USC Takes On Washington Saturday At Galen
Jan. 22, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC Trojans (11-7, 3-3) will host the Washington Huskies (12-6, 3-4) at the Galen Center on Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on FSN West with Paul Sunderland, Brandon Granville and Francis Williams providing game commentary, while Chris McGee will report from the sideline. The game will also be provided on a delayed basis on USCTrojans.com and will air live on USC radio flagship station ESPN Radio 710 AM with Pete Arbogast and Jim Hefner calling the action. USC is 9-3 in its last 12 games.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES -- Washington is coming off a 62-61 loss at UCLA on Jan. 21, as the Bruins Mustafa Abdul-Hamid hit a jumper at the buzzer. Washington, the preseason No. 2 pick in the conference, is second in the Pac-10 in scoring offense at 79.6 points per game. They are one of two Pac-10 teams without a road win this season (0-4). The Huskies are led by senior Quincy Pondexter who is averaging 20.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. USC and Washington split their series last season with both teams winning at home. The all-time series record is tied at 65-65.
USC LETS BIG LEAD SLIP AWAY VS. WSU -- Reggie Moore scored 21 and Klay Thompson 20 points to help lead Washington State back from a 15-point second half deficit to a 67-60 victory over USC at the Galen Center on Jan. 21. USC led by 10 points at halftime and by 15 three minutes into the second half, but shot only 32.1 percent and were outrebounded 20-14 after the break which allowed the Cougars to come back. Marcus Johnson led USC with 16 points.
BEAVERS ON DECK -- Oregon State (8-10, 2-4) will play at California on Jan. 23 before hosting the Trojans in Corvallis, Ore. on Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m. The Beavers have been led in scoring by Calvin Haynes (11.6 ppg) and Seth Tarver (11.5 ppg). Tarver led the Pac-10 in steals last season and is at the top of the charts again this season with 49. USC lost 62-58 in overtime last season at Oregon State which snapped a 21-game conference losing streak for the Beavers. The Trojans then defeated OSU 68-52 at the Galen Center in the last regular season game of the 2008-09 season. USC has won 8 of the last 9 contests against Oregon State and leads in the all-time series, 66-55.
USC THIRD IN SCORING DEFENSE -- USC enters the game having allowed 997 points in its first 18 games (55.4 ppg), its fewest through 18 games since allowing 899 points in the first 18 games of the 1950-51 season. USC is third in the country in points allowed per game at 55.4. USC held nine consecutive opponents to 56 points or less from Dec. 8-Jan. 6 (longest streak since 12 in the 1947-48 season). USC has held 12 opponents to 56 points or less this season and only twice has allowed more than 67 points (69 at Texas and 79 at Georgia Tech).
PACK IT IN -- USC and Washington rank 9th and 10th respectively among conference teams in three-point shooting. USC has hit 31.1 percent and Washington 30.9 percent from beyond the arc. USC is last in both attempts (190) and makes (59).
VOTE DEROZAN INTO ALL-STAR DUNK CONTEST -- Former Trojan DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors will face-off vs. Eric Gordon of the L.A. Clippers in an NBA All-Star Dunk-In competition on Feb. 12 in Dallas, Texas during halftime of the Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam. Both players will get two dunks and the winner of the voting done via SMS text message or at NBA.com will advance to participate in the Sprite Slam Dunk event on All-Star Saturday Night.
VUCEVIC'S SOPHOMORE SURGE -- Sophomore forward Nikola Vucevic already has five double-doubles in his first 18 games this season, third in the Pac-10 entering this week's action. He matched a career high with 19 points at UCLA on Jan. 16 (9-for-12), scoring 17 points in the second half. Vucevic had 15 points and 10 rebounds vs. Tennessee on Dec. 19 for his fifth double-double. He had 14 points and posted a career-high 15 rebounds on Dec. 8 vs. Sac. State, his first 19-point game and 11 rebounds vs. LMU on Nov. 21, 15 points and 12 rebounds vs. Coppin St. on Nov. 27 and 18 points and 14 rebounds at Texas on Dec. 3. He is averaging 11.7 points and 9.3 rebounds, after averaging 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds as a freshman last season. His 9.3 rebounds per game leads all Pac-10 players.
JOHNSON'S SECOND SENIOR SEASON -- USC senior G/F Marcus Johnson, who played the second semester last season after transferring to USC from UConn, was granted another year of eligibilty by the NCAA following the season, but penalized two games for playing in an exhibition game in the 2007-08 season. USC is 23-10 in games he has been available to play in the two seasons. In his first game this season on Nov. 27 vs. CSU, Johnson had 11 points, three rebounds and a steal. Johnson scored his USC high of 19 points and had a career-high nine rebounds vs. UNLV on Dec. 25. Johnson leads USC with 24 steals and is third in rebounds with 79 and blocks with 11. He has scored in double figures 10 times and in five of the last seven games (11.3 ppg in last 7) including 16 points vs. Washington State on Jan. 21.
GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT -- Alex Stepheson showed signs he is shaking off the rust of more than a year away from game action, as he scored a career-high 22 points at Georgia Tech on Dec. 5 and then had 10 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocks vs. Sacramento State on Dec. 8 for his second career double-double. Stepheson then had his third career double-double vs. Idaho State on Dec. 11 with 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. In the game vs. Tennessee on Dec. 19, Stepheson had 19 points and a new career high with 15 rebounds to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for the week of Dec. 14-20. He played in his first game as a Trojan on Nov. 27 vs. Coppin State and registered his first career double-double on Nov. 29 vs. Nebraska with 13 points and a then career-best 12 rebounds. In his first 16 games, he has averaged 10.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He has seven or more rebounds in 12 of 16 games.
GERRITY PROVIDES CLARITY -- Senior Mike Gerrity has played 10 games and led USC to a 7-3 record. In his first game after sitting out the first semester due to tranfer rules, he led USC to a 77-55 upset of then No. 9 Tennessee on Dec. 19 and then to the championship of the Diamond Head Classic while earning Tournament MVP honors. Gerrity scored 15 of his team-high 17 points after halftime to help USC to a 55-51 comeback victory over Western Michigan on Dec. 22. He followed that up with a team-high 17 points including hitting a key three-pointer late in the game in the semifinals win vs. Saint Mary's on Dec. 23. In the finals vs. UNLV on Dec. 25, he had 13 points and three assists without a turnover against UNLV's tough press. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 21-27. Gerrity has averaged 9.2 points, 3.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds in his first 10 games. His 10 assists vs. Tennessee were the most by a Trojan since Daniel Hackett had 13 on Dec. 4, 2008 at Oklahoma. He has 35 assists and 19 turnovers, the only Trojan with a positive assist to turnover ratio. He has had six games of one turnover or less and has 16 assists and four turnovers in the last five games.
WASHINGTON WORTH THE WAIT -- Sophomore forward Leonard Washington played in his first game of the season on Dec. 23 after missing the first semester with academic issues and had an immediate impact. He scored 10 points, had six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and an assist vs. Saint Mary's on Dec. 23. He then scored nine points and had four rebounds and a block vs. UNLV on Dec. 25. In his first eight games back, Washington has averaged 5.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and has six blocks and 10 steals. Washington was fifth in scoring for USC as a freshman with a 6.1 average in 30 games, 13 starts. He scored in double figures six times last season with a high of 17 vs. North Dakota State on Dec. 20, 2008.
BIG TIME LEWIS RISING UP SCORING LISTS -- Senior Dwight Lewis has scored 1,295 career points, 17th all-time at USC and 12 points behind Taj Gibson (2007-09) who is 16th with 1,307. Lewis entered the season fifth among returning Pac-10 players in career points. He also ranks 11th on USC's all-time three-point baskets list with 129, four behind Anthony Pendleton(1988-89) who has 133 to rank 10th on USC's all-time list. Lewis led USC with a 14.4 scoring average in 2008-09, as well in three-point baskets (55) and free throw shooting (74.8 percent). He reached double figures in scoring in 27 of his 33 games last season, scoring a career-high 26 twice (vs. San Francisco on Dec. 1 and at Oregon on Jan. 2). He has five 20-point games this season (22 vs. UCR on Nov. 17, 21 vs. Tennesse on Dec. 19, 22 at Stanford on Jan. 6, 20 at California on Jan. 9 and 24 at UCLA on Jan. 16) and has had 14 career 20-point games. Lewis has averaged 19.8 points in his last four games and made 31 of 60 shots (51.7 percent).
DRIVEN BY DEFENSE -- USC has held 65 teams to 60 points or less in the last five seasons (153 games), including 12 this season. The Trojans held 17 of their opponents last season to 39.2 percent shooting or less, and have held 78 teams under 40 percent shooting in the last 153 games. USC was outshot from the field just nine times last season and seven times so far this season (Nebraska, Texas, GT, WMU, Stanford, Cal & WSU). USC has had a better shooting percentage that its opponent in 96 of the last 123 games. USC held Sac. State to 23.0 percent shooting on Dec. 8, the lowest percentage by a Trojan opponent since Loyola Marymount shot 22.4 percent from the field on Dec. 9, 1998.
THE BATTLE OF BOARDS -- USC is 9-7-2 in the rebound battle this season and has a rebound advantage of 580-487 in the last 16 G.
THE DWIGHT STUFF FROM LONG RANGE -- Senior Dwight Lewis who ranks 11th all-time at USC with 129 three-point baskets has hit 12 of his last 25 three-point attempts (48 percent). He had a season-high five three pointers vs. UCLA on Jan. 16 (5-for-9). Prior to the last four games, he had gone five consecutive games without scoring three-point range (0-for-15), matching his longest career drought done Nov. 24-Dec. 9, 2006 during his freshman season. He has remained a constant scorer for USC, though, ranking first on the team with a 13.8 points per game average. Lewis had a career-best six 3-pointers on Feb. 12, 2009 at Arizona.