USC Opens 2nd Half Of Pac-12 Play At California|
Feb. 3, 2015
The USC Trojans (9-12, 1-8) will play the California Golden Bears (13-9, 3-6) at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. on Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. The game will air on Fox Sports 1 and ESPNLA 710. USC has lost eight of its last nine games, including a season-high six straight.
BREAKING DOWN CALIFORNIA -- California is coming off a 90-88 win at Washington on Feb. 1 which completed a Pac-12 road sweep, as the Bears won 76-67 at Washington State on Jan. 29. USC defeated California 71-57 on Jan. 7 for its only conference victory to date. California leads the all-time series 133-122 (reflects 1 win by USC in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty). USC is 2-6 in its last eight visits to Haas Pavilion, but four of the games have been decided by four points or less and seven games by 10 points or less. California ranks 11th among conference teams in scoring at 66.5 points per game, but Tyrone Wallace at 17.7 ppg and Jordan Mathews at 15.0 ppg both rank among the Pac-12's top 11 scorers.
No. 11/No. 10 UTAH ROLLS OVER USC -- One game after scoring 94 points in an overtime thriller, the Trojans were held to their fewest points in nearly three years in a 67-39 loss to No. 11/10 Utah on Feb. 1. USC scored 12 points in the first half by hitting 5 of its 26 shots (19.2 percent), was 0-for-7 from 3-point range and committed 10 turnovers before the break to lead to the Utah runaway victory. The USC record for fewest points in any half since 1953 when records were kept is 10 at Oregon State on Feb. 27, 1982. The 39 total points scored by the Trojans were their fewest since scoring 38 in a 43-38 loss to Washington State on March 3, 2012. USC also shot 26.5 percent from the floor, its lowest since making 25.9 percent vs. California on Feb. 12, 1998. Malik Martin scored 11 points off the bench to lead the Trojans. Katin Reinhardt scored 6 points and was 0-for-4 from 3-point range, snapping a steak of 9 consecutive games making at least one 3-pointer. Nikola Jovanovic scored 3 points, snapping his double-figure scoring streak at 15 games. Utah outrebounded USC 39-26 and outscored the Trojans in the paint, 38-18.
STANFORD ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at Stanford on Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. Stanford (15-6, 6-3) will host UCLA on Feb. 5 before taking on the Trojans. Stanford defeated USC 78-76 at the Galen Center on Jan. 11, as USC rallied from 13 points down with under 7 minutes to go in the game before a late Trojan turnover sealed the victory for Stanford. Senior Chasson Randle leads the conference in scoring with a 20.8 average.
REINHARDT TIES SCHOOL 3-POINT RECORD -- USC guard Katin Reinhardt tied the school 3-point baskets made record of nine when he went 9-for-18 from long-range vs. Colorado on Jan. 29. Reinhardt tied the USC record held by Anthony Pendleton set vs. Long Beach State on Dec. 9, 1987. KR is starting to find his stroke from three-point range, going 19-for-43 (44.2 percent) from beyond the arc in the last six games. He began the season going 21-for-65 (32.3 percent) from three-point range. Reinhardt was 0-for-4 from beyond the arc vs. Utah on Feb. 1, snapping a streat of nine consecutive games with a three-pointer made. Reinhardt is T-6th in Pac-12 games with 2.6 makes per game from 3-point range.
NIKOLA 2.O -- USC sophomore forward Nikola Jovanovic from Serbia has been compared to former Trojan and NBA star Nikola Vucevic from Montenegro. To this point in Jovanovic's college career, it is a fair comparison. As a freshman Jovanovic played much more than Vucevic did and had better numbers. As sophomore starters, Vucevic averaged 10.7 points and 9.4 rebounds, while Jovanovic is averaging 13.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
PUTTING THE "FREE" IN FREE THROWS -- After struggling all season at the charity stripe, USC combined to make 78.7 percent (48-for-61) of its shots from the line in the three games at home from Jan. 7-14. USC made 17 of 20 free throws in the win vs. California on Jan. 7, then hit 19 of 24 vs. Stanford on Jan. 11 and 12 of 17 vs. UCLA on Jan. 14. USC had made only 58.8 percent of its free throws in the previous nine games (97-for-165). USC then posted its best effort from the line by going 16-for-18 (.889) at Oregon State on Jan. 23. USC has shot over 70 percent from the line in 4 of the last 7 games, after accomplishing the feat just once in the first 14 games. USC was 15-for-28 (.536) from the free throw line in the OT loss to Army on Dec. 13 and 23-for-35 (.657) in the 3 OT loss to Colorado on Jan. 29. USC is shooting 65.1 percent from the free throw line this season.
IN LINE FOR THE WIN -- USC is 8-7 when taking more free throws than it opponent and 1-5 when taking less free throws. USC is also 5-3 when making more free throws than the competition and 5-3 when hitting 68.0 percent or better from the charity stripe.
BATTLE OF THE BOARDS -- USC has been outrebounded by 40 (160-200) in the last five games. Prior to that, the Trojans has outrebounded the opposition by 30 rebounds (610-580) and won the battle of the boards in 12 of the first 16 games. Still, USC has won the rebound battle in 13 of 21 games this season and trails by only 10 rebounds (770-780). USC's season high for rebounds was 51 vs. Penn State on Nov. 23.
GAINING EXPERIENCE -- Eleven of the 13 players to appear in a game for USC this season are either freshmen or sophomores. USC's freshmen and sophomores have logged 92.0 percent of the team's minutes. Despite Malik Martin (3+ games) and Jordan McLaughlin (2+ games) missing time due to injury, USC's four freshmen had combined to play 39.3 percent of USC's minutes this season.
SUDDEN IMPACT -- Freshman Jordan McLaughlin is third among Trojans in scoring with an 11.6 average. He leads USC in assists (88), steals (28), FT made/attempted (56/86) and is second for the most 3-pointers made (21). USC's freshman class of McLaughlin, Malik Martin, Elijah Stewart and Malik Marquetti has scored 33.1 percent of USC's points this season (465 of 1406). When you add in redshirt sophomores Katin Reinhardt and Darion Clark who are playing their first season for the Trojans, 59.9 percent (823 of 1406) of USC's points are from newcomers. McLaughlin is 4 assists, 6 steals and 6 free throws made from cracking the USC freshman all-time top 10 in those categories. Stewart is 2 swats away from breaking into the USC freshman all-time top 10 for blocked shots.
SEEKING SECOND CHANCE -- USC outscores the opposition in the second half by nearly half a point and outshoots them 43.1 percent to 39.6 percent. In the first half of games, USC is outscored by 3.1 points per game and is outshot, 39.8 percent to 43.9 percent. USC also forces 18 more turnovers than assists allowed after the break. USC has trailed at the half 14 times: