Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#805 Long Beach State vs.
#806 USC
Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 6:30pm EST
Written by Diamond Dave

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#805 California State University, Long Beach
#806 University of Southern California
3-7
8-2
18-12-2
15-18
18-14
16-17
74
76
75
73

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The USC Trojans host the Long Beach State 49ers Sunday in college basketball action. The Trojans are off to an 8-2 start while the 49ers are 3-7. USC beat them last year 75-65 but Long Beach State covered the spread. Game time is 6:30 p.m. ET at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, California.

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Long Beach has growing pains

Long Beach State has gotten off to a rocky start this year. They fell to 3-7 after a 65-46 loss to Pacific last Saturday. The 49ers were stone cold, shooting just 31.5 percent from the field. The lone bright spot wasColin Slater who poured in 20 points to lead Long Beach State.Joshua Morgan added nine points and six rebounds, while Michael Carter III also had nine points.

It's really a rebuilding year for the 49ers, who play in the Big West Conference. They have almost an entirely new roster with 11 new players including 5 freshmen, three transfers, and three red shirts. That's not to say this young team hasn't had their successes this year. The 49ers upset the Big East's Providence 66-65 and only lost by 13 points at Wake Forest of the ACC.

Colin Slater finished with a game-high 20, but the Beach had a tough night from the floor otherwise in a 65-46 loss to Pacific. #GoBeach pic.twitter.com/7WxABBhPFG

— LBSU Mens Basketball (@LBSUhoops) December 8, 2019 " data-iframe-title="Twitter Tweet" data-scribe="page:tweet" data-twitter-event-id="1">

Trojans coming off big win

The USC Trojans improved to 8-2 on the year with a thrilling 80-78 win over Texas Christian. Nick Rakocevic made the game-winner, tipping in a missed shot with 0.2 seconds remaining. USC almost blew it as they held a 47-34 lead at halftime and increased that lead to 18 points before TCU came back to tie it at 78. Jonah Mathews led USC with 20 points while Rakocevic had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Onyeka Okongwu added 13 points and 7 boards while Ethan Anderson added 10 points and 8 assists. USC shot 52.6 percent from the floor.

Earlier this week, the NCAA notified USC of allegations of rules violations that occurred in the past with a former coach. USC is cooperating with the investigation.

"USC has received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA related to a former coach in the men's basketball program. USC has cooperated with the NCAA since it first became aware of the issues raised in the Notice of Allegations. Because the notice involves a pending NCAA case, USC is unable to discuss any of the allegations in or facts relating to the case. USC looks forward to an expeditious resolution of this matter," school officials said in a statement.

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Take the Trojans in this contest. It's going to be a long season for Long Beach State. they have practically an entirely new roster with 11 new players. That is among the most in college basketball. There will definitely be some growing pains and it will serve them well next year and beyond. Even later this year they will start to see improvements as the team begins to gel. But right now, it's going to be tough. When you have to travel and face a good, experienced team like USC, you are going to take your lumps.

Prediction: USC

Full-Game Total Pick

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Take the over in this one. USC can play fast and they can play slow. They have a very versatile attack so if they are in a game where the other team is pushing the pace, they can match it. Otherwise, they can slow it down and grind it out if need be. Against Long Beach State, which doesn't have a great defense, I look for the Trojans to push it and put up a lot of points. The 49ers will likely hang with the Trojans for awhile before falling back, but that still means it will be in the over. If you want numbers, USC is 68th nationally in pace of play while Long Beach State is 107.

Prediction: Over
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Written By David Shields , "Diamond Dave"

Dave has covered every major sport with passion and expertise for national sports publications. In addition to being a sportswriter, Dave has also worked in financial industry and brings a critical eye for numbers to his analysis of games. Dave thoroughly researches the statistics to spot the trends and breakdown the matchups to successfully find the winners in the NFL, NBA, MLB, college hoops, and other sports.