Southern California (15-3, 2-3) at Colorado (10-7, 0-4)
When: Sunday, January 15th 2017
Where: Coors Events Center, Boulder, CO
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ESPNU
Two PAC-12 teams that are looking to get back into the win column will battle Sunday night in Boulder when the Colorado Buffaloes host the USC Trojans. Colorado and Oregon State are the only two teams without a conference win so far after the Buffaloes 0-4 beginning. The Buffaloes are off to their first 0-4 conference start since 2008-09, when they lost their first four Big 12 contests en route to a 1-15 finish. Colorado matched its second-highest point total of the season in scoring 89 Thursday against visiting UCLA, but the Buffaloes couldn’t stop the Bruins on defense. Fourth-ranked UCLA shot 56.5%, including 19-of-31 from 3-point range, in cruising to a 104-89 victory. Derrick White, a senior guard and Division II transfer, leads the Buffaloes with 16 points and 3.9 assists per game, but has been even better in Pac-12 play with 19.3 points and 4.5 assists. Forward Xavier Johnson (15.1 points) and George King (10.6) are the only other Colorado players averaging double figures while forward Wesley Gordon (7.9) and King (7.1) are the top rebounders. Colorado ranks near the bottom of the conference with Pac-12 foes averaging 85 points while shooting 50 percent from the field and 49.4 percent from the 3-point land.
USC worked their way into the top 25 after starting the season 14-0, but have since lost three of their last four games. USC is coming off one of its worst offensive performances of the season, shooting only 36.7% and putting up 64 points Thursday in a 22-point road loss at Utah. The Trojans were averaging 83.2 points per game in their first 13 games in non-conference play, but are only averaging 68.0 in Pac-12 play. Guard Jordan McLaughlin is USC’s team leader, averaging a team-high 14.2 points and 4.9 assists while teammates Chimezie Metu (13.6), Elijah Stewart (13.1) and De’Anthony Melton (10.0) also have double-digit scoring averages. Metu (7.9) and Stewart (5.3) are the team’s top rebounders, but the Trojans own the conference’s fourth-worst average rebounding margin at +2.4. The Trojans defense is tough under the basket, ranking 12th nationally with 6.1 blocked shots per game. USC will get their next three games at home and includes two ranked teams (Arizona, UCLA).
Colorado is much better than their 0-4 conference mark and I think they get a win tonight in convincing fashion. USC really struggled on the road the last two games.
Pick: Colorado -3