Undefeated No. 16 USC Men's Basketball Hosts Long Beach State In Sunday Matinee
The No. 16/No. 15 USC Trojans (9-0, 2-0) will host Long Beach State (3-6) at the Galen Center on Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network with J.B Long and Don MacLean calling the action. USC is 9-0 to start the season for the first time since 2017, when USC opened the campaign 14-0. The Trojans are one of eight undefeated teams still remaining in college basketball. USC debuts at No. 7 in the NET this week, the chief rankings used for the NCAA Tournament selection and seeding. This is USC's first Sunday game of the season.
FAST STARTS -- USC's 9-0 start to the 2021-22 season is tied for the seventh-best start by the Trojans in school history. USC's best start of a season was 17-0 in 1910, followed by 16-0 in 1971 and the 14-0 start to the 2017 season.
STREAKS - USC's 9-game winning streak is tied for the 13th longest in school history. If USC were to win and go to 10-0, it would be tied for the 10th-longest winning streak in school history.
FACING LONG BEACH STATE -- Long Beach State (3-6) is coming off a 102-69 home win over Bethesda on Dec. 8. Three LBSU players are averaging in double figures in points, led by guard Joel Murray at 16.3 points per game. USC is 10-6 all-time against Long Beach State, winning the last meeting 87-76 on December 15, 2019.
TROJANS TAKE CARE OF EKU AT GALEN -- Isaiah Mobley had career highs in points (23) and 3-pointers (5) as No. 16/15 USC remained perfect with an 80-68 win over Eastern Kentucky on Dec. 7. Mobley reached his milestones while scoring efficiently, shooting 5-of-6 from the perimeter and 8-of-10 overall. He also tied his career-high in rebounds (13) to complete his double-double and dished out five assists. Drew Peterson had 15 points and six rebounds, Chevez Goodwin scored 14 and grabbed seven boards and Max Agbonkpolo finished with 12 points and five assists. USC led by as many as 24 and by 23 with 4 minutes remaining, but EKU hit 5 of 6 3-pointers to cut the lead to 10 with 1:45 remaining and forced USC to go back to its starters to close it out. USC committed a season-high 18 turnovers and was outscored 27-2 on points off turnovers. USC made 54.2 percent of its shots while holding EKU to 32.4 percent shooting.
UC IRVINE ON DECK -- UC Irvine (5-1) is coming off an 86-54 home win over Bethesda on Dec. 3 and will play at Fresno State on Dec. 11 before taking on USC. UCI lost its opener at New Mexico State (62-51), before posting wins vs. Boise State (58-50), vs. La Verne (100-41), vs. Pepperdine (82-48) and at Santa Clara (69-64). Forward Collin Welp leads UCI in scoring at 13.3 points per game and averages 7.0 rebounds per contest. Guard Andre Henry played his first game of the season vs. Bethesda and scored 15 points. USC is 7-2 all-time against UCI, winning the last meeting 91-56 on Dec. 8, 2020.
BIG MEN, BIG NUMBERS -- Big men Isaiah Mobley and Chevez Goodwin have been at the forefront of USC's success so far this season and currently are the top two scorers and rebounders on the team. Mobley is averaging just short of a double-double with a team-leading 14.0 points per game and a team-high 9.6 rebounds per contest. He currently ranks 26th in the country in rebounds per game. Goodwin is the Trojans' second-leading scorer at 12.6 points per game and is second on the team with 7.1 rebounds per game. Goodwin's 66.7 shooting percentage is best among USC's players with at least five shots attempted and ranks tied for sixth in the country. Mobley ranks first and Goodwin sixth among Pac-12 players in rebounds per game.
HAVING A DEFENSIVE EDGE -- USC held EKU to 32.4 percent shooting on Dec. 7 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 WSU to make an opponent-high 40.0 percent from three-point range on Dec. 4, USC has held the opposition to a 27.8 shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
TURNS OUT...I LIKE IT OUT HERE... -- Isaiah Mobley has made a team-leading 14 three-pointers this season and has a 41.2 shooting percentage from beyond the arc (14-for-37). For his career, he has made 38.6 percent from three-point range (39-for-101). He found his long-distance stroke late last season, making 10 of 15 three-points in USC's final six games. In his first 57 college games, Mobley made a total of 15 three-pointers (15-for-52, 28.8 percent), while he has made 24 in his last 15 games (24-for-49, 49.0 percent).
PETERSON FILLING UP THE STAT SHEET -- Guard Drew Peterson leads USC with 33 assists and 19 free throws made, is second in blocks with 9 (his career high is 12) and is third in rebounds per game (5.6) and minutes played (264). In the last four games, Peterson has averaged 13.8 points (55 points), 6.5 rebounds (26 total) and 2.8 assists (11 total).
MORGAN'S PRESENCE FELT -- USC forward Joshua Morgan has provide the Trojans will valuable minutes off the bench. In his 15.9 minutes per game, he is averaging 5.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. He leads USC with 13 blocks, 12 coming in the last six games.