2015 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Media Day: USC more experienced heading into 2015-16 season
SAN FRANCISCO — They’re called growing pains for a reason. With seven sophomores and four freshmen (and zero seniors), USC had the youngest roster among all Power 5 conference schools last year. The youth showed in the results – the green Trojans were competitive but couldn’t pull games out down the stretch. The Trojans went 12-20 and 3-15 in conference play, including a 0-7 mark in conference games decided by five points or fewer.
A group of 18-year-old and 19-year-old kids struggled to get loose balls against 22-year-old or 23-year-old young men. They fought hard, but just weren’t physically mature enough to make crucial plays down the stretch of games.
But now USC is in a position where the results from those growing pains can be realized a little more. Head coach Andy Enfield brings back a group of guys who have combined to start 209 games in Trojan uniforms, up from 52 starts entering the 2014-15 season. Of the 14 players, 11 are sophomores or juniors, meaning this group should only continue to gel.
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“Everybody’s mentality has changed,” guard Jordan McLaughlin said at 2015 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day. “I feel like it was a learning step from last year.”
Still, Enfield does not want to put any expectations on his team.
“We’re not making any predictions; we’re just working everyday to be a better basketball team,” Enfield said. “We’re not here to say we’re going to win a certain amount of games – we’re just here to improve.”
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