USC Hosts Stanford At Galen Saturday
Feb. 5, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC Trojans (13-9, 5-5) will host the Stanford Cardinal (10-12, 4-6) at the Galen Center on Feb. 6 at 4:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Prime Ticket with Paul Sunderland, Dan Belloumini, Brandon Granville and Chris McGee providing commentary. The game will also be aired live on USC radio flagship sister station KLAA 830 AM with Pete Arbogast and Jim Hefner calling the action. USC is attempting to win consecutive games for the first time since winning eight-straight from Dec. 8, 2009-Jan. 2, 2010.
SCOUTING THE CARDINAL -- Stanford is coming off a 77-73 loss at UCLA on Feb. 4, but not due to the efforts of Landry Fields and Jeremy Green who scored 35 and 18 respectively. Currently, Fields ranks first (22.9) and Green fifth (18.0) in scoring average among Pac-10 players. The Cardinal are 0-6 in Pac-10 road games, but are the only team perfect at home in conference play (4-0). The all-time series vs. Stanford is tied 118-118 after the Cardinal won 54-53 at home on Jan. 6. USC has won four consecutive home games vs. Stanford.
TROJANS ROAR BACK AGAINST BEARS -- USC scored 25 consecutive points straddling the first and second halves to post a 66-63 victory vs. California at the Galen Center on Feb. 4. USC trailed 30-17 with 6:48 remaining in the first half, before closing on a 10-0 run to trail 30-27 at the break. USC then scored the first 15 points in the opening 3:25 of the second half to forge a 42-30 lead. Jerome Randle, who finished with 29 points, then brought Cal back scoring 17 points in a 23-10 run which saw the Bears take a 53-52 lead with 4:37 left. The lead changed hands a few times and with USC trailing by one with under two minutes left, Mike Gerrity hit consecutive three-pointers to open up a five-point lead and the Trojans held on. Nikola Vucevic hit four late free throws to clinch it and post his 8th double-double, with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
BRUINS ON DECK -- UCLA (11-11, 6-4) will host California on Feb. 6 before traveling across town to face USC at the Galen Center on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. UCLA has won four of its last five since losing 67-46 to USC at home on Jan. 16. UCLA leads the all-time series with USC, 128-102. USC is 1-4 in the last five home games against the Bruins and have not defeated its rival at the Galen Center (0-3). However, the Trojans are 8-9 in the last 17 games vs. UCLA and 4-4 in the last eight at Pauley Pavilion.
LEWIS SETS USC GAMES PLAYED RECORD -- Dwight Lewis played in his 125th career game as a Trojan on Thursday, passing Brandon Granville (1999-02, 124 games) as USC's all-time leader in games played. Lewis already ranks 13th on the school's scoring charts and is 10th on USC's all-time three-pointers made list.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS -- USC enters the game having allowed 1239 points in its first 22 games (56.3 ppg), its fewest through 22 games since allowing 1097 points in the first 22 games of the 1950-51 season. USC is fourth in the country in points allowed per game at 56.3. USC held 9 consecutive opponents to 56 points or less from Dec. 8-Jan. 6 (longest streak since 12 in the 1947-48 season). USC has held 13 opponents to 56 points or less this season and only twice has allowed more than 67 points (69 at Texas and 79 at Georgia Tech).
RANDOM NOTES -- USC is 10-1 when taking more FTs than its opponents...In Pac-10 games, USC & Arizona are the only teams with all losses by 10 points or less...USC has led in the 2nd half or been tied in all 10 Pac-10 games...in USC's five Pac-10 losses, it has committed 102 fouls, while the opponent only 60...USC is 8-1 in games it scores 60 or more points...USC is 5-1 vs. teams it is tied with or behind in the Pac-10 standings and is 0-4 vs. teams it leads.
