Southern Cal opens Pac-12 play against Colorado

NCAA Basketball

After an unplanned break of 20 days, Southern California plays for the second time in three days when it hosts Colorado on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

Thanks to an 86-63 win against Santa Clara on Tuesday night, the Trojans (5-1) open Pac-12 Conference play with a little momentum after COVID-19 issues put the program on pause for three weeks.

The Mobley brothers — Evan and Isaiah — showed no rust in the win over the Broncos. Evan, considered a lottery pick if he enters the 2021 NBA Draft, had 17 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Isaiah had 13 points, seven boards and two blocks.

“I thought he played terrific basketball tonight,” Trojans coach Andy Enfield said of Isaiah Mobley after the win. “He was active on offense, he made quick decisions, he finished some of his shots, he made a three — he’s been shooting the ball very well in practice — and defensively he was very active. I thought Isaiah played a terrific all-around game.”

A couple of players made their debut for Enfield. Reese Waters, a 2021 recruit who gained early eligibility, and transfer Joshua Morgan both played five minutes in the win.

Evan Mobley is one of four USC players averaging double figures in scoring, leading the group at 17.5 points per game. He also leads the team with 8.7 rebounds per game.

Colorado (6-2, 0-1) opened its Pac-12 schedule with an 88-74 loss at Arizona on Monday night. The Buffaloes had won four in a row before falling to the Wildcats, getting outscored 38-18 in the paint.

They also struggled with foul trouble that led to an inconsistent offensive performance in the second half.

“We’re a veteran group,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “We’ve got to be more mature and more patient, understanding that against a good defensive team you’re not going to score right away.”

The Buffaloes have had two opportunities for signature wins but lost by nine at then-No. 12 Tennessee on Dec. 8 and then fell to Arizona. They have a couple of more opportunities against the Trojans and then against UCLA on Saturday night before heading home for a four-game homestand.

–Field Level Media

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