USC Hosts No. 25 San Diego State at Galen Sunday Night
Nov. 23, 2012
TONIGHT'S GAME -- USC (3-2) will host No. 25 San Diego State (3-1) at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25 at the Galen Center. USC won its first two home games and is looking to start 3-0 at home for the first time since the 2009 season. The game will be televised on Fox Sports with Steve Physioc and Marques Johnson calling the game and Laura McKeeman providing sideline reports.
No. 25 SAN DIEGO STATE HERE SUNDAY -- The Aztecs are 3-1 after defeating Arkansas-Pine Bluff 79-43 at home on Nov. 21. SDSU opened with a 62-49 loss to No. 6 Syracuse, but has won its next three games: San Diego Christian (91-57), Missouri State (60-44) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Junior guard Jamaal Franklin leads SDSU with an average of 19.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, including posting double-doubles in the last three contests. USC lost 56-54 at San Diego State last season when Xavier Thames drove coast to coast to score the winning bucket with 1.8 seconds left, after USC had tied it with a three-pointer with 7.5 seconds remaining. USC leads the all-time series, 10-2, including a 6-0 mark in home games. San Diego State has the longest active winning streak against teams from California at 24.
COMEBACK FALL SHORT AGAINST MARQUETTE -- Marquette finished the first half on a 19-9 run to open up a 12-point lead at the break and the Trojans could get no closer than one point in the second half of a 72-64 loss in the fifth-place game of the Maui Invitational on Nov. 21. The Trojans outscored Marquette 18-7 in the first six minutes of the second half to close to 46-45, but the Golden Eagles responded with a 9-0 run and USC got no closer than six points the rest of the way. Marquette built its first-half lead by outscoring USC 20-4 in the paint and 19-4 off the bench. USC evened up those categories in the second half, but it was too late. J.T. Terrell led USC with 21 points.
TRIP TO NEBRASKA ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at Nebraska on Monday, December 3 at 7 p.m. (CT). The Cornhuskers are 4-0 with home wins over Southern (66-55), Valparaiso (50-48), Nebraska-Omaha (75-62) and Tulane (61-57). Nebraska has a home game vs. Kent State on Nov. 24 and will play at Wake Forest on Nov. 27 before hosting the Trojans. Huskers Brandon Ubel (15.3), Ray Gallegos (13.8) and Dylan Talley (13.5) are all averaging double figures in points per game. USC is playing Nebraska for the fourth consecutive season, losing three consecutive tight games by a total of eight points (51-48 at home on a late 3-pointer in the 2010 season, 60-58 at Nebraska in the 2011 season in a game USC led by 20 points in the first half and a 64-61 double-overtime home loss last season).
MAUI BREAKDOWN -- USC faced three strong opponents at the Maui Invitational and came back with a 1-2 record at the tournament. After getting hammered in the first half of the first game vs. Illinois (57-26), the Trojans held their own. They beat Illinois in the second half, defeated Texas in overtime and split halves with a very good Marquette team. J.T. Terrell (13.7 ppg) and Eric Wise (12.3 ppg) led USC in scoring, but the team struggled from the field, making just 39.0 percent of its shots. Also, USC had only 35 points scored by the non-starters in the three games. It was the second trip to the Maui Inivitational for USC, with USC also going 1-2 at the 1999 tournament.
THE TRI-TOWERS OF TROY -- USC and Florida State are the only two Division I schools with three listed 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.
BOOST FROM THE BENCH -- Coming off a season where the Trojans were playing most of the second half of their season with just six available scholarship players, the depth of the 2012-13 team really stands out. In the first five games of the season, USC has scored 28.3 percent of its points (95 of 336) and has 33.0 percent of its rebounds (52 of 156) from players coming off the bench (minus deadball rebounds). USC's non-starters also played 31.6 percent of the game (324 of the 1025 minutes). After Marquette's bench outscored USC 33-10 in the game on Nov. 21, USC's bench has been outscored 95-112 in the five games.
REBOUNDING ON THE BOARDS -- After being outrebounded in 26 of 32 games last season, including the final 18 contests of the 2011-12 season, USC has won the battle of the boards in three of the first five games this season. USC outrebounded Coppin State 44-27 in the first game and had a 35-32 advantage over Long Beach State in the second game. USC was then outrebounded 42-20 by Illinois before coming back to edge Texas on the glass, 43-38 and being edged by Marquette, 35-31. The chairman of the boards for the Trojans so far is forward Dewayne Dedmon who had a career-best 12 rebounds vs. Coppin State and added 10 rebounds vs. Long Beach State and has an average of 7.2 rebounds per game.
SLOW STARTERS -- USC has scored the first points of the game only once in five tries this season and have been outscored 176-148 in the first half, while winning the second halves and overtime by a combined score of 188-160. USC has shot 41.2 percent in the first half and 42.3 percent in the second half of games. USC has also gotten to the free throw line 20 more times in the second half and shoots free throws at a 73.6 clip after the break (39-for-53), while shooting 63.6 percent (21-for-33) in the first half. USC has also been outrebounded by seven in the first half of games, while owning a six rebound edge in the second half. The same can be said about the turnover category where USC has 37 in the first half of games and 29 in the second half. USC's leading scorer J.T. Terrell has scored 8.4 points per game in the second half and 4.4 points per game in the first half.