The USC Trojans received zero votes in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll. They were picked sixth in the Pac-12 preseason media poll. They started 48th at KenPom. So, yeah, what's happening now is definitely unexpected. But, regardless, the following is true: USC will enter the weekend alone atop the Pac-12 standings.
That's the byproduct of Thursday's 69-54 victory at Washington that improved the Trojans to 16-3 overall and 10-2 in the league. They held Mike Hopkins' Huskies to 40.7% shooting and just 23 second-half points.
"Defensively, we were very good," said USC coach Andy Enfield. "I think you saw that midway through the first half and into the second half. We challenged every shot, made them shoot a low percentage. … I think [with] this team, it starts with the defensive end."
The numbers back that up.
The Trojans' adjusted defensive-efficiency rating now ranks 10th nationally and is 12 spots higher than anybody else's in the Pac-12. Evan Mobley, a 7-foot forward who is averaging 16.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in 33.8 minutes per game, has emerged as the star of the team. The five-star freshman, who is projected to be picked in the top five of the 2021 NBA Draft, is leading the Pac-12 in rebounds per game and blocks per game. He had 17 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in the double-digit win over Washington that extended the Trojans' winning streak to five games.
USC is No. 16 in Friday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The only other Pac-12 school listed in the Top 25 And 1 is Colorado, which is No. 26 after winning 69-51 at Stanford on Thursday.
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Friday's Top 25 And 1 rankings
Gonzaga's perfect record includes double-digit victories over Virginia, Iowa and Kansas. The Zags have won their 10 West Coast Conference games by an average of 23.2 points.
Baylor's perfect record is highlighted by victories over Texas, Illinois, Texas Tech and Kansas. The Bears have won 15 of their 17 games by double-digits.
Michigan is 8-1 in the first two quadrants with double-digit wins over Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue. The Wolverines' lone loss came at Minnesota.
Ohio State is 8-1 in its past nine games with wins over Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. The Buckeyes lead the nation with nine Quadrant 1 victories.
Illinois is 10-5 in the first two quadrants after Saturday's win over Wisconsin. The Illini's four-game winning streak consists of four Quadrant 1 victories.
Villanova is 11-1 in its past 12 games with wins over Texas and Seton Hall. The Wildcats are 5-2 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses.
Houston is 10-1 in its past 11 games with nine double-digit wins in that stretch. The Cougars are 7-1 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss at East Carolina.
Alabama is 12-4 in the first two quadrants with victories over Tennessee, Arkansas and LSU. The Crimson Tide's only loss outside of the first two quadrants is a December loss to Western Kentucky.
West Virginia improved to 8-5 in the first two quadrants via Tuesday's double-digit win at Texas Tech. All five of the Mountaineers' losses qualify as Quadrant 1 defeats.
Missouri's three-game winning streak was snapped Wednesday at Ole Miss. The Tigers dropped to 7-4 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses.
Oklahoma is 6-1 in its past seven games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Texas Tech. All five of the Sooners' losses qualify as Quadrant 1 defeats.
Texas snapped its three-game losing streak Tuesday at Kansas State. The Longhorns are 6-5 in the first two quadrants with all five losses qualifying as Quadrant 1 defeats.
Virginia is 10-1 since losing to Gonzaga with victories in that stretch coming against Clemson and Syracuse. The Cavaliers are 7-3 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses.
Florida State's five-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at Georgia Tech. The Seminoles are 6-2 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss to UCF.
Virginia Tech is 3-1 in its past four games after Saturday's win at Miami. The Hokies are 7-4 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses.
USC is 5-2 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss coming at Oregon State. The Trojans' five-game winning streak features victories over UCLA and Stanford.
Tennessee is 4-1 in its past five games with victories against Kansas and Kentucky. The Vols are 6-4 in the first two quadrants with only one loss coming outside of the first quadrant.
Wisconsin is 8-6 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Badgers are 2-1 in their past three games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Illinois.
Iowa improved to 7-6 in the first two quadrants after Wednesday's double-digit win over Rutgers. Five of the Hawkeyes' six losses qualify as Quadrant 1 defeats.
Texas Tech is 3-3 in its past six games after Tuesday's double-digit loss to West Virginia. The Red Raiders are 5-6 in the first two quadrants heading into Monday's game at TCU.
Louisville's 8-3 record in the first two quadrants includes victories over Duke, Virginia Tech, Pitt and Georgia Tech. Three of the Cardinals' four losses have come inside the first quadrant.
Creighton is 5-1 in its past six games after Tuesday's double-digit win at Georgetown. The Bluejays are 10-2 in the first two quadrants with their other three losses coming in Quadrant 3.
Loyola Chicago's 10-game winning streak includes nine double-digit victories. The Ramblers have zero losses outside of the first two quadrants.
Kansas is 7-7 in the first two quadrants with all seven losses coming in Quadrant 1. The Jayhawks will take a two-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Iowa State.
Rutgers' four-game winning streak was snapped Wednesday at Iowa. The loss dropped the Scarlet Knights to 7-7 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses.
Colorado is 7-3 in the first two quadrants with two additional losses coming in Quadrant 3. The Buffaloes will take a three-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Cal.