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ASU Men’s Basketball: ASU looks to take down USC in their second time around this season

(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)

Arizona State will look to get revenge as it takes on USC at home in Tempe at the Wells Fargo Arena. When the teams last faced off at the Galen Center, the Trojans (21-7) escaped with an 82-79 victory despite a valiant late comeback effort by the Sun Devils.

Coming off of two tough losses, ASU (13-16) is looking to finish out their remaining schedule on a positive note. Torian Graham is back to his strong shooting form from earlier in the season, and has lead the Sun Devils in scoring in three of their last four games. The one game Graham didn’t lead the way scoring-wise was in a loss to Washington State.

Having a strong performance from Graham will be crucial for ASU to have a chance in this game against a very talented USC team that has been struggling recently.

The Trojans come into this game reeling after three straight losses. But, to be fair, those losses came against the three best teams in the Pac-12 in Oregon, UCLA, and Arizona.

USC is a scrappy team that doesn’t beat opponents with star players or ridiculous statistics, but through a combination of grit, determination, and intense effort that comes from every single member of the team in each game.

The only statistic that jumps out for the Trojans is their average of 5.5 blocks per game, which is good for tenth in the country. Three different players on the squad average at least one block per game, with sophomore forward Chimezie Metu leading the way with 1.5 blocks per game.

Metu also leads the team in rebounds with 7.5 per game and is second in scoring with an average of 14.3 points per contest. Arizona State senior forward Obinna Oleka will have his hands full battling with Metu in the paint, but as per usual he is the only Sun Devil who has a chance of guarding their opponents best big man.

ASU may be able to pull out a victory in their second to last game of the season if they turn the game into a fast-paced, high-scoring affair. USC doesn’t have the explosive playmakers that ASU does and they may not have an answer if the Sun Devils start dialing it in from three-point land.

The game is at 4:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena and can be viewed on the Pac-12 Network.

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