Tonight is a very interesting game for the Bob Cantu Trojans. Following their third consecutive victory which ended with a standing ovation from the Galen Center crowd, USC faces two critical road tests in the Bay Area that could increase their chances of finishing in the top four in the Pac-12 and receiving a first round bye in the conference tournament, or kill those chances completely.
Last night, Arizona State lost to Utah 60-55, bringing their Pac-12 record to 7-5. The winner of tonight's game between the Cardinal and Trojans will move into a tie for fourth place with the Sun Devils (ASU currently holds the tiebreaker against USC due to their OT victory three weeks ago).
But the Trojans will have to overcome history and setbacks to get this victory. They have lost nine of their last ten road games against the Farm, who is 10-2 at home this season. In addition, Ari Stewart will be out for three weeks with a broken left thumb, which means that Renaldo Woolridge will likely be called upon to pick up the bench points for the team. Stanford certainly will bring scoring beyond the starting five, as 43 of their 69 points against the Trojans last month came from the bench. Jio Fontan will also be an X-Factor for USC. Stanford brings four starters on the taller side of six-foot-six, so Fontan will need to direct an up-tempo offense to combat the Cardinal's size.
The game is on ESPNU at 8 PM PT. This is the game thread. Let's see what the Trojans can really do.