Thursday, January 10 at 11:00 PM ET
The Oregon State Beavers host the USC Trojans in their Pac-12 home opener at Gill Coliseum on Thursday.
Kevin Porter Jr. returns
After a 5-6 start, USC responded with a four-game winning streak, including a 2-0 start in Pac-12 play after wins against California and Stanford and now, as they're starting to roll, they got Kevin Porter Jr. back at practice this week and he's expected to play against Oregon State.
Porter Jr. was a consistent contributor in USC's first five games, scoring in double digits each contest and averaging 14.0 points but the 6-foot-6 guard from Seattle never fully showed what he was capable of before taking a knee to the thigh against Missouri State on November 20. He tried to play against Nevada on December 1 but he went just four minutes, as it was clear he was not himself.
USC head coach Andy Enfield said he would be cautious with Porter's minutes against Oregon State, aiming to keep him from playing long stretches as he works to get back in game shape on the fly. The team doesn't want to aggravate Porter's injury but having him for this game can make a big difference.
In the six games that Porter Jr. was in uniform he posted the following numbers:
11.7 points per game
3.3 rebounds per game
1.7 assists per game
1.0 steals per game
0.8 blocks per game
53.8 field goal percentage
35.0 three-point percentage
While these numbers don't jump off the board, these are the cumulative stats from his first six games ever as a college basketball player. Also keep in mind that Porter Jr. started the season coming off the bench and playing very limited minutes and he got injured just as he was starting to get into a groove.
Tres Tinkle is questionable against USC
Oregon State is coming off a huge 77-72 road win against Oregon last Saturday, with Tres Tinkle scoring 16 of his 28 points in the second half. Tinkle limped through most of the second half but he still led the Beavers to their first road win in a conference opener in 26 years, going 9-for-15 from the field, including 4-for-8 from 3-point range and he made all six of his free-throws.
Tinkle leads Oregon State with 20.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists but he's questionable against USC because of the severe left ankle injury suffered against Oregon.
NCAA Basketball Trends:
The USC Trojans are:
6-1 ATS in their last seven Thursday games
4-0 ATS in the last four meetings
The Oregon State Beavers are:
1-3-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win
It will be hard for Oregon State to replace Tres Tinkle's production and to make matters worse, USC gets Kevin Porter Jr. back and although he will play limited minutes, he gives them a great chance to win.
NCAA Basketball Pick: USC +4.5 (-110) at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/2RMxhhA