USC Heads To Seattle To Face Washington On Thursday
Jan. 20, 2009
The USC Trojans (12-5, 3-2) will face the Washington Huskies (13-4, 4-1) at Bank of America Arena in Seattle, Wash. on Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. The game will be carried by FSN. USC has won nine of its last 12 games with the losses being by one point at then No. 6 Oklahoma, in overtime at Oregon St. and by four to then No. 10/7 UCLA. USC is 1-2 in road games this season. Last season, USC was 11-6, 2-3 after 17 games.
BREAKING DOWN THE HUSKIES -- Washington is coming off a road sweep of the Oregon schools last weekend, have won 11 of its last 12 games and is 10-1 at home this season. Freshman Isaiah Thomas is tied for the Huskies' lead in scoring with a a 15.8 average. Senior forward Jon Brockman has matched him in scoring and is averaging a double-double with 15.8 points and 10.7 rebounds. Brockman became the Huskies' all-time career rebound leader when he grabbed 10 at Oregon on Jan. 15 and added nine at Oregon State to give him 1,063 in his career. USC lead the all-time series with Washington, 65-63. USC won 73-59 at Washington last season to end a three-game losing streak in Seattle.
TROJANS PULL OUT A CLOSE ONE VS. ARIZONA -- Daniel Hackett hit one free throw with 1.2 seconds left and missed the second intentionally to give USC a come-from-behind 65-64 win vs. Arizona on Jan. 17 at the Galen Center. USC trailed by as many as nine points in the second half and by six with just under five minutes to go. Dwight Lewis then scored six straight points, including two after an intentional foul to bring the Trojans even at 58. Hackett hit a jumper to tie the game at 64 with 15 seconds left and then after an Arizona turnover, got fouled and scored the game-winning point. Lewis had 21 points to lead four Trojans in double figures. USC has won 5 of the last 6 meetings with Arizona.
WASHINGTON STATE ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at Washington State (11-6, 3-2) in Pullman, Wash. on Jan. 24 at 3 p.m. Redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie leads WSU with a 12.7 scoring average and is coming off a career-high 30 points at Oregon on Jan. 17. WSU will host UCLA on Jan. 22 before facing the Trojans. USC leads the all-time series with the Cougars, 64-41, but lost both games last season and have lost nine of 11 games to Washington State, including five-straight in Pullman.
GIBSON JOINS ELITE SWAT TEAM -- Taj Gibson has 204 career blocks, just the fourth Pac-10 player to achieve at least 200 career blocks, the others being Anthony Cook of Arizona (1986-89) with 278, Channing Frye of Arizona (2002-05) with 258 and Michael Stewart of California (1994-97) with 207. Gibson recorded his 196th career block on Jan. 2 at Oregon to surpass Sam Clancy's (1999-02) previous USC record of 195. Gibson also has been rising up the USC career scoring charts and currently stands 31st with 1,060 points. Brandon Martin is 30th with 1,070 and Roy Irvin 29th with 1,073 career points.
DEROZAN DELIVERING DOUBLE: USC freshman DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 22 points in the win vs. ASU on Jan. 15. On Jan. 2 at Oregon, he had his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-best 12 rebounds. DeRozan has reached double figures in scoring in 12 straight games, tied for the longest current streak in the Pac-10. In the last eight games, he has averaged 15.5 points (124) and 6.0 rebounds (48).
JOHNSON MAKING IMPACT -- USC guard/forward Marcus Johnson, who transfered to USC from UConn last year and had to sit out the first semester, has immediately stepped in an had an impact. In his first six games, Johnson has averaged 3.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 14.5 minutes. He made his first start on Jan. 11 vs. UCLA and had 4 points and 4 rebounds in 17 minutes of action. In his first game for USC vs. ORU on Dec. 28, Johnson scored six points, grabbed two rebounds and had three steals. He played in part of one exhibition game for UConn 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.