THE BIG FELLA FLEXES HIS MUSCLES AGAINST CAL -- Alex Stepheson had 10 points, 8 rebounds and blocked 3 shots in 20 minutes of action vs. California on Feb. 4. In 20 games this season, he has averaged 9.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. He has seven or more rebounds in 13 of 20 games and leads all Pac-10 players with an average of 3.7 offensive rebounds per game. He scored a career-high 22 points at Georgia Tech on Dec. 5 and then had 10 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocks vs. Sacramento State on Dec. 8 for his second career double-double. Stepheson then had his third career double-double vs. Idaho State on Dec. 11 with 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. In the game vs. Tennessee on Dec. 19, Stepheson had 19 points and a new career high with 15 rebounds to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for the week of Dec. 14-20. He played in his first game as a Trojan after more than a year away from competition on Nov. 27 vs. Coppin State, then registered his first career double-double on Nov. 29 vs. Nebraska with 13 points and a then career-best 12 rebounds.
GERRITY PROVIDES CLARITY -- Senior Mike Gerrity has played 14 games and led USC to an 9-5 record. In his first game after sitting out the first semester due to tranfer rules, he led USC to a 77-55 upset of then No. 9 Tennessee on Dec. 19 and then to the championship of the Diamond Head Classic while earning Tournament MVP honors. Gerrity scored 15 of his team-high 17 points after halftime to help USC to a 55-51 comeback victory over Western Michigan on Dec. 22. He followed that up with a team-high 17 points including hitting a key three-pointer late in the game in the semifinals win vs. Saint Mary's on Dec. 23. In the finals vs. UNLV on Dec. 25, he had 13 points and three assists without a turnover against UNLV's tough press. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 21-27. Gerrity has averaged 9.5 points, 3.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds in his first 14 games. His 10 assists vs. Tennessee were the most by a Trojan since Daniel Hackett had 13 on Dec. 4, 2008 at Oklahoma. He has 55 assists and 27 turnovers, the only Trojan with a positive assist to turnover ratio. He has had seven games of one turnover or less and has 36 assists and 12 turnovers in the last nine games. His 2.2-1 turnover-assist ratio in Pac-10 games leads the conference. He hit a career-high 3 three-pointers, two with under 2 minutes left to help USC defeat Cal on Feb. 4.
WASHINGTON FILLS UP THE STAT LINES -- Sophomore forward Leonard Washington played in his first game of the season on Dec. 23 after missing the first semester with academic issues and had an immediate impact. He scored 10 points, had six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and an assist vs. Saint Mary's on Dec. 23. He then scored nine points and had four rebounds and a block vs. UNLV on Dec. 25. In his first 12 games back, Washington has averaged 6.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and has eight blocks and 15 steals. Washington was fifth in scoring for USC as a freshman with a 6.1 average in 30 games, 13 starts. He scored in double figures six times last season with a high of 17 vs. North Dakota State on Dec. 20, 2008. His high game this season is 11 points at Oregon State on Jan. 28.
BIG TIME LEWIS RISING UP SCORING LISTS -- Senior Dwight Lewis has scored 1,348 career points, 13th all-time at USC and 75 points behind John Block (1964-66) who is 12th with 1,423. Lewis ranks 10th on USC's all-time three-point baskets list with 138 makes. Stais Boseman (1994-97) ranks 9th on USC's all-time three-point basket list with 145. Lewis led USC with a 14.4 scoring average in 2008-09, as well in three-point baskets (55) and free throw shooting (74.8 percent). He reached double figures in scoring in 27 of his 33 games last season, scoring a career-high 26 twice (vs. San Francisco on Dec. 1 and at Oregon on Jan. 2). He has five 20-point games this season (22 vs. UCR on Nov. 17, 21 vs. Tennesse on Dec. 19, 22 at Stanford on Jan. 6, 20 at California on Jan. 9 and 24 at UCLA on Jan. 16) and has had 14 career 20-point games. Lewis has averaged 16.5 points in his last eight games (132 points).
