USC Hosts Yale Sunday As Part Of Doubleheader With Women's Team|
Dec. 10, 2015
The USC Trojans (7-2) will host the Yale Bulldogs (5-4) at the Galen Center on Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network with Rich Cellini and Don MacLean calling the action. The game is part of a doubleheader at the Galen Center, as the USC women’s team will take on Long Beach State at 4 p.m. USC’s 7-2 start is its best since also starting the 2006-07 season 7-2. That team began the season 9-2.
BREAKING DOWN THE BULLDOGS - The Yale Bulldogs are 5-4 after falling 69-65 at Illinois on Dec. 9. Yale has wins over Fairfield, Sacred Heart, Lehigh, Bryant and Vermont and losses to SMU, Duke, Albany and Illinois. Sophomore guard Makai Mason (16.6 ppg) and senior forward Justin Sears (16.3 ppg) lead the Bulldogs in scoring. Yale went 22-10 last season, returned 10 lettermen and was picked to win the Ivy League this season. The only meeting between the two schools was an 84-60 USC win on Dec. 29, 1988.
TROJANS PULL AWAY FROM IDAHO IN SECOND HALF -- USC and Idaho were tied 30-all at the half, but the Trojans took control in the second half and cruised to a 74-55 win at the Galen Center on Dec. 7. Bennie Boatwright hit five three-pointers and Katin Reinhardt made four and both finished with 17 points to lead the Trojans. Nikola Jovanovic chipped in with 11 points and eight rebounds. USC forced Idaho into an opponent season high of 23 turnovers which led to a 27-6 advantage on points off turnovers.
CAL POLY ON DECK - The Cal Poly Mustangs are 5-3 following a 77-65 home win over Fresno State on Dec. 5. The Mustangs will play at Saint Mary’s on Dec. 14 before facing the Trojans at the Galen Center on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. Cal Poly also has wins over CS Monterey Bay, Austin Peay, UMBC and Antelope Valley, with its losses coming against UNLV, UCLA and IPFW. Through Cal Poly’s first eight games, five players were averaging at least 8.6 points per game. The Mustangs were 13-16 last season and returned seven lettermen and three starters from that team. Cal Poly leads the all-time series with USC 2-0, claiming the last matchup 42-36 on Nov. 19, 2011. USC also had one win over Cal Poly vacated from the 2007-08 season due to NCAA penalty.
BACKCOURT BOOMING -- In the first nine games, USC’s guards Jordan McLaughlin, Julian Jacobs and Elijah Stewart have combined to average 35.7 points, 12.9 rebounds and 9.9 assists per game. The trio has also averaged a combined 9.6 free throw attempts per game.
MAKING A POINT - USC has scored 741 points in the first nine games of the season, its most to start a season since scoring 760 in the first nine games of the 2001 season. USC’s 82.3 points per game average ranks 46th in the country. USC averaged 67.0 points last season.
JUJU, TOO - Just like the football team has a dominant “JuJu” in JuJu Smith-Schuster, the basketball team has its own in Julian “JuJu” Jacobs. Jacobs is second on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg) and rebounds (55) and leads the team with 48 assists (tied for 34th in the country). Jacobs also ranks third among Pac-12 players in assist per game (5.3), seventh in steals per game (1.6) and leads the conference with a 3.0 assist to turnover ratio.
BENNY BUCKETS - Freshman Bennie Boatwright tied for game high honors vs. Idaho on Dec. 7 with 17 points. In that game he made 5 of 8 three-pointers. He scored a season-best 22 points vs. Wichita State on Nov. 26, including making 5 of 9 three-point attempts. He is averaging 12.1 points and 5.7 rebounds this season. He leads the team with 20 three-pointers made, is third in rebounds (51) and tied for second in blocks (8) on the team.
TROJANS HOSTING A BLOCK PARTY -LET ME ASSIST YOU - USC has averaged 2.6 more assists per game than turnovers this season (15.7 to 13.1 per game), despite registering just six assists vs. Monmouth on Nov. 29. Last season, USC averaged 12.4 assists and 14.0 turnovers.
DEFENSE COMING UP BIG - USC held Wichita State to 35.1 percent shooting on Nov. 26. It was the fourth time in nine games this season that USC’s opponent shot under 40 percent in a game. USC shot under 40 percent for the first time this season on Nov. 29 vs. Monmouth. For the season, USC is making 45.6 percent of its shots, while its opponents are hitting 38.5 percent. The 38.5 shooting percentage by its opponents ranks 47th best in the country through games of Dec. 4.
BEWARE OF CROSSING METU MOUNTAIN - Freshman Chimezie Metu has 23 blocks in his first nine career games for an average of 2.56 per game. He currently ranks tied for 23rd in the country in blocks per game. His 23 blocks rank 10th on USC’s all-time freshman single-season list and he is five blocks away from moving into a ninth-place tie with Davon Jefferson (28).