No. 24 USC Men’s Basketball Opens Wooden Legacy Against Saint Joseph’s On Thanksgiving Day
LOS ANGELES - The No. 24 USC Trojans (4-0) open the Paycom Wooden Legacy tournament on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 25), facing off with Saint Joseph's (2-2) at 6:30 p.m. in Anaheim Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center. The game will air on ESPN2, with Roxy Bernstein and Corey Williams calling the action. The Trojans will face either Georgetown (2-1) or San Diego State (3-1) on Friday depending on the first-round results. USC's 4-0 start matches the opening of 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.
WOODEN LEGACY - The 2021 Wooden Legacy opens on Thursday with USC and Saint Joseph's at 6:30 p.m. and Georgetown and San Diego State facing off at 8:30 p.m. The first-day winners will meet at 8:30 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 26) and the other two teams will play at 6 p.m. The first day games will be carried on ESPN2 as will the second-day 8:30 p.m. game, while 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.
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 was the only power conference team to post two road victories in its first three games 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 SAINT JOSEPH'S - Saint Joseph's (2-2) is coming off a pair of losses at home, falling to Drexel (78-75) on 11/17 and Monmouth (87-75) on 11/20. All four of the Hawks' games this season have been at home, with Saint Joseph's picking up early victories over Maryland-Eastern Shore (69-67) and Mount St. Mary's (80-60). The Hawks' have four players averaging in double figures this season, with forward Taylor Funk (18.5) and wing Jordan Hall (15.5) leading the way. USC and Saint Joseph's have only met once in their history, with USC picking up a 79-65 win back in the 1950 season.
DOWNING DIXIE STATE - Boogie Ellis had 19 points and Max Agbonkpolo scored a career-high 17 off the bench as No. 25 USC cruised to a 98-71 win over Dixie State on Monday night (11/22). Chevez Goodwin continued his strong start to the season with a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double. Reese Dixon-Waters scored a career-high nine points after the freshman guard scored just five points total during the 2021-22 season. Five total Trojans scored in double-digits and 11 recorded points. The Trojans had season-highs in points, field goals, 3-pointers and rebounds.
ENFIELD INDUCTED INTO THE FGCU HALL OF FAME - Andy Enfield and his 2012-13 Florida Gulf Coast basketball team were inducted into the FGCU Athletics Hall of Fame on Nov. 15, as part of its first-ever class.
PROTECT AND SHARE - The Trojans have taken care of the rock and made sure to spread it around so far this season, with USC's 2.11 assist/turnover ratio the sixth best in the country. The Trojans' 9.2 turnovers per game are the eighth fewest in the NCAA and their 19.5 assists per game are 15th in the nation. 78 of USC's 133 field goals have been assisted this season.
MAKING THEIR SHOTS COUNT - USC has made 51.6 percent of its shots this season (133-for-258) which is tied 18th in the country and tops among all Pac-12 teams. Seven Trojans have made at least 50 percent of their shots so far this season, with Chevez Goodwin leading the way at 71.1 percent (27-for-38). Goodwin's shooting percentage is 11th in the country and leads the Pac-12.