USC To Face UConn In Legends Classic Thursday
The USC Trojans (3-0) will face the UConn Huskies (2-0) in the Legends Classic at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Calif. on Dec. 3 at 4:00 p.m. PT. The game will air on ESPN 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 UCONN - USC's final game at the Legends Classic will be against UConn (2-0) which has wins this season over Central Connecticut State (102-75) and Hartford (69-57). Sophomore James Bouknight leads four Huskies in double figures with a 19.0 scoring average through two games. This is the first-ever meeting between USC and UConn in men's basketball.
TROJANS SHUT DOWN THE BYU OFFENSE -- Drew Peterson scored 19 points, brothers Evan Mobley and Isaiah Mobley each had a double-double, and USC beat BYU 79-53 on Dec.1 in the first game of the Roman Legends Classic. USC trailed 18-17 before closing the first half on a 14-2 run to forge a 31-20 halftime advantage. BYU closed out the first half missing 18 of its final 19 shots and was held to 27.5 percent shooting in the game. BYU also made just 23.3 percent of its three-point shots (7-for-30). Evan Mobley had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Isaiah had 11 points and 11 rebounds. USC's largest lead was 30 points late in the second half.
UC IRVINE ON DECK -- USC's next game will be vs. UC Irvine (1-2) at the Galen Center on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. UCI will host La Sierra on Dec. 2 before traveling to USC to play the Trojans. Junior Collin Welp leads UCI in scoring with an 11.0 average. USC is 6-2 all-time against the Anteaters, but lost the last meeting 51-64 on Dec. 20, 2012.
TEAM TROJANS -- In the first three games played, USC has seven players averaging 6.7 points or more and the other three players to appear in a game have averaged at .least 2.3 points per game. In the first game six players scored 10 points for more, in the second game eight players scored at least six points and in the third game five players scored at least nine points.
MOBLEY GETTING NOTICED - USC freshman forward Evan Mobley has been racking up the preseason honors being named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List on Dec. 1. He has already been 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.
HOT SHOTS -- USC has made 53.5 percent of its shots in the first three games, shooting 50.0 percent or better in each game.
HOT SHOTS PART DEUX -- Seven of the 10 players to see action for USC this season are shooting 50.0 percent or higher from the floor.
THE HEIGHT OF SUCCESS -- USC hopes that height translates into success as eight players on the roster are 6-7 or taller.
A DOUBLE, DOUBLE-DOUBLE -- USC brothers Evan Mobley (17 points/11 rebounds) and Isaiah Mobley (11 points & 11 rebounds) both posted a double-double in the win vs. BYU on Dec. 1. It was the first career double-double for the freshman Evan and the second of sophomore Isaiah's career and season.
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 and BYU 50-38 on Dec. 1. USC has outrebounded its first three opponents 141-92. USC has 43 offensive rebounds in the first three games.
NO THREE-PEAT -- After allowing CBU to make an opponent-record 20 three-pointers in the opener (20-for-41, 48.8 percent), USC has held its last two opponents to a combined 11 three-pointers (11-for-47, 23.4 percent).