USC Takes On CS Fullerton Tuesday At Galen
Nov. 18, 2013
The USC Trojans (2-1) will host the CS Fullerton Titans (2-1) at the Galen Center on Tuesday, November 19 at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network with Ted Robinson and Don MacLean calling the action. USC is 2-0 during a four-game homestand in a 10 day stretch (Nov. 12-21). USC is seeking to go two games over the .500 mark for the first time since starting last season at 3-1.
ABOUT CS FULLERTON -- CS Fullerton is 2-1 with wins at Montana State (84-55) and at home against Santa Clara (86-73), with and a loss at Seattle (71-75). 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 17.7 points per game. USC leads the all-time series with CSUF, 3-0, winning the last meeting 81-54 on Nov. 24, 2010.
USC RALLIES TO DEFEAT NAU -- Byron Wesley scored a career-high 31 points to lead the Trojans back from a 12-point second-half deficit to a 67-63 win vs. Northern Arizona on Nov. 15. USC went on a 22-4 run early in the second half to take a 52-46 lead with eight minutes left in the game. NAU then came back to take a 63-61 lead with two minutes left, but Wesley hit a pair of free throws to tie it and then Omar Oraby made a layup with 54 seconds left to give USC the lead. Julian Jacobs and D.J. Haley then hit one of two free throws each for the final score. USC struggled from the line, making just 19 of 36 free throw attempts, but did out-shoot NAU 44.2 percent to 31.9 percent. Aaseem Dixon led NAU with 20 points, including tying the Galen record by an opponent with six three-pointers made. NAU made nine three-pointers, seven in the first half.
WEST ALABAMA ON DECK -- USC will be facing West Alabama (1-2) for the first time ever. West Alabama of the Gulf South Conference was 10-16 last season and returns two starters and eight lettermen from that team. Mark Downey is in his first season as the head coach after three successful seasons at Charleston where his teams compiled a 60-28 record. West Alabama has won at Stillman (105-75), lost at Montevallo (85-67) and lost at UTEP (67-46). The Tigers' leading scorer is senior guard Sandy Underwood, a preseason All-GSC selection, who is averaging 20.7 point through their first three games.
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 the win vs. CSUN and 16 in the win vs. NAU. Through USC's first three games, Jacobs leads the team will 13 assists and is third with 17 rebounds. Jovanovic is averaging 6.7 points, Jacobs 5.3, Dukes 5.0 and Prince 4.3.
THE WEEK OF WESLEY -- Junior Byron Wesley averaged 23.5 points and 10.0 rebounds and recorded his first career double-double in leading USC to a 2-0 record during the week of Nov. 11-17. In USC's 95-79 win vs. CS Northridge on Nov. 12, Wesley had 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds and dished out six assists for a double-double. In USC's comeback 67-63 win vs. Northern Arizona on Nov. 15, Wesley scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He made his first eight shots of the game and single-handedly kept the Trojans in the game, scoring 16 of their 30 first-half points. He hit his only three-point shot in the game which snapped USC's 0-for-9 streak from beyond the arc in the game to tie the score at 44-44 midway through the second half. His previous career-high in points was 23 vs. Washington on March 1, 2012.
THE GALEN ADVANTAGE -- USC is 79-38 in seven seasons at the Galen Center since it opened on Nov. 16, 2006. USC is also 40-14 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.
ALL 31 GAMES TO BE TELEVISED -- With USC's game at Long Beach State on Dec. 19 recently being selected by Prime Ticket for broadcast, all 31 of USC's regular season games can be watched on television.
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. He followed that up with a career-high 31 points vs. NAU on Nov. 15. The 31 points are a Galen Center record (O.J. Mayo had 32, but player participation was later vacated due to NCAA penalty).
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. 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 has averaged 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season with a team-leading eight blocks.