USC Opens The Season Friday At Utah State|
Nov. 6, 2013
THE 2013-14 USC TROJANS -- There is great excitement around the USC men's basketball program as Andy Enfield is set to begin his first season as the Trojans' head coach. He brings with him success at all levels, most recently leading No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast University to the 2013 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. USC returns its second and third-leading scorers in guards J.T. Terrell and Byron Wesley, as well as 7-2 center Omar Oraby. With the addition of a strong recruiting class, senior transfer point guard Pe'Shon Howard and senior 7-0 center D.J. Haley, the Trojans look to play an exciting up-tempo brand of basketball.
ROSTER BREAKDOWN -- There are a total of 17 players on the 2013-14 USC men's basketball roster. The Trojan team by class are: Seniors (5): D.J. Haley (C), Pe'Shon Howard (G), Daniel Munoz (G), Omar Oraby (C) and J.T. Terrell (G); Juniors (1): Byron Wesley (G); Sophomores (5): Chass Bryan (G), Darion Clark (F), Strahinja Gavrilovic (F), Katin Reinhardt (G) and Brendyn Taylor (G); Freshmen (6): Samer Dhillon (F), Kahlil Dukes (G), Julian Jacobs (G), Nikola Jovanovic (F), Devon Pflueger (F) and Roschon Prince (F).
TROJANS FACE TOUGH OPENER AT UTAH STATE -- USC will open the 2013-14 season at one of the tougher venues in the country for a road team - Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah, home of Utah State. The Aggies went 21-10 last season and return four starters and eight lettermen from that team. Utah State has won 21 or more games 14 consecutive seasons and are especially tough at home with a 155-15 record the past decade (82-6 vs. nonconference foes). USC leads the all-time series with Utah State, 6-4. The last time the two schools met, the Trojans fell 52-50 at the Maui Invitational on Nov. 24, 1999 as Tony Rock banked in a three-pointer with 10 seconds left on the clock. The two schools also faced each other this season in football with USC winning 17-14 on Sept. 21.
USC IN OPENERS - USC defeated Coppin State 87-73 at the Galen Center in last season's opener to improve to 74-33 all-time in the first game of the season. USC has won its last four season openers, but lost the three prior to that. This is the first time USC will open on the road since the 2003-04 season when it lost 83-65 at Western Michigan. USC's last win in a true road game to start the season was in 1980-81 at Idaho State, 77-68. Since that game, USC has opened away from home seven times and gone 1-6 (3 neutral site games), 0-4 in true road games.
USC COACHES IN FIRST GAME - USC's new men's head basketball coaches have not enjoyed their debuts of late with the last seven posting a combined record of 1-6. The only USC men's basketball head coach to win his debut since 1987 is Kevin O'Neill in the 2009-10 season. Since George Raveling took over the USC program in 1987 and lost 85-67 at New Orleans, the Trojan head coach debuts and results are: Charlie Parker (L, 97-84 vs. New Mexico State in 1994-95), Henry Bibbly (L, 99-69 at Stanford in 1995-96), Jim Saia (L, 71-68 vs. Fresno State in 2004-05), Tim Floyd (L, 81-76 in OT vs. CS Northridge in 2005-06), O'Neill (W, 77-67 vs. UC Riverside in 2009-10) and Bob Cantu (L, 76-74 vs. Oregon in 2012-13).
NICE PLACE TO START - Andy Enfield is the first USC men's basketball head coach to begin his Trojan coaching career on the road since Henry Bibby took over for Charlie Parker at Stanford during the 1996 season.
USC HOME OPENER IS AGAINST CS NORTHRIDGE -- USC will open its home slate of games versus CS Northridge at the Galen Center on Nov. 12. Former NBA star Reggie Theus has taken over at CSUN and returns four starters from a team that went 14-17 a year ago. The Matadors return six lettermen and have added eight new players. USC leads the all-time series with CS Northridge, 5-1.
ALL ABOUT ENFIELD -- Andy Enfield was hired by USC as its new head coach on April 1 and introduced at a news conference in the Galen Center on April 2 and the action has been non-stop since. There has been a buzz around the program since then, with Enfield appearing on the Jay Leno show and throwing out the first pitch at a Los Angeles Angels game and among other things being featured in Men's Journal, the New York Times, USA Today and the Washington Post Slate magazine. Enfield captivated the nation as the head coach at Florida Gulf Coast University as he guided the first No. 15 seed into the NCAA Sweet 16 with impressive wins over No. 2 seed Georgetown and No. 7 seed San Diego State and introduced the world to "Dunk City," the nickname for FGCUs high-flying and high-speed offense which often ended with thunderous dunks. In Enfield's two-year run at FGCU, the Eagles won 41 games, advanced to the A-Sun Championship game both seasons - its first two playing at the Division I level. FGCU had a 41-28 record in his two seasons as head coach (2011-12, 2012-13), equaling the win total of the program the previous four seasons. The Eagles scored 70+ points 25 times in 2013 and ranked 16th nationally with 8.9 steals per game. Last season, Enfield guided FGCU to a school-record 26 wins. Prior to FGCU, Enfield spent the previous five seasons (2007-11) as an assistant coach at Florida State, helping the Seminoles to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including the Sweet 16 in 2011. FSU posted four 20-win seasons during his time on the staff and won 31 ACC games, the second-most in the conference behind Duke. In 2011 and 2012, FSU became the first program since Georgetown (1991-92) to lead the nation in defensive field goal percentage two straight seasons. Enfield helped FSU sign three straight Top 25 classes. The 2011 FSU roster featured 11 top 100 recruits and a pair of McDonald's All-Americans. He began his coaching career in the NBA, serving as the shooting coach for Milwaukee (1995, 1996). Then he was an assistant coach with Boston for two seasons (1999, 2000). Enfield played four seasons (1988-91) at Johns Hopkins, scoring a program-record 2,025 points. He also set the NCAA all-divisions career free throw percentage record of 92.5 percent, making 431-of-466 free throws. He was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
FACING THE BEST -- The USC men's basketball team is once again taking on an ambitious schedule for the 2013-14 season, highlighted by home games against Boston College and Howard, tough road trips to Dayton, Long Beach State and Utah State as well as playing in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas. In all, USC is scheduled to play a potential 11 games against teams that played in the 2013 NCAA Tournament and another seven potential games against teams that played in the NIT Tournament.
