Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Southern California Trojans Pick & Prediction JANUARY 20th 2024

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Skidding Arizona State and Southern California meet on Saturday in Tempe, Ariz., trying to pull out of tailspins in Pac-12 Conference play.

Arizona State (10-7, 4-2) surged to a 4-0 start in the league before an 82-67 loss on Jan. 11 at Washington. The Sun Devils followed that by having another streak snapped, with their previously unblemished home record sullied in a 68-66 loss to UCLA on Wednesday.

“We have a young team but we have to grow up early if we want to continue to do what we say we want to do and get to NCAA tournaments,” Arizona State guard Frankie Collins said following the loss to the Bruins.

The Sun Devils squandered a 15-point lead against UCLA, and in the second half racked up four technical fouls. Collins — Arizona State’s leading scorer for the season with 13.8 points per game — noted that the Sun Devils “have to control (their) emotions” going forward.

Arizona State seeks to avoid its second three-game losing skid of the season with USC coming in on a three-game slide of its own.

The Trojans (8-10, 2-5) continued their struggles amid a rash of injuries, falling on Wednesday at No. 12 Arizona, 82-67.

Joshua Morgan returned after missing the Jan. 10 and 13 losses to Washington State and Colorado due to an upper respiratory infection, but USC played without guards Boogie Ellis and Isaiah Collier for a second consecutive game.

Ellis, the team’s leading scorer at 18.7 points per game, is dealing with a hamstring injury that Trojans coach Andy Enfield said he was trying to play through “at about 60 percent.”

Collier’s 15.4 points per game rank second for USC. He came away with a hand injury midway through the second half vs. Washington State.

In his second career start, while helping to fill the Trojans’ backcourt void, Bronny James registered career-highs of 11 points, six assists and five rebounds, a bright spot for USC in the loss at Arizona.

“We’ve had a lot of adversity that we’ve had to try to fight through, and Bronny’s had the most adversity,” Enfield said according to the Arizona Daily Star.

James, the son of NBA all-time leading scorer LeBron James, suffered cardiac arrest in July that delayed his collegiate debut until Dec. 10.

“So we’re just extremely proud of him and happy that he’s improving,” Enfield said. “We think he has a big upside.”

–Field Level Media

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