The USC Trojans are coming off a victory against the visiting Cal State Fullerton Titans. They dominated in the paint with a pair of double-doubles from post players Nikola Jovanovic and Darion Clark. USC will try to build on the victory against New Mexico when it travels to The Pit in Albuquerque Sunday afternoon.
What to Watch:
No Streaking - Through six games, USC is 3-3 having alternated between wins and losses every game. Following a win on Tuesday, the Trojans will try to break that streak.
On the Road Again - USC played in the Charleston Classic in South Carolina last weekend, but Sunday's trip to New Mexico is the Trojans' first true road game of the year. Last year, USC was a putrid 2-10 on the road, but it did have a big non-conference overtime victory at Dayton, a team that ended up losing in the Elite Eight to Florida. Playing at The Pit in New Mexico will be a very daunting atmosphere.
Missing Martin - Freshman forward Malik Martin is expected to be out a couple of weeks after an MRI on his knee revealed he had a bone contusion, but no structural damage after hyperextending his knee in the Trojans' third game of the season. With Martin absent, USC has only three post players, but all three have stepped up to fill his void.Luis Gavrilovic set career highs in points and rebounds for his first career double-double against Penn State while Darion Clark and Nikola Jovanovic both recorded their first double-doubles of the season on Tuesday.
Lobos Lost - New Mexico second-year head coach Craig Neal has had to shuffle his starting lineup. He lost both starter Cullen Neal and substitute Arthur Edwards last week while projected starter Jordan Goodman isn't expected to play after suffering a head injury earlier this week in practice. At the time of his injury, Neal was leading the Lobos in scoring, assists, made three-point field goals, three-point field goal per- centage, made free throws and free throw percentage.
NMU Dominance - The Trojans haven't beaten New Mexico in nearly 33 years! USC's last win came in December 1981 when it won 80-71. The Lobos have won the last five matchups and hold the overall series lead 6-5.
From All Over - New Mexico isn't exactly a hotbed of high school hoops talent, but the Lobos have consistently produced some talented players. They aren't afraid to mine recruits from all over the country...nay, all over the world. New Mexico's roster has players from five outside states (California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Texas) and three international countries (Australia, France, Sudan).
Familiar Face - While Hugh Greenwood is the only Lobo that was on the roster when USC last played New Mexico in 2012, there is one Trojan that the Lobos will be very familiar with. Katin Reinhardt played against the Lobos three times in 2012 when he was with UNLV.
Last Matchup: New Mexico won 76-67 on Dec 5, 2012.
USC watched a 28-18 lead with eight minutes to go in the first half turn into a nine-point halftime deficit as New Mexico ended the first half on a 25-6 run. The undefeated Lobos pushed the lead to 17 points in the second half, but a 13-2 run from the Trojans cut the lead down to five points. That was as close as USC would get. Hugh Greenwood led all scorers with 17 points. All five USC starters finished in double figures, but New Mexico shot above 50 percent prompting former USC head coach Kevin O'Neill to say: "We didn't guard anybody. We couldn't guard a lunch in a kindergarten class."
Where to Watch:
Game Time, TV channel: 1:00 p.m. PST, CBS Sports Network (Brad Johansen, Steve Lappas)
Radio: Gametracker. USC: ESPN 710 AM (Chris Fisher); New Mexico: 770 AM KKOB (Robert Portnoy, Hunter Greene)
Odds & More:
Odds and Wagers: Latest Odds: New Mexico -9 favorite, Over/Under: N/A
Projected Starting Lineups:
G - Jordan McLaughlin (6-1 freshman)
G - Katin Reinhardt (6-6 sophomore)
G - Elijah Stewart (6-7 freshman)
F - Darion Clark (6-7 sophomore)
F - Nikola Jovanovic (6-11 sophomore)
G - Hugh Greenwood (6-3 senior)
G - Xavier Adams (6-4 freshman)
G - Deshawn Delaney (6-5 senior)
F - Devon Williams (6-8 sophomore)
C - Obij Aget (7-1 sophomore)