SENIOR WILKINSON STEPPING UP -- Senior forward Keith Wilkinson has averaged 6.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in the last five games. He also has 12 assists in the five games. In the first 12 games he averaged 2.8 points and 3.2 rebounds, while having a total of 14 assists. He also has hit 54.5 percent of his shots (12-for-22) in the last five games, after making 30.6 percent in the first 12.
INJURY UPDATES -- Kasey Cunningham, injured on Nov. 23 vs. Missouri, had reconstructive surgery to repair the ACL in his left knee on Nov. 26. He is expected to miss the remainder of the season. Guard Ryan Wetherell has an eye injury and is expected to miss at least several more games. Forward Leonard Washington suffered a high left ankle sprain on Dec. 22...an MRI was negative and he played for the first time (16 minutes) on Jan. 17. Dwight Lewis has a mild sprained left ankle and is listed as day-to-day.
TAJ HAS BEEN A TOWER OF POWER -- Taj Gibson has averaged 14.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in USC's first 17 games, including eight double-doubles giving him 24 in his career. The last Trojan to average a double-double was Jaha Wilson in 1994-95 (14.2 pts/10.1 reb.). 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. Gibson has scored in double figures in 16 of 17 games and has 8 rebounds or more in 13 of 17 games.
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 95 assists and 5.6 assists per game. He had three assists on Jan. 17 vs. Arizona to give him 292 in his career, moving him into 10th place, past Stais Boseman (290 from 1994-97) on USC's all-time assist list.
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 61-for-77 this season (.792) and his career free throw percentage of .803 (224 of 279) currently places him sixth 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 before the miss and has hit 72 of his last 88 (.818).
THE DWIGHT STUFF -- Junior Dwight Lewis came off the bench and broke out of a two-game shooting slump (4-for-24) to scored 18 points vs. ASU on Jan. 15. In the game, he hit a career-best five three-pointers. He followed that game up with 21 points vs. Arizona on Jan. 17. He has made a team-leading 30 three-pointers this season and 81 in his career to move into 19th place on USC's all-time three-point baskets made list, past current USC Associate Athletic Director Brandon Martin (1993-96) who made 77 career three-pointers. 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 four three-pointers. Lewis scored in double figures in a career-high nine straight games to start this season and in 14 of 17 games overall.
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. As of Jan. 18 USC's opponents have a combined 168-134 record, six of USC's opponents are a combined 37-71, while the other 11 are 131-63. Ten of USC's 17 opponents have a .500 or better record and 13 of those teams have won 8 or more games.
BREAKING DOWN THE LOSSES -- Although USC has lost five games this season, they led most of the way against Seton Hall (9-8), Missouri (15-3) and Oregon St. (6-10) and fell by a point at then No. 6 Oklahoma (17-1) and by four to then No. 7 UCLA (14-3). The combined record of the teams USC lost to is 61-25 (through games of Jan. 18).
DRIVEN BY DEFENSE -- USC has held 47 teams to 60 points or less in Tim Floyd's first 117 games as USC's head coach, including eight this season. The Trojans held 20 of their opponents last season to 39.2 percent shooting or less, and have held 61 teams under 40 percent shooting in the first 117 games under Floyd, nine times this season. USC was outshot from the field in just five of 33 games last season and only three times this season (Missouri, OSU & Uof A). USC has had a better shooting percentage that its opponent in 73 of the last 87 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, but has had a rebounding edge in 16 of 17 games this season. USC has enjoyed a 7.9 rebound edge per game (38.1-30.2), good for 17th in the country. 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.
GERRITY JOINS TEAM -- Point guard Mike Gerrity has transfered to USC from Charlotte and has begun practicing with the team. He will not be eligible for competition until after the Fall semester. He averaged 5.1 points and 3.5 assists in 22 games at Charlotee last season. As a freshman at Pepperdine for the 2005-06 season, he averaged 14.1 points and 3.4 assists in 21 games.