What to Watch:
Inconceivable, Wesley - In the last two games, Byron Wesley has posted a new career high in rebounds (11 against Cal State Northridge) and points (31 on Friday against Northern Arizona). The junior from Etiwanda HS was also one assist shy of tying his career high against Northridge.
He currently leads the Trojans with 20.7 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game while second on the team with 3.7 assists per game. What personal best will Wesley go after tonight?
Knock 'Em Down - Against Northern Arizona, USC was a shameful 19-for-36 from the free throw line. While those numbers might make Wilt Chamberlain happy, barely shooting above 50 percent is abysmal. Leaving 17 points at the charity stripe is the difference between a blowout win and NAU having an opportunity to tie the game in the final moments.
Getting Terrell on Track - J.T. Terrell has not started the last two games (both USC wins, by the way) because of academics. He was benched last Tuesday for not fulfilling his academic duties and then, according to head coach Andy Enfield, missed shootaround to attend to academic matters on Friday, so Enfield held him out of the lineup after installing some new concepts for Northern Arizona.
After scoring 20 points in the opener at Utah State, last season's leading scorer has only managed 10 points off the bench in the last two games. He has forced a couple of shots, trying to get into the rhythm of the game, rather than letting it come to him as he did in Logan, Utah.
Offense for Defense - Late in Friday's games against the Lumberjacks, Enfield went back and forth with offensive and defensive substitutions, switching Omar Oraby and D.J. Haley. Even at 7-foot and 250 pounds, Haley gets down in his defensive stand, moves his feet well and is able to stay in front of penetrating guards, if necessary.
While Oraby is a valuable asset in the paint, as shown by his three blocks in the NAU game, Haley is much better at stepping out and guarding against ball screens. Depending on the matchup, this is a substitution pattern we may see more from Enfield, especially against smaller lineups such as Cal State Fullerton.
Horton Faces Familiar Foe - USC Special Assistant to the Head Coach, Dieter Horton, gets the opportunity to face off against his alma mater. Horton graduated in 1994 with a degree in Kinesiology before taking over as head coach at the nearby junior college, Fullerton College, for 10 seasons (1997-2006).
Horton spent four years as the head man at Antelope Valley College, going 98-46 before joining the USC coaching staff under Kevin O'Neill and staying on the staff under his new title with Enfield.
Know Thy Enemy - Cal State Fullerton is 2-1 with wins at Montana State and against Santa Clara, but the Titans lost by four points at Seattle. Junior guard Alex Harris is averaging 17.7 points per game, including 20 against Montana State. Seniors Marquis Horne and Michael Williams are also averaging double figures for the Titans, but Fullerton lost their top three scorers from a team that was only 14-18 last season.
That led to the hiring of Dedrique Taylor, who takes over the Fullerton program after being an assistant coach at Arizona State for the seven previous seasons. Taylor is charged with getting the Titans back to the top of the Big West where Fullerton hasn't finished since 2008.
Where to Watch:
Game Time, TV channel: 8:00 p.m. PST, Pac-12 Network
Radio: USC - ESPN 710 AM; Cal State Fullerton - FullertonTitans.com
Odds & More:
Odds and Wagers: Latest Odds from Bovada: Cal State Fullerton +6/USC -6, Over/Under N/A
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