USC Takes On No. 11 Arizona At Galen Wednesday|
Feb. 26, 2013
USC (12-15, 7-7) will host No. 11 Arizona (23-4, 11-4) at the Galen Center at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 27. USC has won 4 of its last 6 games and is 5-5 under interim head coach Bob Cantu. The Trojans have lost their last two games and are looking to avoid their first losing streak of three or more games since losing a season-high five straight Nov. 21-Dec. 8.
BREAKING DOWN ARIZONA -- Arizona is tied for the Pac-12 Conference lead with an 11-4 record and has won five of its last six conference road games. Arizona seniors Mark Lyons (15.2) and Solomon Hill (13.6) and sophomore Nick Johnson (11.7) are leading the Wildcats in scoring. USC lost 74-50 at Arizona on Jan. 26. USC has lost its last four games against Arizona and trails in the all-time series, 40-61 (with 1 USC win in 2008 later vacated due to NCAA penalty).
USC BLITZED BY BRUINS -- UCLA jumped out to a 7-0 lead before USC scored and led in double figures nearly the entire game in defeating USC 75-59 at the Galen Center on Feb. 24. The Bruin lead was 17-4 five minutes into the game and they owned a 46-25 lead at the half, the Trojans' largest halftime deficit since trailing Illinois by 31 at the break in the third game of the season. The Bruins made 58.6 percent of their field goals in the first half and outshot USC 47.2-35.3 percent for the game. J.T. Terrell led USC with 17 points and UCLA's Jordan Adams had a game-high 20 points.
SUN DEVILS ON DECK -- USC's final regular season home game will be vs. Arizona State (20-8, 9-6) on March 2 at noon at the Galen Center. USC lost a highly entertaining overtime contest in Tempe, Ariz. on Jan. 24 by the score of 98-93. ASU has been led by freshmen standout Jahii Carson who has averaged 17.5 points in the Sun Devils' first 28 games. In the game at ASU, Carson scored 21 points and fellow freshman Evan Gordon poured in 28. USC was led by Jio Fontan's Trojan-high 25 points. USC has lost its last three games against ASU, but leads the all-time series, 51-35 (2 wins in 2008 later vacated due to NCAA penalty).
OFFENSE CLICKING IN CONFERENCE -- USC has averaged 69.1 points in Pac-12 games this season, fourth-best among Pac-12 schools. Despite scoring just 50 points and shooting 28.1 percent in the loss at Arizona on Jan. 26, USC still ranks tied for fourth in Pac-12 games in field goal percentage at 43.4 percent. USC has scored 68 or more points in 8 of the last 11 games, after scoring 68 points or more just three times in the first 16 games. Also, USC scored 69 or more points in four consecutive games (Jan. 12-24) for the first time since the 2008 season. The 93 points at ASU on Jan. 24 were the most by USC since also scoring 93 in overtime vs. California on March 6, 2008.
TERRELL ON A TEAR -- USC guard J.T. Terrell scored 17 points in the loss to UCLA on Feb. 24 and has scored in double figures in 11 of USC's last 12 games for an average of 13.9 points per game (167 total), since not playing vs. California on Jan. 5. In the seven games prior to that, Terrell averaged 3.3 points per game and scored in double figures in just six of USC's first 15 games. Terrell leads all Pac-12 players in conference games with an average of 2.5 three-pointers made per game. Her currently ranks 16th in conference games with a 13.0 scoring average.
TOUGH 3-GAME HOMESTAND -- The game vs. UCLA began the final regular season homestand for USC and perhaps its toughest. USC had won its previous three home games, but lost to UCLA (20-7) and now plays Arizona (23-4) and ASU (20-8), the teams which as of Feb. 25 rank third, tied for first and fifth respectively in the Pac-12 race. USC is currently in seventh place in the Pac-12 race.
THE SIMPLE TRUTH -- In USC's 12 wins it has held the opposition to a 36.9 field goal percentage and an average of 59.7 points per game. In the 15 losses, USC's opponents have made 46.2 percent of its shots and scored 73.5 points per game. Also, in the wins USC has an average of 38.9 rebounds, whereas the Trojans get 32.9 rebounds per game in the losses.
NOT SO FUNNY MATH... -- USC has made 24 more field goals that its opponents this season, yet has been outscored by 38 points. USC's opponents have made 166 three-pointers to the Trojans' 145 and have made 65 more free throws. In 13 of the last 19 games USC has had as many or more baskets as its opponents. USC has also had as many or more baskets in 7 of the 15 losses this season.
RPI OR R.I.P...? -- USC is one of five teams (USC, Kansas, Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin) to have played 12 or more games against top 50 RPI teams as of Feb. 24.
No 1 IN SCHEDULE STRENGTH... -- USC's schedule is one of the toughest in the country, currently ranked No. 1 in the Basketball Power Index Rankings (BPI), No. 4 by Sagarin and No. 20 by CBSSportsline. In a seven-game stretch which began vs. Illinois on Nov. 19 in Maui and ended Dec. 8 vs. Minnesota, USC played five teams that for much of the season were ranked in the top 25 (Illinois, San Diego State, New Mexico, Marquette and Minnesota). Only two of the seven games in that stretch were at home.
THREES ARE THE KEYS -- In USC's 15 losses this season, the opposition has made 107 of 265 three-pointers for a 40.4 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. In 11 of the 15 losses, USC allowed the opposition to make at least six three-pointers, Illinois (13), San Diego State (7), Nebraska (11), New Mexico (11), Minnesota (6), UC Irvine (9), Oregon (7), ASU (9), Arizona (7), California (6) and UCLA (6). In USC's 12 wins, the opponents have made 28.5 percent of their three-point shots (59-for-207). USC's win vs. WSU (10 3-pointers made) was its first this season when surrendering 10 or more baskets from three-point range (1-3).
INJURY FELT BY STEWART AND TROJANS -- USC junior guard/forward Ari Stewart suffered a fractured left thumb in the game vs. Washington on Feb. 10 at the Galen Center and is expected to miss at least three weeks of action. Stewart has averaged 3.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 16 games this season for the Trojans, including an average of 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in Pac-12 games. Stewart worked his way into the rotation once Cantu took over as interim head coach on Jan. 14, scoring 31 points in his last seven games played, after scoring a total of 26 points in USC's first 17 games. Stewart posted a season-high 11 points in the win vs. Washington State on Jan. 7, but had no points and four rebounds before suffering the injury in the win over Washington on Feb. 10. Since his injury, USC is 1-2 and has averaged 64.0 points per game after averaging 72.0 points per game in the Cantu's first seven games as interim head coach.