Southern Cal Trojans (15-3 SU, 8-9 ATS, 9-8 O/U) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (10-7 SU, 5-11 ATS, 5-11 O/U)
NCAAB: Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. EST
The Line: Colorado Buffaloes -3. Total: OFF.
The Colorado Buffaloes will be hoping to halt a four-game losing streak when they host the Southern Cal Trojans at the Coors Events Center on Sunday. Colorado is coming off consecutive setbacks at the hands of Utah, Arizona State, Arizona, and UCLA. The Trojans have lost two in a row at the hands of California and Utah.
Southern Cal has lost three of its last four games after a 14-0 start. The Trojans are coming off one of their worst offensive performances of the season, shooting only 36.7 percent and putting up 64 points Thursday in a 22-point road loss at Utah.
“We have quite a few players on our team who are struggling offensively so they’re frustrated in themselves,” head coach Andy Enfield said in his postgame news conference. “When you’re not shooting the ball that well, it affects you on the defensive end. You’ve got a little more excitement and a little more energy on the defensive end when you’re making shots.”
The Trojans averaged 83.2 points per game in compiling a 13-0 non-conference mark but only 68 in Pac-12 play. Guard Jordan McLaughlin is USC’s table-setter, averaging a team-most 14.2 points and 4.9 assists while teammates Chimezie Metu (13.6), Elijah Stewart (13.1) and De’Anthony Melton (10.0) also have double-digit scoring averages. Metu (7.9) and Stewart (5.3) are the team’s top rebounders, but the Trojans own the conference’s fourth-worst average rebounding margin at plus-2.4.
Colorado has dropped four straight games to join Oregon State as the only Pac-12 teams yet to win a conference game entering the weekend. The Buffaloes matches second-highest point total of the season in scoring 89 Thursday against visiting UCLA, but they were blitzed on the other end of the court, as the Bruins shot 56.5 percent, including a sizzling 19-of-31 performance from three-point range, while cruising to a 104-89 victory.
“I’ve been here for seven years, and after a loss I’m usually in here pointing fingers at either the coaching staff or the players, but tonight it was more about what UCLA did do than what we didn’t do,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said afterward. “There are times in life where you need to tip your hat to your opponent, and they deserved to win tonight. And we need to learn from them about how they move without the ball.”
Derrick White, a senior guard and Division II transfer, is pacing the Buffaloes with 16 points and 3.9 assists per outing, and he’s been even better in Pac-12 play with 19.3 points and 4.5 assists. Forward Xavier Johnson (15.1 points) and George King (10.6) are the only other Colorado players averaging double-figures.
The Southern Cal Trojans are:
- 4-1 Under in their last five road games
- 1-8 ATS in their last nine overall
- 3-9 ATS in their last 12 road games
The Colorado Buffaloes are:
- 9-3 Under in their last 12 overall
- 5-1 Under in their last six home games
- 7-2 Under in their last nine games against teams with winning percentages over .600
Southern Cal could not throw the ball in the ocean against Utah earlier this week. Fortunately for the Trojans, they can play some defense. They entered the weekend 12th nationally with 6.1 blocked shots per game. The under is 4-1 in the Trojans’ last five overall. It is also 9-3 in the Buffaloes’ last 12 overall, 5-1 in their last six at home, and 7-2 in their last nine against opponents with winning percentages over .600. Look for this one to stay under the total.