Men’s basketball looks for first road win of the season

first_imgThe Trojans’ recent success has been supported by an even balance of offensive production — at least five players have dropped double-digits in the last three games. On any given night, forwards junior Nick Rakocevic and senior Bennie Boatwright can drop over 20 points. But the team has struggled on the road, going 0-4 outside of Galen Center so far this season. Notching two wins on the road would give the team a shot at the top of the conference and the confidence to continue to travel as the Trojans enter the heart of the season. The Huskies have already notched five double-digit wins in conference play, led by freshman guard Jaylen Nowell, who averages 17 points per game. The teams face off on Wednesday night, offering the Trojans an opportunity to mar the Huskies’ perfect conference record and take the top conference spot. Junior forward Nick Rakocevic hangs onto the rim after dunking in the game against Arizona at the Galen Center last Thursday. (Tucker Judkins/Daily Trojan) Hot off a trio of dominant conference victories, the USC men’s basketball team hits the road this week to take on Washington and Washington State. The team vaulted the conference rankings over the weekend, moving quickly to the No. 2 slot early in a season of well-balanced Pac-12 play. In a conference without a single Top 25-ranked team, parity comes to the Trojans’ advantage when vying for an NCAA championship bid. Franks is the team leader in points, averaging 21.2 per game this season, while freshman forward CJ Elleby also adds 16.1 points per game. The rest of the roster averages under double-digits apiece, hefting most of the offensive burdens on the pair of forwards. For the Trojans, the game is a must-win, both to continue the team’s momentum and to separate itself from the bottom tier of the conference. The team will then head to Pullman to face Washington State on Saturday. While their in-state rivals have dominated the Pac-12, the Cougars have had far less luck, notching only one win in conference play and going 8-12 overall so far this season. The team’s lone win came in an 82-59 victory over Cal, the winless bottom team in the league, with junior forward Robert Franks ripping off 24 points to lead the win. This weekend, the Trojans have a chance to secure their first road win of the season and knock off the top-ranked team in the conference — the Huskies  are undefeated in Pac-12 play and 16-4 overall. Washington has been decisive in their victories, most recently stomping Oregon State 79-69 and Oregon 61-56, and they have yet to drop a loss at home. Washington will host USC on Wednesday at 8 p.m.last_img

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