Sat, 02 Dec 2023

No. 16 Southern California looks to rebound, faces Brown

Field Level Media
19 Nov 2023, 10:05 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

No. 16 Southern California looks to bounce back from a surprising loss when it welcomes Ivy League member Brown to Los Angeles on Sunday.

USC (2-1) suffered a 70-60 setback on Tuesday at home against UC Irvine, a game the Trojans played without veteran point guard Boogie Ellis and defensive stopper Kobe Johnson.

The Trojans shot just 17 of 59 from the floor (28.8 percent) and committed 16 turnovers -- seven by Isaiah Collier. He played point guard with Ellis sidelined, but USC coach Andy Enfield said following the loss that the freshman was dealing with his own injury issues.

"Isaiah Collier only practiced basically half a practice (Monday); he was out for three days with his injury, he was able to play tonight," Enfield said Tuesday. "So this week of practice leading up to the game was not good, then we didn't play any better today. We deserved to lose this game by the way we played."

Ellis was out with a sprained right ankle. The nature of the injury sustained by Johnson, who also missed the previous game against Cal State Bakersfield, has not been specified.

Ellis averaged 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and three steals through USC's first two games. Johnson scored 16 points in the season-opening win over Kansas State.

Collier is averaging 20 points per game through his first three, but has committed 17 turnovers.

Brown (1-3) has forced an average of 15 turnovers per game through its first four, though 22 of the 60 total came in the Bears' lone win -- a 92-51 blowout of Div. III program Rhode Island College.

The Bears are winless against Division I competition, dropping matchups with Colgate, Loyola Maryland and New Hampshire. The losses to Colgate and Loyola were both by two points.

Brown has four scorers averaging nine points per game or more, including Nana Owusu-Anane. He is averaging nearly a double-double at 18.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

Kino Lilly Jr. is adding 16 points per game, and Kalu Anya has scored 10.3 points a contest.

Wing Aaron Cooley, averaging nine points a game, scored in double-figures with 10 points against Loyola and 15 against Rhode Island College.

"His confidence and hunting shots ... we all know what kind of defender and rebounder and athlete he is, but he's a really good shooter, too," Brown coach Mike Martin told the ESPN-Plus telecast following the win over Rhode Island College. "This is a really good thing for him, and we're going to need him to hunt shots this Sunday in (Los Angeles)."

Sunday's visit to Southern Cal is the last nonconference stopover for Brown before it heads to the Thanksgiving weekend Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship in the Bahamas.

For USC, Brown is the last of three straight opponents visiting the Galen Center before the Trojans travel south to the San Diego area for a Thanksgiving Day meeting with Seton Hall. USC's matchup with the Pirates is one of two opening-round games at Rady's Children's Invitational, an event also featuring Iowa and Oklahoma.

--Field Level Media

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