USC Hosts ASU Saturday In Final 2013 Home Game
March 1, 2013
USC (13-15, 8-7) will host Arizona State (20-9, 9-7) in the final 2013 regular season home game at the Galen Center at noon on March 2. USC is 5-2 in its last seven games and is 6-5 under interim head coach Bob Cantu. USC is trying to complete the home sweep of the Arizona schools for the fourth time in five seasons.
TROJANS LOOK FOR SENIOR DAY MAGIC -- USC won 13 consecutive Senior Days before losing to Oregon State in 2010. USC lost to Washington State in last season's home finale, but is 14-2 in the last 16 Senior Days. Honored today before the game will be players Tyler Sugiyama, James Blasczyk, Renaldo Woolridge, Aaron Fuller, Eric Wise and Jio Fontan and managers Jordan Flatt and Kendrick Rancharan.
BREAKING DOWN THE SUN DEVILS -- Arizona State is coming off a 79-74 overtime loss at UCLA on Feb. 27 and its two-game losing streak matches a season high. Seven of the last nine games ASU has played have been decided by five points or less. 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 17.7 points per game. 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).
USC TAKES DOWN No. 11 ARIZONA -- Eric Wise scored 22 points to lead five USC players in double figures, propelling the Trojans to an 89-78 victory over No. 11 Arizona on Feb. 27 at the Galen Center. USC shot 61.1 percent from the field, led by Wise's 9 for 12. Byron Wesley added 18 points, J.T. Terrell had 14 and Jio Fontan scored 12 with nine assists. Aaron Fuller also had 12 points. Solomon Hill led Arizona with 21 points. USC led throughout the game, going up by as many as 10 points in the first half and increasing its lead to 13 in the second half. Arizona held an 18-16 lead midway through the first half, but the Trojans went on a 5-0 run to take the lead and never trailed again. It was USC's first win over a ranked team in two years.
HUSKIES ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at Washington on March 6 at 8:30 p.m. in Seattle, Wash. The Trojans defeated Washington 71-60 at home on Feb. 10 and lead the all-time series 69-68 (2 wins in 2008 later vacated due to NCAA penalty). USC is 6-7 in the last 13 games played at Washington. The Huskies (15-13, 7-8), who began conference play with a 4-0 record, are led in scoring by guards C.J. Wilcox (17.1), Abdul Gaddy (11.3) and Scott Suggs (11.2).
OFFENSE CLICKING IN CONFERENCE -- USC has averaged 70.4 points in Pac-12 games this season, third-best among Pac-12 schools. The Trojans lead all conference teams in Pac-12 play with a 44.5 shooting percentage and are second in three-point field goal percentage at 37.7 percent. USC has scored 68 or more points in 9 of the last 12 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.
THE SIMPLE TRUTH -- In USC's 13 wins it has held the opposition to a 37.1 field goal percentage and an average of 61.1 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 38.5 rebounds, whereas the Trojans get 32.9 rebounds per game in the losses. USC also makes 74.4 percent of its free throws in the wins and 63.6 percent in the losses.
RPI OR R.I.P...? -- USC is one of three teams (USC, Michigan State, Wisconsin) to have played 13 games against top 50 RPI teams as of Feb. 28.
NOT SO FUNNY MATH... -- USC has made 33 more field goals that its opponents this season, yet has been outscored by 27 points. USC's opponents have made 173 three-pointers to the Trojans' 151 and have made 71 more free throws. In 14 of the last 20 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.
SWAT TEAM PROTECTING THE RIM -- USC has registered 142 blocks this season, more than 29 complete Trojan seasons since the stat was charted in 1979. USC is on a pace to get 157 blocks in the regular season, which would be the third-highest total in school history. The USC team record is 191 blocks in the 1987 season.
IT'S WISE TO DIVERSIFY -- USC redshirt senior Eric Wise has been a stat-sheet stuffer this season for USC, ranking among the Trojans' leaders in most categories while averaging 12.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Among USC players, he ranks first in field goals made (134) and points (344), second in steals (28) and rebounds (162), third in free throws made (56) and in assists (51) and tied for third in blocks (9). He notched his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds at UCLA on Jan. 30. Wise has scored in double figures in 21 of the 28 games, including a season-high 22 vs. Arizona on Feb. 27 on 9-for-12 shooting (75.0 percent), after making just 31.7 percent of his shots in the five games since that double-double.
EXPERIENCED YOUTH - USC sophomore Byron Wesley has started every game since he came to USC (60) and has played more games as a Trojan than any player on the team. He is second in minutes played this season and last, and led all Pac-12 freshmen in minutes last season. Wesley has scored in double figures in 10 of the last 14 games for an average of 12.5 points (175 total). After going just 1-for-9 from three-point range as a freshman, Wesley currently leads the Pac-12 in conference games with a 50.0 shooting percentage from three-point range.
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. 16 by CBSSportsline. USC has played 14 games against top 50 ranked BPI teams.
TERRELL ON A TEAR -- USC guard J.T. Terrell scored 14 points vs. Arizona on Feb. 27 and has scored in double figures in 12 of USC's last 13 games for an average of 13.9 points per game (181 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 13.1 scoring average.
FONTAN MOVES INTO USC SINGLE-SEASON TOP 10 LIST IN ASSISTS -- With nine assists vs. Arizona on Feb. 27, USC redshirt senior point guard Jio Fontan now has 147 assists this season which rank 10th on the Trojans' single-season assist list. Robert Pack ranks ninth with 154 and the top three all-time assist seasons by a Trojan are held by current radio announcer Brandon Granville with a best of 248 in 2000. Fontan has has averaged 5.3 assists per game this season, second among Pac-12 players. He matched a career high with 11 assists vs. WSU on Feb. 7 and added 10 points for his second career double-double, first with USC and first since Jan. 11, 2009 vs. Xavier (10 points/11 assists). Fontan has four games this season with at least nine assists and has had at least four assists in 22 of the 28 games this season. After scoring no points and missing the second half of the game on Jan. 10 at Colorado with an intercostal muscle strain, Fontan bounced back with 13 points, 6 assists and one turnover at Utah on Jan. 12. He set his Trojan high and matched a career high with 25 points at ASU on Jan. 24. His 5th three-pointer came with 0.4 seconds left and sent the game into overtime. The 5 3-pointers also matched a career high. Fontan registered his 1,000th career point (525 with USC) when he scored 16 at California on Feb. 17.