USC Men's Basketball Travels Crosstown To Face Rival UCLA
The USC Trojans (20-6, 14-5) will play at the UCLA Bruins (17-7, 13-5) at Pauley Pavilion in Westwood, Calif. on March 6 at 1 p.m. The game will air on CBS with Spero Dedes and Jim Spanarkel calling the action. USC has won 20 games for the fifth time in its last six seasons under Andy Enfield. USC's 20-6 record is its best after 26 games since being 21-5 during the 2017 season. USC is tied for first, but percentage points behind Oregon (13-4) and a half-game ahead of UCLA (13-5). The winner of today's game would win the Pac-12 regular season title with an Oregon loss at Oregon State on March 7. USC has not won the conference title outright since the 1961 season.
FACING UCLA -- UCLA (17-7, 13-5) is coming off an 82-74 loss at Oregon on March 3. UCLA is 11-0 at home this season and has won 18 consecutive home games dating back to the 2019-20 season. The Trojans defeated the Bruins 66-48 on Feb. 6 at the Galen Center. UCLA has five active players averaging 10 or more points per game, led by Johnny Juzang at 14.2 points per game. USC has won three-in-a-row and four of its last five games against UCLA, but trails in the all-time series 112*-143 (*1 win later vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 113-143).
USC SHUTS DOWN STANFORD -- Tahj Eaddy scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting and USC routed Stanford 79-42 on March 3, snapping a two-game skid. Drew Peterson added 15 points, 9 rebounds & 6 assists for USC. USC took it to the Cardinal from the opening tip, scoring 15 straight points for a 17-2 lead after holding Stanford scoreless for over nine minutes. USC held Stanford to 22.2 percent shooting in the first half to lead 36-17. The 17 points at halftime were the fewest by a Trojan opponent since Oregon St. also scored 17 points at the break on Dec. 28, 2016. After a layup by Stanford's Spencer Jones started the 2nd half, USC scored 14-straight to open up a 50-19 lead and cruised from there. The 42 points scored by Stanford were its fewest against USC since the 2011 season and the 37-point loss was its largest against the Trojans since also falling by 37 in 1953. The last time USC beat any conference opponent by 37 points or more was in 2007 when it beat Oregon St. by 45. USC held Stanford to 25.4 percent shooting the lowest by an opponent since CSUF made 23.3 percent of its shots on Nov. 10, 2016.
THE UNICORN -- USC freshman Evan Mobley, who is averaging 16.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.8 blocks, is the only Division I player to be averaging at least 16.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 assists. Mobley was named a Jabbar Award Finalist on Feb. 26 and a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist on Feb. 24.
MOBLEY NAMED A NAISMITH TROPHY SEMIFINALIST - Evan Mobley was named a 2021 Naismith Trophy Player of the Year Semifinalist by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on March 4. He is one of 10 student-athletes on the current list for the top Division I college basketball player.
PAC-12 TOURNAMENT ON DECK - USC's next game will be in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. on March 11. The Pac-12 Tournament runs March 10-13 in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena. USC's seed could be anywhere from No. 1 to No. 4. Live coverage will be featured across Pac-12 Networks and/or ESPN. USC is 18*-19 all-time at the Pac-12 Championships, winning the 2009 title. (*win in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 19-19).
THE STRENGTH OF THREE -- A cord of three strands is not easily broken and a USC team with three players scoring 10 or more points is not easily defeated. The Trojans are 17-0 this season when they have at least three players scoring in double figures.
HART RECOGNIZED -- USC Associate Head Coach Jason Hart was named to the Advancement of Blacks in Sports (ABIS) Assistant Coaches Watch List on March 1. This 15-Person ABIS Black Assistant Coaches Watch List will be shared annually with Athletic Administrators and
Executive Search Firms prior to the start of the hiring cycle. Hart is in his fourth season as Associate Head Coach and his eighth with the program. He has been an integral part of Andy Enfield's staff which has won the most games in school history for a season (26 in 2017) and a six year stretch (129). Hart graduated from Syracuse in 2000 and then enjoyed nine-year NBA career.
SCORING MARGIN BEST SINCE 1971 SEASON -- USC has a +10.6 scoring margin is second among Pac-12 teams. It is also USC's biggest average scoring margin in a season since
the 1970-71 team went 24-2 and defeated opponents by an average of 14.0 points per game.
GUARDING THE LINE -- USC has held opponents to 33.3 percent shooting from three-point range this season. The Trojans held Stanford to 24.0 percent shooting on March 3, snapping a 5-game stretch where its opponents shot over 40 percent each game from three-point range for a total percentage of 51.2 (44-for-86). USC has held 10 teams to 25 percent or less from beyond the arc this season.
LET ME ASSIST YOU -- USC has a total of 57 assists in its six losses (9.5 apg) and 308 in its 20 wins (15.4 apg). On the road trip to Colorado and Utah, USC was out-assisted 39-15 in the two games. USC bounced back with a 21-8 advantage in assists vs. Stanford on March 3. USC is 13-0 in games it registers at least 14 assists.
THE PAINT PATROL -- USC has outrebounded its opponents 1045-835 through the first 26 games and has outscored the opposition 898-626 on points scored in the paint. USC's +8.08 rebound margin leads the Pac-12 lead and ranks 15th in the country.