Today’s game will be key for a team once again without big men Trevor Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson (expected to sit with continued ankle troubles). After a momentous win against Virginia Tech, the Gophers face another big-name program in USC and will need to play even better than they did in Wednesday’s outing to expect to come away on top.
Some notes on USC:
  • The Trojans are coming off a big lift of their own after crushing UC Riverside without their 7-foot big man and NBA prospect Dewayne Dedmon, who is out 4-6 weeks with a foot injury.
  • The 4-4 Trojans haven’t exactly been dominant all season, but are starting to look better after their third loss, when they scored just 36 points against Cal Poly in the Las Vegas invitational.
  • Since then, USC is 3-1 and have showed more balance on offense.
  • Junior guard Aaron Fuller leads the team with 13.3 points and 6.6 assists.
  • Sophomore point guard Maurice Jones – sure to be a challenging matchup for Gophers freshman Andre Hollins -- is averaging 14.8 points a game.

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Eliason likely to start again Saturday; Smith happy with three-guard lineup

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Gophers' three-guard lineup stifles USC