USC hoops set to tip off Pac-12 schedule

The USC Trojans (5-8) begin Pac-12 play Thursday, as they travel to Haas Pavilion to take on the California Golden Bears (10-3) at 6 p.m. PT.

To say the Trojans have struggled offensively this season after losing senior guard Jio Fontan to a preseason knee injury would be an understatement. USC has scored more than 66 points just once this season and have been held to fewer than 42 points on three occasions.

USC ranks last in the Pac-12 in scoring (55.8 points per game), assists (9.7), 3-pointers made (4.3), rebounds (29.3), free throws made (10) and free throws attempted (16.4) per game. The Trojans also rank last in the conference in field goal percentage (.419) and free throw percentage (.610), Sophomore point guard Maurice Jones leads the Trojans with 14.9 points per game, while junior Aaron Fuller averages 11.9 points.

The Bears will rely on a talented backcourt that features their three leading scorers, guards Allen Crabbe (15.8 points per game), Jorge Gutierrez (13.8 points) and Justin Cobbs (12.6 points).

It has been a very slow start for the Trojans -- as well as the Pac-12 in general -- but USC will look to begin generating some momentum as the conference slate gets underway.