Skip to main content

USC Men's Basketball To Host Montana Saturday At Galen

Nov 27, 2020

The USC Trojans (1-0) will try and make it two in a row when it hosts Montana (0-0) at the Galen Ceter on Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. The game will be aired on the Pac-12 Network with J.B. Long and Don MacLean calling the action.

THE 2020-21 TROJANS -- The USC men's basketball team has a new look for the 2020-21 season as the strong sophomore core of Ethan Anderson, Isaiah Mobley and Max Agbonkpolo is joined by eight new players which includes a consensus top three recruit in Evan Mobley and Noah Baumann who redshirted last season following his transfer from San Jose State.  The 2020-21 Trojans will be a team with many interchangeable parts and feature players who can guard multiple positions.  USC entered this season having won 109 games over the last five seasons, the winningest five-year stretch in school history and the 2020-21 Trojans look to continue the upward trend.

YOU WILL BE MISSED... --  The Trojans have re-loaded and are anxious to continue the program's upward surge, but there is no doubt that this edition will be a different team. Gone are All-Pac-12 and now NBA forward Onyeka Okongwu (16.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and a pair ot four-year players in all-time USC three-point baskets leader Jonah Mathews (13.4 ppg and 247 career 3-pointers made) and second all-time rebounder Nick Rakocevic (10.5 ppg, 923 career rebounds).  In all, 8 of the 11 Trojans to score a point in the 2019-20 season are no longer on the roster. All that means is the new edition of the Trojan cagers will be called upon to replace 80.6 percent of the scoring, 76.4 percent of the rebounding and 74.7 percent of the minutes played

RECAP OF THE 2019-20 SEASON -- The 2019-20 Trojans went 22-9 and led the Pac-12 in rebounding and were among the Conference's top teams in blocks, scoring defense and defensive field goal percentage. USC seemed to be just hitting its stride heading to the postseason as winners of five of its last seven games and finishing tied for third in Pac-12 play at 11-7 before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  USC led all Pac-12 teams in Conference play in points allowed and field goal percentage defense.

FACING MONTANA -- Montana will be playing its first game of the 2020-21 season. Montana went 18-13 and finished third in the Big Sky last season, after winning the conference title the previous two seasons.  Travis DeCuire is in his seventh season as head coach of the Grizzlies. Sophomores Derrick Carter-Hollinger, Kyle Owens and Josh Vazquez combined to start a school-record 40 games as true freshmen and will be key to the 2020-21 Grizzlies.  USC is 2-1 all-time against the Grizzlies, winning the last meeting 75-61 on Nov. 11, 2016 at the Galen Center.

TROJANS BEAT CBU IN OVERTIME  -- USC opened the 2020-21 season with a 95-87 overtime win over California Baptist on Nov. 25, despite the Lancers making a Trojan opponent record 20 three-point baskets.  USC was outscored 60-15 in three-point scoring.  USC led much of the game, but was down 79-74 with 1:59 remaining.  First Ethan Anderson hit a pair of free throws, then he hit Eaddy with a pass who drilled a three-pointer with 47 seconds remaining to tie it at 79-all and send it into overtime.  CBU scored the first basket of overtime, but USC scored the next 10 points to put the game away.  USC was 6-for-6 from the field in OT and won its 12th home opener in 13 tries.

TROJANS TO PLAY AT THE LEGENDS CLASSIC - USC will be playing in the 2020 Legends Classic, held at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. from Dec. 1-3. USC will open up taking on BYU on Dec. 1.  The winner of that game will face the winner of the UConn/Vanderbilt game in a contest on Dec. 3, with the other two teams playing that day also.  BYU was 24-8 during the 2019-20 season and won its last nine regular season games.  The Cougars lost five of their top seven scoring leaders from that team and senior guard Alex Barcello is the top returning scorer at 9.3 points per game.  USC is 7-3 all-time against BYU, winning the last contest 91-84 on Dec. 3, 2016.  UConn was 19-12 during the 2019-20 season and its top returning scorer is sophomore James Bouknight at 13.0 points per game.  Vanderbilt was 11-21 and its top returning scorer from last season is sophomore guard Scotty Pippen Jr. at 12.0 points per game. .

MOBLEY GETTING NOTICED - USC freshman forward Evan Mobley has been racking up the preseason honors being named to the NABC Player of the Year Watch List, the Naismith Trophy Watch List, the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Watch List and to the Pac-12 Media All-Conference First Team.

THE HEIGHT OF SUCCESS -- USC hopes that height translates into success as eight players on the roster are 6-7 or taller.   

EADDY SURPASSES 1,000 CAREER POINTS - USC graduate transfer guard Tahj Eaddy's baseline floater four minutes into the second half on Nov. 25 gave him 11 points in the game and 1,001 in his career. Eaddy scored 224 at Southeast Missouri State and 766 at Santa Clara. Eaddy finished the game with 18 points, including hitting the three-pointer that tied the game at 79 in regulation.

NO MORE CLOSE CALLS  -- Sophomore forward Isaiah Mobley scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his first career double-double in the game vs. CBU on Nov. 25.  Last season, Mobley was within a basket or a rebound of logging a double-double four times.  His 10 rebounds were his third-most in a game, having grabbed 11 rebounds twice last season.

TROJANS WIN THE BOARD GAME  -- USC outrebounded California Baptist 48-28 on Nov. 25, including 18-9 in offensive rebounds.    The 20-rebound advantage was USC's biggest in a game since outrebounding Santa Clara 52-27 (+25) on December 14, 2017.  USC last had 18 offensive rebounds in the overtime win vs. Stanford on January 18, 2020.

EVAN MOBLEY HAS A STONG COLLEGIATE DEBUT  -- USC's decorated freshman forward Evan Mobley did not disappoint in his collegiate debut vs. CBU on Nov. 25, scoring 21 points, grabbing nine rebounds, three blocks and three dunks.  His 21 points scored were the third-most by a USC freshman in his debut and the most since O.J. Mayo scored 32 vs.  Mercer on Nov. 10, 2007.

SHARING THE WEALTH  -- All nine USC players to see action in the opener vs. Californa Baptist scored at least two points and six players scored 10 or more points.  It was the first time USC has six players in double figures since six also had 10 or more points vs. Washington State on Dec. 31, 2017.

CBU SETS AN OPPONENT RECORD  -- California Baptist's 20 three-point baskets made was a USC opponent record for makes in a game.  The previous record of 16 was set by Arizona in 2002.  CBU made 20 of 41 shots from beyond the arc for a 48.8 shooting percentage.

PETERSON DAZZLES IN DEBUT  -- Rice transfer junior guard Drew Peterson got the start on Nov. 25 vs. CBU and came up one rebound short of a double-double.  Peterson scored 12 points, had nine rebounds and three assists.  Peterson had four double-doubles for the Owls during the 2019-20 season.

WHITE BRINGS ENERGY OFF THE BENCH -- Graduate transfer Isaiah White had 10 points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench in the opener vs. CBU on Nov. 25.  White made four of six shots, including one of two from three-point range.

THE WAIT IS OVER FOR BAUMANN -- Junior sharp-shooting guard Noah Baumann, who redshirted last season after transfering from San Jose, scored four points and had an assist in 15 minutes off the bench in his Trojan debut.  Baumann was 2-for-3 from the floor and also grabbed three rebounds.