USC Hosts Colorado Sunday At Galen
Feb. 14, 2014
The USC Trojans (10-14, 1-10) will host the Colorado Buffaloes (18-7, 7-5) at the Galen Center on Feb. 16 at 5:00 p.m. USC has lost 10 of its last 11 games after opening the season 9-4. USC has lost its last five games, matching the season's longest losing streak.
BREAKING DOWN THE BUFFALOES - Colorado is coming off a 92-74 loss at UCLA on Feb. 13, but has won three of its last four games. USC lost 83-62 at Colorado on Jan. 18 and trails in the all-time series, 3-5. Colorado has won its last three games against USC. The Buffaloes are led in scoring by guard Askia Booker (14.3 ppg) and forward Josh Scott (14.4 ppg). Colorado lost its leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie to a knee injury on Jan. 18 at Washington.
USC LOSES TO UTAH -- Utah used a 15-0 run early in the second half to take control of what had been a tight game to that point and go on to a 79-71 win vs. USC at the Galen Center on Feb. 13. Utah's lead ballooned up to 16 points before the Trojans made a late run, closing the gap to four points with three minutes to go, but the Utes held on and snapped an 11-game road losing streak. Byron Wesley led USC with 20 points and Delon Wright scored 20 points for Utah.
LORD BYRON -- Like a poet craftily painting a picture with his expressive words, junior Byron Wesley is creating his own scoring masterpiece of late, averaging 22.3 points in his last four games and doing it with dunks, three-pointers, and spinning and slashing moves in the key. After surpassing the 1,000 career points plateau on Feb. 1 at Oregon, Byron Wesley poured in 27 against UCLA on Feb. 8 and 20 more vs. Utah on Feb. 13 to give him 1,052 points scored in his career, 33rd on USC's all-time scoring list. Brandon Martin is 32nd on USC's all-time scoring list with 1,070 career points and Roy Irvin is 31st with 1,073.
STANFORD ON DECK - USC's next game will be at Stanford (15-8, 6-5) on Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. Stanford defeated USC in 79-71 in overtime on Jan. 26 at the Galen Center. The Trojans lead the all-time series with the Cardinal 122-121, as USC had one win vacated in 2008 due to NCAA penalty. Stanford has four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by junior guard Chasson Randle's 18.7 average.
A FEW KEYS TO VICTORY -- USC is 8-1 when Nikola Jovanovic scores in double figures and is 8-3 when having more or as many assists as turnovers. USC is also 7-0 when holding the opposition to under 70 points and 8-0 when holding them to under 40.0 percent shooting.
THE FRUSTRATING FIVE -- USC is 0-5 in its last five games, but has led at one point in the second half in all but one of those games (within 2 in the other), with two of the losses coming in overtime. USC led at the half in three of the games, but suffered its first three losses of the season after having the advantage at the break. USC has made three more baskets than the opposition in the five games and has a 44.7 to 41.6 advantage in shooting percentage in the contests. USC has been charged with 18 more fouls which led to 34 more free throw attempts in the five games. USC has committed 24 more turnovers in this stretch. The opponents have hit 39 three-pointers to USC's 23 in the five games.
SECOND-HALF SHAKES -- In the last five games, USC has been outscored 222-179 in the second half and overtime periods. USC committed 12 more turnovers than its opponents after the break. The opposition also has 42 more free throw attempts after the break. In the last three games, Utah had a 15-0 run, UCLA 10-0 and 14-0 runs and Oregon a 12-0 run within the first 10 minutes of the second half. Stanford had a 9-0 run and then a 7-0 run to begin overtime.
LET ME ASSIST YOU -- USC has 328 assists this season and is on pace to finish the regular season with 424, the most in a season since registering 438 in 2009. Pe'Shon Howard leads the team with 103, followed closely by Julian Jacobs with 95. They are looking to be the first pair of Trojans with 100 or more assists in the same season since 2007 (Pruitt-113, Hackett-103) .
SIGNS OF SLAM CITY -- USC had one dunk vs. Utah on Feb. 13 and now has out-slammed the opposition 65-32 this season. USC has eight games with at least four dunks, while the opposition has only two (5 - Villanova on Nov. 28 and 4- ASU on Jan. 9).
OFFENSE BACK ON TRACK? -- USC has made 45.9 percent of its shots (155-for-338) and has averaged 72.2 points in the last six games. In the previous four games, USC produced a total of 241 points or 60.2 per game, including three of USC's lowest scoring games of the season. The 60 points vs. ASU on Jan. 9 vs. ASU were a season low before being held to 53 against Arizona on Jan. 12. USC then scored 66 points at Utah on Jan. 16 and 62 at Colorado on Jan. 18. USC shot 40.9 percent (90-for-220) from the field and 25.0 percent (13-for-52) from three-point range in those games.
FRESHMEN DOING FINE -- USC's scholarship freshmen group of guards Julian Jacobs and Kahlil Dukes and forwards Nikola Jovanovic and Roschon Prince have combined to score 486 points for a 20.3 points per game average. Jacobs is second on the team with 95 assists and is fourth with 98 rebounds. Jovanovic is averaging 8.3 points, Jacobs 6.6, Prince 4.6 and Dukes 2.9. Jovanovic is also third on the team with 113 rebounds. USC has had 39 combined starts by the freshmen this season, after having none last season. Entering play this week, among Pac-12 freshmen Jovanovic ranks eighth in scoring and fourth in rebounding, while leading all conference freshmen with a 51.8 shooting percentage. Jacobs is 11th in scoring, sixth in rebounding, leads in steals and assists and is fourth in blocks and second in assists among Pac-12 freshmen.