USC Set To Host Cal Poly Thursday|
Dec. 15, 2015
The USC Trojans (8-2) will host the Cal Poly Mustangs (5-4) at the Galen Center on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network with Jim Watson and Don MacLean calling the action. USC’s 8-2 start is its best since also starting the 2006-07 season 8-2. That team began the season 9-2.
BREAKING DOWN THE MUSTANGS - The Cal Poly Mustangs are 5-4 following a 93-63 loss at Saint Mary’s on Dec. 14. Cal Poly has wins over CS Monterey Bay, Austin Peay, UMBC, Antelope Valley and Fresno State, with its other losses coming against UNLV, UCLA and IPFW. Cal Poly has five players averaging at least 8.2 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.
TROJANS DEFEAT IVY LEAGUE FAVORITE YALE -- USC took a 12-point lead into halftime and won by the same margin in a 68-56 win vs. Ivy League favorite Yale on Dec. 13 at the Galen Center. USC used a 14-3 run midway through the first half to pull away from the Bulldogs, then withstood an early second-half surge by Yale to get the victory. Bennie Boatwright led USC with 17 points and Katin Reinhardt and Jordan McLaughlin chipped in with 14 apiece. USC forced Yale into 16 turnovers and outscored the Bulldogs 25-8 on points off turnovers.
SIUE ON DECK - USC will be hosting SIUE (Southern Illinois-Edwardsville) on Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools. SIUE was 12-16 last season and returned six lettermen from that squad, but no starters. The SIUE Cougars are off to a 3-7 start, winning its last game 74-64 vs. Portland State on Dec. 12. SIUE also has wins over Arkansas State and SIU Carbondale, while falling to St. Louis, IPFW, Campbell, Butler, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Northwestern.
A POSITIVE POINT - USC has scored 809 points in the first 10 games of the season, its most to start a season since scoring 830 in the first 10 games of the 2001 season. USC is coming off a season-low 68 points vs. Yale on Dec. 13, but has scored 90 or more points three times. USC has scored the most or the second most points allowed this season by its opponent in 9 of the 10 games this season. USC’s 80.9 points per game average ranks 54th 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 third on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg), second in rebounds (55) and leads the team with 48 assists. Jacobs also leads all Pac-12 players in assist per game (5.3), is seventh in steals per game (1.6) and is second in the conference with a 3.0 assist to turnover ratio. Jacobs missed the last game with tendinitis in his left Achilles and is listed as day-to-day.
BENNY BUCKETS - Freshman Bennie Boatwright has scored 17 points in each of his last two games and has scored in double figures seven times. He scored a season-best 22 points vs. Wichita State on Nov. 26, including making 5 of 9 three-point attempts. He is averaging 12.6 points and 5.4 rebounds this season. He leads the team with 22 three-pointers made, is third in rebounds (54) and tied for third in blocks (8) on the team.
THREE AT LAST, THREE AT LAST... - USC has made 85 three-point baskets this season to lead all Pac-12 teams and ranks tied for 37th in the country through games of Dec. 13. 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 eight of the 10 games and four times has netted 12 or more, with a season-best 13 makes vs. CSUN on Nov. 23. On the year, USC is averaging 37.6 percent from beyond the arc, while its opponents are shooting 31.5 percent from long-range. Last season USC made a total of 170 three-pointers for an average of 5.3 makes per game.
THE FAST START - USC’s 8-2 start is the just the 10th time in the last 36 seasons that the Trojans have begun 8-2 or better in the first 10 games. In the 35 previous seasons, USC improved to 9-2 six times. The last time USC started a season better than 9-2 was a 13-2 start to the 2001-02 season.
TROJANS HOSTING A BLOCK PARTY - USC has registered 67 blocks in the first 10 games for an average of 6.7 per game which ranks fifth among all NCAA DI teams. USC had a total of 133 blocks in 32 games last season for a 4.2 blocks per game average.