USC Begins Pac-12 Play At Washington State on Jan. 1|
Dec. 29, 2015
The USC Trojans (11-2) will play at the Washington State Cougars (8-4) in Pullman, Wash. on Jan. 1 at 6 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Washington with JB Long and Dan Dickau calling the action. USC's 11-2 start is its best since the 2001-02 team began 13-2. USC has won its last six games, its longest winning streak since the 2010 season, and has two winning streaks of five games or more in a season for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
PAC-12 ACTION BEGINS AT WSU ON JAN. 1 - The Washington State Cougars are 8-4 after winning 82-59 vs. New Mexico in its third game at the Diamond Head Classic in Hawai'i on Dec. 25. WSU also lost to No. 2/No. 3 Oklahoma and Northern Iowa at the DHC. Junior forward Josh Hawkinson is averaging a double-double and leads the Cougars with 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. USC lost its only game to WSU last season, a 70-66 setback at home on Feb. 25. USC leads the all-time series with the Cougars 69-48.
TROJANS SCORE 100 IN WIN OVER LAFAYETTE -- Jordan McLaughlin set the school single-game assist record of 16 and scored 14 points to propel USC to a 100-64 win over Lafayette at the Galen Center on Dec. 23. Elijah Stewart matched a career high with 27 points and Katin Reinhardt added 26 to lead the Trojans, both knocking down six three-pointers. USC finished with 11 regular season nonconference wins, its most in a season since the 1976 season.
WASHINGTON ON DECK -- USC will play at Washington in Seattle, Wash. on Jan. 3 at noon. The Huskies are 8-4 after an 83-78 home loss to UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 28. Washington will host UCLA on Jan. 1 before facing the Trojans. Redshirt senior guard Andrew Andrews leads UW in scoring with a 19.7 average, but the next four leading scorers for the young Huskies are freshmen. USC won the last meeting with Washington 70-55 on Feb. 28, 2015 at the Galen Center. Washington leads the all-time series 70-68* (reflects 2 wins by USC vacated from the 2008 season).
SULTANS OF SWAT - USC has registered 84 blocks in the first 13 games to tie for third among all Division I schools in total blocks through games of Dec. 28. USC's average of 6.5 blocks per game ranks tied for 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.
TOUGH ROAD AHEAD - Beginning tonight, USC will play five of its next seven games on the road, with one of the home games against Pac-12 preseason favorite No. 8/No. 7 Arizona. USC has lost its last 10 Pac-12 road games and is 1-20 in its last 21 games on the road in conference dating back to the 2013 season. USC's last Pac-12 road win was a 79-68 win at Washington State on March 6, 2014.
J-MAC UNMASKED - Sophomore guard Jordan McLaughlin, a Pac-12 All-Freshman selection a year ago despite missing the final eight games due to injury, has come back from labral repair surgery to both shoulders to average 12.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists in his first 13 games. He also has 22 steals and a 21 three-point baskets. McLaughlin broke his nose late in the first half against Xavier on Nov. 27, sat out the rest of that game and played wearing a mask since Nov. 29 vs. Monmouth until playing "unmasked" vs. SIUE on Dec. 21. Excluding the game vs. Xavier when he broke his nose and didn't play in the second half, in the seven games he has played this season without wearing a mask he has averaged 17.4 points and in the five games with a mask on, 7.2 points. He scored 6 points in the first half against Xavier.
REINHARDT FINDS THE RANGE -- Redshirt junior guard Katin Reinhardt has averaged 19.2 points in USC's last five games (96 points total). In those games he has made 60 percent of his three-point attempts (18-for-30). For the season, his 44.8 percent shooting from three-point range ranks fifth among Pac-12 players.
A DECEMBER TO REMEMBER - USC went 6-0 in its December games this season. USC had not had a perfect month of December since going 6-0 during the 1991-1992 season.
POWERPOINT PRESENTATION - USC has scored 1080 points in the first 13 games of the season, its most to start a season since scoring 1092 in the first 13 games of the 1991 season. USC has scored 90 or more points five times, including 101 three. USC had not reached the century mark in scoring in a game since the 2002 season. USC has scored 100 or more points three games during a season for the first time since the 1991 season and sixth time in school history. The school record for 100-point games in a season is four (1975). USC's 83.1 points per game average ranks tied for 33rd in the country through games of Dec. 28. USC averaged 67.0 points last season.
JACOBS SITS AGAIN - Julian Jacobs missed the game vs. Yale on Dec. 13 and vs. SIUE on Dec. 21 and vs. Lafayette on Dec. 23 with tendinitis in his left Achilles. In between, he played on Dec. 17 vs. Cal Poly and posted a double-double with 13 assists and 10 points. The 13 assists tied for fourth (now fifth) on USC's all-time single-game list and are tied for fifth 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 12th 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 114 three-point baskets this season, second among Pac-12 teams and tied for 36th in the country through games of Dec. 27. 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 10 of the 13 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 40.1 percent from beyond the arc (21st in the country), while its opponents are shooting 30.9 percent from long-range. Last season USC made a total of 170 three-pointers for an average of 5.3 makes per game.
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 12.0 points and 5.4 rebounds. He currently is second on the team with 25 three-pointers made, is third in scoring and second in total rebounds (65). Metu has averaged 6.3 points and 3.5 rebounds, while leading the team with 26 blocks. He has averaged 9.7 points in his last six games (58 total points). Boatwright missed the game on Dec. 23 vs. Lafayette with lower back soreness and Metu started his first career game, scoring 15 points and grabbing a season-best eight rebounds.
LET ME ASSIST YOU - USC has averaged 3.6 more assists per game than turnovers this season (16.1 to 12.5 per game), despite registering just six assists vs. Monmouth on Nov. 29. Last season, USC averaged 12.4 assists and 14.0 turnovers. USC has a 1.3-1.0 assist to turnover ratio, second in the Pac-12.
DEFENSE COMING UP BIG - USC held Lafayette to 36.1 percent shooting on Dec. 23. It was the sixth time in 13 games this season that USC's opponent shot under 40 percent in a game. For the season, USC is making 46.5 percent of its shots, while its opponents are hitting 38.0 percent. The 38.0 shooting percentage by its opponents ranks 24th best in the country through games of Dec. 28. USC has held its last seven opponents to 42.6 percent shooting or less and 11 of 13 opponents this season. In fact, only one opponent has shot over 43.5 percent against USC (46.8 percent by Xavier on Nov. 27).
BEWARE OF CROSSING METU MOUNTAIN - Freshman Chimezie Metu has 26 blocks in his first 13 career games for an average of 2.0 per game. He currently ranks tied for 36th in the country in total blocks. His 26 blocks rank 10th on USC's all-time freshman single-season list and he is two blocks away from moving into a ninth-place tie with Davon Jefferson (28).
NICE START ON THE BOARDS -- USC has won or tied in the battle of the boards in 10 of the 13 games with an average of 42.5 per contest. USC averaged 35.9 rebounds per game last season.
EVERYONE CHIPS IN -- USC has six players averaging 10.1 or more points and eight players have averaged 3.0 rebounds or more in the first 13 games. Seven different Trojans have scored at least 16 points in a game this season. USC has four players with at least 16 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 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. USC also had five players reach double-figures in points vs. Lafayette on Dec. 23.