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Scouting Report: Arizona at USC

<B>No. 12 Arizona 19-4 (9-2) vs. Southern California 9-13 (2-9)</B><BR> <B>Date: Thursday, Feb. 3, 2005</B><BR> <B>Time: approx. 7:30 PST</B><BR> <B>Location: Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena (16,409), Los Angeles, CA</B><BR> <A href="http://arizona.theinsiders.com/2/338802.html">In-Game Chat: </A><P>

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MEDIA:
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
Pregame: 6:30 p.m. MST on 1290 a.m. (Brad Allis, Pete Delgado, John Schuster, Ryan Radtke, Joe Nehls)
Postgame call-in show: 1290 a.m. approximately 30 minutes after the end of the game.
TV: FSNA (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
On-Line: Arizona All Access (subscription required)
www.arizonaathletics.com

USC at a glance: Location: Los Angeles, CA
Coach: Jim Saia 1st year (Interim Head Coach)
Leading Scorer: Lodrick Stewart (13.9)
Leading Rebounder: Jeff McMillan (6.6)
Leading Assists: Gabriel Pruitt (3.6)
Last Meeting: Arizona defeated USC 77-68 in Tucson.
Last Time Out: Arizona rolled Stanford 90-72. USC lost 61-53 to Washington State.

OVERVIEW: Arizona has been playing its best basketball of the year following a disappointing home loss to Washington State. Arizona destroyed both Cal and Stanford, and is looking like one of the best teams in the country. The players are attributing the convincing wins due to a more focused attack and a greater intensity on the court.

Arizona has been having strong performances by seniors Salim Stoudamire and Channing Frye of late, and they were recently announced as mid-season finalists for the Naismith Award. For Arizona's success to continue, they will need their senior leadership to continue.

Stoudamire has been having his best season since his arrival on campus averaging 17.4 points, and shooting 52.3% from the field, 54.4% from behind the arc. However, Stoudamire is not Arizona's only threat.

Arizona has been getting strong contributions from the bench especially from Chris Rodgers and Kirk Walters, whose redshirt was pulled a few weeks ago. Walters has been getting more and more comfortable with each game, and his contributions will be important down the stretch.

USC is a team that has found themselves having trouble after the firing of Head Coach Henry Bibby just four games into the season. Jim Saia has his team standing at a 9-13 (2-9) record and is currently in last place in the Pac-10. However, the Trojans will be up for this game and Arizona will need to contain USC's primary threats in Lodrick Stewart, Gabriel Pruitt, Nick Young, and Jeff McMillan in order to come away with the victory.

KEY MATCH-UP: Channing Frye vs. Gregg Guenther. Frye has been playing very well of late, but has struggled against the physical Trojans. Guenther, a 260-pound bruiser, has had some great games against the Wildcats.

Frye has to play big, even when getting pounded by Guenther and Jeff McMillan. They need him to rebound and finish down low. Chances are that the Wildcat big man will try to run Guenther ragged and use his outside jumper to lure the Trojan big man away from the hoop. The Trojans need Guenther to control the boards and take Frye off his game.

OUTLOOK: Arizona has been playing extremely well lately, and will need to continue their recent intensity and focus, especially on the road against a pesky Trojan team. As always, Arizona will need to win the battle of the boards, in order to come away with the W, and that will need to be their first priority. In addition, if Arizona can contribute another strong night defensively, they should win going away.


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