.4 points per game and leads USC with 45 three-point baskets, while ranking second in blocks (26), third in rebounds (103) and fourth in free throws made (42). He has also scored in double figures in 14 of 20 games this season, with a high of 30 points. Stewart’s 2.3 made three-pointers per game is seventh among all Pac-12 players. Stewart also has 26 blocks this season and 89 in his career which is 10th on USC’s all-time blocked shots list. Nikola Vucevic is ninth on USC’s career blocks list with 95.
METU MOUNTAIN BECOMING A VOLCANO -- Sophomore Chimezie Metu scored a career-high 24 points on 11 of 14 shooting at Colorado on Jan. 15, including making the go-ahead basket with 29 seconds remaining. In the last four games he has totaled 72 points for an average of 18.0 points per game while making 57.7 percent of his shots (30 of 52). He scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds vs. Stanford on Jan. 5 for his fourth double-double of the season and fifth of his career. He scored a then season-high 20 points vs. California on Jan. 8 and in the last 15 games he has averaged 15.0 points (225 total) and 7.8 rebounds (117 total). For the season he is averaging 14.0 points and 7.8 rebounds and leads the team with 34 blocks and 36 dunks, while ranking fourth on the team with 19 steals. Metu has at least one dunk in 17 of USC’s 20 games. He has been a consistent force for the Trojans with double-figures in points and six or more rebounds in 16 of the 20 games this season.
DE’ANTHONY DOING IT ALL -- Freshman guard De’Anthony Melton scored a career-high 16 points, had eight rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal in the win vs. Wyoming on Dec. 23. Melton scored 13 points, had 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks in the game vs. California on Jan. 8. In the win at Colorado on Jan. 15, he tied a career high with 9 rebounds and added 6 assists and 6 points. He is third among Pac-12 players with 34 steals, tied with Julian Jacobs for 10th on USC’s all-time freshman steals list. He has at least two steals in 10 of 20 games. Melton is averaging 9.7 points and 5.6 rebounds, while ranking second on the team with 65 assists. He ranks ninth in the conference with a 1.9 assist to turnover ratio.
THE YOUNG WILL LEAD -- USC’s roster has only one scholarship senior and two scholarship juniors and 63.5 percent of the minutes played this season (2556 of 4025 minutes) has been by freshmen or sophomores. Ken Pom lists USC 327th in the country in terms of game experience.
TURNOVERS CAN BE A GOOD THING -- USC has commited 11.2 turnovers per game which ranks 27th in the country. USC has committed 224 turnovers compared to its opponent’s 255 and enjoys a 319-221 advantage on points off of turnovers. USC has committed more turnovers than its opponent seven times this season. USC forced Colorado into 17 turnovers on Jan. 15 which led to a 20-5 advantage on points off turnovers. USC had a season-high 17 turnovers which lead to 23 points in its 84-61 loss at Oregon on Dec. 30 and followed it up with a new high of 18 turnovers in the win vs. Stanford on Jan. 5. Prior to those two games, USC ranked 11th In the country with 10.5 turnovers per game.