Men's Basketball Kicks Off SoCal Road Swing With USC On Thursday
Jan. 27, 2009
Stanford Cardinal (13-4, 3-4 Pac-10)
USC Trojans (13-6, 4-3 Pac-10)
The Opening Tip
Stanford (13-4, 3-4 Pac-10) embarks on its second conference road trip of the season this week, traveling south to face the L.A. schools. First up is a pivotal contest against USC (13-6, 4-3 Pac-10) on Thursday night. USC and Stanford find themselves bunched together in the middle of the Pac-10 standings, and the Cardinal is looking to rebound from a 77-62 home loss to Oregon State.
Thursday's game can be heard live on KTRB AM 860 and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com. Dave Flemming handles play-by-play duties while John Platz offers color commentary. The game will be televised on FSN Prime Ticket, with Jim Watson (play-by-play), Brandon Granville (analyst) and Chris McGee (sideline).
Stanford wraps up this week's road trip against No. 17/16 UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 31. The game will be televised nationally on ABC and is slated for a 12:30 p.m.
USC (13-6, 4-3 Pac-10) enters Thursday's matchup against Stanford having won three of its last four games. Now the Trojans return to the Galen Center, where they have posted a 10-1 record so far this year. USC earned a split last weekend against the Washington schools, falling at Washington 78-73 before bouncing back with a 46-44 victory over Washington State. USC is averaging 69.1 points and 37.6 rebounds per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the field. However, the Trojans are shooting only 32.4 percent from three-point territory and 67.5 percent from the foul line. USC's turnover margin is -1.2. The Trojans qualified for the NCAA Tournament last year at 21-12 overall and 11-7 in Pac-10 play. Keep an eye on: Dwight Lewis (15.8 ppg, 30-74 three-pointers), Taj Gibson (14.7 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 57 blocks), DeMar DeRozan (12.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 51.1 percent from the field) and Daniel Hackett (11.5 ppg, 100 assists, 30 steals).
Stanford All-Time vs. USC
USC went ahead in the all-time series at 117-116 following a 77-64 victory in last year's regular season finale at the Galen Center. Stanford held serve at home earlier in the year, winning 52-46. Stanford has claimed six of the last 10 meetings overall in the series, which began in 1916. Stanford's last win against the Trojans on the road came back on Jan. 22, 2005, when the Cardinal won 78-70.
Who To Watch Against USC
Thanks in large part to last year's 19-point performance in the regular season finale, Kenny Brown has scored more points (29) against USC than any other Pac-10 school. Brown is 9-25 from the field with five three-pointers in four games. Lawrence Hill is averaging 10.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in seven career contests. In fact, Hill's 48 rebounds against the Trojans are the most against any league opponent.
This Trip, Last Year
Stanford was swept in its road trip to Los Angeles last year, representing the only time the Cardinal suffered back-to-back losses during the season. UCLA pulled out a 77-67 overtime win to claim the Pac-10 title before USC notched a 77-64 victory two days later. Stanford is 0-6 in its last three L.A. road swings and has not swept this trip since 2005.
Cardinal Participating In Coaches vs. Cancer Weekend
During Saturday's game at UCLA, Stanford coaches and support staff will participate in this year's Coaches vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers weekend. Suits and Sneakers is a national Coaches vs. Cancer event designed to raise awareness about the fight against cancer and the American Cancer Society. By wearing sneakers, participating coaches help raise awareness about cancer and the importance that nutrition and physical activity play in reducing one's risk of the disease.
Shaking It Off
Since the start of the 2007-08 campaign, Stanford has demonstrated the ability to bounce back after a tough defeat. The Cardinal has dropped back-to-back games only twice during this stretch and sports a 8-2 record in games following a loss since the start of last year. Stanford has not dropped three straight games since an 0-3 finish in 2006-07.
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