Men's Basketball
    USC Takes On Texas At Maui Invitational Tuesday
    Senior captain Jio Fontan had a season-best 10 points on Nov. 19 vs. Illinois.
    Senior captain Jio Fontan had a season-best 10 points on Nov. 19 vs. Illinois.

    Nov. 20, 2012

    USC (2-1) will play Texas (2-1) on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the Lahaina Civic Center in Maui, Hawai'i in the second game of the Championship Round of the 2012 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. USC is looking for its first 3-1 start since the 2009 season.

    ZOWIE, IT'S MAUI! -- USC is playing at the Maui Invitational for the second time in school history. USC went 1-2 at the 1999 Maui Invitational, defeating Memphis (92-65) and losing to North Carolina (82-65) and Utah State (52-50). Trojan point guard and current radio analyst Brandon Granville still holds the Maui Invitational record for assists with 15 vs. Memphis on Nov. 23, 1999. Also, USC wing Jeff Trepangier set the Maui Invitational record with 10 steals vs. Utah State on Nov. 24, 1999. Both are also USC school records.

    TROJANS TO LOCK HORNS WITH TEXAS -- Texas is 2-1 after falling to host Chaminade 86-73 on Nov. 19. Prior to that game, Texas picked up home wins over Fresno State (55-53) and Coppin State (69-46). Sophomore guard Sheldon McClellan has led the Longhorns with an average of 19.7 points in the first three games, making 29 of 31 free throw attempts. Texas was 20-14 last season and advanced to the NCAA Second Round. Rick Barnes is in his 14th season as the Texas head coach. USC leads the all-time series with Texas, 6-5, winning the last game 73-56 on Dec. 5, 2010 at the Galen Center.

    ILLINOIS SHOOTS DOWN TROJANS EARLY -- USC was blitzed by Illinois in the first half and never recovered in a 94-64 loss in its first game of the championship round of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in Maui, Hi. on Nov. 19. Illinois hit a three-pointer to start the game and just didn't miss much in the first half, reaching the break with a 57-26 lead by making 22 of 33 shots (68.8 percent) and 8 of 14 from 3-point range (57.1 percent). USC regrouped in the second half cutting the deficit to 18 with 5:33 to go, but could get no closer. The 94 points allowed were 14 more than any game during last year's 26-loss season and the most allowed by USC since surrendering 96 to Mercer on Nov. 10, 2007. Brandon Paul led Illinois with 26 points, while Eric Wise led USC with 13 points. USC was also outrebounded 42-20 by the Illini, including registering 15 offensive rebounds on its 29 missed shots. Illinois' 13 3-pointers made were the most by a USC opponent since Oregon had 14 on March 10, 2007.

     

     

    ON DECK: MARQUETTE OR MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The winner of the USC-Texas game will play the winner of the Marquette-Mississippi State contest in the fifth-place game on Nov. 21 at 12 p.m. (HT), while the other two teams will square off at 9:30 a.m. (HT) in the seventh-place game. Marquette fell to 2-1 when Butler's Rotnei Clarke hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 72-71 victory. Marquette also has home wins vs. Colgate (84-63) and SE Louisiana (64-53). Davante Gardner has come off the bench in all three games to lead Marquette in scoring at 14.7 points per game, though seven players have averaged 6.3 or more points per game. Mississippi State lost to No. 11 North Carolina 95-49 yesterday to fall to 2-1. MSU opened the season with a 56-53 loss to Troy and then defeated Florida Atlantic 78-58. Roquez Johnson leads a depleted MSU roster with 14.5 points per game. The Bulldogs, like the Trojans a year ago, are down to six available scholarship players due to injury and suspension. USC has never faced Marquette and lost its only meeting with MSU, 57-55 on Dec. 30, 1984. USC head coach Kevin O'Neill was the head coach at Marquette for the 1990-94 seasons.

    THE TROJAN TRI-TOWERS - USC and Florida State are the only two Division I schools that list three seven-footers on their 2012-13 opening day rosters. USC's tri-towers are 7-0 junior forward Dewayne Dedmon, 7-1 redshirt senior center James Blasczyk and 7-2 junior center Omar Oraby.

    RENALDO'S RARE TREAT -- USC forward Renaldo Woolridge played at the 2011 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational as a member of the Tennessee Volunteers. He graduated from Tennessee with a degree in Sociology and one more year of eligibility. This summer he transfered to USC to begin graduate school in Social Work. It is believed that he is the first player not on Chaminade to play in consecutive Maui Invitationals.

    HOW DIFFERENT WAS THAT GAME...? -- After starting 2-0 and holding the opposition to 58.5 points and 32.3 percent shooting, USC allowed Illinois 94 points and a 53.2 shooting percentage from the floor. USC surrendered 33 field goals to Illinois, after allowing a total of 32 field goals in the first two games combined. USC also allowed a total of 15 offensive rebounds in the first two games and surrendered 15 to Illinois. Illinois' 57 first-half points were 13 more than the Trojans allowed Long Beach State in the entire game on Nov. 13.