10. USC Trojans (5-6) LW: 9
A 12-point loss to Nevada on Dec. 1 flashed some of USC’s potential. But since then, it’s been an uphill battle.
Defeats to Oklahoma and Santa Clara extended the Trojans’ current losing streak to four games. In those four contests, USC has struggled mightily on the defensive end, allowing opponents to score 88 points per game on nearly 50 percent shooting.
Against the Sooners and Broncos, the Trojans enabled three and four players, respectively, to reach double-digit scoring numbers. Both opponents had a combined 60 attempts at the free throw line, and they each combined for 32 assists.
Offensively, USC hasn’t found much to draw from. Junior forward Nick Rakocevic leads the team with 14.5 points and 11 rebounds per game, but Pac-12 Player of the Year Candidate Bennie Boatwright has averaged just 11 points on 33 percent shooting in the last four games.
Going forward, USC must piece a 40-minute performance on both ends of the floor. With more erratic play, this season could become a long one.
The Trojans return home this week for a contest against Southern Utah on Friday at 9 p.m.