Breakdown: Arizona vs. USC

Arizona will look to improve to 17-0 on the season when it travels to USC on Sunday night. Read on for a complete positional breakdown, statistics between the two teams, and a score prediction.

Arizona at USC
Jan. 12 at 7 pm
TV: Pac-12
Galen Center


Overall Record 16-0 (1.000) 9-6 (.600)
Location Record 3-0 (1.000) on the road 7-1 (.875) at home
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank) 74.9 (123) 54.9 (3) 73.9 (143) 73.5 (248)
Rebound Margin/G: RM(Rank) 12.1 (5) 3.5 (98)
5.7 (234) 5.5 (254)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
15.3 (49) 14.3 (93)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank) 48.5 (37) 45.0 (151)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank) 37.0 (78) 30.0 (280)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank) 36.6 (5) 41.8 (119)
Ranking: Coaches' Poll #1 N/A
AP Poll
#1 N/A


7 (.6744) 88 (.5539)
Point Guard

PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Jr.) vs. Pe'shon Howard (6-3, 180, Sr.)

Howard probably has no business playing 30 minutes a game, but that is where USC is at right now. He is only shooting 36 percent from the field and turns the ball over about three times per game. McConnell should be able to have his normal game, which is better than what Howard can do. The only curious aspect of this matchup is whether or not Howard is aggressive like he was against Arizona State when he shot 13 times.

Shooting Guard

SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Julian Jacobs (6-3, 180, Fr.)

Johnson is starting to get more national attention and he deserves it. It would not be a surprise to see him guard Terrell and try to take him out of the game, but either way Johnson is going to have an advantage. Jacobs is not a terrible defender and likes to play the passing lanes, but Johnson is obviously the better player here. Jacobs has 20 turnovers in his last four games and Johnson will likely take advantage of that.

Small Forward

SF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. J.T. Terrell (6-3, 185, Sr.)

This is the type of game where Terrell is going to come out shooting and it won't matter if he is open or not. When you shoot 11 times per game and only hit 35 percent of them, shot selection is not your strength. USC has not played zone much this year, but it is going to have to if it is going to have any shot of stopping Gordon. Terrell simply can't do it and as long as Gordon does not get caught on screens, he should be fine defensively.

Power Forward

PF: Brandon Ashley (6-8, 230, So.) vs. Byron Wesley (6-5, 210, Jr.)

Every bad team needs a leading scorer and that is where Wesley comes in. With respect to him though, he is having a fantastic stretch of four games and Ashley has struggled in his past few. This is a good opportunity for Ashley to step up and have a break out game because Wesley should not be able to guard him. If Ashley does not play well, this is where Rondae will come in and he should be able to contain Wesley just fine. Ashley is the better player, but he now has to play like it.


C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 235, So.) vs. Omar Oraby (7-2, 270, Sr.)

Oraby is one of the few players in the conference that is bigger than Tarczewski and this won't be easy for either. Tarczewski, however, is probably more capable of having a big game, as he showed against UCLA. Defensively, Tarczewski should be able to hold his own and our guess here is that the players finish with similar lines. Again though, it comes down to overall potential and Tarczewski has more.


Bench: USC will play eight deep, but there is not much quality. Nikola Jovanovic is a big body with nice touch and he has the capability of putting together a good game. He averages nine points and five rebounds and our guess is he gets more minutes because of his size. D.J. Haley is another big body that is likely going to play 15-20 minutes and grab a handful of boards. Gabe York is better than any guard USC has and Hollis-Jefferson is better than any forward, so that is where the advantage is.


Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Andy Enfield

It's hard to praise Enfield when he basically has had one good season that he turned into a major job. Miller has been coaching at this level longer and has been successful at it. We could probably judge this better in a few years, but right now it is all Miller's.


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Prediction: It would not shock me if this one started off close just because it is hard to match the energy two times in a row. Arizona is the better team and it is going to win this game, but the deficit is the real question. This is a USC team that actually has some decent wins, but also some awful losses. The Trojans have absolutely no guard depth and don't play defense, which is a recipe for disaster against Arizona.

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