What to Watch:
Dinwithout - Colorado lost star point guard Spencer Dinwiddie for the season last week due to a knee injury. Can the Buffaloes find a replacement for their offensive table setter? It'll be up to Askia Booker and Josh Scott, who were the leading scorers in the game against USC last season, to step up and try to fill the void.
On Thursday against UCLA, in their first game without Dinwiddie, Colorado struggled mightily on offense, scoring just 59 points. It was only the second time the Buffs have scored less than 60 points this season...the other happened to be the game Dinwiddie was injured when Colorado was outscored 45-25 in the second half without him.
Taking Care of the Ball - USC has killed itself with turnovers during Pac-12 play. It is averaging 17 per game! It's hard to win many games when you can't take care of the ball. It starts with USC's four primary guards: Julian Jacobs, Pe'Shon Howard, J.T. Terrell and Byron Wesley. The four have 42 assists and 42 turnovers. That just won't get it done.
Getting Nikola Going - USC is 2-7 with wins over Northern Arizona and Cal State Fullerton when freshman Nikola Jovanovic doesn't reach double figures. The Trojans are 7-1 when he does get 10+ points. His versatility and length on the court make a big impact on opposing defenses because he can drag a big man out of the paint, opening up lanes for penetration from Byron Wesley and Julian Jacobs.
Serbian Connection - Luis Gavrilovic had another strong game coming off the bench on Thursday night. He has 19 points in his last two games after scoring 21 in the team's first 15 games of the season.
Haley Still Sidelined? - D.J. Haley injured his groin in warmups against against Arizona last Sunday. He played minimally in that game and didn't enter Thursday night's game at Utah. Will we see him today? Colorado has a smaller frontline, so an extra 7-footer could put some more pressure on Josh Scott, who the Trojans would love to get into foul trouble.
Avoiding the Big Run - USC has been blown out in all four of its Pac-12 contests thus far. In all four games, the Trojans haven't been able to avoid the big run. Instead, turnovers and poor shooting lead to a four- or five-minute scoring drought that sees a six- or eight-point deficit turn into 15.
Jan. 10 - Colorado 66-60 (@ Colorado). The Buffs built a 16-point second half lead and held on getting 14 points from Josh Scott and 12 points from Askia Booker. They were able to hold off USC despite 16 points from Eric Wise.
Where to Watch:
Game Time, TV channel: 11:00 a.m. PST, FOX Sports 1 (Aaron Goldsmith, Brevin Knight)
Radio: USC: ESPN 710 AM (Chris Fisher, Brandon Granville); Colorado: 850 KOA AM (Mark Johnson, Scott Wilke)
Odds & More:
Odds and Wagers: Latest Odds: USC +11.5/Colorado -11.5, Over/Under 140.5 points
Projected Starting Lineups: