No. 21 USC Men's Basketball Hosts Pacific On Tuesday
The No. 21 USC Trojans (19-4, 9-4) will host the Pacific Tigers (7-15, 2-6) at the Galen Center on Feb. 8 at 7:00 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network with J.B. Long and Don MacLean calling the action. USC added the game against Pacific on February 1 to complete its nonconference slate as the Trojans' scheduled game on Dec. 21 vs. Oklahoma State in Oklahoma City, Okla. at the Compete 4 The Cure Classic was canceled due to COVID-19 cases within the USC program. USC is seeking its third consecutive 20-win season which would equal the school record set from 2016-18.
FACING PACIFIC -- Pacific (7-15, 2-6) is coming off a 70-64 loss at Pepperdine on Feb. 5. Senior Alphonso Anderson 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.
IT STARTS WITH DEFENSE -- USC held ASU to 32.8 percent shooting on Feb. 3 and has held 16 of its 23 opponents to under 40 percent shooting this season. USC is holding the opposition to a 37.8 shooting percentage, 10th 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.
COLD FINISH DOOMS TROJANS IN THE DESERT -- In a game that featured 14 lead changes and 11 ties, Arizona outscored USC 18-3 over the final 6:17 for a 72-63 win at the McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz. before 14,644 fans. The No. 7 Wildcats were the first ranked opponent USC had faced this season and it didn't seem like it mattered to the Trojans as they led 60-54 at the 6:30 mark of the second half. However, USC missed all but one of its final 14 shots and the final margin became the biggest lead for either team during the game. USC trailed by one at halftime, 29-28, as Ethan Anderson's jumper at the buzzer was downgraded to a 2-pointer from a 3-pointer. Arizona built the lead to as many as 6 points 4 minutes into the second half, but when Max Agbonkpolo's jumper went through the net at the 13:00 mark USC had tied the game at 42-all. USC took 15 more shots than Arizona, but made only 34.3 percent, while Arizona made 47.3 percent of its shots. The Wildcats also outrebounded USC 42-37 and outscored the Trojans 42-28 on points in the paint. Isaiah Mobley led USC with 15 points and Isaiah White scored 9 points by going 3 of 7 on 3-pointers.
THAT WAS RARE -- When USC won 58-53 at Arizona State on Feb. 3 while making 30.0 percent of its shots, it became the first time since at least the 1996-97 season that the Trojans won when shooting 30.0 percent or lower and ASU lost when holding its opponent to 30 percent or less from the field.
UCLA ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at home vs. UCLA (16-4, 8-3) on Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. UCLA is coming off a tough desert road trip, falling 76-66 at Arizona on Feb. 3 and 87-84 in 3 OT at Arizona State on Feb. 5. The Bruins will play at Stanford on Feb. 8 before traveling crosstown to face USC. UCLA is led in scoring by Johnny Juzang who averages 18.1 points per game. USC has won the last four meetings between the two schools, but trails 113-143 in the all-time series (1 win in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 114-143).
LEADERS OF THE PAC -- USC is tied for the lead in conference in wins among Pac-12 teams for the past five seasons (since the 2017-18 season). USC is 55-32 in conference games during that stretch, while Oregon is 55-28, UCLA is 53-29, Arizona is 52-32 and Colorado is 47-35.
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 3.2. 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 11.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and ranks 15th in the country in shooting percentage (59.4). 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 three games, Boogie Ellis (50 points) and Isaiah Mobley (51) have scored 101 of USC's 200 points (57 percent). USC's next leading scorer in the last three games is Chevez Goodwin with 27 points and no one else has totaled 20 or more.
SHOOTING DESERTS USC IN THE DESERT -- USC was able to secure a split on the desert road trip despite posting its two lowest shooting games of the season. USC made 30 percent of its shots at ASU and then 34.3 percent at Arizona. In the two games USC made 32.4 percent of its field goal attempts (42-for-130), including 24.1 percent from three-point range (13-for-54).