USC Men's Basketball Opens Pac-12 Play Hosting Colorado On ESPN
The USC Trojans (5-1, 0-0) will host the Colorado Buffaloes (6-2, 0-1) at the Galen Center on Dec. 31 at 7:00 p.m. The game will air on ESPN with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton calling the action.
USC OPENS PAC-12 PLAY FACING COLORADO -- Colorado (6-2, 0-1) is coming off a 74-88 loss at Arizona on Dec. 28, which snapped a four-game winning streak. Senior point guard McKinley Wright leads Colorado with a 15.5 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.
TROJANS TAKE DOWN SANTA CLARA -- USC scored the first four points of the game and never trailed in an 86-63 win over Santa Clara at the Galen Center on Dec. 29. Evan Mobley led USC with 17 points and seven rebounds, while his brother Isaiah added 13 points and also grabbed seven boards. USC made 46.6 percent of its shots, while holding Santa Clara to 37.7 percent shooting. USC outrebounded Santa Clara 44-41 and outscored them 44-26 on points in the paint.
UTAH ON DECK -- USC's next game will be vs. Utah (4-1, 1-0) on Jan. 2 at 1:00 p.m. at the Galen Center. Utah will play at UCLA on Dec. 31 before taking on the Trojans. Junior forward Timmy Allen leads Utah in scoring with a 15.4 points per game average. Eleven of the players on Utah's young roster are either freshman or sophomores. USC split two games against Utah last season, winning 56-52 at the Galen Center and falling 79-65 at the Huntsman Center. Utah leads the all-time series with USC, 25-20.
MAGIC MARKER -- With the 86-63 win over Santa Clara on Dec. 29, USC is now 74-4 in its last 78 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 35.5 percent shooting this season, sixth-best in the country. The 37.7 shooting percentage by Santa Clara on Dec. 29 was the highest by a Trojan opponent in the last five games. Only California Baptist which shot 45.1 percent from the floor in the opener has shot over 38 percent against the Trojans this season.
USC HOSTING BLOCK PARTY -- USC has had 34 blocks in its first six games for an average of 5.7 blocks per game. That average ranks 11th in the country in that category. Freshman Evan Mobley is averaging 3.0 blocks per game, tied for eighth in the country and first among freshmen.
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. The 6-5 guard from Long Beach, Calif. made his first shot as a collegian, a three-pointer against Santa Clara on Dec. 29. Waters scored five points and had a rebound in five minutes of action against the Broncos. Waters and attended St. Bernard HS in Playa del Rey, Calif. He 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.
LONDON TO FOCUS ON FOOTBALL -- USC basketball guard and football wide receiver Drake London has decided not to join the men's basketball team this season and to put all of his focus into football. London played in two games for the basketball team last season and had three rebounds in six minutes of action. This past football season, the sophomore had 33 catches for a team-leading 502 yards, along with three touchdowns.
EFFICIENT OFFENSE -- USC leads the Pac-12 with an 80.8 scoring average and has the largest scoring margin among Conference teams (+17.2). USC also leads all Pac-12 teams with a 49.2 shooting percentage this season.
EVAN MOBLEY NEAR THE TOP OF THE PAC -- USC freshman forward currently ranks among the Pac-12's top five players in scoring (4th, 17.5 ppg), rebounds (4th, 8.7), field goal percentage (4th, .639) and blocks (1st, 18).
IT'S A TEAM GAME -- Eight Trojans have already had at least one game of 10 points scored or more this season. Evan Mobley leads the team scoring in double figures in all six games, while Tahj Eaddy is second on the team with four games scoring 10 or more points.
PLAYING PAINT BALL -- USC has outrebounded its opponents 259-209 through the first six games and has outscored the opposition 226-142 on points scored in the paint.