USC Hosts Oregon State On Saturday At 2 p.m.|
Feb. 13, 2015
The USC Trojans (9-15, 1-11) will host the Oregon State Beavers (16-8, 7-5) at the Galen Center on Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network and ESPNLA 710. USC has lost 11 of its last 12 games, including a season-high nine straight. Five of the nine losses in the streak have been by five points or less.
BREAKING DOWN OREGON STATE -- Oregon State fell 75-59 at UCLA on Feb. 11 to drop to 2-6 in road games. The Beavers are a perfect 14-0 at home this season. Oregon State defeated USC 59-55 on Jan. 24 in Corvallis, Ore., but the Trojans still lead the all-time series 66-62 (reflects 2 wins in 2008 later vacated due to NCAA penalty). Oregon State ranks second in points allowed per game and first in field goal defensive percentage among Pac-12 teams. Junior Gary Payton II leads Oregon State in scoring (13.2 ppg) and rebounding (7.9 rpg).
USC'S RALLY COMES UP SHORT AGAINST OREGON -- Joseph Young scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half to lead Oregon to an 80-75 win over USC on Feb. 11. USC started the game 1-for-11 from the floor to fall behind 15-4 and trailed at the half by a score of 35-27. The Trojans rallied to tie it at 39-all on a 12-4 run the first 2:30 of the second half, but Young and Oregon responded. With the score tied at 41, Young hit a jumper, layup and 3-pointer in a stretch of 35 seconds to open up a 7-point lead for the Ducks. Oregon built the lead to 13 again, but it was the Trojans turn to rally. USC cut the score to 76-73 on a layup by Julian Jacobs with just over a minute left. After an Oregon turnover, Kahlil Dukes missed a contested 3-pointer with 25 seconds left and Young hit a pair of free throws to essentially seal the game. Jacobs led USC with a career-high 18 points and added 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Oregon torched the Trojans defense by making an opponent season high 57.6 percent of its shots.
No. 7 ARIZONA ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at No. 7 Arizona (20-3, 8-2) in Tucson, Ariz. on Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. PT. Arizona is 13-0 at home this season and has won 34 consecutive games at the McHale Center. Arizona averages 75.0 points per game and is led by dynamic freshman Stanley Johnson who averages 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
JUST HOW YOUNG ARE THEY...? -- According to Statsheet.com, USC ranks as the fourth-youngest team in the country and first among the Power 5 conferences in terms of minutes played by class. Among the top 14 teams listed in terms of youngest rosters, only four have a winning record and one of those is No. 1 Kentucky. USC is one of four of those 14 youngest teams to have a strength of schedule ranked in the top 65. Conversely, 8 of the 11 oldest rosters have a record of .500 or better. USC is one of only 15 teams in the country without a senior and the Trojans have had only one scholarship junior (Strahinja Gavrilovic) play this season.
CLOSE SHAVES -- Six of USC's last seven losses have been by fewer than 10 points and USC was within one possession of the lead or in the lead with under five minutes to go. USC also made more field goals than its opponent in four of the seven games, but has made 34 less free throws (and taken 26 less).
KATIN'S SCORING SURGE -- USC guard Katin Reinhardt has averaged 16.9 points per game (118 total) in the last seven games. Reinhardt leads the Trojans with a 13.6 scoring average in conference games which ranks 16th among Pac-12 players.
J-MAC UPDATE -- Starting point guard Jordan McLaughlin suffered a left shoulder injury in the game on Feb. 11 vs. Oregon. He saw a doctor on Monday, is receiving treatment daily and is listed as day-to-day.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER -- USC has lost nine consecutive games entering today's action, but has won its last four games played on Valentine's Day.
DEFENDING THE THREE -- USC is second among all Pac-12 teams in 3-point field goal defense, holding the opposition to a 31.8 shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
FRESHMEN LEAVING A MARK -- USC's freshmen are starting to place their names in the Trojans' all-time freshmen top 10 lists. Jordan McLaughlin's 100 assists rank 9th all-time by a USC freshman, his 28 3-point baskets is tied for 10th and his 33 steals are one theft away from cracking the top 10. Elijah Stewart's 23 blocks rank 9th on USC's all-time freshman blocks list.
LEAVING THEIR GUARDS DOWN -- USC freshman guard Elijah Stewart is sneaking up the blocked shots list. He was credited with three blocks at Stanford on Feb. 8, but harrassed many more shots. Stewart has nine blocks in the last six games and is tied for seventh in Pac-12 play with 13 blocks in 12 games. Stewart and Oregon State's Gary Payton II are the only two guards during Pac-12 play to rank in the top 15 for blocked shots.
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 12.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Jovanovic is one of seven players to rank in the top 20 in scoring and rebounding among Pac-12 teams and only one of two in that group to rank in the top 10 in field goal percentage (.526).
REINHARDT TIES SCHOOL 3-POINT RECORD -- USC guard Katin Reinhardt tied the school 3-point baskets made record of 9 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 St. on Dec. 9, 1987. KR is starting to find his stroke from 3-point range, going 25-for-56 (44.6 percent) from beyond the arc in the last 9 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 streak of nine consecutive games with a three-pointer made. Reinhardt is 8th in Pac-12 games with 2.4 makes per game from 3-point range.