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No. 16 USC Men's Basketball Opens 2-Game Road Trip At Colorado Thursday

Jan 18, 2022

The No. 16 USC Trojans (14-2, 4-2) will play at the Colorado Buffaloes (12-4, 4-2) at the Coors Events Center in Boulder, Colo. on Jan. 20 at 4:30 PT.  The game will air on the Pac-12 Network with Drew Goodman and Fran Fraschilla calling the action. USC's 14-2 start to the season is its best since the 2016-17 team opened 15-1. If USC were to win, it would match the 2017 team's 15-2 start, the best after 17 games since the 1970-71 team began 16-1 en route to a 24-2 record.

RANKING RUMBLINGS -- USC is ranked No. 16 in the AP Poll this week, after going 1-2 last week.  USC was ranked as high as No. 5 on Jan. 10, its highest regular season ranking since also being ranked No. 5 on Dec. 30, 1974.  

FACING COLORADO -- Colorado (12-4, 4-2) is coming off a 75-57 win at Arizona State on Jan. 15 and the Buffaloes have won six of their last seven games.  Colorado is 9-1 at home, including 3-0 in conference games at the Coors Events Center.  Sophomore forward Jabari Walker leads three Colorado players in double figures with a 13.1 scoring average.  Colorado handed USC three of its eight losses last season and has won seven consecutive games against the Trojans.  USC last defeated Colorado 75-64 on Feb. 21, 2018 in Boulder, Colo.  USC is 7-16 all-time against Colorado.

A DEFENSIVE PAUSE -- Since USC had a pause due to Covid-19 (following the game on Dec. 18 vs. GT), the Trojans have played four games and allowed the opposition to shoot 44.6 percent (103-for-231)  from the floor.  USC held all 12 of its opponents prior to that under 40 percent shooting in each game and to a combined 35.2 shooting percentage, which was second in the country.  The Trojans were the first team in the last 15 seasons to hold its first 12 opponents to under 40 percent shooting in each game.  In the last four games, USC's opponents have also made 43.0 percent from three-point range (34-for-79).  In the first 12 games the opposition made 27.4 percent from beyond the arc.  Still, for the season USC has held its opponents to 37.4 percent shooting, seventh-best in the country.

USC NEVER LEADS IN LOSS TO OREGON -- Boogie Ellis and Isaiah Mobley scored 18 points each, but USC suffered its second loss of the season, falling 79-69 to Oregon at the Galen Center on Jan. 15.  Oregon led wire-to-wire and by as many as 18 points early in the second half.  USC got as close as 9 points with just under 5 minutes remaining, but got no closer.   USC made 41.7 percent of its shots, while allowing Oregon to make an opponent high of 50 percent, the first team all season to make 50 percent of its shots against the Trojans and the 79 points scored were an opponent high to date.  USC did not do any better in its three-point defense at the Ducks made 47.6 percent from beyond the arc.  USC turned things around in the second half, outscoring Oregon 40-34 and outshooting them from the field.  Oregon guard Will Richardson scored a career-high 28 points and made a season-high five 3-pointers on 8 attempts.  

WISH YOU WERE HERE --In its three games without fans in attendance (the last 3), USC has allowed an average of 75.0 points per game.  In the other 13 games, USC held the opposition to 60.8 points per game. In the three games without crowds, USC led one of those games by a point and trailed in the other two at the half. USC only trailed at the break in 2 other games all season.

THE PAINT HAS BEEN DRYING -- In the last three games USC has outscored the opposition by 2.7 points per game in the paint.  In the first 13 games, USC outscored its opponent by an average of 17.1 points per game inside the paint.

UTAH ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at Utah (8-10, 1-7) on Jan. 22 at 4:30 p.m. MT.  USC defeated Utah 93-73 on Dec. 1 in Los Angeles.  Utah has lost its last six games and will host UCLA on Jan. 20 before facing USC.   Branden Carlson leads three Utah players averaging double figures with a 13.5 points per game average.  USC has won four of its last six games against Utah, but trals 22-26 in the all-time series.  USC has lost six of its last seven games at Utah.

ROAD WARRIORS - USC has started 4-1 on the road with wins at Temple,  FGCU,  WSU and California.  USC's four true road wins are tied for the second-most by any power conference team (Auburn 5-0, Villanova 4-3, Vanderbilt 4-1).  USC was 7-3 in road games last season.

LEADERS OF THE PAC -- USC is second in Pac-12 conference games for the most conference victories the past five seasons (since the 2017-18 season).  USC is 50-30 in conference games during that stretch, while Oregon is 51-27, UCLA is third at 48-29, Arizona is fourth at 47-31 and Colorado is fifth at 45-33.

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 near double-double with a team-leading 15.3 points per game and a team-high 9.2 rebounds per contest. He currently ranks 26th in the country in rebounds per game. Goodwin is the Trojans' second-leading scorer at 13.0 points per game and is second on the team with 7.1 rebounds per game. Goodwin's 63.6 shooting percentage is best among USC's players with at least five shots attempted and ranks eighth in the country.   Mobley ranks first and Goodwin eighth among Pac-12 players in rebounds per game.