USC Announces 2012-13 Men's Basketball Schedule
July 26, 2012
The USC men's basketball team is undertaking another very competitive schedule for the 2012-13 basketball season highlighted by home games against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams San Diego State and Long Beach State and Big Ten power Minnesota, as well as games at New Mexico, Georgia and Nebraska along with a trip to the Maui Invitational and a field which includes 2012 NCAA Tournament teams North Carolina, Texas and Marquette, it was announced today (July 26) by USC men's basketball head coach Kevin O'Neill.
"We are playing a very challenging schedule, one of the very best in the country," said O'Neill. "It will be a great test for our players, not only in the Pac-12, but also in the nonconference schedule. We look forward to the challenges that await us."
USC will play 23 of 31 scheduled games against opponents who posted a .500 or better record last season, including a potential 18 games vs. opponents which won 20 or more games last season. Sixteen of USC's potential opponents advanced into the 2011-12 postseason and there are eight games scheduled against teams that are ranked in the ESPN preseason top 25.
USC is coming off a injury-plagued 6-26 season which saw the team end the season with just six scholarship players available. The Trojan players have all returned to health and USC has added a big-time scoring threat in J.T. Terrell (Peninsula College/Wake Forest) and transfers Eric Wise (UC Irvine), Ari Stewart (Wake Forest) and Renaldo Woolridge (Tennessee) and three true freshmen.
USC will open the season hosting Coppin State at the Galen Center on Nov. 9 in a first-round game of the Maui Invitational. After another home game vs. Long Beach State which went 25-9 last season and advanced in the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 13, the Trojans will travel to Maui, Hawaii to take part in the Maui Invitational (Nov. 19-21).
The strong Maui Invitational field includes three teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament a season ago in North Carolina, Texas and Marquette, Mississippi State which played in the NIT, Butler which played in the CBI Tournament, Illinois and host Chaminade. USC's first-round matchup will be against Illinois which went 17-15 last season and has a new head coach in John Groce who guided Ohio to the NCAA's Elite Eight last season. USC's second opponent will be either Big 12 power Texas (20-14) or host Chaminade (11-14). USC's final game at the Maui Invitational will be against a team from the other bracket which includes North Carolina (32-6), Marquette (27-8), Butler (22-15) and Mississippi State (21-12).
After the Maui Invitational, USC will return home to play San Diego State at the Galen Center on Nov. 25. The Aztecs went 26-8 last year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
USC's first true road games will be on Dec. 3 at Nebraska and Dec. 5 at New Mexico. New Mexico went 28-7 last year and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. "The Pit" in Albuquerque is one of the toughest places for an opponent to win and the Lobos have gone 45-6 at home in their last three seasons.
The Trojans will return to Galen Center for home games vs. Minnesota on Dec. 8, UC Riverside on Dec. 15 and UC Irvine on Dec. 20, before taking their last road trip before conference play when they travel to Athens, Ga. to face Georgia on Dec. 22.
USC's final nonconference game will be on Dec. 30 when they will host the Dayton Flyers, an NIT team in 2012.
The Trojans will open the Pac-12 season the week of Dec. 31-Jan. 6 by hosting California and Stanford, before making their first trip to newest conference foes Colorado and Utah the week of Jan. 7-13. All of the conference game dates are subject to change due to selection by television.
USC returns home to play Oregon and Oregon State the week of Jan. 14-20. USC will play Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Oregon just one time this season.
The Trojans then will play three consecutive road games, traveling to Arizona State and Arizona the week of Jan. 21-27 and finally at UCLA in the new Pauley Pavilion the week of Jan. 28-Feb 3.
USC will host Washington State and Washington the week of Feb. 4-10, before traveling to play at California and Stanford the week of Feb. 11-17.
The Trojans will host crosstown rival UCLA at the Galen Center the week of Feb. 18-24. They then will entertain Arizona and Arizona State at the Galen Center the week of Feb. 25-March 3.
The final two Pac-12 regular season games for USC will be on the road at Washington and Washington State the week of March 4-10.
The Pac-12 Conference Tournament will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., March 13-16.