USC Plays At Washington On Wednesday
March 4, 2013
USC (14-15, 9-7) will play at Washington (16-13, 8-8) in Seattle, Wash. on March 6 at 8:30 p.m. USC is 6-2 in its last eight games and is 7-5 under interim head coach Bob Cantu. USC is currently tied for fifth in the conference, but a lot can happen in the final two games. USC could finish as high as tied for fourth and earn a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament or finish as low as tied for eighth.
BREAKING DOWN THE HUSKIES -- Washington defeated Washington State 72-68 on March 3 for its third win in the last four games. 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 (16-13, 8-8), who began conference play with a 4-0 record, are led in scoring by guards C.J. Wilcox (17.3), Scott Suggs (11.7) and Abdul Gaddy (11.2).
USC HOLDS OFF ASU -- Eric Wise scored 12 points and USC held off a furious rally by Arizona State to defeat the Sun Devils 57-56 on March 2 at the Galen Center. Byron Wesley added 11 points and J.T. Terrell had 10 for the Trojans. Jahii Carson scored 23 points for Arizona State. The Sun Devils pulled within 55-52 on Chris Colvin's basket with 53 seconds left. USC then missed a shot at the end of the shot clock, but Wise got the rebound, was fouled and made two free throws to put USC up 57-52. Carson scored inside and, after a USC turnover on the inbounds pass, hit another bucket that made it 57-56 with 5 seconds left. Wise was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass and missed the front end of the one-and-one free throw, but Carson's 35-footer at the buzzer was off target. USC improved to 15-2 in the last 17 Senior Days and completed its fourth home sweep of the Arizona schools in the last five seasons.
COUGARS ON DECK -- USC will close out the regular season by taking on Washington State (11-18, 2-14) on March 9 in Pullman, Wash. at 3:30 p.m. The Cougars have lost their last nine games, with five of those games decided by four points or less. WSU will host UCLA on March 6 before playing the Trojans. WSU has four players averaging in double figures: Brock Motum (17.9), Mike Ladd (11.4), DaVonte Lacy (10.5) and Royce Woolridge (10.2). USC defeated WSU 72-68 at the Galen Center on Feb. 7 and leads the all-time series 68-46.
THE GREAT EIGHT -- USC is 6-2 in its last eight games. Among the six power conferences (Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, SEC and Pac-12), only five teams have more wins in their last eight games (Georgetown 8-0, Cal 7-1, Kansas State 7-1, Oklahoma State 7-1, Louisville 7-1).
OFFENSE CLICKING IN CONFERENCE -- USC has averaged 69.6 points in Pac-12 games this season, fourth-best among Pac-12 schools. The Trojans are third in Pac-12 play with a 44.2 shooting percentage and are second in three-point field goal percentage at 37.9 percent. USC has scored 68 or more points in 9 of the last 13 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 14 wins it has held the opposition to a 37.5 field goal percentage and an average of 60.7 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 38.2 rebounds, whereas the Trojans get 32.9 rebounds per game in the losses. USC also makes 73.6 percent of its free throws in the wins and 63.6 percent in the losses.
RPI OR R.I.P...? -- USC is one of four teams (Michigan State-14, USC-13, Wisconsin-13, Nebraska-13) to have played at least 13 games against top 50 RPI teams as of March 3.
GUARDING THE LINE -- USC has allowed the opposition to make 34.3 percent of its three-point attempts this season, but has made adjustments and is holding opponents to 31.0 percent from beyond the arc in the last 21 games (110-for-355). In the first eight games USC's opponents made 42.1 percent of its three-point shots.
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. 6 by Sagarin and No. 10 by CBSSportsline. USC has played 14 games against top 50 ranked BPI teams.
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 14 wins, the opponents have made 27.7 percent of their three-point shots (67-for-242). 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).
CANTU'S CARDIAC KIDS AT IT AGAIN -- Seven of the first 12 games in which Bob Cantu has been the USC head coach have been decided by five points or less, with two of them going into overtime. Going back farther, 14 of USC's last 19 games have been decided by eight points or less. USC swept the season series against Stanford by a combined three points in the two games.