Projected Starters


• G Jio Fontan (6-0, Jr.)

• G Maurice Jones (5-7, Fr.)

• G Marcus Simmons (6-6, Sr.)

• F Alex Stepheson (6-10, Sr.)

• F Nikola Vucevic (6-10, Jr.)


• G MoMo Jones (6-0, So.)

• G Kyle Fogg (6-3, Jr.)

• F Solomon Hill (6-6, So.)

• F Jesse Perry (6-7, Jr.)

• F Derrick Williams (6-8, So.)

How they match up

• The series: Arizona leads the Trojans 56-39 but has lost six of the past nine games against USC, including 2006-07 and 2007-08 games at McKale Center. Last season, the teams each won on their home courts, with UA needing three free throws from Kyle Fogg at the end of regulation just to get to two overtime periods, finally winning 86-84.

• USC overview: The Trojans aren't deep but their top six players have pushed them to a 4-4 record in conference games. USC is strong inside with Nikola Vucevic and Alex Stepheson, defensive-minded on the outside with pesky guard Maurice Jones, and steady with the point guard play of Fordham transfer Jio Fontan. They also have Donte Smith coming off the bench to launch nearly six three-point tries per game, making 40.9 percent of them.

• Who's out: USC, reserve forward Evan Smith is out for the season after having shoulder surgery last month. Guard Bryce Jones announced he was transferring earlier this month.


Top 50 forward recruit Chol to give Cats a look today

Another incentive for the Wildcats to draw a rowdy crowd and win today: San Diego big man Angelo Chol is scheduled to be on hand, the fourth of five recruiting visits the Top 50 forward is making before his scheduled Feb. 17 decision. He's looking at "a combination of things," said Ollie Goulston, his coach at Hoover High School. "He's taking everything in, looking at the entire situation, the coaching staff, style of play and opportunities." Chol is scheduled to arrive this morning after playing Friday night for Hoover against Henry High School, and stay until Sunday evening.

Vucevic missing food from homeland of Montenegro

Since arriving at Southern California's Stoneridge Prep in 2007, USC forward Nikola Vucevic has made continual adjustments to a game that is now at an All-Pac-10 level. Off the court, it isn't always as easy. Vucevic said he has headed home every summer, playing for the Montenegro national team last summer, but still hasn't found food to match that of his homeland - even in culturally diverse Los Angeles. "I found a Serbian restaurant, but it's not the same," Vucevic said. "It's different food here than in Europe."

Numbers game


Years since Arizona started the season as strongly through 21 games, having won 17 so far.


Years since USC, which won at ASU on Thursday, has swept its Arizona road trip.


Career rebounds for Jamelle Horne, although he technically has 430 because of NCAA sanctions that erased his 2007-08 numbers.

Reason for Trojan's transfer not exactly clear

A Los Angeles Times report this week said Bryce Jones appeared to transfer out of USC earlier this month, not because of playing time, but because of off-court incidents that included an altercation with a teammate and a confrontation with a resident adviser in his dorm. USC coach Kevin O'Neill declined to comment on the report Friday. "The only thing I'll say about Bryce is I wish him the best," O'Neill said. "I wish I could have met his needs as a coach. He made a decision that was in his best interests."

Coaches' sneakers part of cancer awareness campaign

Coaches' suits again will be complemented with sneakers today as part of the annual American Cancer Society awareness campaign.


Nikola Vucevic USC

Given the Pac-10's Most Improved Player award last season, the forward from Montenegro has kept adding to his game this season by taking more of a scoring role. He's averaging a double-double in conference games.

Solomon Hill Arizona

The one-time USC commit struggled in his first game against his would-be teammates last season, but logged a critical 43 minutes in the overtime rematch at McKale Center. The UA again needs him to keep the offense moving against a sometimes stifling defense.

He said it ...

"USC is very good on defense and, to me, has a number of players who can beat you offensively. (Nikola) Vucevic is as good as a forward as there is, not just in our conference but I think nationally. He does so many things well. He has big great hands. With (Alex) Stepheson, the fact that they both play together makes them unique. He's just a great rebounder, a real force on the offensive glass."

Arizona coach Sean Miller