College Basketball

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USC (9-4) at UCLA (11-2)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 5, 3 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Pauley Pavilion (12,829) -- Los Angeles, California. Television: FSI. Home Record: USC 7-0, UCLA 9-0. Away Record: USC 1-2, UCLA 0-1. Neutral Record: USC 1-2, UCLA 2-1. Conference Record: USC 0-0, UCLA 0-0. Series Record: UCLA leads, 133-105.

GAME NOTES: A cross-town rivalry will be renewed on Sunday, as a pair of teams that made splashy offseason hires will square off when the USC Trojans meet the UCLA Bruins in a Pac-12 Conference showdown at Pauley Pavilion.

Andy Enfield, of Florida Gulf Coast fame, was brought in to head up the Trojans this year and the results have been solid. USC is sporting a 9-4 record as it gets set to open up league play, although it is just 2-4 in away and neutral-site battles. Still, the Trojans did not win nine games until Jan. 30 last season and had only six total victories the previous campaign.

Steve Alford's task was less daunting, as he took over a UCLA squad that was coming off a 25-win season. Alford's Bruins have spent some time in the national rankings and boast an 11-2 overall mark, including a 9-0 ledger at home. Alford faces perhaps his biggest challenge to date next, as UCLA takes on No. 1 Arizona this coming Thursday.

In a surprising twist, the road team was victorious in the two matchups between these bitter rivals last season. USC won, 75-71, at Pauley Pavilion, and UCLA picked up a 75-69 victory at the Galen Center. The Bruins have claimed triumphs in five of the last six overall, and hold a 133-105 edge in the all-time series.

Byron Wesley scored a game-high 20 points to lead USC to its ninth win last Sunday, an 82-60 rout of Howard. The Trojans hit on 55.8 percent of their shots from the floor, outscored the Bison from beyond the arc (21-9) and at the free-throw line (17-7), while holding a 48-26 edge on the glass. If their was a weak point it was in ball security, as USC committed 20 turnovers.

In the highly-efficient offensive conference that is the Pac-12, Enfield still has some work to do with the Trojans. USC is ranked 10th in scoring (75 ppg) and eighth in field goal percentage (.460). He has been able to coax greater production on the glass from his roster, as USC leads the league in rebounds (40.8 pg), ranking 24th nationally in the category as well. Wesley (17 ppg, 7.2 rpg) has been the player who has blossomed the most under the new head coach, as he is scoring nearly seven points more per game than he did a year ago, with 20-point efforts in three of the last four tilts. Pe'Shon Howard (11 ppg, 4.4 apg), J.T. Terrell (10.8 ppg) and Nikola Jovanovic (10 ppg, 5.6 rpg) are also key contributors.

In their final non-league matchup of the season, the Bruins squared off with Alabama. After a difficult first half that ended with UCLA trailing, 34-33, the Bruins got their act together with a 50-percent shooting effort over the final 20 minutes. Tony Parker scored 16 points off the bench to lead five players in double figures.

The scoring issues that have hampered the Trojans have not been present for the Bruins. UCLA is ranked among the top-15 in the country in scoring (85.5 ppg), assists (18.4 apg) and field goal percentage (.522). In fact, other than Utah, no team in the nation is shooting at a more efficient rate than the Bruins. Prolific scoring guard Jordan Adams (18.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.3 apg) leads the way. However, Adams is much more than a scorer as he can rebound and leads the conference in steals as well. Kyle Anderson (14.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 6.7 apg) continues to be one of the most versatile players in the country, and Zach LaVine (12.2 ppg) and Norman Powell (11.2 ppg) are other important pieces on a stacked roster.

It still seems like the Trojans have a ways to go before they are competing with the Pac-12's elite. The Bruins are already there and should prove it in securing a big win in their league opener.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UCLA 77, USC 67

01/05 10:47:41 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
7:05pm Tuesday
PHI 0
ATL 0
7:05pm Tuesday
NYY 0
CHC 0
7:05pm Tuesday
BAL 0
TAM 0
7:08pm Tuesday
DET 0
CLE 0
Final
CIN 7
PIT 5
Final
MIA 11
WAS 2
Final
TEX 5
SEA 0
Final
CWS 2
BOS 1
Final
HOU 2
KAN 4
Final
MIL 1
STL 6
Final
MIN 3
TOR 9
Final
ARI 0
NYM 9
Final
ANA 9
OAK 10
Final
SDP 2
COL 3
Final
SFG 3
LOS 2
12:35pm Today
CIN
PIT
12:35pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
CHC
 
1:10pm Today
MIL
STL
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
 
Final
BRK 98
NYK 109
Final
LAC 117
DEN 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
 
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR