Floyd Has Own Standing Order

Times Staff Writer

Tim Floyd tabulates the Pacific 10 Conference standings a little differently than most people.

According to the USC coach's formula, road victories are worth one point and home losses count as minus-one. Everything else -- home victories and road losses -- do not figure into a team's total.

Applying this principle, the Trojans, who last week split home games against California and Stanford, are at minus-one in conference play heading into tonight's game against Arizona State in Tempe. Arizona and California, who swept road swings last week, are atop the conference at plus-two.

"This system, the way it's set up, you look forward to the away games because that's how you earn your points," sophomore guard Gabe Pruitt said. "That's how we can get ahead on other teams."

The Trojans, 10-3 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-10, won both of their nonconference road games, beating Alaska Anchorage, 57-56, and Loyola Marymount, 71-69. Even though the competition was less than stellar, the victories could pay dividends.

"I think the fact that we have had some road success is certainly better than not having had any road success," Floyd said. "It's hard when you're figuring out a way to try to get that first one on the road."

A victory over Arizona State (6-5, 0-2) at Wells Fargo Arena would give USC its third road victory, one more than it had last season.

Pruitt says overconfidence is not a concern for the Trojans, who have had a nice run of success against the Sun Devils, winning the last three games in the series and 12 of the last 15.

"Any team in the Pac-10 on any given night can beat anybody," he said. "We're going to take it just like any other game, like we're playing Arizona or UCLA."

Arizona State's top scoring threats are guards Kevin Kruger and Bryson Krueger, who are averaging 16.0 and 13.7 points, respectively. Krueger struggled during the Sun Devils' 64-49 loss at Washington State on Saturday, scoring three points on one-for-15 shooting.

"Those things have a way of toughening your team up," Floyd said of Arizona State's being swept by the Washington schools. "The fact that they didn't get a win I think is going to make them that much more hungry and make it that much more difficult for us."

*

TONIGHT

at Arizona State, 5:30 PST, FSN West 2

Site -- Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz.

Radio -- 1540.

Records -- USC 10-3 overall, 1-1 in Pac-10; Arizona State 6-5, 0-2.

Update -- Arizona State is 6-2 at home, though one of those losses was to Utah Valley State. Trojan guard Lodrick Stewart has scored at least 16 points in each of his last six games, averaging 17.2 points over that stretch. He is making a team-high 42% of his three-point attempts this season.

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