Men’s basketball | December 14, 2021
The n ° 10 / n °. 9 USC Trojans (10-0, 2-0) will host the UC Irvine Anteaters (5-2, 0-0) at the Galen Center on December 15 at 6 p.m. The match will be broadcast on the Pac-12 network with Roxy Berstein and Don MacLean calling for action. USC are 10-0 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 # 14 in the NET this week, the primary ranking used for NCAA tournament selection and ranking.
QUICK START – USC’s 10-0 start to the 2021-22 season is the Trojans’ seventh best start in school history. USC’s best start to the season was 17-0 in 1910, followed by 16-0 in 1971 and 14-0 for the 2017 season.
TRACES – USC’s 10-game winning streak is tied for the 10th longest in school history. If USC won and went to 11-0, it would be tied for the 9th longest winning streak in school history.
TOP 10 TROJENS –USC is ranked No.10 in the AP poll this week, its best regular-season ranking since it also placed No.10 in the top three polls of the 2017-18 season. USC finished the 2020-21 season ranked 9th in the AP playoff poll. The last time USC was ranked higher in the AP regular season poll was week 18 of the 1991-92 season (8th).
FACING UC IRVINE – UC Irvine (5-2) just lost 63-55 to Fresno State on Dec. 11, ending a five-game winning streak. The UCI lost its first game in New Mexico State (62-51), before posting victories against Boise State (58-50), against La Verne (100-41), against Pepperdine (82-48), in Santa Clara (69-64) and against Bethesda (86-54). Forward Collin Welp is the UCI’s leading scorer with 12.6 points per game and an average of 6.9 rebounds per game. USC is 7-2 against the UCI, winning the last game 91-56 on December 8, 2020. The UCI is second in the country in basket defense with 34.5%.
USC TAKES CARE OF LBSU IN THE SECOND HALF – Isaiah Mobley scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half, Drew peterson added 15 and then-No. 16 USC defeated Long Beach State 73-62 in front of more than 5,500 fans at the Galen Center on December 12. Mobley also tallied 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double in five games. Peterson shot 6 for 8 from the field, including 3 for 3 to 3 points. Max Agbonkpolo finished with 11 points. USC have limited LBSU to 38.3% shots and have limited their 10 opponents to less than 40% shots this season. LBSU managed 51.7% of their shots in the first half, but were limited to 25.8% after the break. USC was passed 35-34 and allowed LBSU to get 15 offensive boards. USC made 7 of 10 free throws (70%) for their best shooting night since the start of the season.
ON THE BRIDGE: GEORGIA TECH AT THE COLANGELO CLASSIC – USC’s next game will be against Georgia Tech (5-4, 0-1) at the Jerry Colangelo Classic to be held at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Ariz. On December 18 at 1 p.m. PT. Georgia Tech has just lost 69-53 to LSU and has lost its last three games. Goalkeeper Michael Devoe is one of the nation’s top scorers averaging 22.1 points per game. Starting goaltenders Jordan Usher (13.7 points per game and 7.0 rebounds per game leading the team) and Kyle Sturdivant (6.7 points per game) started their careers as Trojans. USC is an all-time 1-2 against Georgia Tech, losing the last game 79-53 on December 5, 2009.
BIG MEN, BIG NUMBERS – Great men Isaiah Mobley and Chevez Goodwin have been at the forefront of USC’s success so far this season and are currently the team’s two top scorers and rebounders. Mobley is on average just short of a double-double with 14.7 points per game leading the team and 9.8 rebounds per game, a team-high. He currently ranks 19th in the country for rebounds per game. Goodwin is the Trojans’ second-leading scorer with 12.2 points per game and the team’s second at 7.1 rebounds per game. Goodwin’s 65.1 shooting percentage is the best among USC players with at least five shots attempted and ranks eighth in the country. Mobley ranks first and Goodwin sixth among Pac-12 players in rebounds per game.
HAVE A DEFENSIVE ADVANTAGE –USC kept LBSU at 38.3 percent shots on Dec. 12 and limited each of their opponents this season to less than 40 percent shots. For the season, USC has opposed 35.2 percent of shots, which ranks it fourth in the country. Despite allowing the WSU to reach a high of 40.0 percent from the three-point gap on Dec. 4, USC maintained opposition to a 27.8 shooting percentage in the -beyond the arc, 31st in the country.
CAME … I LOVE HERE... – Isaiah Mobley has made 16 three-pointers leading the team this season and has a 41.0 shooting percentage from beyond the arc (16 for 39). For his career, he made 38.7% on a range of three points (41 for 106). Mobley found his groundstroke late last season, scoring 10 of 15 three-pointers in USC’s last six games. In his first 57 college games, Mobley has scored a total of 15 three-pointers (15 for 52, 28.8%), while he has made 26 in his last 16 games (26 for 54, 48 , 1%).
PETERSON FILLING IN THE STATISTICS SHEET — To keep Drew peterson leads USC with 35 assists, tied for the team lead with 19 free throws made, second in blocks with 10 and minutes played (298) and third in rebounds per game (5.3) . Over the past five games, Peterson has averaged 14.0 points (70 points), 5.8 rebounds (29 overall) and 2.6 assists (13 overall).
AGBONKPOLO ENJOY HOME COOKING — Wing Max Agbonkpolo has scored in double digits in each of the last four home games. In the last four home games, Agbonkpolo has scored in double digits in every game and is averaging 14.0 points per game (56 points overall). He had only scored in double digits twice in his first 56 career games (10 points each time).