Washington at USC
Time: 6 p.m. Thursday
Where: Galen Center (Capacity: 10,258)
TV: ESPN2 (Dave Feldman & Adrian Branch)
Radio: KOMO 1000 AM & 97.7 FM (Tony Castricone and Jason Hamilton)
Records: UW (12-12, 2-9 Pac-12); USC (17-7, 6-5)
Projected starting lineups:
Player … Ht … Yr … PPG … RPG … APG
G Marcus Tsohonis … 6-3 … Fr. … 7.2 …. 1.6 … 1.9
F Jamal Bey … 6-6 … So. … 5.5 …. 2.2 … 1.5 (steals)
G Nahziah Carter … 6-6 … Jr. … 12.8 … 5.1 … 1.5
F Hameir Wright … 6-9 … Jr. … 5.8 …. 4.4 … 2.0
F Isaiah Stewart … 6-9 … Fr. … 17.4 … 8.7 … 2.0 (blocks)
Player … Ht. … Yr. … PPG … RPG … APG
G Ethan Anderson … 6-1 … Fr. … 5.8 … 3.0 … 4.5
G Jonah Matthews … 6-3 … Sr. … 13.0 … 2.2 … 2.0
G Daniel Utomi … 6-6 … Sr. … 7.3 … 3.4 … 0.5
F Onyeka Okongwu … 6-9 … Fr. … 16.4 … 8.9 … 3.0 (blocks)
F Nick Rakocevic … 6-11 … Sr. … 11.1 … 8.6 … 1.6
Coach: Andy Enfield is 127-100 (.559) in his seventh season with the Trojans. Including a two-year stint (2011-13) at Florida Gulf Coast, which launched his head-coaching career, the 50-year-old Enfield has a 168-128 (.568) record in nine seasons. He was a popular hire in 2013, but managed an 11-21 record during his first year and 12-20 last season. Enfield’s team won at least 21 games over the next three seasons, while making two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances (2016 and ’17) and a trip to the NIT in 2018.
Preseason prediction: USC was picked fifth in the Pac-12 preseason media poll.
Series: Washington leads 75-72 (two USC wins were vacated due to NCAA penalty) in a series that began in 1925. The Huskies have a four-game winning streak against the Trojans.
Last meeting: Washington trounced USC 72-40 on Jan. 5 at Alaska Airlines Arena. Isaiah Stewart had 18 points and 10 rebounds while Quade Green added 14 points, five assists and four steals. Jaden McDaniels tallied 11 points, seven rebounds and six blocks. The Huskies led 14-12 with 9:19 left in the first when they outscored the Trojans 21-9 the rest of the half to go ahead 35-21 at the break. USC pulled within 41-29 and UW answered with 11 straight points to put the game away. USC made only 20 percent of its shots in that game, its lowest shooting percentage in a game since Feb. 3, 1956 (15.9 percent).
Previous game: USC went scoreless in the final three minutes, which allowed Arizona State to erase a five-point deficit with a 7-0 run, including the game-winner with 19 seconds during a 66-64 defeat at Wells Fargo Arena last Saturday. It was the third straight loss for the Trojans.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Among all freshmen nationally,Onyeka Okongwu ranks first in total blocks (69) and field goal percentage (60.9), tied for first in blocks per game (3.00), third in offensive rebounds per game (3.35), tied for fourth in double-doubles (9), tied for fifth in rebounds per game (8.9), sixth in free throws made (92) and points per game (16.4), ninth in total field goals (143) and in total points (378). The former five-star recruit and California’s Mr. Basketball is one of 10 finalists for the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award given out to the nation’s top collegiate center. Okongwu finished with just 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting and nine rebounds against UW last month.
— Senior forward Nick Rakocevic, who averaged 14.7 points and 9.3 rebounds last season, is taking a bit of a lesser role due to the quick emergence of Okongwu. Still, Rakocevic is a formidable big man who shoots over 46 percent from the field. He scored 18 points at Arizona last week and tallied 16 three weeks ago against Utah. Rakocevic garnered preseason all-Pac-12 honors.
— Senior guard Jonah Mathews scored a season-high 22 points and drained five three-pointers last week against ASU. He ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with 142 three-pointers this season.
— USC is retiring former Trojans star DeMar DeRozan’s No. 10 jersey during a halftime ceremony on Thursday. The four-time NBA All-Star and Olympic gold medal-winning guard played one season (2008-09) for the Trojans and led them to the 2019 Pac-10 Tournament title. He scored 25 points in the 66-63 title game and ASU and earned tournament MVP honors. DeRozan also scored 18 points in each of USC’s two NCAA tournament games. DeRozan is the seventh USC player to have their jersey retired joining Gus Williams, Bill Sharman, Bob Boyd, Harold Miner, Paul Westphal and John Rudometkin.
— The Trojans lost two starters and five players from last season’s team that finished a disappointing 16-17 overall and 8-10 in the Pac-12.
— Enfield brought in a six-man recruiting class that was ranked seventh nationally by 247sports.com, which included 5-star recruits Okongwu and Isaiah Mobley, a McDonald’s All-American.
— Mobley, a 6-10 forward, has been solid off the bench while averaging 6.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and shooting 48.4 percent from the floor. Mobley’s father Eric was hired as an USC assistant in 2018 and his younger brother Evan, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2020, signed with the Trojans last November.
— Stewart who has 49 blocks, is six away from setting the UW freshman record that’s held by Marquese Chriss.
— UW is first in the Pac-12 and fifth in the country in blocks with 6.3 per game. Meanwhile, averages 5.4 blocks, which is second in the conference and 12th nationally.
—Stewart and Okongwu are two of the top 10 finalist for the for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.
— The Huskies are averaging 13.5 takeaways (blocks and steals) this season, which is the most combined average by any team in the Pac-12.
— After dismantling USC, Green was ruled academically ineligible and UW has posted a 1-8 record.
— USC is No. 47 in NET rankings, while Washington is 60.
— If the season ended today, Washington would be the No. 12 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament and would face No. 5 USC in the first round.