USC Basketball

USC Mens Basketball Season Is Ready For Tip Off

November 4, 2019

The USC men’s basketball team tips off their regular season tomorrow night with the goal of reaching the NCAA tournament in their sights...with a talented and deep roster, and not receiving an invite to the dance since 2017, Trojan fans will accept nothing less.  USC opens their regular season schedule against the Florida A & M Rattlers Tuesday night at 8:00PM against the Florida A&M Rattlers at the Galen Center.

The Trojans played two exhibition games of note, winning both against Villanova on national TV and Santa Clara in a closed scrimmage...the Villanova Wildcats open the regular season as the AP No. 10 team in the country.   So Trojan fans have something to feel positive about looking forward.

The Trojan’s 2019 roster returns four players from last years team who finished with a disappointing 16-17 record, however, the infusion of a highly skilled freshman class and transfers, make this year’s squad a team who could potentially contend for the conference championship if everything comes together.  Joining returning veterans, Nick Rackocevic, Jonah Matthews, Elijah Weaver and Charles O’Bannon Jr. will be Coach Andy Enfield’s highest ranked recruiting class including 5-star big men Isaiah Mobley and Onyeka Okongwu.  

The roster may be young but Coach Enfield also added two sharp shooting grad transfers in Daniel Utomi from Akron and Quinton Adlesh from Columbia University; Utomi is versatile enough to play the 2, 3, & 4 spots on the floor.  The Trojans also have four more freshmen on the roster who will look to make an impact including two freshmen point guards in Ethan Anderson and Kyle Studivant. Trojans 2019/2020 Roster

I’m not putting Coach Enfield on the hot seat, however, after failing to reach the NCAA tournament  the previous two seasons, combined with a tatented roster, and a new athletic director lurking in the shadows, it would be in everyone’s best interest for the Trojans to get out of the gates with a quick start to the out of conference shedule.  Beating a team like Florida A&M from the MEAC in convincing fashion would be a good start.

The Rattlers roster has only 6 scholarship players after finishing last season with a 12-19 record so 2nd year head coach Robert McCullum and his team will have their work cut out.

With the Trojans only returning 4 players from last season’s roster, the success of this year’s team will go as far as the highly touted freshman class takes them.  T

here is not a more important position in college basketball than point guard...Trojan fans may remember last season’s struggles with the inconsistent play at the 1-spot.  The Trojans have a couple fo true freshman in Ethan Anderson and Kyle Sturdivant who will look to share time with sophomore Elijah Weaver who is also versatile enough to move to the wing.   Both freshmen received high praise for their growth over the summer European tour, as well as how they handled themselves in the two exhibition games.

When asked who has impressed the most this off season, no matter who answers, Ethan Anderson’s  name pops up in the conversation, so if the big guys down low can get the ball in good scoring positions, the Trojans could be a handful for other teams to contend with.

Look for he Trojans to use a strong defensive presence so they can get out and push the tempo on offense by getting up and down the court...Coach Enfield has the roster depth 1-12 and will look to get everyone involved, so when your number is called be ready to play.

The Pac-12 preseason media poll has the Trojans finishing fifth in the conference behind Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Arizona; The Trojans did receive (1) first place vote, probably because they have the talent to win the conference.






Tags: Basketball, USC
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