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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

February 17, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Scouting USC

Washington_USC_Basketball_CALS104.JPG
Photo credit: AP PHOTO – Lori Shepler
Scouting report: USC
Game info: 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Edmundson Pavilion.
TV/Radio: FSN NW/KJR-950 AM
Record: 15-9 (7-5 Pac-10, third). RPI rank: 84th.
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Coach: Kevin O’Neill 15-9 in his first year with the Trojans, 186-189 overall in his 13th season.
Last season: 22-13, 9-9 Pac-10 (t-5th)
Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2009
Prediction: Picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 in a media poll.
Series: USC leads 66-65 in a series that began with a 40-23 UW victory on Feb. 26, 1925. The Huskies have won eight of the past 12 meetings and they are 37-28 in Seattle.
Last meeting: All five Trojans scored in double figures while Quincy Pondexter was held a season-low two points on 1-for-10 shooting in USC’s 87-61 victory at Galen Center on Jan. 23. The Trojans led 19-6 after the opening seven minutes and the Huskies never got any closer than five points the rest of the way. Marcus Johnson scored a game-high 22 points, Dwight Lewis added 19 and Nikola Vucevic finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds for USC. Venoy Overton topped UW scorers with 18 points.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Lewis is USC’s leading scorer, but he’s streaky. He’s been held to fewer than 10 points in six games and he’s scored 20 or more points in six games. Statistically, he had a better year last season. Lewis has scored 1,375 career points and is 13th all-time on USC’s scoring list. He is 48 points behind John Block (1964-66). Lewis ranks 10th on USC’s all-time three-point baskets list with 141.
— Vucevic was voted best young player in Montenegro in 2007. His father played pro ball in Europe for 24 years & mother played in Bosnia. He attended Stoneridge Prep, the same school as UW recruit Enes Kanter, and wasn’t cleared by the NCAA to play in the first eight games last season when he averaged 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 23 games. This season, he’s been sensational. He’s grabbed seven or more rebounds in all but two games.
OVERVIEW:
— When Mike Gerrity (above, right) became eligible Dec. 18, he became a starter Dec. 19 and USC hasn’t altered the starting lineup in the past 16 games.
— F Alex Stephenson (above, middle), who transferred from North Carolina, had to sit out the 2008-09 season and is playing his first year with the Trojans.
— The Trojans are on a self-imposed postseason ban stemming from an internal investigation that found NCAA rules violations related to O.J. Mayo, who played during the 2007-08 season. The school will vacate all wins from that season. In addition, the team will lose a scholarship for the 2009-10 and ’10-11 seasons and will be restricted during recruiting.
— USC enters the game having allowed 1352 points in its first 24 games (56.3 ppg), its fewest through 24 games since allowing 1235 points in the first 24 games of the 1950-51 season. USC is fourth in the country in points allowed per game.
— USC held nine consecutive opponents to 56 points or less from Dec. 8-Jan. 6 (longest streak since 12 in the 1947-48 season). USC has held 14 opponents to 56 points or less this season and only twice has allowed more than 67 points (69 at Texas and 79 at Georgia Tech).
— USC is 11-3 at home and 1-6 on the road. The Trojans outshoot its opponents .455 to .354 in home games, while being outshot on the road, .406 to .436. They average 5.5 more points per game at home.
— In Pac-10 games, USC is the only team with all losses by 10 points or less.
— USC has led or been tied in the 2nd half in all 12 Pac-10 games.
— In USC’s five Pac-10 losses, it has committed 102 fouls, while the opponent only 60.
— USC is 9-1 in games it scores 60 or more points. … USC is 12-1 when taking more FTs than its opponents. … USC is 6-1 vs. the top six teams in the Pac-10 and 1-4 against the current bottom four in the standings.
STARTING LINEUP:
G – Lewis, 6-5, 215, Sr.,13.7 ppg., 2.8 rpg.
G – Gerrity, 6-1, 180, Sr., 9.4, 2.8
G/F – Johnson, 6-6, 210, Sr., 10.0, 4.6
F – Stepheson, 6-9, 235, Jr., 9.0, 7.3
F – Vucevic, 6-10, 240, So.,11.6, 9.8
KEY MATCHUP:
— The Trojans front line is formidable, however, Gerrity was the unsung hero of USC’s 26-point victory against UW last month. He routinely slipped by Isaiah Thomas and Venoy Overton in the open court and pressured the Huskies’ defense with dribble drives. When UW’s big men tried to stop Gerrity on the drive, he dished an array of passes that led to highlight dunks, layups and alley-oops. Gerrity finished with seven assists and just one turnover while playing a game-high tying 35 minutes.
Coach Lorenzo Romar was coy when asked if he’d change the defensive tactic Thursday. Overton, however, said he plans to pressure Gerrity and hopes to avoid foul trouble at home. In Los Angeles, Overton and Abdul Gaddy each had four fouls while USC shot 58.2 percent from the field.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, top 25

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