USC Men's Basketball To Host Santa Clara At Galen On Tuesday
The USC Trojans (4-1) will host the Santa Clara Broncos (6-1) at the Galen Center on Dec. 29 at 4:00 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network with Ted Robinson and Bill Walton calling the action.
LONGEST BREAK SINCE 1967 SEASON -- The Trojans last played on Dec. 8, a 91-56 home victory over UC Irvine. Their past four scheduled games have been either postponed (Dec. 13 vs. Stanford and Dec. 20 at Oregon State) or canceled (Dec. 16 vs. San Francisco and Dec. 23 vs. Texas Southern) due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the USC men's basketball program that caused team activities to be paused beginning on Dec. 13. The 20 days without a game during the season is the longest stretch without playing a game once a season has started since going 36 games without a game during the 1967 season (played on Dec. 21 and then not again until Jan. 27).
FACING SANTA CLARA -- The Santa Clara Broncos (6-1) are coming off their first loss of the season, a 70-57 setback at home vs. Colorado State on Dec. 22. Senior forward Josip Vrankic leads the Broncos with a 16.6 scoring average, but nine different players are averaging at least 5.0 points per game. USC guard Tahj Eaddy played for Santa Clara in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. USC leads the all-time series 22-9, but lost the last meeting 102-92 in double overtime at Santa Clara on Dec. 18, 2018. In that game, Vrankic scored 22 and Eaddy 21 against the Trojans.
TROJANS SHOOT DOWN UC IRVINE -- USC made a season-high 12 three-pointers and shot 50 percent from beyond the arc to defeat UC Irvine 91-56. Evan Mobley led the way with 22 points and 11 rebounds and Noah Baumann added 18 points, leading the team with four three-pointers made. USC shot 51.6 percent overall and held UC Irvine to 33.8 percent shooting.
COLORADO ON DECK TO OPEN PAC-12 PLAY -- USC's next game will be vs. Colorado (6-1, 1-0) on Dec. 31 at 6:00 p.m. at the Galen Center, its first Pac-12 game of the season. The Buffaloes will play at Arizona on Dec. 28 before facing the Trojans. Colorado has won four straight since a 56-47 loss at Tennessee on Dec. 8. Senior point guard McKinley Wright leads Colorado with a 16.3 scoring average. USC is 7-13 all-time against Colorado losing both games in each of the past two seasons, after winning four straight from 2016-18. USC (79.8) and Colorado (77.9) are the top two scoring offenses in the Pac-12.
HOT SHOTS -- USC is shooting 49.8 percent from the field this season. USC has shot over 50 percent in all four of its wins (a combined 53.0 percent) and shot 35.8 percent in its loss to UConn.
HOT SHOTS PART DEUX -- Six of the 10 players to take at least one shot this season are shooting 50.0 percent or higher from the floor.
MAGIC MARKER -- USC defeated UC Irvine 91-56 on Dec. 8 and is now 73-4 in its last 77 games when holding the opposition to under 70 points scored dating back to Feb. 28, 2015.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE -- USC has held its opponents to 35.1 percent shooting this season, sixth-best in the country.
USC HOSTING BLOCK PARTY -- USC has had 28 blocks in its first five games for an average of 5.6 blocks per game. That average ranks 12th in the country in that category. Freshman Evan Mobley is averaging 3.0 blocks per game, tied for ninth in the country.
ADD WATERS AND MIX -- Guard Reese Waters, a member of this year's highly-touted recruiting class, has graduated from high school early, enrolled at USC and became eligible for competition on Dec. 12. Waters is a 6-5, 210-pound guard from Long Beach, Calif., and attended St. Bernard HS in Playa del Rey, Calif. Waters was ranked as the No. 4 player in the state of California and No. 50 overall player in the nation by 247Sports.com. Waters averaged 17.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game in leading the Vikings to a 22-7 record last season. As a sophomore at Dorsey HS, Waters averaged 18.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game.