first_imgThe Trojans traveled into a deafening Pauley Pavilion last Wednesday night and trounced the UCLA Bruins 89-75 for their first win versus UCLA since 2013.Now, the Men of Troy are ranked 21st in the nation and are looking to extend their current 4-1 Pac-12 record on the road against the Oregon Ducks, a team which the Trojans have not defeated on the road since 2009.As it stands, the Men of Troy have the all-time advantage, defeating the Ducks 60 of out the 112 times the teams have met, however, Oregon has downed USC in 10 straight conference contests and holds home court advantage.USC head coach Andy Enfield and his Trojans are preparing for a challenging road test against a high-powered Ducks offense.“Oregon is as talented as any team in the league offensively,” Enfield said. “They have a great home court advantage.”This season, the Ducks are undefeated at home, sporting an 11-0 record against the likes of Cal, Stanford, Valparaiso and No. 13 Baylor.Thanks in part to Chris Boucher’s 3.3 blocks per game (ranked second-best in the nation), Oregon has allowed an average of 76.3 points per game, ranked 61st in the nation.Boucher, a 6-foot-10, 190-pound senior forward, has been instrumental in Oregon’s big front court which features three players 6-foot-9 or taller. USC, on the other hand, has six players who are 6 foot 8 or taller.Not to mention, it’s not just the low-post players who have height, but Oregon’s top six scorers average 6 foot 6 inches.Oregon’s roster features four players who average in double digits, including leading scorer Dillon Brooks who has scored 19 points or more in eight games, with just three games in single digits.In terms of their other offensive weapons, freshman guard Tyler Dorsey has been exceptional shooting the ball in 2015, connecting on 45.8 percent of his three-point attempts, while averaging 14.2 points per game off of 47.2 percent shooting from the floor.Where Dorsey is really potent, though, is from the free-throw line as he has been able to sink 71.6 percent of his free-throws this year off of 81 shots.The two main distributors on the Ducks’ offense are guard Casey Benson and forward Dillon Brooks, who combined for 6.3 assists per game.Considering those offensive weapons and averaging 76.3 points per game, USC will certainly have its hands full on the road.And while Oregon’s offense has some high-flying players, USC has also impressed on the offensive side of the ball, averaging 84.6 points per game through 18 games, ranking 9th in the country.Defensively, though, the Ducks can hurt the Trojans by running their press defense, forcing USC to turn the ball over as they have done 13 times per game this season.Freshman forward Chimezie Metu commented on the difficult nature of trying to score on Oregon’s defense.“[Oregon] likes to press and like to speed people up,” Metu said. “We’ve had some problems with turnovers the past few games, so we just have to try and be disciplined and try to come out with a win.”This year the Trojans’ only road loss came at the hands of Washington when USC blew a 22-point lead and turned the ball over 21 times in their two-point loss to the Huskies.Nevertheless, the 15-3 Trojans are ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 2008 with their best overall record through 18 games since the 1991-1992 season.Head coach Andy Enfield respects where the Trojans are in the season but understands the severity of this Pac-12 contest.“We respect what we’ve done so far, and we are glad that we’re ranked,” Enfield said. “We’ve never lost perspective, every game means the same thing in the Pac-12, it’s a win or a loss.”Freshman forward Chimezie Metu also commented on the Trojans’ recent success and the team’s mental game plan coming into tonight’s battle.“We’re just trying to come into practice everyday and stay focused and try to listen to our coaches,” Metu said. “We have to be ready to work every day and know that all this can be taken away in a matter of seconds, and you have to come to appreciate what we’ve done and all the work that we’ve put in, and just have fun in the process.”The Trojans and Ducks are set to play at Matt Arena at 6 p.m.last_img