USC Returns Home To Host Boston College Sunday At The Galen Center
Dec. 5, 2013
The USC Trojans (5-3) will host the Boston College Eagles (3-4) at the Galen Center on Dec. 8 at 4:00 p.m. USC is 4-0 at home this season.
EXAMINING THE EAGLES -- Boston College is 3-5 following an 88-67 loss at Purdue on Dec. 4 which snapped a two-game winning streak. Four of the Eagles games have been decided by four points or less and two have gone overtime. Oliver Hanlan (20.9), Ryan Anderson (18.6) and Joe Rahon (12.1) 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.
USC EXCITES IN WIN OVER XAVIER -- USC used a 50-21 run in the middle 20 minutes of the game to open up a 24-point lead and go on to an 84-78 win over Xavier in the seventh-place game at the Battle 4 Atlantis on Nov. 30. USC held a 23-point lead with 4:03 left, but things got interesting as USC committed six of their 13 second-half turnovers and Xavier went on a 29-11 run to cut it to five points with 22 seconds left. Byron Wesley then hit one of two free throws and Xavier turned the ball over to secure the victory for the Trojans. Pe'Shon Howard matched a career high with 23 points to lead USC. Wesley scored 15 points, Julian Jacobs 14 and Nikola Jovanovic 12.
CSU BAKERSFIELD ON DECK -- USC will host CSU Bakersfield (5-3) on Dec. 15 at the Galen Center at 7:00 p.m. CSUB has won five games in a row before an overtime loss to Fresno State and then a close loss to Drake at the Fresno State Classic. They will also face Santa Clara on Dec. 5 and Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 10 before facing USC. It will be the first all-time meeting between the two schools in basketball. Senior guard Issiah Grayson has led the Roadrunners in scoring with a 12.1 average through the first eight games.
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 174 points in USC's last seven games. Through USC's first eight games, Jacobs leads the team with 39 assists and is third with 37 rebounds. Jovanovic is averaging 7.8 points, Jacobs 6.5, Prince 5.6 and Dukes 3.8. Jovanovic is also fourth on the team with 36 rebounds. USC already has 14 combined games started by the freshmen this season, after having none last season.
SIGNS OF SLAM CITY -- USC had five dunks vs. Xavier on Nov. 30 and now has out-slammed the opposition 27-9 this season.
BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS RECAP -- USC went 1-2 at the Battle 4 Atlantis (Nov. 28-30) in Paradise Island, Bahamas. USC defeated Xavier in the seventh-place game by leading most of the way by 10 points or more. In the first two games, USC trailed all but 2:43 of the 80 minutes it played, over 50 minutes with a deficit of 10 points or more. Pe'Shon Howard led USC at the tournament with 56 points scored, twice scoring a career-high 23 points. The strong field featured five of eight teams entering the tournament with an undefeated record.
"JUJU" CAN DO -- Freshman Julian "JuJu" Jacobs had 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the win vs. Xavier on Nov. 30. It was the third time in eight games this season he has had at least 7 assists and the fourth time he had at least seven rebounds in a game.
NIKOLA 2.0 -- Freshman Nikola Jovanovic can't help but draw comparisons to another Nikola who played for USC, Orlando Magic star Nikola Vucevic. Jovanovic has been given a chance to play more earlier in his career and has already scored more points that Vucevic did his entire freshman season. Jovanovic is leading USC with a .417 shooting percentage from three-point range and is quickly establishing himself as a tough rebounder, while averaging 7.8 points per game.
HOT AT HOME -- USC has won its first four home games this season, the most consecutive home wins to start a season since winning the first eight home games of the 2009 season. Dating back to the 2012-13 season, USC has won six consecutive home games entering this homestand.
BACK ON THE BOARDS -- USC outrebounded Xavier 37-35 on Nov. 30, snapping a two-game streak of losing the battle of the boards. USC has outrebounded the opposition six of eight games this season for a 325-303 advantage.
USC A LITTLE MORE OFFENSIVE IN 2013-14 -- Through the first eight games this season USC has scored 602 points, 88 more than through the first eight games of the 2012-13 season, for an average of 11.0 more points per game. USC has scored 73 or more points five times this season, after reaching that scoring plateau only six times last season.
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 (17.6), rebounding (8.0) and minutes per game (33.5).
HOWARD HAS A HOLIDAY IN THE BAHAMAS -- USC senior guard Pe'Shon Howard twice scored a career-high 23 points in the three games at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, averaging 18.7 points per game. He also averaged 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the three games. Howard made 8 of 21 three-point attempts (38.1 percent) after making 4 of 19 (21.1 percent) in USC's first five games. His four three-pointers made vs. Villanova on Nov. 28 tied a career high. His previous high for points in a game his first three collegiate seasons had been 15.
TROJANS PAINTING A PRETTY PICTURE -- For the season USC has outscored the opposition 314-244 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), vs. Wake Forest (33-34) and vs. Xavier (36-46).