Washington basketball is coming off back to back losses for the first time this season, and are looking to end their losing streak against USC
Starting the Pac-12 schedule at 0-2 would put Washington basketball at a major disadvantage for the rest of conference play. Sure there’s a long way to go, but for such a talented team to get off to an 0-2 start is a big hole to climb out of with some of the talented teams in the Pac-12 this year.
For the Huskies to beat USC, they’ll need to get off to a better start offensively, keep turnovers to a minimum, keep the other team off the offensive glass, and keep their five-star freshmen out of foul trouble.
So far on the season, the Huskies have been running a shallow eight-man rotation, with Jamal Bey getting most of the minutes off the bench. Sam Timmins has been giving the forwards a breather in spurts. Elijah Hardy has also been in the rotation sparingly, but the Huskies might need to give someone like Nate Roberts more minutes.
The Trojans like to go with an eight-man rotation too, led by freshmen forward Onyeka Okongwu who’s averaging 18.4 points, and 9.2 rebounds per game. Okongwu vs. Isaiah Stewart will be a fun matchup of two of the country’s best freshmen.
Senior guard Jonah Mathews leads the Trojans in minutes, at 30.4 per game, and is second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.2 points per game, while shooting 36.9% from behind the three-point line. As a team, the Trojans shoot 34.9% from behind the three-point line.
The other three starters for USC are senior forward Nick Rakocevic, sophomore guard Elijah Weaver, and freshman guard Ethan Anderson. The Trojans get some contributions by forward Isaiah Mobley, another freshman, off the bench.
The Huskies are going to have to play with a lot of energy on Sunday to put their losing streak behind them.