USC Opens Final Homestand With Oregon On Thursday At Galen
Feb. 23, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC Trojans (16-10, 8-6) will host the Oregon Ducks (12-14, 4-10) on Feb. 25 in the Galen Center at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on USCTrojans.com. It will also air live on USC radio flagship station ESPN Radio 710 AM, broadcast by Pete Arbogast and Jim Hefner. USC has won four of its last five games.
SCOUTING THE DUCKS -- The Oregon Ducks are coming off a 64-49 loss vs. California on Feb. 20. Oregon defeated USC 67-57 on Jan. 30 in Eugene, Ore., but USC leads the all-time series 62-43. Oregon is led in scoring by guards Malcolm Armstead (11.0) and Tajuan Porter (10.7) and center Michael Dunigan (9.9). USC has won its last three home games against Oregon and six of the last eight meetings overall.
TROJANS FALL SHORT OF ROAD SWEEP -- Dwight Lewis' three-point attempt with five seconds left was blocked and Washington State added a free throw to defeat USC 51-47 on Feb. 20 in Pullman, Wash. and keep the Trojans from winning consecutive road games for the first time since the 2008 season. USC trailed 23-19 at halftime and tied it at 23 early in the second half, but played catch-up the rest of the way. The Trojans trailed by as many as nine points in the second half and had cut the lead to 45-44 with 1:29 left, but on the ensuing possesion the Cougars' Reggie Moore banked in a 25-foot heave at the end of the shot clock and the Trojans could not make up the difference in the final 52 seconds.
BEAVERS ON DECK -- The Oregon State Beavers (12-14, 6-8) will play at UCLA on Feb. 25 before facing USC at the Galen Center on Feb. 27 at 4:30 p.m. Oregon State defeated USC 51-45 on Jan. 28 in Corvallis, Ore., but USC leads the all-time series 66-56. Oregon State is led in scoring by junior Calvin Haynes (13.2 ppg) and senior Seth Tarver (10.7 ppg). USC has won its last six home games against Oregon State and 10 of 13 overall in the series.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS -- USC enters the game having allowed 1467 points in its first 26 games (56.4 ppg), its fewest through 26 games since allowing 1335 points in the first 26 games of the 1950-51 season. USC is fourth in the country in points allowed per game at 56.4. 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 15 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). The last time USC had just two games of allowing more than 67 points in a game was the 1949 season.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARDS -- Nikola Vucevic has led USC in rebounding for nine consecutive games (10.4 per game) and has grabbed seven or more boards in all but two games this season. Vucevic's 251 rebounds this season rank fourth all-time by a Trojan sophomore and he is just nine rebounds away from passing Taj Gibson (259) and moving into third place.
WASHINGTON FILLING THE STAT LINES -- Leonard Washington has been key for USC coming off the bench. In his last seven games, he has averaged 7.3 points (51 total) and 4.9 rebounds (34 total), while chipping in with seven steals, four assists and three blocks. He has made 21 of his last 38 shots (55.3 percent).
TAKING NOTE... -- USC is 12-1 when taking more FTs than its opponents...In Pac-10 games, USC is the only team with all losses by 10 points or less...USC has led or been tied in the 2nd half in all 14 Pac-10 games...in USC's six Pac-10 losses, it has committed 121 fouls, while the opponent only 70...USC is 10-1 in games it scores 60 or more points...USC is 7-1 vs. the top six teams in the Pac-10 and 1-5 against the current bottom four in the standings.
VUCEVIC'S SOPHOMORE SURGE -- Sophomore forward Nikola Vucevic is second in the Pac-10 this season with 10 double-doubles, his last being a 13-point, 10 rebound effort at Washington on Feb. 18. He collected his 9th with 18-points and 14-rebound vs. Stanford on Feb. 6 and has five double-doubles in his last seven 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 11.7 points and 9.7 rebounds, after averaging 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds as a freshman last season. His 9.7 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 28-13 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 34 steals and is third in rebounds with 105 and blocks with 12. He has scored in double figures 12 times this season. Tied a career high with 5 steals vs. UCLA on Feb. 14.
DEVELOPING A HOME COURT ADVANTAGE AT GALEN -- USC has a 51-13 record all-time at the Galen Center, including winning 30 of the last 35 home games.
PAC-10 PREDICTIONS -- USC was picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 Conference in a vote by the league media. California was picked first, Washington second, UCLA third, Arizona fourth, Oregon State fifth, Oregon sixth, Arizona State seventh, Washington State eighth and Stanford 10th.
GERRITY PROVIDES CLARITY -- Senior Mike Gerrity has played 18 games and led USC to an 12-6 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 9.1 points, 3.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds in his first 18 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 62 assists and 33 turnovers, the only Trojan with a positive assist to turnover ratio. He has had eight games of one turnover or less and has 46 assists and 20 turnovers in the last 13 games. His 1.9-1 turnover-assist ratio in Pac-10 games is best in 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 PROVIDES INSTANT ENERGY -- 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 16 games back, Washington has averaged 6.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and has 10 blocks and 18 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. He had eight rebounds and eight points vs. Washington on Feb. 18 and then eight points and four rebounds at Washington State on Feb. 20.
BIG TIME LEWIS RISING UP SCORING LISTS -- Senior Dwight Lewis has scored 1,411 career points, 13th all-time at USC and 12 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 142 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 seven 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 Cal on Jan. 9, 24 at UCLA on Jan. 16, 23 vs. UCLA on Feb. 14 and 22 at Washington on Feb. 18) and has had 16 career 20-point games. Lewis has averaged 16.3 points in his last 12 games (195 points).
DRIVEN BY DEFENSE -- USC has held 68 teams to 60 points or less in the last five seasons (161 games), including 15 this season. The Trojans held 17 of their opponents last season to 39.2 percent shooting or less, and have held 84 teams under 40 percent shooting in the last 161 games. USC was outshot from the field just nine times last season and nine times so far this season (Nebraska, Texas, GT, WMU, Stanford, Cal, WSU-2, Oregon). USC has had a better shooting percentage that its opponent in 102 of the last 131 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.
FONTAN TO BE FEATURED IN DOCUMENTARY - PBS will show a documentary on March 31 titled, 'The Street Stops Here,' which focuses on well-known high school coach Bob Hurley Sr and also features USC guard Jio Fontan. Fontan is described by the filmmakers as, 'co-captain of the St. Anthony High School team and is often seen as the soft voice of reason. Smart and strong-minded, Fontan is determined to learn from his father's transgressions and work hard in school to ensure that he is defined by more than just basketball.' His father Jorge is described as someone who spent time4 in prison as a young man and dedicated his life to helping Jio and teammate Travon Woodall 'learn from his mistakes and escape a life of drugs, crime and poverty.'