USC To Play At New Mexico On Sunday|
Nov. 28, 2014
The USC Trojans (3-3) will face the New Mexico Lobos (3-2) at Bob King Court "The Pit" on Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. (PT) The game will air on the CBS Sports Network and be carried on USC flagship station ESPNLA 710.
BREAKING DOWN NEW MEXICO -- The Lobos are coming off a 64-51 loss to Texas A&M in the fifth-place game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Nov. 23. New Mexico's leading scorer sophomore guard Cullen Neal (17.0 ppg) has missed the last two games with an injured ankle and is expected to miss at least three weeks. Senior guard Hugh Greenwood has averaged 13.2 points per game this season and scored 17 points and made five three-pointers the last time he faced the Trojans. USC trails in the all-time series 6-5 and has lost its last five games to New Mexico, the last meeting a 75-67 loss on December 5, 2012 in Albuquerque, N.M.
TROJANS DEFEAT CSUF -- USC defeated Cal State Fullerton 53-49 on Nov. 25 at the Galen Center behind double-doubles from Darion Clark (10 points/14 rebounds) and Nikola Jovanovic (13 points/11 rebounds). USC outscored CSUF 32-18 on points in the paint and opened up a 14-point second half lead, before the Titans rallied to make it close. USC held CSUF to 32.1 percent shooting and forced 17 turnovers.
TOUGH FIRST TRUE ROAD ASSIGNMENT -- Today's game will be USC's first true road game of the season, following three home games and three neutral site contests. New Mexico has an 81.7 winning percentage in 48 seasons of "The Pit" and has averaged over 15,000 fans per game, finishing in the top 10 in the country for attendance 35 of those seasons.
ROSTER BREAKDOWN -- There are a total of 14 players on the 2014-15 USC basketball roster and 11 of them are freshmen or sophomores, with just three juniors and no seniors. The Trojan team by class are: Seniors (0): None; Juniors (3): Chass Bryan (G), Strahinja Gavrilovic (F) and Brendyn Taylor (G); Sophomores (7): Darion Clark (F), Samer Dhillon (F), Kahlil Dukes (G), Julian Jacobs (G), Nikola Jovanovic (F), Devon Pflueger (G) and Katin Reinhardt (G); Freshmen (4): Malik Marquetti (G), Malik Martin (F), Jordan McLaughlin (G) and Elijah Stewart (G).
MARTIN LISTED AS WEEK-TO-WEEK -- USC freshman forward Malik Martin, who left the Drexel game on Nov. 21 in the first half with injury, had an MRI on his right knee on Nov. 24 and it was determined that he has a bone contusion. His ligaments and meniscus were normal and he is listed as week-to-week.
SUDDEN IMPACT -- Freshman Jordan McLaughlin leads USC with a scoring average of 11.5 points in the first six games. He also leads USC in free throws attempted (29), assists (30), steals (12) and is tied for fourth in blocks (3). USC's freshman class of McLaughlin, Malik Martin, Elijah Stewart and Malik Marquetti has scored 33.2 percent of the Trojans' points this season (123 of 370). When you add in redshirt sophomores Katin Reinhardt and Darion Clark who are playing their first season for the Trojans, 65.1 percent (241 of 370) of USC's points are from newcomers.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS -- USC has held four of six opponents this season to 40 percent shooting or less, for a combined 39.3 shooting percentage. Last season, USC's opponents had a combined field goal percentage of 43.0 percent.
MORE DOUBLE-DOUBLES THAN IN-N-OUT -- USC did not have a player register a double-double in the first four games, but has had three in the last two games. First, junior Strahinja Gavrilovic posted career highs with 13 points and 10 rebounds vs. Penn State on Nov. 23, then redshirt sophomore Darion Clark had a career-high 14 rebounds and 10 points and sophomore Nikola Jovanovic had a career-high 11 rebounds and 13 points vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 25. It was the first career double-doubles for Clark and Gavrilovic and the second for Jovanovic.
USC HAS BEEN BUSY... -- Starting with the game against Portland State on Nov. 15, the USC men's basketball team began a stretch of six games in 11 days (3-3). Now USC is in a stretch of four games in 25 days (Nov. 26-Dec. 20).
THE SERB OF SWAT -- Sophomore Nikola Jovanovic from Belgrade, Serbia has seven blocks in the last two games, with three vs. Penn State on Nov. 23 and then four vs. CSUF on Nov. 25. He did not have a block prior to that this season and had only eight during the 2013-14 campaign.
TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF -- USC has averaged 11.7 turnovers the past three games (35 total), after averaging 18.7 in the first three games of the season (56 total).
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED -- The Trojans started freshmen guard Jordan McLaughlin and forward Malik Martin in the opener, the first freshmen in the USC opening night lineup since Byron Wesley started the 2011-12 season opener. They also became the first pair of USC freshmen to start since Bryce Jones and Maurice Jones got the nod in the opener of the 2010-11 season. USC's freshmen scored 21 of the Trojans first 25 points and 50 percent of the team's points in the opener (34 of 68).