USC Hosts Oregon State Thursday To Begin Final Homestand|
Feb. 25, 2014
The USC Trojans (10-17, 1-13) will play the Oregon State Beavers (14-12, 6-8) at the Galen Center on Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. USC has lost a season high eight consecutive games and is 1-13 in the last 14 games, after opening the season with a 9-4 record.
BREAKING DOWN THE BEAVERS - Oregon State fell 86-62 at home to Washington on Feb. 22 and has lost four of its last five games. USC leads the all-time series with Oregon State 66-60, with two wins in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty. USC fell 75-76 in overtime at Oregon State on Jan. 30. Roberto Nelson leads the Beavers and the conference in scoring with a 20.8 average.
USC FALLS AT CALIFORNIA -- USC led by four at the half, but was outscored 50-34 in the second half and fell 77-64 at California. The game was tight throughout as USC trailed by six points with 3:24 left in the game, but the Bears scored 13 of the next 17 points to put the game away. USC had four players score in double figures, led by Pe'Shon Howard's 17 points. California's Justin Cobbs led all scorers with 22 points.
OREGON ON DECK - USC's next game will be vs. the Oregon Ducks (18-8, 6-8) on March 1 at 1 p.m. Oregon has won three consecutive games, all at home, the last being a 67-53 victory over Washington State on Feb. 23. Oregon plays at UCLA on Feb. 27 before facing USC. Guard Joseph Young leads Oregon in scoring with an 18.6 average, third among conference players. Oregon defeated USC 78-66 on Feb. 1 in Eugene, Ore. In that game USC led by four points at the half, but committed 11 turnovers in the first 11 minutes of the second half to fall behind by double digits. USC leads the all-time series with Oregon 60-49, with two Trojan victories vacated from the 2008 season.
LET ME ASSIST YOU -- USC has 353 assists this season and is on pace to finish the regular season with 405, the most in a season since registering 438 in 2009. Pe'Shon Howard leads the team with 108, followed closely by Julian Jacobs with 99. They are looking to be the first pair of Trojans with 100 or more assists in the same season since 2007 (Pruitt-113, Hackett-103).
THE THREE HAS BEEN KEY -- USC ranks 327th in the country in three-pointers made per game (4.6). USC's opponents average 7.0 makes from beyond the arc each game. In the last five games, USC is 24-for-83 (28.9 percent) from three-point range while its opponents have made 35-for-87 (40.2 percent), despite Stanford going 2-for-19 on Feb. 20.
IMPACT FRESHMEN -- Freshmen Julian Jacobs and Nikola Jovanovic are quietly posting two of the better USC freshmen seasons in awhile. Jacobs' 99 assists rank eighth in a single season by a Trojan freshman and he projects to finish with the third-most ever. He also is three steals outside the freshman top 10 in steals. Jovanovic has the ninth-best free throw percentage season (.741) and has the ninth-best field goal percentage (.521) by a Trojan freshman. Both players have an outside chance to finish in the top 10 in rebounds. Entering play this week, among Pac-12 freshmen Jovanovic ranks seventh in scoring and fourth in rebounding, while leading all conference freshmen in shooting percentage. Jacobs is 11th in scoring, fifth in rebounding, first in steals, is second in assists and is fourth in blocks among Pac-12 freshmen.
LORD BYRON -- Like a poet craftily painting a picture with his expressive words, junior Byron Wesley is creating his own scoring masterpiece of late, averaging 22.0 points in his last five games and doing it with dunks, three-pointers, and spinning-slashing moves in the key. He surpassed the 1,000 career points plateau on Feb. 1 at Oregon and has scored 20 or more points in four of his last five games played. He has scored 1,073 career points, tied for 31st on USC's all-time scoring list with Roy Irvin. Paul Westphal is 30th on USC's all-time scoring list with 1,085 career points. Wesley is the only Pac-12 player this season leading his team in both scoring and rebounding averages.
SIGNS OF SLAM CITY -- USC went without a dunk for the first time all season at Stanford on Feb. 20 and again at Cal on Feb. 23, but has out-slammed the opposition 67-37 this season. USC has eight games with at least four dunks, while the opposition has only two (5 - Villanova on Nov. 28 and 4- ASU on Jan. 9).
GETTING TO THE LINE -- USC has taken 660 free throws through 27 games for an average of 24.4 per game. Last season through 27 games, USC averaged 17.4 free throw attempts (469 total). USC opponents this season have taken 22.9 free throws per game. USC has struggled at the free throw line this season (66.1 percent) with seven games under 60.0 percent from the charity stripe. In the last 10 games USC has been called for 43 more fouls (216-173) and the opposition has taken 52 more free throws (283-231).
SECOND-HALF SHAKES -- In the last eight games, USC has been outscored 363-291 in the second half and overtime periods. USC has made 41.0 percent (98-for-239) of its shots after the break, including 24.0 percent from three-point range (18-for-75). The opposition also has 48 more free throw attempts after the break. Included in this stretch, Utah had a 15-0 run, UCLA 10-0 and 14-0 runs and Oregon a 12-0 run within the first 10 minutes of the second half. Stanford had a 9-0 run and then a 7-0 run to begin overtime in the first game and an 8-0 and a 13-0 run in the second half of the game on Feb. 20. Cal had an 11-0 run within the first five minutes of the second half to erase a six-point deficit on Feb. 23.