USC Takes On Xavier On Final Day Of Battle 4 Atlantis
Nov. 29, 2013
The USC Trojans (4-3) will face the Xavier Musketeers (5-2) in the consolation game of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament, held at the Imperial Arena in Paradise Island, Bahamas at 10:00 a.m. PT on Nov. 30. The game will be televised on AXS TV with Kenny Rice, Seth Davis and Tom Walsh calling the action.
EXAMINING XAVIER -- Xavier is 5-2 after falling in its first two games at the Battle 4 Atlantis, 77-74 in overtime against Iowa on Nov. 28 and 64-49 vs. Tennessee on Nov. 29. Xavier has wins this season vs. Gardner Webb (83-59), Tennessee (67-63), Morehead State (79-56), Miami-OH (77-51) and vs. Abilene Christian (93-65). USC lost its only meeting with Xavier, 75-68, on Dec. 15, 1978. Sophomore guard Semaj Christon leads the Musketeers with a 14.3 scoring average.
USC CAUGHT IN A WAKE OF BASKETS -- It was deja vu for the Trojans as they came upon a hot-shooting opponent and found themselves in a big hole early which they couldn't get out of in a 77-63 loss to Wake Forest in their second game at the Battle 4 Atlantis on Nov. 29. USC led 12-11 early, but Wake Forest went on a 21-4 run, making 8 of its next 10 shots to take a 32-16 lead and the deficit was not less than 14 points the rest of the way. The lead ballooned to 24 points 6:30 into the second half before USC made a run. USC missed 15 of its first 16 3-point attempts and finished 5-for-25 from beyond the arc. Byron Wesley scored 12 points and Roschon Prince and Pe'Shon Howard added 10 each. Jacobs netted 4 points and dished out a season-high nine assists. Coron Williams scored 15 points for Wake Forest which made 52.6 percent of its shots. Wake Forest's 8-10th leading scorers entering the game, Madison Jones, Aaron Rountree and Andre Washington combined to go 10-for-10 from the field and score 20 points.
BOSTON COLLEGE ON DECK -- USC returns home where it is 4-0 this season to host Boston College (3-4) on Dec. 8. BC has won its last two games and will play at Purdue on Dec. 4 before facing USC. Four of the Eagles games have been decided by four points or less and two have gone overtime. Oliver Hanlan (21.7), Ryan Anderson (19.0) and Joe Rahon (13.4) are all averaging in double figures. USC leads the all-time series with BC 2-0, winning the last meeting 72-55 on March 20, 2009 in the NCAA First Round.
FRESHMEN DOING FINE -- USC's scholarship freshmen group of guards Julian Jacobs and Kahlil Dukes and forwards Nikola Jovanovic and Roschon Prince have combined to score 139 points in USC's last six games. Through USC's first seven games, Jacobs leads the team with 32 assists and is third with 30 rebounds. Jovanovic is averaging 7.1 points, Jacobs 5.4, Prince 5.6 and Dukes 4.0. Jovanovic is also fourth on the team with 28 rebounds.
SIGNS OF SLAM CITY -- USC had one dunk vs. Wake Forest on Nov. 29 and now has out-slammed the opposition 22-9 this season.
BATTLE 4 THE GLASS -- USC was outrebounded by Villanova (44-41) and Wake Forest (39-38), the first two times this season USC was defeated on the boards. USC still owns a 288-268 advantage in rebounds this season.
THE UPHILL BATTLE AT ATLANTIS -- USC has trailed all but 2:43 of the 80 minutes it has played at the Battle 4 Atlantis, 50:20 of the time the deficit has been 10 points or more.
THE GOOD AND THE BAD -- USC has gotten to the free throw line repeatedly through the first two games of the tournament, getting 59 free throw attempts. Unfortunately, USC has made just 59.3 percent of its shots (35-for-59).
BAD BALLROOM BOUNCES -- USC has made 23.7 percent (9-for-38) of its three-point shots at Imperial Arena, and 40.2 percent overall from the field in the two tournament games.
TROJANS PAINTING A PRETTY PICTURE -- For the season USC has outscored the opposition 278-198 in points in the paint: at Utah State (36-36), vs. CSUN (50-26), vs. NAU (42-22), vs. CSUF (36-30), vs. West Alabama (32-20), vs. Villanova (49-30) and vs. Wake Forest (33-34).
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). In the game on Nov. 19 vs. CSUF, Wesley led the Trojans with 22 points and 9 rebounds. He scored 15 points and had 10 rebounds vs. Villanova for his second career double-double. Among Pac-12 players, he currently ranks among the Pac-12's top 10 in scoring (18.0), rebounding (8.1) and minutes per game (33.4).