Washington Huskies at USC Trojans

Washington Huskies Preview

The Washington Huskies hit a nadir in Pac-12 play on Sunday, when they lost 79-67 at Washington State. The defeat to their in-state counterparts, their sixth loss in a row overall, dropped the Huskies to .500 on the season at 12-12 and last place in the league at 2-9. Washington travels to face Southern California, which it beat 72-40 in Seattle on Jan. 5. That was Washington’s last game before Quade Green was ruled academically ineligible, and his absence has loomed large on a sputtering Huskies offense.

Washington is tied for eighth in the conference in scoring average (70.5 points) and ranks among the nation’s worst in turnovers (15 per game). Feeding leading scorer Isaiah Stewart, who posted 18 points against USC and averages 17.4 points per game, is paramount on Thursday.

USC Trojans Preview

The Southern California Trojans return home to Galen Center after dropping both legs of the Arizona road swing last week. The 0-2 performance dropped USC from the thick of the Pac-12 logjam to the middle of the conference. Each loss was by single digits but followed a different course: The Trojans rallied from down 20 points Feb. 6 at Arizona, but they coughed up an eight-point halftime lead at Arizona State.

USC features one of the best frontcourt tandems in the Pac-12 with senior Nick Rakocevic (11.1 points, 8.6 rebounds) and freshman Onyeka Okongwu (16.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and three blocks per game, all team highs). However, point guard play has been inconsistent. The result is USC committing 15 turnovers per game, a concerning trend against Washington’s aggressive zone defense.