USC Takes On SIUE Monday At Galen Seeking 10th Win|
Dec. 18, 2015
The USC Trojans (9-2) will host the SIUE Cougars (3-7) at the Galen Center on Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. The game will air on Pac-12 Los Angeles with Josh Lewin and former USC head coach Kevin O’Neill calling the action. USC’s 9-2 start is its best since also starting the 2006-07 season 9-2. The last time USC started a season 10-2 was the 2001-02 season when it began 13-2.
BREAKING DOWN THE COUGARS - USC will be facing SIUE (Southern Illinois-Edwardsville) for the first time ever. 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.
TROJANS TAKE SECOND DRIVE ON THE 101 -- USC broke the century mark in scoring for the second time this season in a 101-82 win over Cal Poly on Dec. 17 at the Galen Center. USC had six players score in double figures for the first time since Dec. 28, 2004 vs. Southern. USC made 57.1 percent of its shots, including 52.2 percent from three-point range. Katin Reinhardt led the way with 29 points, making 7 of 9 three-pointers. Julian Jacobs had a double-double with 13 assists and 10 points. The 13 assists tied him for fourth on USC’s all-time single-game assist list. Chimezie Metu added a season-best 16 points.
LAFAYETTE CLOSES OUT NONCONFERENCE PLAY – The Lafayette Leopards are 3-7 following a 90-86 win at Sacred Heart on Dec. 12. Lafayette also has wins over St. Peter’s and Penn, with its losses coming against George Washington, NJIT, La Salle, Princeton, St. Francis, Cornell and Fairleigh Dickinson. Junior guard Nick Linder leads the Cougars with a 17.4 points per game average. Lafayette was 20-13 last season and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Villanova. They returned two starters and nine lettermen from that team. USC won the only other meeting with Lafayette, 81-59 on Dec. 28, 2003.
POWERPOINT PRESENTATION - USC has scored 910 points in the first 11 games of the season, its most to start a season since scoring 946 in the first 11 games of the 1991 season. USC has scored 90 or more points four times, including 101 twice. USC had not reached the century mark in scoring in a game since the 2002 season. The 1997 season was the last for USC with two games scoring 100 or more points. USC’s 82.7 points per game average ranks 43rd in the country. USC averaged 67.0 points last season.
JACOBS COMES BACK WITH A DOUBLE-DOUBLE - Julian Jacobs missed the game vs. Yale on Dec. 13 with tendinitis in his left Achilles, but returned to action on Dec. 17 vs. Cal Poly and posted a double-double with 13 assists and 10 points. The 13 assists tied for fourth on USC’s all-time single-game list and are tied for fourth in a game this season among all Division I players. Jacobs is averaging 12.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game this season. He also leads all Pac-12 players in assist per game (6.1), is 10th in steals per game (1.4) and is second in the conference with a 3.2 assist to turnover ratio.
THREE AT LAST, THREE AT LAST... - USC has made 97 three-point baskets this season to lead all Pac-12 teams and ranks tied for 27th in the country through games of Dec. 17. 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 nine of the 11 games and five times has netted 12 or more, with a season-best 13 makes vs. CSUN on Nov. 23. On the year, USC is averaging 39.0 percent from beyond the arc, while its opponents are shooting 32.5 percent from long-range. Last season USC made a total of 170 three-pointers for an average of 5.3 makes per game.
FOUR GAME STREAKS - USC has won four straight games and has had two four-game winning streaks in the same season for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign.
TALL AND TALENTED FRESHMAN TANDEM - USC’s freshman class is comprised of forwards Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu. Boatwright is 6-10 and averaged 27.8 points and 13 rebounds for Village Christian HS, en route to being named the CIF Southern Section Division 1AA Player of the Year. Metu is 6-11 and averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds for Lawndale HS, to earn the CIF Southern Section Division II Player of the Year. Boatwright is averaging 12.4 points and 5.5 rebounds. He currently is tied for the team lead with 24 three-pointers made, second in scoring and total rebounds (60). Metu has averaged 5.5 points and 3.0 rebounds, while leading the team with 23 blocks. He has averaged 9.3 points in his last four games.
EVERYONE CHIPS IN -- USC has six players averaging 8.9 or more points and eight players have averaged 3.0 rebounds or more in the first 11 games. Seven different Trojans have scored at least 16 points in a game this season. USC had five players score in double figures vs. Monmouth on Nov. 16, the first time it had accomplished the feat since five scored in double figures in a 78-62 win vs. Boston College on Dec. 8, 2013. USC then had six players score 10 or more points vs. Cal Poly on Dec. 17, the first time accomplishing that feat since Dec. 28, 2004 vs. Southern.
LET ME ASSIST YOU - USC has averaged 2.7 more assists per game than turnovers this season (15.6 to 12.9 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 11 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 46.5 percent of its shots, while its opponents are hitting 39.1 percent. The 39.1 shooting percentage by its opponents ranks 48th best in the country through games of Dec. 17. USC has held its last five opponents to 42.6 percent shooting or less and nine of 11 opponents this season. In fact, only one opponent has shot over 43.5 percent against USC (46.8 percent by Xavier on Nov. 27).