No. 15 USC Men's Basketball Closes Homestand With Cal Saturday
The No. 15 USC Trojans (17-3, 7-3) will host the California Golden Bears (9-11, 2-7) at the Galen Center on Jan. 29 at 4:00 p.m. The game will air on the the Pac-12 Network with J.B. Long and Eddie House calling the action. Today's 4 p.m. start snaps a streak of four consecutive 8 p.m. home starts.
FACING CALIFORNIA -- The California Golden Bears (9-11, 2-7) are coming off an 81-57 loss at UCLA on Jan. 27. The Trojans won 77-63 at California on Jan. 6, which began its current six-game losing streak. Guard Jordan Shepherd leads the Golden Bears with a 14.4 scoring average. California leads 136-129 in the all-time series (1 USC win vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record Cal leads 136-130). USC has won its last seven games against California.
PRESENTING A STRONG DEFENSE -- USC has held its opponents to under 40 percent shooting in 15 of its 20 games. USC is holding the opposition to a 37.1 shooting percentage, fourth in the country. USC held its first 12 opponents 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.
USC SHUTDOWN BY STANFORD IN THE SECOND HALF -- Drew Peterson led the Trojans with 14 points, but USC lost for the second time this season to Stanford, this time 64-61 at the Galen Center on Jan. 27. Stanford jumped out to a 14-5 lead by making 5 of its first 7 shots five minutes into the game. Stanford made its first five 3-point shots in the half. USC finished the first half on a 15-2 run to take a 34-28 lead into the break. Stanford held USC to a season-low 27 points in the 2nd half to earn the victory. The Cardinal scored the first 6 points after the break to tie it, but did not take the lead until a jumper by Spencer Jones with 5:06 left gave them a 56-55 lead. After a missed dunk by Boogie Ellis, a pair of buckets from James Keefe and Brandon Angel pushed the lead to 60-55. USC responded with a jumper by Max Agbonkpolo and a 3-pointer from the corner by Peterson to tie the score at 60 with 55 seconds left. After a TO, Harrison Ingram drove right down the lane for a layin and a 62-60 lead. Isaiah Mobley was fouled on an attempted putback with 14 seconds left, but made just one of two FT and Stanford closed out the game with a pair of FT by Angel. Stanford made 50 percent of its shots in the 2nd half and 42.6 percent for the game. Stanford defeated USC 29-27 on rebounds and 26-22 on points in the paint. The Cardinal outscored USC 18-4 on points in the paint in the second half.
GOOD TO SEE AND HEAR YOU --In its three games without fans in attendance (at Stanford and home vs. OSU and Oregon), USC allowed an average of 75.0 points per game. In the other 17 games, USC has held the opposition to 60.9 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.
ARIZONA STATE ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at Arizona State (6-11, 2-5) at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, Ariz. on Feb. 3 at 9 p.m. MT. ASU's last game was a 78-56 loss at USC on Jan. 24 and they will play at Arizona on Jan. 29 before hosting the Trojans. Guard D.J. Horne leads ASU in scoring with a 13.6 average. USC leads the all-time series 58-42 (2 wins by USC vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 60-42). USC won 74-63 at ASU last season, snapping a 7-game losing streak in Tempe.
LEADERS OF THE PAC -- USC leads in conference in wins among Pac-12 teams for the past five seasons (since the 2017-18 season). USC is 53-31 in conference games during that stretch, while Oregon is 52-28 and UCLA is 52-29, Arizona is fourth at 49-32 and Colorado is fifth at 46-34.
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 team-leading 14.4 points per game and a team-high 8.7 rebounds per contest. Goodwin is the Trojans' second-leading scorer at 12.4 points per game and is second on the team with 7.2 rebounds per game. Mobley ranks first and Goodwin fourth among Pac-12 players in rebounds per game.
YOU CAN'T DO IT ALL...OR CAN YOU? -- Isaiah Mobley leads USC in scoring average (14.4) rebounds per game (8.7) and in assists per game 3.4. He is one of four power conference players (Others: Johnny Davis of Wisconsin, Dereon Seabron of NC State and Alondes Williams of Wake Forest) to lead his team in those categories and one of 16 overall.
GOODWIN'S IMPROVEMENT STANDS OUT - Chevez Goodwin has started all 20 games and is averaging 12.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and ranks 9th in the country in shooting percentage (60.9). Last season, Goodwin averaged 5.6 points and 3.5 rebounds and made one start. Goodwin had 18 rebounds at Colorado on Jan. 20, the most by a Trojan since Nick Rakocevic also had 18 vs. Vanderbilt on Nov. 11, 2018. Also, his 9 offensive rebounds on Jan. 13 were the most by a Trojan since Taj Gibson had 10 on Nov. 20, 2008 vs. Seton Hall.