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USC Basketball: Oregon Game Preview

The USC Trojans look to get a win in a key conference match-up.

NCAA Basketball: Nevada at Southern California
Derryck Thornton
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The USC Trojans (9-7, 2-1 Pac-12) and the Oregon Ducks (9-6, 0-2 Pac-12) are squaring off Sunday night at the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon in what looks to be a game between two premier Pac-12 teams. The Trojans and the Ducks are coming off gut-wrenching overtime losses to the Oregon State Beavers and UCLA Bruins, where the Ducks squandered a nine-point lead in the final minute. Both teams are looking to bounce back in this one. Here’s what to look for:

Game Info

Matchup: USC at Oregon

Date: Sunday, January 13, 2019

Time: 5:00 PT, 8:00 EST

Spread: Oregon -4.5

Where to watch: Pac-12 Network, ESPNU

Team Stats

Key Players to Watch

For the Trojans:

Nick Rakocevic: The junior big man has been an absolute force on both ends of the floor for the Trojans this year. On the season, Rakocevic is averaging 15.1 points on 51.1 percent shooting from the field while adding 9.9 rebounds game, good for Top 25 in the nation. He has also been able to be dominant on the defensive end by averaging 1.9 blocks per game. He will need to play phenomenal in this one if USC is looking to steal a big road game.

Bennie Boatwright: The senior captain is coming a massive game where he scored 37 points and grabbed eight rebounds against the Oregon State Beavers. Boatwright leads the Men of Troy in scoring with 17.4 points per game on 48.6 percent shooting from the field and a crisp 38 percent from three-point range, all career highs. His ability to space the floor will cause many problems for the Duck big men.

For the Ducks:

Payton Pritchard: The junior guard from West Linn, Oregon is the engine that makes this Ducks team go. Pritchard leads the team in assists with 4.5 per game and is the teams’ second leading scorer at 11.9 per game. In a year where the Ducks have had to overcome the loss of star freshman big man Bol Bol, Pritchard has been a steady playmaker for this team and someone coach Dana Altman can rely on. USC point guard Derryck Thornton is going to have his hands full in this one.

Louis King: The freshman and former five-star recruit has been one of Oregon’s standout players this year. King is coming off a 22-point effort against the Bruins where he also added 10 rebounds. The 19-year old had a very rough start to the season where he was forced to sit out due to injury but has since been a key contributor to the team. King can score in bunches and will look to get going early in this game.

Prediction

Oregon 69 USC 67