Men’s basketball | November 23, 2022
USC Trojans (4-1) take on No. 22/No. 21 Tennessee Volunteers (3-1) in a semi-final match at Battle 4 Atlantis held at the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas on November 24 at 10:30 a.m. PT. The game will air on ESPN2 with Jon “Boog” Sciambi and Jimmy Dykes calling the action. The winner of that semifinal will face the winner of the other semifinal featuring Kansas and Wisconsin on Nov. 25 in the championship game at 4:30 p.m. PT on ESPN. The other two teams will face off in the third-place game on Nov. 25 at 10 a.m. PT on ESPN2. USC has now won at least four of its first five games in seven of the last eight seasons.
FACING TENNESSEE — No. 22/No. 21 Tennessee Volunteers (3-1) are coming off a 71-45 win over Butler on Nov. 23. Tennessee also has wins over Tennessee Tech (75-43) and FGCU (81-50) and a loss to Colorado (78-66). Senior guard Josiah-Jordan James leads four volunteers with double-digit scoring averaging 13.7 points per game. USC is 3-4 all-time against Tennessee, winning the last meeting 65-64 at then-No. 19 Tennessee on December 21, 2010.
ON THE BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS DECK – USC’s final game at Battle 4 Atlantis is Nov. 25 against Kansas or Wisconsin. No. 3 Kansas (5-0) beat North Carolina State 80-74 in its opening round game, while Wisconsin (4-0) beat Dayton 43-42 in its opener at Battle 4 Atlantis. USC is 6-11 all-time against Kansas, winning the last meeting 85-51 in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on March 22, 2021. USC is 2-1 all-time time against Wisconsin, winning the last meeting 86-76 on December 29, 1982.
IT ALL STARTS WITH DEFENSE — USC allowed BYU to shoot 42.4 percent on Nov. 23, the first opponent this season to shoot over 37.5 percent. USC has held 22 of its 34 opponents in the 2021-22 season to less than 40% shooting. USC held the opposition to a 39.0 shooting percentage on the season, 14th in the nation. USC held its first 12 opponents in the 2021-22 season to less than 40 percent shooting in every game and a combined shooting percentage of 35.2, which was second in the nation. The Trojans were the first team in the last 15 seasons to hold their first 12 opponents to less than 40% shooting in every game.
PETERSON AND ELLIS RECEIVE PRESEASON RECOGNITION — USC fifth-year guard Drew Peterson was named to The Sporting News’ 2022-23 Preseason All-America Third Team. He was also named to the Naismith Trophy Player of the Year Watch List. Peterson and the main guard boogie ellis were named to the 2022-23 Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference First Team.
ELLIS BUILD LAST SEASON – Guardian boogie ellis averaged 12.5 points last season, second among Trojans and the most among returning players. Ellis also led USC with 56 three-pointers and 27 interceptions. Ellis had a .789 free throw percentage (71 for 89) that ranked 10th in the Pac-12. Ellis is averaging 18.0 points through the first five games and leads the Trojans with 11 three-pointers. He is the only Trojan to score in double figures in all five games this season. He also has a team-leading 25 free throws and a team-leading 10 steals.
PETERSON COMPLETES THE STATISTICS SHEET — USC Guard 2022 All-Pac-12 Drew Peterson averaged 12.4 points and 6.2 rebounds last season, both ranked third among the Trojans. He also led the team with 113 assists and was second in free throws (76) and three-pointers (49), while finishing third in blocks (27) and steals (23). He had 79 points, 41 rebounds and 38 assists in USC’s five games this season. He leads USC in rebounds and assists and is second in averaging 15.8 points.