USC To Face Rival UCLA In Pac-12 Quarterfinal Game|
March 12, 2015
The No. 12 seed USC Trojans (12-19, 3-15) will face the No. 4 seed UCLA Bruins (19-12, 11-7) in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. on March 12 at 2:30 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network and on ESPNLA 710. The winner of this game will face the winner of the No. 1 seed Arizona/No. 8 seed California game on March 13 at 6 p.m.
BREAKING DOWN UCLA -- USC lost 85-74 at UCLA on March 4, the last regular season game. UCLA also defeated USC 83-66 on Jan. 14 at the Galen Center and leads the all-time series with USC, 137-104 (reflects a USC win in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty). All 5 of UCLA's starters are averaging over 10 points per game with its next highest-scoring player at 3.7 points per game. USC is 1-2 all-time vs. UCLA at the conference tournament, losing 57-54 in 2008, winning 65-55 in 2009 and losing 55-40 in 2012. USC and UCLA are playing for the second time in eight days, the quickest turnaround since playing consecutive games on Feb. 24 and Feb. 26, 1983.
USC USES 21-4 RUN TO DEFEAT ASU IN FIRST-ROUND GAME -- USC finished its opening round game against Arizona State on a 21-4 run to defeat the Sun Devils 67-64 on March 11. Freshman Elijah Stewart scored nine points during the run en route to a career-high 27 points. His point total was the most by a Trojan player in the conference tournament since Chis Moore scored a school tournament-record 31 vs. ASU on March 9, 1989. USC outshot ASU 52.2 percent to 35.4 percent to offset its 17 turnovers. USC also allowed ASU 20 offensive rebounds USC trailed 60-46 with nine minutes left when it began its rally. Julian Jacobs added 12 points, 10 coming in the second half. USC won for the first time this season when trailing with five minutes left (1-15).
USC AT THE PAC-12 TOURNAMENT -- USC is 13-14 all-time at the conference tournament (reflects 1 USC win vacated due to NCAA penalty). USC's 67-64 win vs. ASU yesterday snapped a four-game losing streak at the Pac-12 Tournament. USC last won in the first round of the 2011 tournament. The Trojans defeated UCLA in the 2009 semifinals en route to the title.
JUST HOW YOUNG ARE THEY...? -- According to Statsheet.com, USC ranks as the fourth-youngest team in the country and first among the Power 5 conferences in terms of minutes played by class. Among the top 12 teams listed in terms of youngest rosters, only three have a winning record and one of those is No. 1 Kentucky. USC is one of three of those 12 youngest teams to have a strength of schedule ranked in the top 80. Conversely, 17 of the 23 "oldest" rosters have a record of .500 or better. USC is one of only 15 teams in the country without a senior and the Trojans have had only one scholarship junior (Strahinja Gavrilovic) play this season.
TEAM TROJAN -- USC has seven players averaging over 5.0 points per game and one at 4.9 points per game. The last time USC had eight players average over 5.0 points for a season was the 2004-05 season. USC has had 10 different players lead the team or tie for game-high scoring this season and has had six tie for or lead USC in rebounding and assists in a game.
STRONG FRESHMAN FOUNDATION -- USC had three players which ranked in the top 11 among all Pac-12 freshmen in scoring, rebounding and steals during the regular season. Jordan McLaughlin (Pac-12 All-Freshman Team selection) led all Pac-12 freshmen with 1.50 steals and 4.55 assists per game. McLaughlin's assist total (100) ranks 9th on USC's all-time freshman list. Elijah Stewart ranks 6th all-time in blocks by a Trojan freshman with 36, third among conference freshmen.
STEWART FINDING HIS STROKE -- Freshman guard Elijah Stewart scored a season-best 27 points vs. ASU on March 11 and has scored 55 points in the last three games (18.3 ppg). He has made 19 of 37 shots (51.4 percent), including 12 of 24 from three-point range (50.0 percent) in that stretch. Stewart has scored in double figures in five of his last seven games, after reaching double figures two times in the first 24 games.
GETTING DEFENSIVE -- USC has held its last five opponents to a combined 37.5 shooting percentage (113-for-301), including holding Washington to 29.7 percent (19-for-64) on Feb. 28 which was the lowest percentage by a Trojan opponent since holding UC Riverside to 19.0 percent on Dec. 12, 2012. The Trojans have held their last 14 opponents to a combined 41.5 percent (341-for-832). Entering conference play, USC had held its opponents to 38.9 percent shooting from the floor, including 29.3 percent from three-point range. Still, USC has held 14 of 30 opponents this season to 40 percent shooting or less, for a combined 41.0 shooting percentage. Last season, USC's opponents had a combined field goal percentage of 43.0 percent. USC has held 5 of its last 9 opponents to 22 field goals or less after accomplishing the feat 5 times in the first 22 games. USC held ASU to 23 baskets and a 35.4 shooting percentage in the opening-round game.
FASTBREAK FUN -- In USC's 12 wins this season it has outscored the opposition 130-43 on fastbreak points. USC had more fastbreak points than its opponent in 9 of the 12 games with three games in which they had two less points than the opponent. USC has out-dunked its opponents 71-54 this season. USC's dunk leaders in 2014-15 are: Julian Jacobs - 18, Malik Martin - 15, Nikola Jovanovic -14, Darion Clark -11.
JACOBS CLIMING THE LADDER -- Guard Julian Jacobs has averaged 11.9 points (95 total), 6.6 rebounds (53 total) and 6.8 assists (54 total) in the last eight games. His 75 assists in Pac-12 play ranked sixth among all conference players. He also ranked 14th in field goal percentage and tied for 13th steals in Pac-12 play.
KATIN'S SCORING SURGE -- USC guard Katin Reinhardt has averaged 14.8 points per game (193 total) in the last 13 games. Reinhardt led the team with a 13.5 scoring average in conference games which ranked 16th among Pac-12 players.