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First Glance at USC

Record: 21-11 (11-7 Pac-10, T-3rd)
RPI: 28
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 111.9 (47th)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 87.5 (11th)

As you can see, USC is a pretty efficient team on both ends of the court.  Offensively, they may not score a lot of points (69.1 per game), but they use their possessions fairly well (see explanation of Pomeroy's efficiency stats below).  On defense, the Trojans are a group to be feared, holding their opponents to 63.2 points per game and 39 percent shooting (30 percent from behind the arc).

Just looking at pure numbers, K-State stacks up fairly well with USC from an efficiency standpoint.  The Cats score 78.7 points per game and are 22nd in Pomeroy's adjusted offensive efficiency (116.4 points per 100 possessions).  At the other end, K-State gives up 68.9 points per game, and are 19th in Pomeroy's adjusted defensive efficiency (89.0 points per 100 possessions).  Wildcat opponents have managed to shoot 42 percent from the field and nearly 37 percent from behind the arc, numbers that have to be a concern going into this Thursday's game in Omaha.

While O.J. Mayo cleary and unsurprisingly leads USC in scoring, the Trojan attack is fairly balanced.  Four players average double-figure points per game, including Davon Jefferson (12.0), Dwight Lewis (10.9) and Taj Gibson (10.8).  Compare that to the notable scoring imbalance shown by K-State, which only has two players averaging double-figures.

Coach Tim Floyd employs a solid eight-man rotation, with eight players averaging more than 13 minutes per game.  Frank Martin also isn't afraid to dig into his bench, as the Cats have nine players averaging 11 minutes or more per game.  The bench play of both teams will be an interesting sub-plot in this game.

Much more to come about USC, including a few questions with the Conquest Chronicles' blogger.  Game time has been announced, and the K-State/USC showdown will be at 6:10 p.m. (CDT).

(All efficiency stats and RPI courtesty Ken Pomeroy.  Efficiency statistics are calculated based on number of points scored or allowed per 100 possessions.)