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Stanford at USC
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Galen Center
TV/Radio: ESPNU/AM 790
Records: Stanford 11-15, 5-10 in Pac-12; USC 18-8, 10-5
USC previous result: The Trojans coasted to a 97-60 win over Cal on Thursday, scoring their most points of the season. They were led by Drew Peterson’s career-high 30 points, with head coach Andy Enfield leaving the senior in until he hit the milestone. USC picked up its 3-point shooting, making 12 of 23 from that range. And freshmen Kijani Wright and Oziyah Sellers impressed during some extra playing time, an encouraging sign for the team.
Stanford previous result: The Cardinal put some fear into No. 4 UCLA on Thursday, leading for much of the first half and as late as the 7:13 mark of the second. But Stanford only managed seven points in the final seven minutes of the game, falling 73-64. The Cardinal primarily attacked the paint against the Bruins, making 18 baskets in the key. Fourteen turnovers ultimately doomed Stanford’s upset efforts.
Matchup to watch: Kobe Johnson vs. Spencer Jones. This is a fun defensive matchup for Johnson. Jones is a rangy 6-foot-7 forward who can get going quickly from 3-point range. And with Johnson averaging 14 points across his past four games, Jones’ length will present a challenge for USC’s sophomore guard to overcome on the offensive end, too.
USC trend to watch: Peterson was on the court for 33 minutes in the win over Cal, the first time in six games the senior hasn’t played at least 37 minutes. In the two games prior to Cal, he played 39 as USC was down Joshua Morgan (ankle) and Reese Dixon-Waters. Asked about the wear and tear Thursday night, Peterson joked that, because he has only one class in his final semester of college, he’s been getting a lot of extra sleep. It remains to be seen if Morgan or Dixon-Waters returns against Stanford, but it’s worth monitoring if USC is able to sneak in any additional rest for its key rotation players.
March résumé check: USC moved up seven spots from No. 64 to No. 57 in the NET rankings with Thursday’s win and the shakeup of other bubble teams losing. This moved USC up to a 10-seed facing seven-seed Illinois in Des Moines in CBS’s bracketology projections. ESPN’s bracket still had USC as one of the first four teams out, however. At No. 106 in the NET, Stanford represents a Quadrant 3 opportunity for USC.
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