UCLA (19-2, 6-2 Pac 12) saw their ranking drop from three to No.8 after their disappointing loss to now rated No. 7 Arizona. The Bruins will try to rebound when they travel across town to take on arch-rival USC (17-4, 4-4 Pac 12) at the Galen Center, Wednesday Jan. 25. The tipoff is scheduled for 8:00PM PST and is a sellout.
Over the last few years, sans one, the Bruins have pretty much had their way against the Trojans. Before last season, UCLA won 10 of 11 against the Trojans. Then came last season when the Trojans swept the Bruins 3-0.
In a hopeful note for the coming contest, the Galen Center hasn’t been too hard on UCLA, the Bruins have seven out 10 since the arena opened for the 2006-07 season.
With a win, the Bruins will notch their 20th W of the year and that will mark 42nd time in 51 seasons that UCLA will have reached that very elevated plateau.
USC is coached by Andy Enfield, who has been on the job for seasons and the Trojans have improved in every season. He led the Trojans to an appearance in March Madness in 2015-16.
Andy Enfield has guided USC to a 17-4 record this season and is 4-4 in tough the tough Pac-12 Conference.
On the floor, the Trojans will be without star sophomore forward, Benne Boatwright (6-10, 230), who injured his knee and has missed the last 16 games. This is a huge loss for SC as Boatwright is one of the best forwards in the Pac 12 Conference.
The Trojans have three players who have started in all 21 games that USC has played.
Junior guards Jordan McLaughlin (6-1, 180) and Elijah Stewart (6-5, 190) lead the Trojans in scoring, both averaged 14.1 points per game (ppg).
Stewart’s 29 points on Sunday paced USC’s win over ASU, hitting 7 of 13 shots from three-point range. Stewart also helps on the boards averaging 5.1 rebounds per game (rpg).
McLaughlin is a playmaker who can get his own shot and set up his teammates for easy looks, leads the Trojans in assists, averaging 5.1 apg. He also chips in 3.3 rpg.
The third Trojan who has started every game is sophomore forward Chimezie Metu (6-11, 225). The athletic big man gave the Bruins fits a season ago and is having a solid season averaging 13.6 ppg and a team-leading 7.5 rpg. Metu has been even better since conference play and has averages a team-high 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds.
The game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports 1 with Rob Stone handling the play-by-play and Jim Jackson will analyze the action.
UCLA’s flagship station AM 570 will broadcast the game in the local Los Angeles area Josh Lewin and Bruin great Tracy Murray performing their usual roles.
SIRIUS/XM Radio Channel: Ch. 84/Ch. 84 and SIRIUS App. Channel: Ch. 84 will also call the contest.