USC-UCLA Men's Basketball Preview

Jan. 10, 2001

LOS ANGELES - For the first time in 38 years, Southern California will be ranked higherthan UCLA when the teams meet in their intracity showdown Thursday at PauleyPavilion.

The No. 19 Trojans (12-2, 2-0 Pac-10) are playing the Bruins (7-4, 2-0) asthe higher-ranked team for the first time since Feb. 2, 1962, when an unrankedUCLA squad upset then-No. 5 USC 73-59.

However, UCLA has won the last seven meetings at Pauley Pavilion since a72-62 defeat in 1993.

The Trojans appear to have justified their spot in the AP Top 25 with animpressive home sweep of Washington opponents to open conference play. USC rolled past Washington State 82-59 last Thursday before routing Washington87-61 last Saturday.

Sam Clancy is averaging a team-high 17.2 points per game for USC, whichhas averaged 88 points in three victories since a stunning 63-61 loss toNorthwestern on Dec. 27.

UCLA kept pace with Southern California by beating both Washington schools,completing the two-game sweep with a 75-57 victory over Washington State lastSaturday. Earl Watson scored 16 points and reserve Billy Knight added 14 forthe Bruins, winners of five of six since a 2-3 start.

UCLA shot 72 percent from the field in the first half to build a 42-24 leadbut played a lethargic second half, drawing the ire of coach Steve Lavin.

'We've made some progress in certain areas, but the disappointing part ofthe equation is we haven't sustained our effort and execution,' he said. 'Asa result, we're not hitting on all cylinders and there's clearly too manydeficiencies to win in this conference, so we have lots of work to do.'

Jason Kapono leads the Bruins in scoring at 17.2 points per game, whileWatson averages 15.6 points and 6.1 assists.

UCLA leads the all-time series with USC 116-93.

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