USC Men's Basketball To Face BYU At Legends Classic Tuesday
The USC Trojans (2-0) will face the BYU Cougars (3-0) in the first game of the Legends Classic at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Calif. on Dec. 1 at 11:30 a.m. PT. The game will air on ESPN2 with Jon Sciambi and Jon Crispin 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.
TROJANS SET FOR BYU AT THE LEGENDS CLASSIC - USC will open up action at the Legends Classic taking on BYU (3-0) 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, but senior guard Alex Barcello is averaging 21.3 points per game this season, after averaging 9.3 points per game last season. 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.
BALANCED EFFORT BEATS THE GRIZZLIES -- USC jumped out to a 14-2 lead and never looked back in a 76-62 home win over Montana on Nov. 28. Drew Peterson scored 13, Evan Mobley 11 and Isaiah White 10 to lead the Trojans in scoring. Eight of the 10 Trojans to play scored at least 6 points. After allowing CBU to hit an opponent record 20 three-pointers in the opener, USC had Montana to 4 of 17 shooting from beyond the arc. USC outrebounded Montana 43-29.
TEAM TROJANS -- In the first two games played, USC has six players averaging 10.0 points or more and the other four players to appear in a game have averaged at .least 3.5 points per game. In the first game six players scored 10 points for more and in the second game eight players scored at least six points. USC had 19 assists in the first game and 17 assists in the second 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 in the opnener vs. CBU 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.
TROJANS WINNING 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 then outrebounded Montana 43-29 on Nov. 28. USC has outrebounded its first two opponents 91-57. USC has 31 offensive rebounds in the first two games