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USC Men's Basketball Begins 2-Game Road Trip At Temple Saturday

Nov 12, 2021

The USC Trojans (1-0) will play at the Temple Owls (1-0) at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. PT.  The game will be streamed on ESPN+ with Harry Donahue and Nikki Jones calling the action. USC head coach Andy Enfield has 199 career wins, 158 as the leader of the Trojan program.

THE 2021-22 TROJANS -- The USC Trojans return six of their top eight scorers from the 2020-21 team which went 25-8, finished second in the Pac-12 by percentage points and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.  Gone are leading scorers Evan Mobley (NBA) and Tahj Eaddy (G-League), but back are forwards Isaiah Mobley, Chevez Goodwin and Max Agbonkpolo and guards Ethan Anderson, Drew Peterson and Isaiah White, almost all logging over 500 minutes of action last season.  In all, 11 players return and the Trojans have added transfer guard Boogie Ellis, the AAC Co-Sixth Man of the Year, and three new freshmen, including California Gatorade Player of the Year guard Malik Thomas.

WINNING WAYS -  USC had a 47-17 record the last two seasons which ranked third among all of the schools in the six power basketball conferences (ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12,AAC and the Pac-12).  The Trojans went 25-8 during the 2020-21 season and have won 20 or more games in five of the last six seasons under Andy Enfield. The 25 wins last season were tied for the second most in school history, one behind the USC record of 26 wins set in 2017 (26-10). USC's 134 wins in the last six seasons were tied for 15th among all of the Power 6 conference schools.

ROAD WARRIORS - USC is playing a true road game the earliest in a season since opening the 2014 season at Utah State. The last time USC began a season with two road games in its first three games of a season was the 2008 season when it opened at home against Mercer, then played at The Citadel and at South Carolina.  USC was 7-3 in road games last season.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN -  There are a total of 16 players on the 2021-22 USC men's basketball roster.  The Trojan team by class are:  Seniors (5): Chevez Goodwin (F), Reggie Parris (G), Drew Peterson (G), Amar Ross (G), Isaiah White (G);  Juniors (4): Max Agbonkpolo (F), Ethan Anderson (G), Boogie Ellis (G), Isaiah Mobley (F);  Sophomores (3): Boubacar Coulibaly (F), Zach Brooker (G), , Josh Morgan (F);  Freshman (4): Harrison Hornery (F), Kobe Johnson (F), Malik Thomas (G), Reese Dixon-Waters (G).

FACING TEMPLE -  The Temple Owls (1-0) defeated Maryland-Eastern Shores 72-49 in their season opener on Nov. 10.  Khalif Battle scored 22 and Damian Dunn scored 18 for the Owls.  USC leads the all-time series 5-3, but has lost the last two meetings: 65-54 on Nov. 27, 1994 in Philadelphia and 70-61 on Nov. 22, 2019 at the Galen Center.

USC CRUISES BY CSUN IN OPENER - USC had a complete team effort in its 89-49 win over CSUN in the opener on Nov. 9 at the Galen Center.  Boogie Ellis scored 20 points in his USC debut and Isaiah Mobley scored 15 points and added nine rebounds. Twelve of 13 Trojans to play in the game scored, five different players registered at least one block and six players had a dunk.  USC's 40-point win was its largest margin of victory since defeating Southern Utah 91-49 on Dec. 21, 2018.  USC improved to 23-4 in its last 27 home openers.

FGCU ON DECK - FGCU (1-0) will play at Loyola Chicago on Nov. 13 before hosting USC on Nov. 16 in Fort Myers, Fla.  Victor Rosa scored 20 points in FGCU's season-opening 94-57 win vs. Florida National on Nov. 9. USC head coach Andy Enfield began his head coaching career at FGCU, going 41-28 in two seasons (2012-13) and taking the Eagles to the Sweet Sixteen in 2013.  USC defeated FGCU 71-58 on Dec. 29, 2019 in the only other meetings between the schools.

2020-21 RECAP -- USC went 25-8 during the 2020-21 season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight before falling to championship finalist and then undefeated Gonzaga. It was USC's fourth Elite Eight run and first since 2001 and its No. 6 seed in the Tournament was its highest since being the same in 2008.  The Trojans also went 15-5 in Pac-12 play to finish second, percentage points behind Oregon (14-4) who it defeated in the regular season and in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.  USC was ranked No. 9 in the final Coaches Poll of the season, its highest final ranking ever.

USC's NBA DRAFT SUCCESS CONTINUES -- Evan Mobley was selected No. 3 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2021 NBA Draft.  He became the fifth Trojan ever selected in the top 10 of the draft.  Only USC and Florida State have had a player taken in the top 10 in each of the last two NBA Drafts and only USC, FSU, Kentucky and North Carolina have had at least one first-round selection in each of the last three NBA Drafts.  USC currently has 10 players on 2021-22 NBA rosters.

DOING IT WITH DEFENSE -- USC held its opponents to 39.0 percent shooting duing the 2020-21 season, best in the Pac-12 and 9th-best in the country. Stanford's 51.9 percent shooting against USC on Feb. 2, UCLA's 51.0 percent on March 6 and Gonzaga's 50.0 percent on March 30 were the only three times in the 2020-21 season in which a Trojan opponent shot 50 percent. or over.  USC held CSUN to 32.8 percent shooting in the opener.  Three Trojans scored in double figures in the opening game victory.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK? -- USC had 168 blocks for an average of 5.1 blocks per game last season.  USC's block total led all NCAA Division I teams during the 2020-21 season.  Evan Mobley had a USC freshman record 95 of those blocks, so you would think the Trojans would no longer be in the "Swat-o-sphere"...but not so fast!  USC had five different players register at least one block for a total of six in the opener vs. CSUN on Nov. 9.

THE STRENGTH OF THREE -- A cord of three strands is not easily broken and a USC team with three players scoring 10 or more points is not easily defeated.  The 2020-21 Trojans went 22-1 when they had at least three players scoring in double figures, only losing when three or more scored 10 or more points in the final game of the season vs. Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament.