Los Angeles, CA – The 12th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks play their conference affair.
Bill Self's Jayhawks are 7-3 on the season. The first two losses were acceptable with setbacks to national powers Kentucky and Duke. However, after stringing together four straight wins, Kansas fell to Davidson on Monday, 80-74 in the Kansas City Shootout.
Kevin O'Neill is in his third season with the Trojans. USC has gotten off to a slow start this year with five wins against seven losses. The team has suffered two three-game losing streaks, but is coming off an impressive 83-59 win over TCU on Monday.
Kansas has won 10 of the 15 previous meetings with USC, and has won six straight heading into this matchup.
The Jayhawks have shown balance this season, excelling at times at both ends of the floor. Kansas is averaging a solid 75.2 ppg this year, while giving up just 63.9 ppg on under 40 percent shooting (.388). Thomas Robinson has proved himself as the Big 12's top frontcourt player thus far. The junior forward is averaging a double-double, leading the team in both scoring (18.1 ppg) and rebounding (12.1 rpg). Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor provides perimeter support with nearly 16 points per game (15.8 ppg). Taylor also doubles as the team's primary distributor, averaging 4.9 assists per game. In the loss to Davidson, Kansas spoiled a strong performance by Robinson, who finished with 21 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Taylor and Elijah Johnson poured in 15 points apiece, but the Jayhawks shot just 40.3 percent from the floor overall.
USC has had problems this season with a lack of offensive firepower. The team is averaging a meager 56.6 ppg. The good news is the defensive effort has been much more consistent. Opponents are netting just 55.4 ppg this season, on a mere .392 shooting. The offensive options are not plentiful, with Maurice Jones and Aaron Fuller representing the best of the bunch. Jones is shooting just .383 from the field, but leads the team at 15.6 ppg. Fuller is hitting a much better 51 percent from the floor, en route to 11.3 ppg. He is also the team's top rebounder at nearly seven boards per game (6.9). It was a rare offensive eruption for USC in the win against TCU, as the Trojans netted a season-high 83 points. Jones led the charge with 25 points, 18 of which came in the first half. Three others posted double figures, with Dewayne Dedmon (14 pts), Byron Wesley (13 pts) and Alexis Moore (12 pts) all getting into the act.