How to Watch (and bet)
Date: Friday, 12/30/22
Tip-Off Time: 7:00 pm PT
Location: Seattle, Washington
DraftKings Betting Line: Washington Huskies +1
USC Trojans 2022-23 Statistics:
Record: 10-3 (2-0)
Points For per Game: 71.8 (130th)
Points Against per Game: 65.5 (74th)
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 106.4 (86th)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 95.0 (52nd)
Strength of Schedule: 158th
USC’s Key Players:
G- Boogie Ellis, Sr. 6’3, 185: 15.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.5 apg, 43.1% FG, 38.4% 3pt, 73.7% FT
As a senior, Boogie is pretty much a finished product. His shooting splits are very close to the last several years but his usage rate is up which explains his career high 15+ points per game. He’s a career 37% 3-pt shooter and is capable of scoring at every level. He’ll occasionally fill in as the psuedo-point guard but is at his best as a score-first player.
G- Reese Dixon-Waters, So. 6’5, 210: 10.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.9 apg, 43.4% FG, 28.9% 3pt, 80.0% FT
I had Dixon-Waters as one of my clear breakout players in the conference and he has gotten part of the way there but hasn’t quite hit stardom yet. Last year he shot almost 50% from 3-pt range on limited attempts and this year it’s below 30%. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle and he should start shooting better at some point.
G- Tre White, Fr. 6’7, 210: 9.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.1 apg, 50.5% FG, 28.6% 3pt, 62.5% FT
Things have started to pick up for the true freshman who was the #50 recruit in the country this year. He’s scored in double digits in 3 of the last 4 including a career high 20 points after hitting that mark just twice in the first 9 games. He much prefers to play around the basket and is extremely efficient around the rim.
G- Drew Peterson, Sr. 6’9, 217: 13.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 5.8 apg, 45.3% FG, 33.3% 3pt, 67.9% FT
Peterson is still the ultimate swiss army knife as a point guard inside a very think 6’9 frame. He’s 2nd in the conference in minutes per game so those numbers are slightly inflated but it means he almost never leaves the court and is integral to what USC does on both ends. With his height, shooting, and passing ability he’s pretty much custom-made to destroy the Husky zone when he gets to the free throw line.
C- Joshua Morgan, Jr. 6’11, 235: 8.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.8 bpg, 56.9% FG, 58.7% FT
Things have come together for Morgan in his 4th year in college after serving as a backup to Isaiah Mobley and Chevez Goodwin in past years. He’s 9th in the country in block rate and has become one of the premier rim protectors in the nation. The defensive rebounding has been a struggle but he’s a plus getting put backs and getting to the free throw line.
It looked after the first game like USC was going to collapse after finally having to survive without a Mobley brother when they lost the opener against Florida Gulf Coast at home. But it looks like they’ve survived with their only other 2 losses coming in overtime against a really good Tennessee team and against a solid Wisconsin squad. However their only win against a top-90 team at KenPom this year is against the same Auburn team that blew out Washington in their last game.
As has often been the case for USC in recent years they are once again one of the tallest teams in the country. They’re 5th in average height with only one player in their rotation who is smaller than 6’5 (and that’s 6’3). That when combined with Morgan’s excellent shot blocking has made them one of the elite interior defenses in the nation, ranking 7th in 2-point defense at 41.7%. Washington may have a tough time scoring inside which doesn’t bode well considering the Dawgs struggle to shoot from outside.
Fortunately the Trojans don’t do a great job at securing extra possessions as they are middle of the road at forcing turnovers and abysmal at defensive rebounding. As much as people complain about UW’s ability to prevent offensive rebounds with the zone, USC is even worse this year. If the Huskies are able to win this game it will probably involved Braxton Meah and Keion Brooks Jr. both getting multiple put backs/drawn fouls off of offensive boards.
On offense the Trojans don’t do a lot of shooting the ball from the perimeter and prefer to try to get to the rim and to the free throw line. They aren’t a bad shooting team at 33.3% from 3-point range but they aren’t great at it and don’t take a lot of attempts. Braxton Meah will need to play a fantastic game on the defensive end for Washington to have a shot.
It wouldn’t be the greatest shock if Washington pulled this one out. The Dawgs have beaten both Colorado and Saint Mary’s this year who are better than USC by the advanced metrics and potentially are getting back Noah Williams from injury. If he comes back and looks 100% then he has the chance to completely transform the team reducing the reliance on the freshman guards Keyon and Koren while also making it so P.J Fuller doesn’t have to play point guard. Even if he is back though I expect it will take some time for the chemistry to gel and it may not pay immediate dividends.
This is game 2 in Washington’s gauntlet which has a home game against UCLA and a road trip to the Arizona schools upcoming. If the Huskies want to come out of that stretch with at least one win, it had better come tonight. I’m not so sure it will though.
Max’s Record this Year: 9-4 Straight Up, 7-5-1 Against The Spread
Washington Huskies- 69, USC Trojans- 77