USC Plays Utah In Pac-12 Tournament First Round
March 12, 2013
USC (14-17, 9-9) will face Utah (13-17, 5-13) in the first round of the 2013 Pac-12 Championships being held at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. on March 13 at 6 p.m. USC is 6-4 in its last 10 games and is 7-7 under interim head coach Bob Cantu. USC has lost its last two games and is looking to avoid its first three-game losing streak since losing a season-high five consecutive games from Nov. 21-Dec. 8.
BREAKING DOWN THE UTES -- Utah is coming off a home sweep of the Oregon schools, defeating Oregon State 72-61 on March 7 and Oregon 72-62 on March 9. It was the first time in two seasons in the Pac-12 that the Utes had won consecutive conference games. A win over USC would match a season-high three-game winning streak (Nov. 21-24). Utah is led in scoring by Jarred DuBois (12.2), Jordan Loveridge (11.9) and Jason Washburn (11.8). USC has won its last three games against Utah, including winning 76-59 at Utah on Jan. 12 and leads the all-time series 17-14.
USC LASSOED IN THE PALOUSE -- Washington State made 11 three-pointers and cruised to a 76-51 win over USC in Pullman, Wash. to close out the regular season. WSU made six three-pointers in the first half and held USC to 28.6 percent shooting to take a 39-20 lead at the break. The Trojans looked like they were going to make a game of it, outscoring WSU 18-4 at the start of the second half to cut the lead to 43-38, but the Cougars responded. With USC still down just eight with nearly 10 minutes to go, Royce Woolridge went to work making four consecutive three-pointers during a 20-5 run to put the game away for the Cougars. Brock Motum scored 31 points and Woolridge added 25 for WSU, while J.T. Terrell led the Trojans with 18 points.
USC AT THE PAC-12 TOURNAMENT -- USC is 13-12* all-time at the Pac-12 Tournament (one win in 2008 later vacated due to NCAA penalty). Last season USC lost to UCLA in the first round. However, USC has won its first game in the tournament four of the last five times it has participated and won the Pac10 Tournament title in 2009. USC is facing Utah for the first time in the Pac-12 Tournament. Since 2001 USC has ended the regular season in the state of Washington three times and has gone on to win at least its first postseason game.
THE HONORABLE FONTAN AND WISE -- USC seniors Jio Fontan and Eric Wise were named honorable mention on the 2013 All-Pac-12 Team it was announced on March 11 by commissioner Larry Scott. The point guard Fontan has averaged 9.5 points and 5.2 assists this season. His 161 assists this season rank tied for seventh on USC's all-time single season list. The forward Wise leads USC with an 11.9 scoring average and ranks second on the team with 5.6 rebounds per game. He ranks among USC's top three offensive players in most categories.
DEDMON AND BLASCZYK SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY -- USC 7-0 forward Dewayne Dedmon and 7-1 center James Blasczyk were suspended indefinitey from all team activities on Monday due to a violation of a team rule.
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 17 losses, USC's opponents have made 45.0 percent of its shots and scored 73.2 points per game. Also, in the wins USC has an average of 38.2 rebounds, whereas the Trojans get 32.7 rebounds per game in the losses. USC also makes 73.6 percent of its free throws in the wins and 64.5 percent in the losses.
PAY ATTENTION -- Turns out the first basket of a USC game is pretty important as the Trojans own a 11-5 record when they score first and are 3-12 in games the opposition records the first basket.
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. 9 by Sagarin and No. 16 by CBSSportsline. USC has played 18 games against top 68 ranked BPI teams.
THREES ARE THE KEYS -- In USC's 17 losses this season, the opposition has made 122 of 310 three-pointers for a 39.4 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. In 12 of the 17 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), UCLA (6) and Washington St. (11). 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 (1-4).
NOT SO FUNNY MATH... -- USC has made 23 more field goals that its opponents this season, yet has been outscored by 59 points. USC's opponents have made 189 three-pointers to the Trojans' 163 and have made 79 more free throws. USC has had as many or more baskets in 7 of the 17 losses this season.