DRIVEN BY DEFENSE -- USC has held 66 teams to 60 points or less in the last five seasons (157 games), including 13 this season. The Trojans held 17 of their opponents last season to 39.2 percent shooting or less, and have held 81 teams under 40 percent shooting in the last 157 games. USC was outshot from the field just nine times last season and eight times so far this season (Nebraska, Texas, GT, WMU, Stanford, Cal, WSU, Oregon). USC has had a better shooting percentage that its opponent in 99 of the last 127 games. USC held Sac. State to 23.0 percent shooting on Dec. 8, the lowest percentage by a Trojan opponent since Loyola Marymount shot 22.4 percent from the field on Dec. 9, 1998. USC has held it opponents this season to a 37.9 shooting percentage, best in the Pac-10 and 10th in the country.
VUCEVIC'S SOPHOMORE SURGE -- Sophomore forward Nikola Vucevic has eight double-doubles this season, third in the Pac-10. He picked up his eighth with 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. Cal on Feb. 4, had 10-points, 11-rebounds at Oregon on Jan. 30 and 11 points and 13 rebounds vs. Washington on Jan. 23, giving him 3 double-doubles in his last 4 games. He matched a career high with 19 points at UCLA on Jan. 16 (9-for-12), scoring 17 points in the second half. Vucevic had 15 points and 10 rebounds vs. Tennessee on Dec. 19 for his fifth double-double. He had 14 points and posted a career-high 15 rebounds on Dec. 8 vs. Sac. State, his first 19-point game and 11 rebounds vs. LMU on Nov. 21, 15 points and 12 rebounds vs. Coppin St. on Nov. 27 and 18 points and 14 rebounds at Texas on Dec. 3. He is averaging 11.5 points and 9.6 rebounds, after averaging 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds as a freshman last season. His 9.6 rebounds per game leads all Pac-10 players.
JOHNSON'S SECOND SENIOR SEASON -- USC senior G/F Marcus Johnson, who played the second semester last season after transferring to USC from UConn, was granted another year of eligibilty by the NCAA following the season, but penalized two games for playing in an exhibition game in the 2007-08 season. USC is 25-12 in games he has been available to play in the two seasons. In his first game this season on Nov. 27 vs. CSU, Johnson had 11 points, three rebounds and a steal. Johnson scored his then USC high of 19 points and had a career-high nine rebounds vs. UNLV on Dec. 25. He set a new career high with 22 points on 9 of 11 shooting vs. Washington on Jan. 23. Johnson leads USC with 29 steals and is third in rebounds with 93 and blocks with 11. He has scored in double figures 11 times and in six of the last 11 games (11.2 ppg/123 total points).
SIMMONS' SUMMER SHOOTING SPREE -- Junior guard Marcus Simmons developed into USC's defensive stopper late last season and spent the summer working on his offense, including shooting until he made 1,000 shots a day...that is until his wrist started hurting and he had to back off some. It seems to have worked, though, as he is shooting 44.0 percent from the field and 68.0 percent from the free throw line this season compared to 37.9 percent (FG) and 50 percent (FT) last season. He scored 7 points vs. Cal on Feb. 4, his most since scoring 8 vs. Coppin St. on Nov. 27.
SMITH STEPPING UP -- Junior guard Donte Smith started USC's first eight games at point guard and is second on USC with 15 three-pointers made (15-for-41, 36.6 percent), three more than he made all last season. In the game vs. Nebraska on Nov. 29, Smith was 4-for-4 from the field, including hitting two three-pointers. Smith came off the bench to scored six big points down the stretch in USC's 55-51 win vs. Western Michigan on Dec. 22. He scored 9 points at Oregon on Jan. 30, his most points since scoring 10 vs. Nebraska on Nov. 29.
DEVELOPING A HOME COURT ADVANTAGE AT GALEN -- USC has a 49-13 record all-time at the Galen Center, including winning 28 of the last 33 home games.