USC Takes On Washington State In Final Regular Season Game
March 2, 2012
USC (6-24, 1-16) will host Washington State (14-15, 6-11) at the Galen Center on March 3 at 3 p.m. The game will be streamed live and for free on USCTrojans.com. USC has lost eight consecutive games and is 1-17 in its last 18 games. Today is Senior Day with Trojan senior guard Eric Strangis and senior managers Doug Cottier and Chris Steele being honored before the game.
BREAKING DOWN THE COUGARS -- The Cougars are led in scoring by junior forward Brock Motum who averages 17.8 points per game. WSU defeated USC 60-53 on Feb. 2 in Pullman, Wash., but the Trojans lead 67-45 in the all-time series. Washington State is coming off a 78-46 loss at UCLA on March 1 and is 1-7 in conference road games this season.
TROJANS FALL TO WASHINGTON -- Washington scored an opponent-high in points in cruising to an 80-58 win over the Trojans at the Galen Center on March 1. Washington led 40-26 at the break on the strength of outrebounding USC 30-10 in the first half. The 40 points allowed in the first half were the most scored by a Trojan opponent this season. USC battled back to cut the score to 49-40 with 13 minutes left in the game, but the Huskies responded with a 7-0 run to take back command of the game. Bryron Wesley led USC with a career-high 23 points, while Garret Jackson chipped in with 14. James Blasczyk added a career-high 10 points. Terrence Ross led Washington with 18 points. Washington ended up with a 49-23 rebound bulge, including hauling down 20 offensive boards. USC's 45.1 percent shooting was its highest since hitting 48.0 percent vs. Utah in its only Pac-12 win on Jan. 28 and it was just the sixth time in the last 22 games that the Trojans shot above 40 percent from the field.
PAC-12 TOURNAMENT ON DECK -- USC will play in the Pac-12 Tournament on March 7 at 2:30 p.m. at the Staple Center. What isn't decided yet is who the Trojans' opponent will be. The game will be broadcast on 690 AM and televised on FSN.
TROJANS STINGY WITH TURNOVERS - As a young team playing with no senior scholarship players and just three scholarship players who had played in the USC system before, USC has committed just 10.8 turnovers per game, tied for 15th-best in the country. USC has had 9 or less turnovers in 12 of the last 15 games and has had 12 or less turnovers 22 times. USC is tops in the Pac-12 with a +4.5 turnover margin. USC has committed 135 less turnovers than its opponents.
WESLEY AMONG FRESHMAN LEADERS - USC wing Byron Wesley ranks among the top Pac-12 freshmen in six different category averages: scoring (9.6, 4th), rebounds (5.0, T-4th), defensive rebounds (4.1, 2nd), assists (1.8, 8th), steals (0.8, 7th) and minutes (34.5, 1st). He has gotten better as the season has progress, registering a career high in points in each of his last three games (18, 22 and 23) for an average of 21 points per game in that stretch.
MOJO, MAN OF STEAL - Sophomore guard Maurice Jones has 121 career steals, already ninth on the Trojans' all-time steals list. Jones' 69 steals last season set a USC freshman record and his 52 so far this season already rank fourth all-time by a Trojan sophomore. Jones currently ranks fourth among active Pac-12 players in career steals, the only sophomore in the top 10.
MIGHTY MO - USC's Maurice Jones (38.1) is one of nine players in the country averaging 38.0 or more minutes per game. Also, Jones' 13.3 points per game average ranks eighth in the conference, but in terms of percentage of a teams' scoring, he is second in the conference at 24.1 percent. Washington State's Brock Motum leads all players, scoring 25.7 percent of the Cougars' points.
FRESHMAN FOUNDATION - USC freshmen guards Byron Wesley and Alexis Moore look to be providing the Trojans with good building blocks for the future. Through 30 games, Wesley is the third-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder on the team with averages of 9.6 and 5.0 respectively. He is also second on the team in assists with 53. Moore is seventh on the team with a 4.3 scoring average, is third on the team in three-point baskets (23) and assists (49). Wesley has started every game and his 34.5 minutes per game played are the most by a freshman in the Pac-12. Wesley's season high in points is 23 vs. Washington on March 1. Moore has started 18 times this season, including 16 of the last 21 games. Moore had a season-best 18 points on Dec. 17 vs. Georgia and has scored in double figures five times. Moore had a season-high five assists vs. Arizona on Jan. 8 and a season-best six rebounds on Jan. 28 vs. Utah.
JACKSON MEANS ACTION - Since being inserted into the starting lineup 12 games ago, sophomore Garrett Jackson has scored 11.0 points per game or 132 total points. That total is 61 more points than he had scored in USC's first 18 games while coming off the bench. In the 12 starts he ranks only behind Maurice Jones (11.8) and Byron Wesley (14.1) for points per game by a Trojan. Jackson also has 13 blocks and 13 steals in his starts.
ALLEN MAKING MOST OF INCREASED ACTION - Junior Greg Allen has scored 72 points in USC's last nine games for an 8.0 per game average. He had totalled 16 points in USC's previous 13 games and 43 in his first 15 games. Allen had a career-high 17 points while making five 3-pointers at Washington State on Feb. 2. Allen has averaged 7.5 points in the 14 games he logs 20 or more minutes (105 total points).
O'NEILL TO MEET WITH SIX MARINES AFTER THE GAME -- USC head coach Kevin O'Neill will meet with six U.S. Marines from the Wounded Warrior Battalion West at Camp Pendleton. These Marines have had tours in the Gulf and will be in attendance at the USC-Washington State game at the Galen Center Saturday. O'Neill is expected to meet with them just after his postgame press conference.