Jan. 2, 2013
Stanford Cardinal (9-4, 0-0 Pac-12)
USC Trojans (5-8, 0-0 Pac-12)
Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 7 p.m.
Los Angeles, CA Galen Center (10,258)
Series History: USC leads 121-120
Last Meeting: Stanford 59, USC 47 (Feb. 12, 2012 at Los Angeles, CA)
Radio: KNBR 1050 AM (PBP: John Platz, Analyst: Drew Shiller)
KZSU 90.1 FM (PBP: Andrew Santana, Analyst: Ashley Westhem)
TV: ESPNU (PBP: Tom Hart, Analyst: Darrin Horn)
The Opening Tip
The first week of 2013 coincides with the start of conference play for Stanford (9-4, 0-0 Pac-12), which travels to USC (5-8, 0-0 Pac-12) on Thursday night in the Pac-12 opener for both teams. Stanford is aiming for its third straight victory, which would match its longest winning streak of the year.
Thursday's game can be heard live on KNBR 1050 AM and Stanford's official athletics website, www.gostanford.com, featuring the insightful duo of John Platz (play-by-play) and Drew Shiller (analyst). KZSU 90.1 FM also provides coverage. The game will be televised on ESPNU with Tom Hart (play-by-play) and Darrin Horn (analyst).
USC (5-8, 0-0 Pac-12) has lost seven of its last nine games overall dating back to Nov. 20 ... The Trojans wrapped up non-conference play with a 63-61 overtime home win over Dayton on Sunday ... USC's struggles can be traced back to a challenging early schedule that includes games against Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico and San Diego State ... Picked ninth in the Pac-12 preseason media poll, USC finished 6-26 overall last year and was 1-17 in conference play ... USC is averaging 62.6 points and 34.7 rebounds per game while shooting 41.6 percent but only 32.5 percent from long range and 67.5 percent from the foul line ... Be sure to watch: Eric Wise (11.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 53.8 percent FG), J.T. Terrell (9.3 ppg, 23-69 three-pointers), Jio Fontan (8.2 ppg, 69 assists) and Dewayne Dedmon (7.1 rpg).
Stanford All-Time vs. USC
USC leads the all-time series at 121-120. The last 10 meetings have been split, however Stanford swept last year's season series for the first time since 2005. Stanford came away with a 51-43 victory at Maples Pavilion on New Year's Eve in the first meeting, then posted a 59-47 win at the Galen Center in the February rematch for its first-ever win in the facility.
Who To Watch Against USC
Chasson Randle averaged 12.0 points in two games last year, connecting on 9-17 from the field with five three-pointers. In four games, Aaron Bright is averaging 6.5 points on 8-21 shooting while Josh Huestis is averaging 5.2 points on 7-17 shooting. Offensively, Dwight Powell (3-17 in four games) and John Gage (2-13 in four games) have struggled.
Stanford In Conference Openers
Stanford is 5-5 in conference openers over the last 10 seasons. The Cardinal has won its last two Pac-12 lid-lifters, most recently edging UCLA 60-59 at Maples Pavilion last year. Since the 1978-79 campaign, Stanford is 18-16 in conference openers (13-6 at home and 5-10 on the road).
Pac-12 Preseason Projection Highest Since 2005
Stanford has been picked to finish fourth in this year's Pac-12 preseason media poll, as announced at the conference's Media Day. The fourth-place projection is the highest since the 2005-06 campaign, when the Cardinal was tabbed for second. The Pac-12 season gets underway Wednesday night with Utah visiting Arizona State.
Huestis Developing Into A Terror On The Glass
Not limited to just a premier shot-blocker, Josh Huestis is dominating the boards. After grabbing 14 rebounds in Saturday's win over Lafayette, Huestis has finished up as Stanford's leading rebounder in nine games while posting double-figure rebounding totals in four contests. Huestis is averaging a team-best 8.9 boards per game, bidding to become the first Stanford player to average at least 10.0 rebounds since Curtis Borchardt (11.4) in 2001-02.
When Life Gives You Lemons...
Since making his first career start on Dec. 21 at Northwestern, Robbie Lemons has provided Stanford with a much-needed scoring lift. A former walk-on who had appeared in 32 games off the bench over his first two years, Lemons added 12 points (all three-pointers) in 22 minutes against Northwestern. He then finished with seven points and four rebounds versus Lafayette.
Lineups Based On Matchups
Head coach Johnny Dawkins has used five starting lineups this year. Dawkins employed 15 different lineups last year, with 10 players receiving at least one starting nod. In contrast, Dawkins used seven lineups in 2010-11, and six combinations in both 2008-09 and 2009-10.
The Bright Lights Of ESPN
Aaron Bright has definitely made the most of his opportunities to play on ESPN. Entering Thursday's game against USC on ESPNU, Bright has posted the following totals in 13 career games shown on the ESPN family of networks: 13.8 ppg, 56.7 percent (55-97) from the field, 52.8 percent (28-53) from three-point territory and 91.3 percent (42-46) from the foul line.
SoCal Slide Finally Comes To An End
Stanford's 59-47 road win over USC last February snapped a string of 13 consecutive regular-season losses during the Southern California swing. Prior to that victory, six years had passed since the Cardinal won a road game against either of the Southern California schools (0-7 against UCLA, 0-6 against USC). Stanford's most recent sweep of the SoCal trip came in 2005, defeating UCLA 75-64 before taking down USC 78-70.