Men’s basketball set to face Huskies at Galen Center

first_imgMuch of the Huskies’ struggles can be attributed to the loss of star sophomore guard Quade Green. Green was a sophomore transfer from perennial powerhouse Kentucky who was averaging 11.6 points and 5.3 assists for a Husky team that looked promising for much of the season. After scoring 14 points against USC in the victory against USC, the NCAA ruled Green academically ineligible for the rest of the season.  Freshman forward Onyeka Okongwu struggled to score last Saturday in a loss to Arizona State. (Photo via USC Men’s Basketball / Twitter) “We can’t script everything,” head coach Andy Enfield said after the 85-80 loss to Arizona. “We can’t say we want Elijah to shoot this many or Onyeka to shoot — you just have to play basketball as a team and when it’s your turn hopefully you shoot a high percentage.”  USC is in the midst of a three-game losing streak prompted by tough competition against ranked opponents. The Trojans took a 78-57 thrashing at home to No. 16 Colorado and followed with two close losses against then No. 23 Arizona and Arizona State on the road. USC was outpaced in transition and on the glass in both games.   The Huskies’ ability to shut down USC’s offense led to Washington’s blowout over USC in January. The Trojans’ put up a season low field goal percentage of 20%, going only 13-65 from the field. Star freshman forward Onyeka Okongwu managed only 10 points in the loss — six under his season average — yet he led his team in scoring that game. The Trojans will rely heavily on their veterans, who have been hot for the Trojans of late. Senior guard Jonah Mathews now averages 13 points per game after going 5-9 from beyond the arc against Arizona State and scoring 22 points. The recent road trip was also a chance for senior forward Nick Rakocevic to step up, as he had an impressive 18 point performance in a close 85-80 loss against Arizona and a team-high 12 rebounds against ASU. The USC men’s basketball team will return to Galen Center Thursday to face off against Washington. This will be the two teams’ second meeting this season after the Huskies handed the Trojans a 72-40 loss in Seattle in January.  Freshman forward Isaiah Mobley is averaging a modest 6.7 points per game off the bench for USC. (James Wolfe | Daily Trojan)center_img Both teams will be hungry to break their losing streak, as the Huskies bring a six-game skid into Thursday’s contest. USC’s 9-2 record at home may suggest an advantage for the Trojans, but its last home game against Colorado proved winning at Galen Center is no guarantee.  The game won’t be a cakewalk for the Trojans though. They’ll have to stop freshman forward and first round prospect Isaiah Stewart, who has been playing exceptionally in the paint and leads the team with up to 18 points and nine rebounds per game.  Thursday’s game will be critical in determining the Trojans’ outlook in the Pac-12. Look for Washington to come out with the same defensive toughness that helped achieve their blowout last time, but don’t underestimate the adjustment period that the past month has offered for USC’s freshmen to get accustomed — especially Okongwu and forward Isaiah Mobley. Since the teams’ last meeting, Washington has experienced its fair share of struggles. After blowing out USC, the Huskies have lost six of their last seven conference games at the hands of Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and Arizona.  The slump has dropped the Huskies to the bottom of the Pac-12 standings with an abysmal conference record of 2-9. USC will tip off against Washington at Galen Center at 6 p.m. Thursday after a jersey retirement for former Trojan and current San Antonio Spur Demar DeRozan.last_img

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