Trojans Host Arizona State
Feb. 11, 2005
Los Angeles -
The USC men's basketball team--now 9-14 overall and 2-10 in Pac-10 play--looks to snap a five-game losing streak as it hosts Arizona State (16-8, 5-7) on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sports Arena. The game will be aired live on Fox Sports West 2. USC, coming off a loss to Arizona, is trying to crawl out of the cellar of the Pac-10 in time to make the conference tournament in early March. Following Trojan head coach Henry Bibby's dismissal on Dec. 6, the Trojans are 7-12 under the direction of interim head coach Jim Saia. Troy is led by three talented underclassmen in the back court: sophomore shooting guard Lodrick Stewart (13.8 ppg), freshman point guard Gabe Pruitt (11.9 ppg) and freshman swingman Nick Young (11.1 ppg). Six seniors are also featured.
SCOUTING ASU -- The Sun Devils are led by the premier big man in the country, junior Ike Diogu (22.5 ppg/10.0 rpg). He leads the Pac-10 in scoring, rebounds, blocked shots (2.42) and minutes played (37.58). Senior guard Stephen Moore averages 11.5 ppg, while sophomore Kevin Kruger chips in 10.6 ppg. ASU started out 11-1, but is 5-7 since conference play began. The Sun Devils fell to UCLA on Thursday, 95-76.
NEW COACH ON THE HORIZON -- It's been a coaching whirlwind for USC this season. First ninth-year coach Henry Bibby was fired on Dec. 6, and replaced by interim coach Jim Saia. Then former Utah coach Rick Majerus took the job on Dec. 15, only to back out five days later, citing health reasons. Friday, Jan. 14, saw the hiring of Tim Floyd, who previously coached in college at Iowa State (where he had great success, posting three-straight 20-win seasons). Floyd will spend this season as a Trojan assistant so that he can recruit, but he will not be involved in coaching the 2004-2005 USC team. Saia will finish out this season for Troy.
NEXT UP -- The Trojans head to the Bay Area to take on Stanford and California next week before returning to Los Angeles the following week to play UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.
SERIES - This is the 70th meeting between USC and Arizona State. USC leads, 41-28. The Trojans have won seven of the last nine, including a 98-94 win in Tempe in mid-January--Troy's only road win of the season. The Sun Devils beat the Trojans, 100-85, in the Sports Arena last season, but dropped the previous seven in Los Angeles.
LAST MEETING: The Trojans snapped a five-game losing streak and picked up their first Pac-10 win of the season in the process as they defeated Arizona State, 98-94, on Jan. 14 in Tempe. USC's scored a season-high 98 poins and shot a season-best .552 from the field. Freshman Nick Young led Troy with a career-high 22 points, while sophomore Lod Stewart added 19 and freshman Gabe Pruitt tacked on 14.
THE COACHES -
ASU: Rob Evans is in his 7th year as coach of the Sun Devils. He is 106-97 at ASU, 4-9 vs. the Trojans.
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