USC Takes On No. 12 Utah In Pac-12 Tournament Quarterfinals Thursday|
March 10, 2016
The No. 7 seed USC Trojans (21-11, 9-9) will face the No. 2 seed and No. 12 ranked Utah Runnin' Utes (24-7, 13-5) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. on March 10 at 6:15 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Mountain with Ted Robinson and Bill Walton calling the action and Lewis Johnson providing sideline commentary. The winner of USC-Utah will face the winner of No. 6 Oregon State-No. 3 California on March 11 at 8:30 p.m. USC has 21 wins this season, its first 20-win season since going 22-13 in the 2009 season.
USC AT THE PAC-12 TOURNAMENT -- USC is 14-15 all-time at the conference tournament (reflects 1 USC win vacated due to NCAA penalty). At the 2015 Pac-12 Tournament, USC defeated No. 5 seed Arizona State 67-64 in the first-round game, becoming the first No. 12 seed to win a Pac-12 Tournament game. The Trojans then fell in the quarterfinals to No. 4 seed UCLA 96-70. USC won its only Pac-12 tourney title in 2009. USC has faced Utah once in the conference tournament, falling 69-66 in the first round in 2013, the first at the MGM.
BATTLING THE UTES - No. 12 Utah (24-7, 13-5) is coming off a 57-55 home win over Colorado on March 5 and has won seven consecutive games. Utah defeated USC 80-69 on Feb. 21 to hand the Trojans their first loss at home this season after a 15-0 record at the Galen Center to start the season. Utah is led by Pac-12 Player of the Year Jakob Poeltl who averages 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds. Utah has made 48.9 percent of its shots this season. Utah leads the all-time series 20-17 and has won six consecutive games against USC.
USC COMPLETES SEASON SWEEP OF UCLA -- USC scored the first 11 points and never looked back in a 95-71 victory over UCLA in a first-round game at the Pac-12 Tournament held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. on March 9. Julian Jacobs hit a three-pointer 17 seconds into the game and the Trojans never trailed or were tied after that. USC led 48-29 at the half and UCLA did not get any closer than 15 points in the second half. USC had six players score in double figures for the second time this season and second time since 2004. Bennie Boatwright led USC with 19 points, matching a career best with 5 three-pointers. Jacobs finished with 11 points and 9 assists. Chimezie Metu had a career-best 11 rebounds and 10 points for his first double-double. USC outrebounded UCLA 52-30. USC swept the season series against UCLA (3-0) with all the wins being by 10 points or more for the first time since accomplishing the feat in 1938 (4-0). The 95 points are the most USC has ever scored against UCLA and the 24-point victory was the largest margin of victory for the Trojans in the series since winning by 28 in 1945 (53-25). USC made 11 of 23 3-point shots (47.8 percent).
IT TAKES A TEAM -- USC has six players averaging 10.0 or more points and eight players have averaged 2.8 rebounds or more this season. Seven different Trojans have scored at least 19 points in a game this season. USC has four players with at least 54 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 2013 and has had five or more reach double figures in 10 games this season. USC had six players score 10 or more points vs. Cal Poly on Dec. 17 and vs. UCLA on March 9, the first times accomplishing that feat since Dec. 28, 2004 vs. Southern.
JACOBS, McLAUGHLIN & BOATWRIGHT EARN PAC-12 HONORS -- Guard Julian Jacobs was named to the Pac-12 All-Conference First Team on March 7, the first Trojan first-teamer since Nikola Vucevic in 2011. Guard Jordan McLaughlin was named honorable mention on the All-Conference team. Forward Bennie Boatwright was named honorable mention on the Pac-12 All-Freshman team.
DYNAMIC DUO -- Jordan McLaughlin (154) and Julian Jacobs (160) are one of two sets of guards in the country with at least 150 assists this season. The other pair is Emmett Naar and Joe Rahon of Saint Mary's.
TROJANS SET SCHOOL BLOCKS RECORD - USC has registered a school-record 177 blocks this season, 13th among all Division I schools in total blocks through games of March 6. USC's average of 5.5 blocks per game ranks 12th among all NCAA DI teams through March 6.
SC STANDS FOR SLAM CITY - USC has registered 113 dunks in the first 32 games, compared to its opponents' 62. Chimezie Metu leads USC with 51 dunks and Julian Jacobs, who led USC in dunks last season with 19, is second on the team with 32.
SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY -- With the loss at California on Sunday, Feb. 28, USC fell to 1-6 on Sundays. The Trojans are 20-5 on all other days.
TROJANS MOST IMPROVED TEAM IN POWER 5 CONFERENCES -- According to research by J.D. Hamilton of the NCAA, USC's 9.0 game improvement from last season (12-20 to 20-11) is tops among teams in the Power 5 conferences.
LOSING TO THE BEST -- The combined record of the opponents which USC lost to this season was 238-99 (70.6 winning percentage). The average record of the teams USC lost to this season was 21.6-9. All of USC's losses except one (ASU - 15-17) came to teams with winning records and seven were against teams which won 20 or more games.
THREE AT LAST, THREE AT LAST... - USC has made 253 three-point baskets this season, second among Pac-12 teams. It is the most three-pointers by USC since netting a school record 259 in the 1993 season. 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 24 of the 32 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 38.6 percent from beyond the arc (34th in the country), while its opponents are shooting 31.9 percent from long-range (49th best in the country). Last season USC made a total of 170 three-pointers for an average of 5.3 makes per game.
EN GUARDE! -- USC's four primary guards Julian Jacobs, Jordan McLaughlin, Katin Reinhardt and Elijah Stewart have combined to average 45.0 points (1439 total), 14.6 rebounds (468 total) and 12.4 assists (396 total) per game. Despite going 29-for-72 (40.3 percent) on the trip to Oregon, they are shooting 45.5 percent (510-for-1121) from the floor, 40.0 percent from three-point range (182-for-455).
POWERPOINT PRESENTATION - USC has scored 2596 points in the first 32 games of the season for an 81.1 average which ranks 18th in the country. It is USC's highest scoring average since netting 81.4 in the 1990-91 season. USC has scored 90 or more points nine 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 averaged 67.0 points last season. USC scored 80 or more points in 9 of the 18 Pac-12 games. The last time USC scored 80 or more points more times in conference play was 2002 (10).
IT STARTS WITH DEFENSE - USC held UCLA to 38.2 percent shooting on March 9. It was the 11th time in 32 games this season that USC's opponent shot under 40 percent in a game. For the season, USC is making 45.9 percent of its shots, while its opponents are hitting 41.3 percent. Arizona became the first team to shoot 50 percent or better vs. USC on Feb. 14 (50.0) and Utah made an opponent high of 53.6 percent on Feb. 21. USC has held 18 of 32 opponents to 42.6 percent shooting or less this season.