USC Hosts California At The Galen Center Wednesday|
Jan. 21, 2014
The USC Trojans (9-9, 0-5) will host the California Golden Bears (14-4, 5-0) at the Galen Center at 8 p.m. on Jan. 22. USC has lost a season-high five consecutive games and last started conference play 0-5 in 2012 when it lost its first eight Pac-12 games.
BREAKING DOWN THE GOLDEN BEARS - California is coming off a home sweep of the Washington schools to improve to 5-0 in conference play and a first-place tie with No. 1 Arizona. First Cal posted an 82-56 win vs. Washington on Jan. 15 and then won 76-55 over WSU on Jan. 18. They have won their first five Pac-12 games by an average of 14.4 points. 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.
USC STARTS SLOW AND FALLS AT COLORADO -- USC missed 11 of its first 12 shots to fall behind 20-2 and never recovered in an 83-62 loss at Colorado on Jan. 18. Colorado dominated on the glass, outrebounding USC 43-23. The Trojans' previous worst rebound deficit in a game this season had been six. Omar Oraby and J.T. Terrell led USC with 16 points each. Josh Scott led four Buffaloes in double figures with 20 points. USC shot just 36.8 percent for the game, including 25.0 percent from three-point range. Terrell was 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, while the rest of the team was 0-for-11. USC finished the game with 11 turnovers, the first time in the last six games it had under 16 and its fewest in a game since committing eight vs. CS Fullerton on Nov. 19.
STANFORD ON DECK - The Stanford Cardinal (12-5, 3-2) will play at UCLA on Jan. 23 before making its visit to the Galen Center on Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. Stanford completed a home sweep of the Washington schools last week, defeating WSU 80-48 and Washington 79-67. Stanford has four players averaging in double figures through its first 17 games in junior guard Chasson Randle (19.5), senior forward Dwight Powell (14.2),redshirt junior guard Anthony Brown (13.2) and senior forward Josh Huestis (10.9). USC defeated Stanford both meetings last season, first 71-69 in Los Angeles and then 65-64 in Palo Alto. USC leads the all-time series 122-120.
THREE-POINT WELL RUNS DRY -- USC has made a total of 13 three-point baskets in the last four games with a high of four in a game during that stretch. Prior to that, USC had at least four in a game 12 of the first 14 games, with a high of eight. USC currently ranks 310th in the country in three-pointers made per game (4.7).
AS ADVERTISED -- National media has stated that the Pac-12 Conference is strong this year and the beginning of conference play has demonstrated how tough it might be. USC entered league-play at 9-4 and has lost all five games. Oregon was undefeated and ranked No. 10 in the country and has gone 1-4. Victories on the road are especially tough with teams posting an 11-21 mark in conference play away from home, with five of those wins and none of the losses belonging to California and Arizona. The Pac-12 is currently ranked as the third-toughest conference in the Sagarin rankings with seven teams ranking in the top 50.
DAUNTING GAUNTLET -- USC's first six Pac-12 opponents (UCLA, ASU, Arizona, Utah, Colorado & California) have a combined 88-21 record this season. Included in that stretch for USC was three road games at places where the home team is a combined 37-3 on their courts.
DISECTING THE LOSSES -- USC has nine losses this season to teams which have a combined record of 120-44 through games of Jan. 19. Two of the losses are to teams currently ranked No. 1 (Arizona) and No. 4 (Villanova) and two others to teams receiving votes. Six of the losses are to teams ranking in the top 64 in the RPI standings.
SIGNS OF SLAM CITY -- USC had one dunk at Colorado on Jan. 18 and now has out-slammed the opposition 50-25 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 1-5 on the road this season. The combined home record of the six teams USC has faced on the road this season are 59-9.
GETTING TO THE LINE -- USC has taken 446 free throws through 18 games for an average of 24.8 per game. Last season through 18 games, USC averaged 18.4 free throw attempts (330 total). USC opponents this season have taken 19.9 free throws per game. USC has taken only 46 free throws in the last three games (15.3 per game).
GOOD START AT HOME - USC won its first seven home games this season, the most consecutive home wins to start a season since winning the first eight home games of the 2009 season. USC is 7-2 at home this season and dating back to last season has won nine of 11 home games.
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 those two games, Gavrilovic had scored a total of 21 points in USC's first 15 games.