USC Hosts NAU At Galen Friday
Nov. 14, 2013
The USC Trojans (1-1) will host the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (1-1) at the Galen Center on Friday, November 15. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network with Andy Demetra and Don MacLean calling the action. The game will be the second of four home games in a 10-day stretch (Nov. 12-21). USC is seeking to go over the .500 mark for the first time since starting last season at 3-2.
TROJANS WIN HOME OPENER AGAINST CSUN -- All 13 Trojans that saw action scored and USC rolled to a 95-79 win over CS Northridge in the home opener, setting the Trojan team-record for points at the Galen Center on Nov. 12. Omar Oraby led USC with 17 points and Byron Wesley notched his first career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Nikola Jovanovic chipped in with 11 points and five rebounds. USC made 57.1 percent of its shots, while holding CSUN to 33.3 percent shooting.
ABOUT THE LUMBERJACKS -- Northern Arizona, from the Big Sky Conference, went 11-21 last season and returns two starters and five lettermen from that team. The Lumberjacks under the direction of second-year head coach Jack Murphy feature a young roster that includes 10 newcomers. Guard Dewayne Russell, NAU's leading returning scorer, transfered just a few days before the start of the season. Quinton Upshur (14.5) and Aaseem Dixon (14.0) lead NAU in scoring through the first two games. USC leads the all-time series with NAU, 2-0. The last meeting was a 60-52 USC win on Dec. 11, 2010. NAU is 1-1 this season, winning at UTSA (74-63) and losing at Texas Tech (88-68).
CS FULLERTON ON DECK -- CS Fullerton is 1-1 and will host Santa Clara on Nov. 16 before facing USC at the Galen Center on Nov. 19. The Titans won 84-55 at Montana State and let a late double-digit lead get away in a 75-71 setback at Seattle. CSUF of the Big West was 14-18 last season, but lost its top three scorers to graduation. The Titans do return two starters and six lettermen for head coach Dedrique Taylor's first season and have added eight newcomers. CSUF's leading scorer is junior guard Alex Harris who is averaging 17.0 points per game. USC leads the all-time series with CSUF, 3-0, winning the last meeting 81-54 on Nov. 24, 2010.
FUN AND GUN -- USC's up-tempo offense produced 95 points in the win vs. CS Northridge on Nov. 12, the most points the Trojans had scored in a game since also netting 95 at Oregon on Jan. 26, 2008. That game went overtime, so the last regular season game in which the Trojans scored 95 or more points was at Arizona State on Jan. 15, 2005, a 98-94 win.
TEAM TROJANS -- All 13 Trojans who played in Tuesday's game scored. Also, 10 Trojans logged at least 11 minutes and only one (Wesley-31) logged more than 24 minutes. Eight different players took at least five shots, four had at least five rebounds and seven scored at least seven points. USC had 24 assists in the game, its most since also recording 24 assists vs. Delaware State on Dec. 17, 2007.
FRESHMEN DOING FINE -- USC's scholarship freshmen group of guards Julian Jacobs and Kahlil Dukes and forwards Nikola Jovanovic and Roschon Prince combined to score 34 points in Tuesday's win vs. CSUN. Through USC's first two games, Jacobs leads the team will 11 assists and is third with 10 rebounds. Jacobs, Prince and Jovanovic are averaging 5.5 points per game, while Dukes has averaged 5.0.
THE LONE WOLF -- Through games of Nov. 14, Pac-12 teams have combined to play 23 games and the lone road game was USC's matchup at Utah State.
TROJANS AT THE BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS -- USC will be playing in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas from Nov. 28-30. USC's first-round opponent in the tournament will be Villanova of the Big East Conference. Villanova went 20-14 last season and returns four starters and 11 lettermen from that squad. The second-round game on Nov. 29 will be against either Kansas or Wake Forest, with the final game on Nov. 30 being played against an opponent from this group: Iowa, Tennessee, UTEP and Xavier.
PAC-12 PREDICTIONS -- USC was picked to finish 11th in the 2013-14 Pac-12 preseason vote by league media with 63 points. Arizona was picked first (273), UCLA second (212), Colorado third (211), Oregon fourth (196), California fifth (194), Stanford sixth (166), Arizona State seventh (159), Washington eighth (121), Utah ninth (68), Oregon State 10th (67) and Washington State 12th (39). Last season USC was picked to finish ninth and tied for sixth with a 9-9 conference mark.
THE GALEN ADVANTAGE -- USC is 78-38 in seven seasons at the Galen Center since it opened on Nov. 16, 2006. USC is also 39-14 in nonconference games at the Galen Center.
ROSTER TIDBITS -- Ten of the 17 players on USC's 2013-14 roster had never played for USC before. Two of them, Darion Clark and Katin Reinhardt will have to wait one more year as they are sitting out this season due to transfer rules. Five of the seven players with experience playing for USC, had played just one season in the Cardinal & Gold. Six of USC's 17 players began their careers at another Division I school. Eleven of the 17 players are underclassmen. USC has three foreign-born players in Omar Oraby (Egypt), Stahinja Gavrilovic (Serbia) and Nikola Jovanovic (Serbia), and one player, Samer Dhillon, born in the USC whose parents are both from India.
WESLEY THE ONE CONSTANT -- Since USC wing Byron Wesley arrived on campus as a freshman for the 2011-12 season, he has been the one constant on the team. He is the only remaining player from that recruiting class at USC and the only remaining scholarship player from that team. As a freshman he quietly ranked among the top Pac-12 freshmen in six different category averages: scoring (9.6), rebounds (5.1), defensive rebounds (4.2), assists (1.8), steals (0.8) and minutes (34.6). Last season as a sophomore, he ranked third on the team in scoring (10.2) and rebounding (4.3), second in minutes (31.9) and assists (61 total). He improved on his shooting and expanded his repertoire to include the three-point shot, making 17 in conference play and finishing one make away from qualifying to lead the conference in three-point shooting percentage at .486 (17-for-35). Wesley opened the 2013-14 season with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists at Utah State on Nov. 8 and then logged his first double-double with 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds vs. CSUN on Nov. 12.
TERRELL PRIMED FOR BIG SENIOR SEASON -- Senior guard J.T. Terrell had a major impact on the Trojan program in his first season at USC, averaging 11.7 points and making 67 three-point baskets. His three-point baskets made rank 11th all-time in a single season by a Trojan. In the second half of the season following the coaching change he was even better, leading the Trojans with an average of 14.3 points per game and making 40 percent from three-point range (40-for-100). Terrell led all players in Pac-12 play by making an average of 2.5 three-pointers per game. Terrell began his career at Wake Forest, then spent a season playing at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Wash., before enrolling at USC last summer. Terrell opened the 2013-14 season by scoring 20 points at Utah State on Nov. 8.
THE BIG "O" -- Senior center Omar Oraby enters this season as lone remaining bigman that played significant minutes a year ago. On November 8, 2012 he was granted a waiver to compete for USC following his transfer from Rice in September of 2012. Oraby played in all 32 games for USC, making four starts and averaging 6.3 points and 3.9 rebounds while playing 14.6 minutes per game. His best game of the season was the final game of the 2012-13 season when he started and scored a career-high 18 points in a career-high 35 minutes. Oraby was seventh in conference in blocks with 47, which ranks ninth on USC's all-time single season list. He had one stretch where he registered at least one block in 14 consecutive games. He had USC's best points to minutes played ratio last season and if his stats were prorated over a 40 minute game, he would has averaged 17.3 points per game. Oraby leads the team with 32 points in the first two games.