USC Takes On Utah State At Galen Sunday|
Dec. 5, 2014
The USC Trojans (5-3) will host the Utah State Aggies (3-3) at the Galen Center on Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. The game will air on the the Pac-12 Network and be carried on ESPNLA 710. USC is 3-1 at home this season and has won a season-high three straight games. The last time USC won more consecutive games was when it won a 2013-14 season-high four consecutive games from Nov. 12-21.
BREAKING DOWN UTAH STATE -- USC will host Utah State (3-3) at the Galen Center on Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. The Aggies lost 91-81 at home vs. BYU on Dec. 2 and have lost their last three games. USU has four players averaging in double figures, led by sophomore forward Jalen Moore at 14.7 ppg. The Aggies have averaged nearly eight three-pointers made per game. USC lost its 2013-14 season opener 78-65 at Utah State, but leads the all-time series 6-5.
TROJANS ROAR IN VICTORY OVER THE LIONS -- Jordan McLaughlin scored 18 points to lead a balanced attack as USC cruised to a 77-61 win vs. Loyola Marymount on Dec. 3. USC went on a 21-5 run at the end of the first half with nine different players scoring to open up a 36-21 lead at the break. LMU cut the lead to nine points at 51-42 with 8:42 to go, but McLaughlin answered with consecutive three-pointers in a span of 44 seconds and the lead remained in double-digits the rest of the way. Also scoring in double figures for USC was Julian Jacobs with 14, Nikola Jovanovic with 12 and Katin Reinhardt with 11. McLaughlin also had 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. USC had 5 dunks in the game and outscored LMU 17-4 on fastbreak points. The Trojans held the Lions to 36.8 percent shooting and forced them into 16 turnovers. USC was 9-for-21 from three-point range, its most makes from beyond the arc since netting 15 at ASU on Jan. 24, 2013. Jovanovic led the Trojans with 8 rebounds and missed by 2 boards of his third consecutive double-double. Malik Martin played 11 minutes in his first game since suffering a right knee bone contusion on Nov. 21.
WILL IT BE A BLACK "KNIGHT" WHEN ARMY MARCHES IN? -- The Army Black Knights are 6-1 and will host Bryant on Dec. 9 before facing USC on Dec. 13 at the Galen Center. Army retuned all five starters and 16 lettermen from last season's 15-16 team. Junior guard Kyle Wilson leads Army with a 22.4 points per game average and 11 Black Knights average over 10 minutes played per game. This will be the first meeting ever between USC and Army in basketball.
SUDDEN IMPACT -- Freshman Jordan McLaughlin leads USC with a scoring average of 11.9 points in the first eight games. He also leads USC in assists (44), steals (15) and free throws attempted/made (26/39) and is second on the team in three-pointers made (9). USC's freshman class of McLaughlin, Malik Martin, Elijah Stewart and Malik Marquetti has scored 34.9 percent of the Trojans' points this season (179 of 513). When you add in redshirt sophomores Katin Reinhardt and Darion Clark who are playing their first season for the Trojans, 63.4 percent (325 of 513) of USC's points are from newcomers.
TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF -- USC has averaged 11.4 turnovers the past five games (57 total), after averaging 18.7 in the first three games of the season (56 total). USC has also forced 16.2 turnovers by its opponent in the last five games (81 total), after generating only 10.7 in the first three games.
TEAM TROJAN -- Four different players have led USC in scoring twice this season (Clark, Jovanovic, Reinhardt, McLaughlin) and eight players have registered a double-digit scoring contest.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS -- USC has held six of eight opponents this season to 40 percent shooting or less, for a combined 38.2 shooting percentage. Last season, USC's opponents had a combined field goal percentage of 43.0 percent.
ANY DAY, ANY TIME -- USC has played on every day of the week in the first eight games. USC has also played games that have started at seven different times in the first eight games, and in three different time zones.
EXPLOSIVE OPPONENTS -- When USC faces Army and it leading scorer Kyle Wilson (22.4 ppg) on Dec. 13 the Trojans will have faced four of the top 15 individual scorers in the country (through games of Dec. 3) in a seven-game stretch. First USC faced Damion Lee of Drexel (21.0 ppg) on Nov. 21, then D.J. Newbill of Penn State (24.1 ppg) on Dec. 23, followed by Evan Payne of LMU (21.3 ppg) on Dec. 3.