No. 19 USC Men's Basketball To Play At No. 7 Arizona Saturday
The No. 19 USC Trojans (19-3, 9-3) will play at the Arizona Wildcats (18-2, 8-1) at the McKale Center on Feb. 5 at 2:00 p.m. PT. The game will air on FOX with Kevin Burkhardt and Casey Jacobsen calling the action. USC's 19-3 start is its best since also getting off to a 19-3 start during the 1974 season. USC is seeking its third consecutive 20-win season which would equal the school record set from 2016-18.
FACING ARIZONA -- No. 7 Arizona (18-2, 8-1) is coming off a 76-66 win over No. 3 UCLA on Feb. 3. Arizona has won 14 consecutive Pac-12 home games, the longest current streak by a Pac-12 team. Sophomore Bennedict Mathurin averages 16.9 points per game, leading four Wildcats averaging double figures in points. USC trails in the all-time series with Arizona, 45-69 (1 USC win and 1 Arizona win vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 46-70). USC and Arizona split the 2021 season series. USC won 87-73 at Arizona last season to snap a 10-game losing streak at the McKale Center for the Trojans.
IT STARTS WITH DEFENSE -- USC held ASU to 32.8 percent shooting on Feb. 3 and has held 16 of its 22 opponents to under 40 percent shooting this season. USC is holding the opposition to a 37.5 shooting percentage, ninth 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 GETS IT DONE IN THE END AT ASU -- Boogie Ellis scored USC's final seven points to finish with 21 to lead the Trojans to a 58-53 win at Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. on Feb. 3. USC trailed by 8 points with 11 minutes remaining, but finished the game on a 26-13 run to earn a tough road win. After Isaiah Mobley hit a layup to tie the score at 51, Boogie Ellis made 5 of 6 FTs and ended the game with an emphatic dunk for the 5-point win. Mobley finished with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Defense ruled as USC held ASU to 32.8 percent shooting and itself was held ot a season-low 30 percent from the field. ASU forwards Jalen Graham and Kimani Lawrence combined to score 25 of the Sun Devils 29 second-half points and finished with 19 and 14 points respectively. Despite being outscored 38-24 on points in the paint, USC had 58 rebounds, its most in a game since also getting 58 vs. LBSU on Nov. 24, 2006. The 58 rebounds were also USC's most in a Pac-12 game since also getting 58 vs. Oregon on Feb. 27, 1997.
THAT WAS RARE -- For the first time since at least the 1996-97 season, USC won when shooting 30.0 percent or lower and ASU lost when holding its opponent to 30 percent or less from the field.
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 19 games, USC has held the opposition to 61.1 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.
PACIFIC ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at home vs. Pacific (7-14) on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. The Tigers are coming off an 81-76 win vs. Pepperdine on Feb. 3. Junior Luke Avdalovic leads three Tigers scoring in double figures with a 10.9 points per game average. USC is 3-0 all-time vs. Pacific with all the games played during the 1928 season. USC's winning scores were 25-17, 29-25 and 36-33.
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 55-31 in conference games during that stretch, while Oregon is 54-28, UCLA is 53-29, Arizona is 51-32 and Colorado is 46-35.
YOU CAN'T DO IT ALL...OR CAN YOU? -- Isaiah Mobley leads USC in scoring average (14.7) rebounds per game (8.5) and in assists per game 3.1. He is one of five basketball power conference players (Others: Johnny Davis of Wisconsin, Dereon Seabron of NC State, Alondes Williams of Wake Forest and Javon Freeman-Liberty of DePaul) to lead his team in those categories and one of 16 overall. Mobley also leads USC in 3-pointers made, free throws made, steals and is tied for the team lead in blocks.
GOODWIN'S IMPROVEMENT STANDS OUT - Chevez Goodwin has started all 22 games and is averaging 12.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and ranks 15th in the country in shooting percentage (60.3). 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. Goodwin has recorded seven rebounds or more in 13 games this season and has scored nine or more points in 18 games.
WHO WANTS TO JOIN IN? -- In the last two games, Boogie Ellis (42 points) and Isaiah Mobley (36) have scored 78 of USC's 137 points (57 percent). USC's next leading scorer in the last two games is Chevez Goodwin with 19 points.