Washington Basketball: Looking ahead to USC

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 08: Noah Dickerson
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 08: Noah Dickerson /

Washington Basketball is now 7-0 in the Pac-12 conference play after beating Oregon and Oregon State on the road. They’re putting that undefeated record on the line with the Los Angeles schools coming to town.

Washington basketball went 9-4 in non-league games before Pac-12 play began. The losses came  against Auburn, Minnesota, Gonzaga and Virginia Tech. The Minnesota and Gonzaga losses each came by just two points. Auburn and Gonzaga both came on the road, while Minnesota and Virginia Tech were on neutral sites. The Dawgs learned a lot from these games, and have shown off their maturity during conference play.

During the non-league games, Jaylen Nowell and Noah Dickerson were the two highest scorers, averaging 17 and 16 points respectively.

Since Pac-12 play, senior guard David Crisp has been on fire, scoring in double digits in all seven games. Nahziah Carter tied his career high with 18 points off the bench against Utah and Oregon State. Also, Dominic Green has returned to form from last year, and has been a key point of the rotation, he dropped 11 points against Stanford and 17 against California.

USC Trojans

The Trojans come to Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle with a record of 5-2 in Pac-12 action. They are tied for second with Utah Utes.

USC hasn’t won a game on the road yet, dropping both games they played in Oregon.

The Trojans have three players in double digits in scoring. They’re led by senior Bennie Boatwrightwho’s averaging 17 points per game. He dropped a career-high 37 in Corvallis a few weeks ago and is looking to build on that performance.

Nick Rakocevic is second on the team, averaging close to a double-double with 15.4 points per game, and 9.8 rebounds. He’s definitely a contender for Pac-12 Player of the Year.

The 3rd member in double digits of scoring is junior guard Jonah Mathews averaging 12.4 points per game. His best game was at home against UCLA on Saturday, January 19 where he scored 16 points along with five assists. He made 4 shots out of 10 attempts from the 3 point line.

Freshmen guard Kevin Porter Jr., from Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, will be playing for the Trojans. He’s had a very rocky season, missing some time due to a quad injury and a suspension for a violation of team rules. Despite averaging fewer than 10 points per game, Porter Jr. is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

For the Huskies to win they will need to continue playing great defense and shooting the ball well. They need to be more consistent on offense and cut down on the hot and cold stretches.