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No. 20 USC Men's Basketball Starts Pac-12 Road Slate At Washington State Saturday

Dec 3, 2021

The No. 20 USC Trojans (7-0, 1-0) will play at the Washington State Cougars (6-1, 1-0) at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman, Wash. on Dec. 4 at 3 p.m.  The game will air on the Pac-12 Network with Greg Heister and Dan Dickau calling the action.  USC is 7-0 to start the season for the first time since 2017, when USC opened the campaign 14-0. The Trojans are one of 14 undefeated teams still remaining in college basketball.

WINNING WAYS --  USC had a 47-17 record the last two seasons which ranked third among all of the schools in the six power basketball conferences (ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, AAC and the Pac-12).  The Trojans went 25-8 during the 2020-21 season and have won 20 or more games in five of the last six seasons under Andy Enfield. The 25 wins last season were tied for the second most in school history, one behind the USC record of 26 wins set in 2017 (26-10). USC's 134 wins in the last six seasons were tied for 15th among all of the Power 6 conference schools.

FACING WASHINGTON STATE --  Washington State (6-1, 1-0) is coming off an impressive 51-29 road win at Arizona State on Dec. 1 to open conference play.  The Cougars are averaging 80.0 points per game and outscoring their opponents by 16.4 points per game.  Guards Noah Williams (13.9), Michael Flowers (13.0) and Tyrell Roberts (12.9) are all averaging double figures in points.  USC is 79-48 all-time against WSU, including winning the last 10 contests against the Cougars. USC won 85-77 at home vs. WSU and 76-65 at Beasley Coliseum in the 2020-21 season.

TROJANS ROLL IN PAC-12 OPENER -- Isaiah Mobley and Boogie Ellis combined for 40 points as No. 20 USC opened Pac-12 play with a 93-73 win over Utah at the Galen Center on Dec. 1.  Mobley recorded a double-double for the second straight game with a career-high 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting and a career-high tying 13 rebounds. Ellis finished with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Max Agbonkpolo contributed 16 points,  scoring mostly in the paint.  USC dominated on the glass, owning a 51-32 rebounding advantage and grabbed 18 offensive rebounds. The Trojans made 52.2 percent of their shots, while holding Utah to 37.7 percent shooting. USC finished the first half on a 23-7 spurt to open up a 48-28 halftime lead and the Utes' deficit remained in double-digits the rest of the way.

EASTERN KENTUCKY ON DECK --  The Eastern Kentucky Colonels (5-3) are coming off back-to-back road losses at West Virginia (80-77) and Radford (88-75) and will play at Western Kentucky on Dec. 4 before the road trip to Los Angeles.  EKU has three players averaging in double figures in scoring, led by forward Jannson Williams who has a 13.6 points per game average.  The Colonels have hit 13 or more three-pointers in six of their first eight games and average 13.0 offensive rebounds per game. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

BIG MEN, BIG NUMBERS -- Big men Isaiah Mobley and Chevez Goodwin have been at the forefront of USC's success so far this season. Mobley is averaging just short of a double-double  with 13.4 points per game and a team-high 9.7 rebounds per contest. He currently ranks 23rd in the country in rebounds per game. Goodwin is the Trojans' third leading scorer with 12.1 points per game and is second on the team with 7.4 rebounds per game. His 65.6 shooting percentage is best among USC's players with at least five shots attempted.
I'M YOUR BOOGIE MAN -- Memphis transfer Boogie Ellis has been one of USC's top two scorers in six of seven games this season, currently averaging a team-best 15.1 points per game. Ellis leads the Trojans in three-pointers made (13) and is second in free throws made (13), steals (6) and minutes played (30.1). The junior guard has started all seven games this season for USC and has scored at least 17 points in five of them.  Ellis averaged 10.2 points per game and was the AAC co-Sixth Man of the Year last season at Memphis.

PROTECT AND SERVE -- The Trojans have 116 assists and 60 turnovers this season for a 1.93 assist to turnover ratio, fourth in the country. USC's 8.6 turnovers per game are tied for the sixth-fewest among Division I team.  USC has served up an assist on 52.3 percent of its baskets this season (116 of 222). 

THE MAGIC MARK --  With its 58-43 win over San Diego State on Nov. 26, USC is now 94-5 in its last 99 games when holding the opposition to under 70 points, dating back to Feb. 28, 2015. USC has held 29 of its last 43 opponents to under 70 points dating back to the 2019-20 season.

HAVING A DEFENSIVE EDGE -- USC held Utah to 37.7 percent shooting on Wednesday and has held each of its opponent this season to under 40 percent shooting.  For the season, USC has held the opposition to 34.9 percent shooting which ranks fourth in the country. Despite allowing Utah to make an opponent-high 37.0 percent from three-point range, USC has held the opposition to a 26.8 shooting percentage from beyond the arc, 30th in the country.