USC Hosts Washington State Wednesday At Galen|
Feb. 24, 2015
The USC Trojans (10-17, 2-13) will host the Washington State Cougars (11-15, 5-9) at the Galen Center on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network and AM 690.
BREAKING DOWN WASHINGTON STATE -- Washington State is coming off an 87-84 setback at Washington when the Huskies' Andrew Andrews hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left. WSU is led by senior guard DaVonte' Lacy who averages 17.2 points per game. Also, sophomore forward Josh Hawkinson averages a double-double with 14.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. USC leads the all-time series with Washington State 69-47 and has won 20 of the last 27 games at home against the Cougars.
LATE RALLY LEADS ASU OVER USC -- USC was outscored 14-3 in the final 3:30 and fell 64-59 at Arizona State on Feb. 22. Tra Holder and Jonathan Gilling both sank 3-pointers in the final two minutes as ASU went 3-for-4 down the stretch while USC was 1-for-6. USC rallied from a three-point halftime deficit to take a 10-point lead with 9:51 left in the game at 51-41 when Kahlil Dukes hit a jumper. Holder's 3-pointer with 2 minutes left tied the game at 56 and Gilling's 3-pointer gave the Sun Devils a 59-56 lead with 42.1 seconds left. Dukes, who scored a game and career-high 18 points, missed a 3-pointer to tie the game with 29 seconds left and the Sun Devils hit their free throws to close it out. ASU made 20 of 26 free throws in the game, while USC was 3-for-5. The Trojans were called for 24 fouls compared to ASU's 12. The Sun Devils won despite shooting 32.8 percent, while USC shot 45.5 percent and made six more baskets.
WASHINGTON CLOSES OUT THE HOME SLATE -- USC's next game will be against Washington (15-11, 4-10) at the Galen Center on Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. Washington defeated WSU 87-84 on Feb. 22 to snap a seven-game losing streak and will play at UCLA on Feb. 25 before facing USC. Guards Nigel Williams-Goss (15.3 ppg) and Andrew Andrews (14.2 ppg) lead the Huskies in scoring. Goss also leads the conference with 6.0 assists per game. USC trails in the all-time series 67-70 (reflects 2 USC wins vacated due to NCAA penalty).
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 11 teams listed in terms of youngest rosters, only three have a winning record and one of those is No. 1 Kentucky. USC is one of two of those 11 youngest teams to have a strength of schedule ranked in the top 65. Conversely, 23 of the 32 "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.
TEAM TROJAN -- USC currently has eight players averaging over 5.0 points per game. The last time USC had eight players average over 5.0 points for a season was the 2004-05 season. USC has had nine different players lead the team or tie for game-high scoring this season and has had six tie for or lead USC in rebounding and assists in a game.
J-MAC ON THE RACK -- Starting point guard Jordan McLaughlin suffered a left shoulder injury in the game on Feb. 11 vs. Oregon. He is receiving treatment daily and is listed as day-to-day.
KATIN'S SCORING SURGE -- USC guard Katin Reinhardt has averaged 15.1 points per game (136 total) in the last nine games. Reinhardt leads the team with a 12.9 scoring average in conference games which ranks 18th among Pac-12 players.
STRONG FRESHMAN FOUNDATION -- USC has three players ranking in the top 11 among all Pac-12 freshmen in scoring, rebounding and steals. Jordan McLaughlin still leads all the freshmen with 100 assists despite missing 5 games due to injury. McLaughlin's assist total ranks 9th on USC's all-time freshman list and his 28 3-point baskets are tied for 10th. Elijah Stewart ranks 6th all-time in blocks by a Trojan freshman with 32. He has nine blocks in the last three games.
DEFENDING THE THREE -- USC is second among all Pac-12 teams in 3-point field goal defense, holding the opposition to a 31.5 shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
THIS AND THAT FROM THE STATS -- Nine of USC's 27 games (33 percent) have been played on Sunday and the Trojans are 0-5 in Thursday games. USC has also yet to win this season in the alternative black uniforms (0-5). USC is 1-11 when its opponent has a better shooting percentage and 6-1 when holding them under 60 points.
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 harassed many more shots and then registered three more vs. Oregon State on Feb. 14. Stewart has 18 blocks in the last nine games and is fourth in Pac-12 play with 22 blocks in 15 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. Stewart also has at least one steal in 13 of last 17 games (19 steals).
CLOSE SHAVES -- Seven of USC's last nine 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 five of the nine games, but made 53 less free throws (and taken 48 less).
BIG GAME HUNTER -- Freshman forward Malik Martin has totaled 40 points in the three games against the conference co-leaders Arizona and Utah. He scored 14 and 11 in the two games against Utah and a season-best 15 at Arizona. He has made 60 percent (15-for-25) of his shots in the three games. In the last seven games, Martin has averaged 7.4 points per game.
SECOND HALF ADJUSTMENTS -- USC slightly outscores the opposition in the second half and outshoots them 44.0 percent to 39.4 percent. In the first half of games, USC is outscored by 3.7 points per game and is outshot, 39.7 percent to 44.2 percent. USC also forces 27 more turnovers than assists allowed after the break. USC has trailed at the half 19 times: