USC At Oregon State Sunday
Jan. 3, 2009
The USC Trojans (10-3, 1-0) will face the Oregon State Beavers (5-6, 0-1) in Corvallis, Ore. on Jan. 4 at 2:30 p.m. USC has won seven of its last eight games with the loss being by one point at No. 4 Oklahoma. USC's 10-3 start is its best since beginning the 2007 season 11-3. With a win, USC would start Pac-10 play 2-0 for the first time since the 2001-02 season. The game will air on FSNW.
BREAKING DOWN OREGON STATE -- Oregon State is off to a 5-6 start under new head coach Craig Robinson, after falling 69-46 vs. UCLA on Jan. 2 in its conference opener. The Beavers have been led in scoring by sophomore guard Calvin Haynes, who is averaging 18.2 points per game. USC leads the all-time series with Oregon State 65-54, including winning the last seven games which is the Trojans' longest winning streak in the series.
TROJANS OPEN PAC-10 PLAY WITH WIN AT OREGON -- Dwight Lewis tied a career high with 26 points and DeMar DeRozan notched his first career double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead USC to an 83-62 win at Oregon on Jan. 2. Daniel Hackett added 15 points, seven assists and nine rebounds in the win. The game was tied 34-34 at halftime, but USC outscored the Ducks 49-28 in the second half, while holding Oregon to 37.1 shooting in the game.
RIVAL BRUINS ON DECK -- USC's next game will be vs. No. 12 UCLA (11-2) on Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Galen Center. The game will be aired on FSN. Senior guard Darren Collison leads UCLA in scoring with a 14.6 average. USC trails 100-126 in the all-time series and was 1-2 last season against the Bruins. USC is 7-8 in its last 15 games vs. UCLA after losing 57-54 in the Pac-10 Tournament semi-finals last season.
THE OREGON TRAIL -- USC has swept the Oregon schools on the road in each of the last three seasons (2006-08). The only other time they have accomplished that feat was during the 1966-68 seasons.
GIBSON REACHES MILESTONES -- Taj Gibson had 13 points, six rebounds and two blocks at Oregon on Jan. 2. The two blocks give him 196 in his career and establishes a new school record. Sam Clancy (1999-02) had the previous record of 195 blocks. Gibson also now has 1,008 career points, becoming the 33rd Trojan in school history to reach the 1,000 points scored plateau.
USC TAKES TO THE ROAD: USC is 1-1 on the road this season. USC was 7-4 in road games last season, winning five of its last seven road contests.
DEROZAN DELIVERING DOUBLE: USC freshman DeMar DeRozan had 14 points and 12 rebounds at Oregon on Jan. 2 for his first career double-double. The 12 rebounds were also a season high. DeRozan has reached double figures in scoring in eight straight games and in 10 of 13 games. In the last four games, DeRozan has averaged 16.8 points (67) and 7.0 rebounds (28).
Marcus Johnson RETURNS TO THE COURT -- USC guard/forward Marcus Johnson, who transfered to USC from UConn last year and had to sit out the first semester, has been cleared for competition and has played the last two games. In his first game for USC vs. ORU, Johnson scored six points, grabbed two rebounds and had three steals and in the second at Oregon, had three points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. The 6-6 swingman played in 51 games at UConn, making 24 starts and averaging 4.9 points per game. He played in part of one exhibition game last season before transferring and thus had to sit out the first semester. He has a career high of 20 points on Dec. 18, 2005 vs. UNH.
TAJ HAS BEEN A TOWER OF POWER -- Taj Gibson has averaged 15.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in USC's first 13 games, including seven double-doubles giving him 23 in his career. The 25 points on Dec. 15 vs. Pepperdine was a career high and the 18 rebounds on Nov. 20 vs. SHU and Dec. 20 vs. NDSU tied a career high. His 18 rebounds vs. Seton Hall, along with SHU's John Garcia, established a new Puerto Rico Tip-Off single-game record.
HE CAN SURE HACKETT -- Junior point guard Daniel Hackett recorded a career-high 13 assists in the game at Oklahoma on Dec. 4. His assist total was the most by a Trojan since Brandon Granville set the school record with 15 vs. Memphis on Nov. 23, 1999. Hackett's 13 assists are tied for the fourth most in a single game by a USC player, along with Larry Friend (13 on Dec. 6, 1985 vs. ASU) and Casey Jones (13 on Dec. 18, 1976 vs. Baylor). Hackett leads all conference players with 81 assists.
HACKETT IS MONEY FROM THE LINE -- USC junior Daniel Hackett made .823 percent of his free throws last season (79 of 96) to finish fifth among Pac-10 players from the line. He is 51-for-61 this season (.836) and his career free throw percentage of .8136 (214 of 263) currently places him second all-time among Trojan players (Harold Miner - .814). Hackett made his first 11 free throws on Dec. 22 vs. Georgia Tech before missing his final one. He had made 19 consecutive free throws and despite going 3-for-6 at Oregon, has hit 62 of his last 72 (.861).
LEWIS LIGHTING IT UP -- Junior Dwight Lewis has made a team-leading 22 three-pointers this season and 73 in his career to move into 20th place on USC's all-time three-point baskets made list. Current USC Associate Athletic Director Brandon Martin (1993-96) is 19th with 77 career three-pointers made. Lewis scored a career-high 26 points in the 74-69 win vs. USF on Dec. 1 and followed that up with 25 points at Oklahoma on Dec. 4, at the time his two best career scoring outputs. He matched his career high with 26 points at Oregon on Jan. 2, including making a career-high four three-pointers. Lewis scored in double figures in a career-high nine straight games to start this season, but was held to four points in the win vs. NDSU on Dec. 20. He now has reached double figures in points in 12 of 13 games. Prior to this season, his longest streak of consecutive games scoring in double figures was four.
ENJOYING THE HOME COOKING -- USC is 8-0 at the Galen Center this season and have won 12 consecutive home games dating back to 2007-08, a new Galen Center record. USC's record for most consecutive wins in one season at the Galen Center is nine consecutive games Nov. 18-Dec. 28, 2006 during the inaugural season. The last time USC won more consecutive home games to start a season was the 2000-01 season when they began 10-0 at home which was part of a 12-game home winning streak as they ended the previous season with two victories at home.
FACING THE BEST -- USC's 2008-09 schedule features a potential 22 games against teams that finished .500 or better in 2007-08, including 13 that won 20 or more games. Also, eight of the teams that USC is set to face were in last year's tournament, including two games each with the five other Pac-10 teams which were in the NCAA Tournament. USC's opponents have a combined 86-84 record through games of Jan. 2 (83-74 if you take out the result against USC). Four of USC's opponents are a combined 12-42, while the other eight are 74-42.
BREAKING DOWN THE LOSSES -- Although USC has lost three games this season, they led most of the way against Seton Hall (9-4) and Missouri (11-2) and fell by a point at No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1). The combined record of the teams USC lost to is 32-7.
DRIVEN BY DEFENSE -- USC has held 46 teams to 60 points or less in Tim Floyd's first 113 games as USC's head coach, including seven this season. The Trojans held 20 of their opponents last season to 39.2 percent shooting or less, and have held 60 teams under 40 percent shooting in the first 113 games under Floyd, eight times this season. USC was outshot from the field in just five of 33 games last season and only once this season (Missouri). USC has had a better shooting percentage that its opponent in 71 of the last 83 games.
TROJANS WINNING THE BOARD GAME -- USC outrebounded the opposition in its first 11 games before being beaten on the glass 34-32 by Oral Roberts on Dec. 29. USC bounced back to win the battle of the boards 44-33 at Oregon on Jan. 2. USC has enjoyed a 9.1 rebound edge per game (40.1-31.0). USC had the same amount of rebounds as its opponents last season, and lost the battle of the boards the two previous seasons. The 11 consecutive games USC had more rebounds than its opponent is the best stretch in the Tim Floyd era. USC was outrebounded in 17 of 33 games last season.
TROJANS ALL-ACCESS PROVIDES EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE -- USC offered 11 games this season exclusively on Trojans All-Access, as the only video coverage. Fans can sign up at USCTrojans.com and watch selected games on their computers. The remaining game to be shown exclusively on Trojans All-Access is Jan. 15 vs. Arizona St. (delayed).