USC Takes On Washington In Home Finale Saturday|
Feb. 27, 2015
The USC Trojans (10-18, 2-14) will host the Washington Huskies (15-12, 4-11) at the Galen Center on Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network and ESPNLA 710.
BREAKING DOWN WASHINGTON -- Washington is coming off an 88-66 loss at UCLA on Feb. 25. Washington defeated WSU 87-84 on Feb. 22 to snap a seven-game losing streak and is 1-8 in its last nine games. Guards Nigel Williams-Goss (15.4 ppg) and Andrew Andrews (14.3 ppg) lead the Huskies in scoring. Goss also leads the conference with 6.1 assists per game. USC trails in the all-time series 67-70 (reflects 2 USC wins vacated due to NCAA penalty).
ANOTHER NEAR MISS FOR USC -- USC used a furious second-half rally to try and erase a 19-point deficit, but ultimately fell 70-66 vs. Washington State on Feb. 25. Trailing 55-36 with 11:35 left in the game, USC went on a 25-9 run to cut it to 64-61 with 3:23 left. WSU extended its lead to five points on a tip-in credited to Junior Longrus which actually was knocked in by a USC player. Katin Reinhardt hit a jumper with 1:42 left to cut it to 66-63, but he and Julian Jacobs missed running shots in the lane and WSU hit three free throws to make it 69-63. Reinhardt hit a 3-pointer with nine seconds left, but Josh Hawkinson hit one of two free throws to close it out. Jacobs, Reinhardt and Malik Marquetti all scored 16 points for USC. Marquetti's total was a season-best as he made a season-best four 3-pointers. Jacobs added nine assists, three steals and had no turnovers. Dexter Kernich-Drew led WSU with 19 points and DaVonte' Lacy added 17. The Cougars led 37-27 at halftime as they shot 53.8 percent, while USC hit 33.3 percent from the floor. USC held WSU to 29.6 percent shooting in the second half to whittle away at the lead. USC matched a season low with eight turnovers and forced 16 which led to a 21-4 advantage in points off turnovers. WSU won the rebound battle, 44-33.
TROJANS TRAVEL TO UCLA FOR FINAL REGULAR SEASON GAME -- USC will close out the 2014-15 regular season with a game at UCLA (17-12, 9-7) on March 4 at 6 p.m. UCLA will host Washington State on March 1 before taking on USC. UCLA defeated USC 83-66 on Jan. 14 at the Galen Center and leads the all-time series with USC, 136-104 (reflects a USC win in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty). USC's last visit to UCLA on Jan. 5, 2014 resulted in a 107-73 loss, its most points allowed in a game since the 2000 season. Still, USC is 3-4 in its last seven visits to Pauley Pavilion. All five of UCLA's starters are averaging over 10 points per game with its next highest-scoring player averaging 3.8 points 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 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, 18 of the 24 "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 seven players averaging over 5.0 points per game and one averaging 4.9 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 10 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.
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 6 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 33. He has 10 blocks in the last four games.
DEFENDING THE THREE -- USC is third among all Pac-12 teams in 3-point field goal defense, holding the opposition to a 31.9 shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
KATIN'S SCORING SURGE -- USC guard Katin Reinhardt has averaged 15.2 points per game (152 total) in the last 10 games. Reinhardt leads the team with a 13.1 scoring average in conference games which ranks 16th among Pac-12 players.
McLAUGHLIN HAS SUCCESSFUL SURGERY -- Freshman guard Jordan McLaughlin had successful surgery on one of his shoulders on Feb. 27 and it will later be determined by the doctors if he will eventually have surgery on his other shoulder. The recovery time is roughly 5-6 months and a full recovery is expected by next season.
CLOSE SHAVES -- Eight of USC's last 10 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 six of the 10 games, but made 57 less free throws (and taken 52 less).
SECOND HALF ADJUSTMENTS -- USC slightly outscores the opposition in the second half and outshoots them 43.8 percent to 39.1 percent. In the first half of games, USC is outscored by 3.9 points per game and is outshot, 39.4 percent to 44.6 percent. USC also forces 29 more turnovers than assists allowed after the break. USC has trailed at the half 20 times:
1st Half 2nd Half 30.7 USC 34.4 34.6 Opponent 34.0 .394 USC FG% .438 .446 Opponent FG% .391 +18 Opp. Assists to TOs -29 .356 Opp. 3-PT% .271