The USC Trojans got a huge monkey off their back on Saturday with a win over Utah, their first Pac-12 Conference win of the season. Now the Trojans travel to Pullman looking to snap a five-game road losing streak, facing the Washington State Cougars Thursday night at Friel Court.
USC (6-16, 1-8) is down to just six scholarship players on the active roster, and is 1-7 in their last eight road games at Washington State. But the Trojans aren't the only ones dealing with adversity, as Cougars' second leading scorer Faisal Aden - the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week after scoring 57 points in wins over Stanford and Cal - is out for the season with a torn ACL.
Sophomore guard Maurice Jones may be small in stature at 5'7" and 155 pounds, but he has been an iron man this season for the Trojans. Jones has played in 843 of a possible 890 minutes this season (94.7%), averaging 38.3 minutes per game, second in the nation with only Brad Loesing of Wofford ahead at 38.7 per game. Jones leads USC in points (14.5 per game), assists (3.36 per game), steals (1.82 per game), and three-pointers made (38) this season.
The Cougars (11-10, 3-6) are led in scoring by junior forward Brock Motum, who is averaging 16.4 points and 6.5 points per game this season. Washington State is 8-1 at home on the year.
Thursday night's 7 p.m. PST game will not be televised. For more news and notes on USC hoops, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.