Tonight the USC Trojans host the UCLA Bruins in a rematch. The two teams last played on January 13th in Westwood with the Trojan winning 89-75. Both teams have gone 2-2 since their last meeting with USC losing to Oregon and Oregon State but defeating Washington and Washington State. UCLA, on the other hand defeated Oregon State and Washington State but lost to Oregon and Washington. USC has the opportunity to sweep the Bruins in the regular season for the first time since 2010.
The Trojans are 17-5 overall and are off to their best start since the early 90's despite being just outside the national rankings. UCLA on the other hand are 13-9 for the season. Bruins Nation elaborated on a couple of ways to effectively handle the Bruins:
"1. Speed us up. UCLA struggles with a fast athletic team. This is not on Bryce as much as Aaron Holiday. Aaron Holiday can get sped up and out of control. Aaron Holiday has 23 assists and 35 turnovers in UCLA losses versus 61 assists to just 26 turnovers in wins. Holiday does not do well in fast games and makes more mistakes. Jack Wang had a great chart about UCLA's struggles with fast teams.
2. Exposing Bryce on Defense. If the other team has three good guards, we are in trouble as Bryce is a major liability on defense. USC last time we played them went to Kevin Reinhert (their third guard over and over again) and his sub Elijah Stewart. The two combined for 13 of USC's first 30 points on Bryce. USC's offense was clicking and UCLA suffered its worst home loss under Steve Alford."
Here are some more stats and info from USCTrojans.com:
"IT TAKES A TEAM -- USC has six players averaging 10.8 or more points and eight players have averaged 3.1 rebounds or more in the first 22 games. Seven different Trojans have scored at least 19 points in a game this season. USC has four players with at least 39 three-point baskets this season. Last season, USC had only three players all season make 16 or more three-pointers. USC had five players score in double figures vs. Monmouth on Nov. 16, the first time it had accomplished the feat since 2013 and has had five or more reach double figures in eight games this season. USC had six players score 10 or more points vs. Cal Poly on Dec. 17, the first time accomplishing that feat since Dec. 28, 2004 vs. Southern."
The game tips off at 7:30pm tonight at the Galen Center. You can watch on the Pac-12 Network or listen on the radio at AM 690.