No. 24 USC Men's Basketball Hosts Dixie State Monday
The No. 25 USC Trojans (3-0) will host the Dixie State Trailblazers (1-3) at the Galen Center on Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. The game will be on the Pac-12 Network with J.B. Long and Don MacLean calling the action. USC's 3-0 start matches the opening of the 2020-21 season. The last time USC began 4-0 was in the 2019-20 season when it began 5-0.
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 has started 2-0 on the road with wins at Temple and FGCU. USC is the only power conference team to post two road victories already this season. Pac-12 teams are 3-6 in road games early in the season with two of the wins owned by USC. The last time USC opened with two true road wins in its first three games of a season was the 2008 season when it opened at home against Mercer, then won at The Citadel and at South Carolina. USC was 7-3 in road games last season.
FACING DIXIE STATE - Dixie State (1-3) is coming off a 79-73 loss at CSUN on Nov. 20 in the consolation game of the Empire Classic in Northridge, Calif. DSU opened the season with a 97-63 loss at Gonzaga on Nov. 9, then won 83-76 vs. Southern Utah on Nov. 12, before falling 85-65 to Texas State on Nov. 19 at CSUN. Forward Hunter Schofield (16.0) and guard Cameron Gooden (15.8) lead the Trailblazers in points per game scoring. This will be the first-ever meeting in basketball between the two schools.
ENFIELD INDUCTED INTO THE FGCU HALL OF FAME - Andy Enfield and his 2012-13 FGCU basketball team were inducted into the FGCU Athletics Hall of Fame on Nov. 15, as part of its first-ever class.
USC DUNKS FGCU - Chevez Goodwin scored 20 and Boogie Ellis 18 with career highs in rebounds (8) and assists (6) to lead USC to a 78-61 win before a sellout crowd at FGCU, as Andy Enfield returned to the place he began his head coaching career. USC trailed 15-10 eight minutes into the game, but outscored FGCU 25-12 the rest of the half to take an 8-point lead at the break. The Eagles cut it to 5 points 10 minutes into the 2nd half, but USC went on a 12-2 run capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Isaiah Mobley to put the game away. Mobley finished with 13 points and Max Agbonkpolo tied a career-best with 10 as the Trojans had four players in double-figures for the second consecutive game. USC made 49.2 percent of its shots, while holding FGCU to 36.7 percent shooting. USC had 22 assists on its 32 baskets. USC outscored FGCU 44-26 on points in the paint and out-dunked Dunk City 5-1 in the game.
WOODEN LEGACY ON DECK - USC will open up in the Wooden Legacy playing Saint Joseph's (2-2) on Nov. 25 at 6:30 p.m. The game will air on ESPN2. The Trojans will then play the next day against either San Diego State (3-1) or Georgetown (2-1) with the first-day winners meeting at 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 26 and the other two teams playing at 6 p.m. The game at 8 p.m. will be carried on ESPN2 and the 6:30 p.m. game will be on ESPNU. USC won the inaugural Wooden Legacy in 2007 (then called the Anaheim Classic) by defeating San Diego, Miami (OH) and No. 19 Southern Illinois.
ASSISTS HIGH, TURNOVERS LOW - USC has 57 assists and 27 turnovers through three games for a 2.11 ratio, fifth-best in the country. USC's 19 assists per game average is tied for 16th in the country. Drew Peterson has 15 assists and four turnovers, Boogie Ellis has 13 assists and 5 turnovers and Ethan Anderson 6 assists and 1 turnover.
MAKING THEIR SHOTS COUNT -- USC has made 51.1 percent of its shots this season (95-for-186) which is tied for 22nd in the country. Seven Trojans have made at least 50 percent of their shots so far this season. Joshua Morgan leads the Trojans having made 70 percent of his shot attempts (7 of 10).
THREE-POINT TRIO - Ethan Anderson (4), Boogie Ellis (5) and Isaiah Mobley (6) have made 15 of USC's 17 three-point baskets. The also have hit at a high percentage: Anderson (51.7 percent), Ellis (45.5 percent) and Mobley (46.2 percent).