USC Plays At No. 21/22 Colorado On Saturday
Jan. 17, 2014
The USC Trojans (9-8, 0-4) will play the No. 21/22 Colorado Buffaloes (14-4, 3-2) at the Coors Events Center in Boulder, Colo. on Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. (PT). USC has lost a season-high four consecutive games and last started conference play 0-4 in 2012 when it lost its first eight Pac-12 games.
BREAKING DOWN THE BUFFALOES - Colorado is coming off its first home loss of the season, a 69-56 setback to No. 25 UCLA on Jan. 16. It was Colorado's first game without leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie (14.7) who tore his left ACL in the game at Washington on Jan. 12. The Buffaloes split a pair of road games last week, winning 71-70 at Washington State (in Spokane) and falling 71-54 at Washington. Forward Josh Scott (13.9) and guard Askia Booker (13.5) are averaging in double figures. Colorado leads the all-time series with USC, 4-3, and defeated USC 66-60 last year at home in the only meeting between the two teams.
USC FALLS AT UTAH -- USC trailed by three points at halftime, but was outscored by 15 in the second half and lost 84-66 at Utah on Jan. 16. Once again turnovers were a problem for USC as they committed 17 turnovers which led to 27 Runnin' Utes points. USC actually outshot Utah 50.0-49.2 percent from the floor, but the Utes were able to take 11 more shots. Pe'Shon Howard led USC with 16 points and Delon Wright led three Utes in double figures with 22 points.
USC RETURNS HOME TO FACE CAL - USC's next game will be vs. California (13-4, 4-0) at the Galen Center on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. California is coming off an 82-56 home win vs. Washington and will host Washington State on Jan. 18 before facing the Trojans. Five Golden Bears are averaging double figures in scoring led by senior guard Justin Cobbs' 14.9 average. USC has lost its last four games against California, but is 8-8 in the last 16 games against the Bears and trails in the all-time series, 132-120.
WESLEY WAS THE ONE -- USC wing Byron Wesley was one of five Division I players and the only one from a major conference to be averaging 17 points, seven rebounds and two assists per game, before scoring eight points at Utah on Jan. 16 to drop his scoring average to 16.9 points per game. Through USC's first 17 games, Wesley is also averaging 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
DAUNTING GAUNTLET -- USC's first six Pac-12 opponents (UCLA, ASU, Arizona, Utah, Colorado & California) have a combined 85-20 record this season. Included in that stretch for USC is three road games and those teams are a combined 35-3 on their home courts.
DISECTING THE LOSSES -- USC has eight losses this season to teams which have a combined record of 102-34 through games of Jan. 16. Three of the losses are to teams currently ranked No. 1 (Arizona), No. 6 (Villanova) and No. 25 (UCLA). Six of the losses are to teams ranking in the top 68 in the RPI standings.
SIGNS OF SLAM CITY -- USC had one dunk at Utah on Jan. 16 and now has out-slammed the opposition 49-24 this season. USC has seven games with at least four dunks, while the opposition has only two (5 - Villanova on Nov. 28 and 4- ASU on Jan. 9).
NO VACATION WHEN HIT THE ROAD -- USC is 1-4 on the road this season. The combined home record of the five teams USC has faced on the road this season is 46-8.
GETTING TO THE LINE -- USC has taken 429 free throws through 17 games for an average of 25.2 per game. Last season through 17 games, USC averaged 17.5 free throw attempts (298 total). USC opponents this season have taken 19.8 free throws per game.
RARE STREAKS -- USC won four straight games from Nov. 12-21 and won three consecutive games from Nov. 30-Dec. 15 making in the first time since the 2009-10 season that the Trojans have had two winning streaks of three or more games. The last time USC had three streaks of three or more wins was the 2008-09 season.
BATTLE OF THE BOARDS -- USC and Utah both had 32 rebounds in the game on Jan. 16 and the Trojans have either outrebounded or had as many rebounds as the opposition in 12 of 17 games this season and own a 670-617 advantage on the boards. USC's 22-rebound advantage vs. Howard on Dec. 29 was a season best.
INTENTIONALLY MORE OFFENSIVE -- Through the first 17 games this season USC has scored 1227 points, 142 more than through the first 17 games of the 2012-13 season, for an average of 8.4 more points per game. USC has scored 73 or more points nine times this season, after reaching that scoring plateau a total of six times last season. USC is averaging 72.2 points per game, its most since averaging 74.4 points in the 2005 season. USC's last three games have produced a total of 182 points or 60.7 per game. The game on Jan. 9 vs. ASU tied a season low in points (63), before being held to 53 against Arizona on Jan. 12. USC then scored 66 points at Utah on Jan. 16. As of games on Jan. 16, those teams ranked 45th, 4th and 16th in the country respectively in points per game allowed.
VOTE FOR ENFIELD -- USC head coach Andy Enfield has joined with 48 other top coaches around the country in taking part in the Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge which began on Jan. 6 and runs through March 16. The coaches will be competing for votes in a bracket-style format to raise money for their personal charities by counting on their fans to vote for them and advance them through the competition. USC fans will have the opportunity to vote for Andy Enfield on a daily basis at espn.com/infiniti. Fans can also support Enfield on Twitter with the hashtag #Vote4Enfield.
WHERE DID HE COME FROM? -- Sophomore forward Strahinja Gavrilovic scored a career-high 10 points vs. Arizona on Jan. 12 and followed that up with nine points at Utah on Jan. 16. Prior to the last two games, Gavrilovic had scored a total of 21 points in USC's first 15 games.