USC To Host Nebraska Monday At Galen
Nov. 13, 2011
TONIGHT'S GAME -- USC (1-0) will host Nebraska (1-0) at the Galen Center on Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Prime Ticket with Paul Sunderland and Brandon Granville calling the action and Amy Bender providing sideline commentary. USC has started 2-0 only two times in the past 10 seasons (2009 and 2011).
USC HOSTS NEBRASKA -- USC's second game of the season is against newest Big Ten member Nebraska which also opened it's season with a win at home on Nov. 11, a 65-48 victory over South Dakota. Guard Caleb Walker led the Huskers with 16 points, hitting all three of his three-point shots. Nebraska went 19-13 last season and return four starters and nine lettermen from that squad. Nebraska returns six players that scored at least 5.0 points per game, led by junior center Jorge Brian Diaz who averaged 8.8 points per game last season. USC leads the all-time series 5-3, but lost 60-58 at Nebraska last season and lost 51-48 at the Galen Center during the 2009-10 season.
EXPECT A DEFENSIVE BATTLE -- USC and Nebraska are two of the toughest defensive teams in the country. In their two games vs. each other the past two seasons, the highest score by either side was the 60 points scored by Nebraska last year. USC held the opposition to under 60 points 14 times in 2010-11, while Nebraska accomplished the feat 17 times.
USC OPENS WITH WIN VS. CSUN -- USC defeated CS Northridge 66-59 at the Galen Center on Nov. 11 to open the 2011-12 season. The Trojans were led by Dewayne Dedmon, Aaron Fuller and Maurice Jones who all scored 16 points. USC trailed 54-50 with under five minutes left in the game, but finished the contest on a 16-5 run spearheaded by Jones' eight points. USC won its fourth consecutive home opener.
TROJANS PLAY AT SDSU THURSDAY -- USC will begin its road slate with a quick trip to San Diego to play the San Diego State Aztecs on Thursday, November 17 at Viejas Arena at 7 p.m. The Aztecs went 34-3 last season and reached the Sweet 16 before falling to eventual NCAA champion Connecticut. SDSU is 3-0 with wins over Bryant (75-63), Southern Utah (70-37) and UC Davis (89-74) at home and will play at Baylor on Nov. 15 before hosting USC. SDSU's leading scorer through three games is junior guard Chase Tapley with a 19.7 average. He is the Aztec's lone returning starter.
BETTER BE READY -- USC is playing is second game of seven within 16 days to start the season. The next six potential games are versus teams that finished .500 or better in the 2010-11 season.
USC TO FACE EXPERIENCED OPPONENTS - Seven of USC's first 10 opponents return at least four starters from last year's team: Nebraska (4), Cal Poly (4), Morgan State (4), UNLV (4), North Carolina (5)/South Carolina (4), UC Riverside (4) and New Mexico (4). Maurice Jones is USC's lone returning starter and he started the first 25 games and not the final nine.
DRIVEN BY DEFENSE -- USC held opponents to a conference low of 62.7 points per game during the 2010-11 season. USC was 13-1 in games it held the opponent under 60 points last season, the lone loss being its NCAA Tournament loss to VCU (59-46). In the past seven seasons, USC has held the opponent to under 60 points 82 times and is 68-14 in those games (.829 winning percentage). USC also held the opposition to under 40 percent shooting 16 times during the 2010-11 season and was 14-2 in those games. During the past seven seasons USC has held the opponent to under 40 percent shooting 104 times and is 83-21 in those games. USC has allowed 80 points or more just five times in the first 65 games under head coach Kevin O'Neill and one of those games was a double-overtime contest. USC is 0-5 in those games.