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Undefeated No. 10 USC Men's Basketball Faces Georgia Tech In Phoenix Saturday At Colangelo Classic

Dec 17, 2021

The No. 10/No. 9 USC Trojans (11-0, 2-0) will take on Georgia Tech (5-4, 0-1) at the Jerry Colangelo Classic to be held at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Ariz. on Dec. 18 at 1 p.m. PT.  The game will air on the Pac-12 Network with J.B. Long and Ernie Kent calling the action.  USC is 11-0 to start the season for the first time since 2017, when USC opened the campaign 14-0. The Trojans are one of seven undefeated teams still remaining in college basketball. USC is No. 14 in the NET this week, the chief rankings used for the NCAA Tournament selection and seeding. USC's 11 wins are the most by any Division I team through Dec. 16.

FAST STARTS -- USC's 11-0 start to the 2021-22 season is tied for the sixth-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 11-game winning streak is tied for the 9th longest in school history.  If USC were to win and go to 12-0, it would be tied for the 8th-longest winning streak in school history.

TOP 10 TROJANS -- USC is ranked No. 10 in the AP Poll this week, its highest regular season ranking since also ranking No. 10 in the first three polls of the 2017-18 season.  USC ended the 2020-21 season ranked No. 9 in the postseason AP Poll.  The last time USC was ranked higher in the AP regular season poll was week 18 of the 1991-92 season (8th).

FACING GEORGIA TECH --  Georgia Tech (5-4, 0-1)  is coming off a 69-53 loss vs. LSU and has lost is its last three games.  Guard Michael Devoe is one of the top scorers in the country with a 22.1 points per game average.  Starting guards Jordan Usher (13.7 ppg and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per game) and Kyle Sturdivant (6.7 ppg) began their careers as Trojans. USC is 1-2 vs. Georgia Tech all-time, losing the last meeting 79-53 at Georgia Tech on Dec. 5, 2009.

GOODWIN LEADS USC TO COMEBACK WIN OVER UCI -- Chevez Goodwin scored 17 of his Trojan-high 23 points in the second half and was key down the stretch as No. 10 USC rallied from an early 10-point deficit to beat UC Irvine, 66-61, at the Galen Center on Dec. 15.  With USC up just three with 2:11 left in the game, Goodwin converted a three-point play. After UCI made consecutive baskets, Goodwin came up clutch once more by grabbing an offensive rebound for a put-back layup with 24 seconds left to seal the game. Isaiah Mobley finished with a 22-point, 12-rebound double-double. UCI led by as many as 10 points twice in the first half and by 8 (36-28) at the break.  The Trojans roared back in the second half and erased UC Irvine's lead with a 13-4 run. Goodwin and Mobley combined for 28 of the Trojans' 38 points to close out the game.  USC held UCI to 37.5 percent shooting and was held to a season-low 40.7 shooting percentage.  The 66 points were the most UCI allowed in a game this season.

ON DECK: OKLAHOMA STATE AT COMPETE 4 CAUSE CLASSIC -- USC's next game will be vs. Oklahoma State (7-3, 0-0) at the Compete 4 Cause Classic to be held at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Dec. 21 at 6 p.m. PT.  Oklahoma State will face No. 14/13 Houston at the Hoop Hype XL College Basketball Showcase in Fort Worth, Texas on Dec. 18 before facing USC.  The Cowboys are led in scoring by guards Avery Anderson (12.9 ppg) and Bryce Williams (11.4 ppg).  USC is 5-5 all-time against Oklahoma State, last playing on March 15, 2001, a 69-54 Trojan win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

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 a double-double with a team-leading 15.4 points per game and a team-high 10.0 rebounds per contest. He currently ranks tied for 16th in the country in rebounds per game. Goodwin is the Trojans' second-leading scorer at 13.2 points per game and is second on the team with 7.0 rebounds per game. Goodwin's 64.6 shooting percentage is best among USC's players with at least five shots attempted and ranks 10th in the country.   Mobley ranks first and Goodwin tied for fifth among Pac-12 players in rebounds per game.

HAVING A DEFENSIVE EDGE -- USC held UCI to 37.5 percent shooting on Dec. 15 and has held each of its opponent this season to under 40 percent shooting.  For the season, USC has held the opposition to 35.4 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 27.5 shooting percentage from beyond the arc, 29th in the country.

LEADERS OF THE PAC -- USC has the best overall record in Pac-12 conference games for the past five seasons (since the 2017-18 season).  USC is 48-28 in conference games during that stretch, while Oregon is second at 47-27, UCLA third at 46-28, Arizona fourth at 44-31 and Colorado fifth at 43-33.

MOBLEY DIALING LONG DISTANCE -- Isaiah Mobley has made a team-leading 18 three-pointers this season and has a 40.9 shooting percentage from beyond the arc (18-for-44).  For his career, he has made 38.7 percent from three-point range (43-for-111).   Mobley 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 28 in his last 17 games (28-for-59, 47.5 percent).

LOCKING DOWN CALIFORNIA -- With the 66-61 win vs. UC Irvine on Dec. 15, USC has now not lost to a California school in 1021 days (through Dec. 15).  USC's last lost to a team from California was a 93-88 overtime setback vs. UCLA on Feb. 28, 2019.  USC is 19-0 vs. such teams in that time frame.