Washington State will complete its two-game series with the USC Trojans at 7:30 p.m. in Los Angeles.
When the Cougars first hosted the Trojans in the Pac-12 opener for both schools, USC had not yet revealed itself as a Pac-12 title contender. Nearly two months later, the high-flying Trojans have already beaten conference favorite Arizona and are arguably the Pac-12's deepest team, with six players averaging between 10.9 and 12.6 points per game.
When Andy Enfield left Florida Gulf Coast University, the coach had to leave the "Dunk City" nickname behind. But he's brought that exciting style back as the Cougars can attest – USC had three clip-show worthy dunks in the first meeting – and the fans are starting to return to the Galen Center.
USC only averages 3,400 fans per home attendance, but the crowds on TV appear significantly larger than the ghost town that greeted the Cougars last year when WSU beat the Trojans on their home court.
The Cougars would love to build a Galen Center winning streak. Here's what they're up against:
Record: 15-5, 4-3 Pac-12
Points per game: 83.7
Opponent points per game: 73.3
Field goal percentage: 46.0
3-point percentage: 39.4
Free throw percentage: 67.1
Rebounding margin: +3.5
Steals per game: 6.5
Blocks per game: 6.3
And here are some more detailed statistics, courtesy of KenPom.com.
Adjusted efficiency national rank (offense/defense): 35/34
Adjusted tempo national rank: 34
Average possession length: 15.4 seconds (No. 24 nationally)
Turnover percentage: 16.8 (No. 75)
Offensive rebound percentage: 33.6 (No. 67)
2-point percentage: 49.3 (No. 135)
Block percentage: 13.8 (No. 25)
FT Rate: 67.2 (No. 255)
Opponent FT rate: 68.3 (No. 124)
Defensive footprint: Mostly man
So who will win? KenPom gives USC a 90 percent chance of winning and predicts a final margin of 87-72.
G: Jordan McLaughlin 12.6 ppg, 4.9 apg, 42.7 3FG%
G: Julian Jacobs 12.6 ppg, 5.7 apg, 5.3 rpg
G: Katin Reinhardt 12.3 ppg, 83.9 FT%, 3.2 rpg
F: Bennie Boatwright 12.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 37.1 3FG%
F: Nikola Jovanovic 11.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 53.1 FG%
Here are some WSU related links:
-- In the paper today we take a look at this weekend's WSU basketball action in our Four Corners section.
-- Signing Day is around the corner and the CougCenter guys have compiled lots of recruiting tidbits.
-- Joe Dahl is impressing people during practices leading up to the Senior Bowl.
-- But Dahl's measurables could work against him.