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USC men’s basketball at Washington: What you need to know

USC at Washington

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Alaska Airlines Arena, Seattle

TV/Radio: ESPN2/AM 790

Records: USC 10-3, 2-0 in Pac-12; Washington 9-4, 1-1

USC latest result: The Trojans closed out nonconference play with a 73-64 neutral-court win over Colorado State. For the second consecutive game, guard Boogie Ellis led USC in scoring with 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting while Drew Peterson shot 7 for 9 for 18 points. USC shot 53.1% from the field and 47.4% from 3-point range while limiting Colorado State to 37.7% and 18.5%, respectively. The Trojans had to overcome 22 turnovers, but they still extended their winning streak to six.

Washington latest result: The Huskies got run off their own court in an 84-61 loss to No. 23 Auburn, a team USC beat a little over a week ago. Washington shot 36.8% from the floor and was outrebounded by 18 in the wire-to-wire defeat. Only one Washington starter, forward Keion Brooks, scored in double figures and the Huskies managed only seven assists on 21 made field goals.

Matchup to watch: Peterson vs. Brooks. Both are similar types of players, long and lanky Midwesterners who generate a lot of offense with the ball in their hands. Which one controls the pace of the game will likely determine the winner.

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USC trend to watch: Against Colorado State, starting center Joshua Morgan fouled out in 18 minutes of play. It was the second time in two games that Morgan has fouled out. Without Morgan on the court for long stretches of time, USC has to rely on either inexperienced big men like freshmen Iaroslav Niagu and Kijani Wright or an undersized forward like Harrison Hornery. None at this stage of their careers are close to the defensive presence that Morgan is. USC needs the redshirt junior to do a better job of being smart on defense and avoiding unnecessary fouls that put the Trojans in a bad spot for the rest of the game.

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