USC Plays At Georgia On Saturday
Dec. 21, 2012
USC (4-7) will face Georgia (3-7) at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga. on Dec. 22 at 1:30 p.m. ET. USC is looking to snap a 12-game road losing streak, with its last victory on the road coming at UC Riverside on Nov. 30, 2011.
BREAKING DOWN THE BULLDOGS -- The Bulldogs defeated Mercer 58-49 at home on Dec. 18 to snap a three-game losing streak. Sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope leads Georgia in scoring (17.4) and rebounding (7.4) averages. Georgia won 63-59 at the Galen Center last season by making 51.2 percent of its shots, including 69.1 percent from three-point range to overcome an eight-point deficit in the second half. Georgia leads the all-time series 2-0, also winning 77-75 in overtime on Dec. 30, 1972 in the Quaker City Tournament in Philadelphia, Pa.
USC FALLS TO UC IRVINE -- UC Irvine outscored USC 11-3 in the final 4:26 of the first half to lead by 12 at the break and went on to a 62-54 win over USC at the Galen Center on Dec. 20. USC got as close as five points at 59-54 with 3:15 left in the game, but ended the game with three turnovers and three missed shots. USC had 16 turnovers in the game which led to a 14-3 advantage for UCI in points off turnovers. Omar Oraby led USC with 12 points.
FLYERS OPEN THE HOMESTAND ON DEC. 30 -- USC's first opponent on the three-game homestand beginning on Dec. 30 will be Dayton. The Flyers are 8-3 and led by Cousy Award Watch List candidate Kevin Dillard who is averaging 15.0 points and 4.0 assists per game. The guard is not the only Flyer filling the nets, as guard Vee Sanford (11.7), forward Josh Benson (11.6) and forward Devin Oliver (10.3) are also averaging in double figures. Archie Miller is in his second season at the helm of the Dayton program, guiding the Flyers to a 20-13 record in his first season. Dayton will be hosting Murray State on Dec. 22 before facing USC. This is the first meeting all-time between USC and Dayton.
SHOOTING COMING AROUND -- USC has struggled shooting the ball this season making 42.4 percent of its shots, but showed signs it was of coming out of its slump by making 45 percent in the second half at Nebraska, 52.9 percent in the game at New Mexico, 42.6 percent vs. Minnesota, 52.0 percent vs. UCR and then 40.4 percent vs. UCI. In the last nine halves of basketball, USC has made 46.8 percent of its shots (104-for-222). In the four full games prior to the UNM game, USC had a combined 36.1 shooting percentage (84-for-233) after making 45.6 percent of its shots in the first three games (77-for-169).
IT'S WISE TO DIVERSIFY -- USC redshirt senior Eric Wise has been a stat-sheet stuffer this season for USC, ranking among the Trojans' leaders in most categories while averaging 10.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Among USC players, he ranks first in field goals made (47) and points (117), second in rebounds (55) and steals (13), third in blocks (6), fourth in assists (17) and tied for fourth in free throws made (17). Wise has been USC's leading scorer in six of the 11 games. He also entered the week ranked 11th in field goal percentage (55.0) among conference players.
TROJANS LOOK TO SNAP WINLESS STREAK ON THE ROAD -- When USC plays at Georgia on Dec. 22, the Trojans will be attempting to snap a 12-game road losing streak. USC's last road win was on Nov. 30, 2011 at UC Riverside. The Trojans lost their last 10 road games in the 2011-12 season and then lost at Nebraska and at New Mexico this season.
TOUGH TEAMS TO BEAT -- The combined record of the seven teams USC has lost to this season is 61-14, with two teams being undefeated and two others having just one loss. Four of the seven losses have come against teams currently ranked within the top 18 in the country.
FUNNY MATH... -- USC has made 17 more field goals that its opponents this season, yet has been outscored by three points. USC's opponents have made 80 three-pointers to the Trojans' 54 and have made 11 more free throws.
SLOW STARTERS -- USC's 39-12 lead at the half vs. UC Riverside on Dec. 15 was the Trojans' first lead at the half since Nov. 13 vs. Long Beach State. USC had gone seven consecutive games without leading at halftime (one tie and six deficits of at least 8 points) and then followed that up with a 37-25 deficit at the half vs. UC Irvine on Dec. 20. USC has been outscored 374-320 in the first half, while winning the second halves and overtime by a combined score of 375-324. USC has also been outrebounded by 15 in the first half of games, while owning a 23-rebound edge in the second half. The same can be said about the turnover category where USC has 85 in the first half of games and 64 in the second half. The biggest descrepancy is on the defensive side, where USC has allowed opposition teams to shoot 45.8 percent in the first half (138-for-301), including a 44.9 percentage from three-point range (48-for-107), while holding them to a 35.1 FG percentage (99-for-282) and a 31.4 three-point FG percentage (32-for-102) in the second half and overtime of games.
ASSISTS KEEP POURING OUT OF THE FONTAN -- USC redshirt senior point guard Jio Fontan has averaged 5.4 assists per game this season, third among Pac-12 players. In the past seven games he has dished out 41, with nine assists in both the game vs. Marquette on Nov. 21 and at home vs. San Diego State on Nov. 25. Fontan sat out all of last season due to a torn ACL. In 24 games for USC in the 2010-11 season, he averaged 3.9 assists and 10.5 points.