USC Hosts CSU Bakersfield At Galen On Sunday
Dec. 12, 2013
The USC Trojans (6-3) will host the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners (5-5) at the Galen Center on Dec. 15 at 7:00 p.m. USC has won six of its last eight games and the 6-3 start is its best since also starting the 2009 season at 6-3 (that team started 10-3). USC is 5-0 at home this season.
GETTING UP TO SPEED WITH THE ROADRUNNERS -- CSUB had a five-game winning streak before an overtime loss to Fresno State on Nov. 30 which triggered a four-game losing streak. They are coming off a 93-88 setback at Omaha on Dec. 10. This will be the first all-time meeting between USC and CSU Bakersfield in basketball. Senior guard Issiah Grayson has led the Roadrunners in scoring with a 12.8 average through their first 10 games.
USC YOUNG GUNS CLIP EAGLES' WINGS -- USC was tied at the half for the first time this season, but used an 11-3 burst following the break to take control in a 78-62 win over Boston College on Dec. 8. USC had a season-high five players score in double figures, led by Julian Jacobs' 16 points. Fellow freshmen Nikola Jovanovic and Roschon Prince combined for 29 points. USC made 58.3 percent of its shots after halftime, while holding BC to 29.4 percent. USC won the battle of the boards 44-27 and outscored the Eagles in the paint, 38-22.
TRIP TO "THE BEACH" ON DECK -- USC will drive down the freeway to play at Long Beach State on Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. The 49ers are 1-9 and will not have played since falling 76-66 at North Carolina State on Dec. 7. That loss was the 49ers ninth in a row in a tough stretch of playing teams like Arizona, VCU, Michigan and Kansas State. Long Beach State has been led in scoring by junior guard Mike Caffey who is averaging 16.0 points per game. USC leads the all-time series 8-5, winning the last four games. USC won 62-44 in the last meeting on Nov. 13, 2012. The last time USC played at Long Beach State was an 86-68 win on Dec. 12, 2001. In that game, current USC radio analyst Brandon Granville scored 25 points, making six three-pointers.
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 219 points in USC's last eight games. Jacobs leads the team with 44 assists and is third with 45 rebounds. Jovanovic is averaging 8.6 points, Jacobs 7.6, Prince 6.6 and Dukes 3.8. Jovanovic is also fourth on the team with 43 rebounds. USC already has 16 combined games started by the freshmen this season, after having none last season.
FUN FACT -- Tonight's game will feature two of the four Egyptian players on Division I teams in USC's Omar Oraby and CSU Bakersfield's Abdul Ahmed. The USC senior Oraby is from Cairo and the Bakersfield sophomore Ahmed is from Alexandria, Egypt.
SIGNS OF SLAM CITY -- USC had five dunks vs. Boston College on Dec. 8 and now has out-slammed the opposition 32-10 this season.
TEAM TROJANS -- In the win over Boston College on Dec. 8 USC had five players score in double figures, five players register five or more assists and six players make at least one free throw. For the season, USC has six players averaging 7.5 or more points per game and nine playing at least 10 minutes per game.
"JUJU" CAN DO -- Freshman Julian "JuJu" Jacobs has scored 30 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and handed out 12 assists in USC's last two games. He has had at least seven rebounds in a game five times and at least five assists five times.
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 .889 shooting percentage from the free throw line and is quickly establishing himself as a tough rebounder, while averaging 8.6 points per game. He has scored 27 points, pulled down 15 rebounds and has four assists in the last two games.
HOT AT HOME -- USC has won its first five 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 seven consecutive home games. The last time USC won five consecutive home games in a season was in the 2010 season (Dec. 8-Jan. 6) and the last time registering six consecutive home victories in one season was the eight-game winning streak at home to start the 2009 season.
SEEKING A THREE-PEAT -- A win tonight would give USC two winning streaks of three games or more in the same season for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign.
BACK ON THE BOARDS -- USC outrebounded outrebounded Boston College 44-27 on Dec. 8 for its biggest advantage (+17) in a game this season. USC has outrebounded the opposition seven of nine games this season for a 369-330 advantage.
USC A LITTLE MORE OFFENSIVE IN 2013-14 -- Through the first nine games this season USC has scored 680 points, 109 more than through the first nine games of the 2012-13 season, for an average of 12.1 more points per game. USC has scored 73 or more points six times this season, after reaching that scoring plateau a total of six times last season.
TROJANS PAINTING A PRETTY PICTURE -- For the season USC has outscored the opposition 352-266 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), vs. Xavier (36-46) and vs. BC (38-22).