TROJANS AT THE BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS - USC will be playing in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas from Nov. 28-30. USC's first-round opponent in the tournament will be Villanova of the Big East Conference. Villanova went 20-14 last season and returns four starters and 11 lettermen from that squad. The second-round game on Nov. 29 will be against either Kansas or Wake Forest, with the final game on Nov. 30 being played against an opponent from this group: Iowa, Tennessee, UTEP and Xavier.
TROJANS ON THE RADIO -- USC's radio flagship station once again will be ESPN Radio 710 with Chris Fisher and Brandon Granville calling all the action. Fisher is in his fourth season as the USC play-by-play announcer. Granville, a former Trojan point guard and USC's all-time leader in assists and steals, is in his second season as an analyst.
PAC-12 PREDICTIONS -- USC was picked to finish 11th in the 2013-14 Pac-12 preseason vote by league media with 63 points. Arizona was picked first (273), UCLA second (212), Colorado third (211), Oregon fourth (196), California fifth (194), Stanford sixth (166), Arizona State seventh (159), Washington eighth (121), Utah ninth (68), Oregon State 10th (67) and Washington State 12th (39). Last season USC was picked to finish ninth and tied for sixth with a 9-9 conference mark.
A HISTORY OF WINNING -- USC has compiled a record of 1,493-1,114* in its 107 years of intercollegiate basketball competition. USC has had a .500 or better record in 76 of the first 107 seasons. * 21 wins and one loss in 2007-08 vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record: 1,514-1,115
THE GALEN ADVANTAGE -- USC is 77-38 in seven seasons at the Galen Center since it opened on Nov. 16, 2006. USC is also 38-14 in nonconference games at the Galen Center.
ROSTER TIDBITS -- Ten of the 17 players on USC's 2013-14 roster have never played for USC before. Two of them, Darion Clark and Katin Reinhardt will have to wait one more year as they are sitting out this season due to transfer rules. Five of the seven players with experience playing for USC, have played just one season in the Cardinal & Gold. Six of USC's 17 players began their careers at another Division I school. Eleven of the 17 players are underclassmen. USC has three foreign-born players in Omar Oraby (Egypt), Stahinja Gavrilovic (Serbia) and Nikola Jovanovic (Serbia), and one player, Samer Dhillon, born in the USC whose parents are both from India.
ALWAYS ENTERTAINING -- Seventy-five of the 128 games played by USC in the last four seasons have been decided by 10 points or less (58.6 percent). Also, 29 of the 73 losses have been decided by 6 points or less (39.7 percent).
USC's ROSTER BLENDS YOUTH AND EXPERIENCE - USC has added experienced players which received waivers and can compete right away in guard Pe'Shon Howard (44 career starts) and center D.J. Haley (48 career starts). Those additions will team with guards J.T. Terrell (42 career starts), Byron Wesley (63 career starts) and center Omar Oraby (8 career starts). The remaining 10 players on the active roster have one combined start (Daniel Munoz). USC has also added sophomore transfers Katin Reinhardt (34 career starts) and forward Darion Clark (18 career starts) who will have to sit out the 2013-14 season.
FIRST THREE GAMES TO AIR ON 690 AM - The majority of USC's basketball games will be broadcast on flagship station ESPN Radio 710, but periodically throughout the season there will be scheduling conflicts and the broadcasts will be farmed out to sister stations. USC's first three games of the season (Nov. 8 at Utah State, Nov. 12 vs. CS Northridge and Nov. 15 vs. Northern Arizona) will air on 690 AM.
WESLEY THE ONE CONSTANT - Since USC wing Byron Wesley arrived on campus as a freshman for the 2011-12 season, he has been the one constant on the team. He is the only remaining player from that recruiting class at USC and the only remaining scholarship player from that team. As a freshman he quietly ranked among the top Pac-12 freshmen in six different category averages: scoring (9.6), rebounds (5.1), defensive rebounds (4.2), assists (1.8), steals (0.8) and minutes (34.6). Last season as a sophomore, he ranked third on the team in scoring (10.2) and rebounding (4.3), second in minutes (31.9) and assists (61 total). He improved on his shooting and expanded his repertoire to include the three-point shot, making 17 in conference play and finishing one make away from qualifying to lead the conference in three-point shooting percentage at .486 (17-for-35).
TERRELL PRIMED FOR BIG SENIOR SEASON - Senior guard J.T. Terrell had a major impact on the Trojan program in his first season at USC, averaging 11.7 points and making 67 three-point baskets. His three-point baskets made rank 11th all-time in a single season by a Trojan. In the second half of the season following the coaching change he was even better, leading the Trojans with an average of 14.3 points per game and making 40 percent from three-point range (40-for-100). Terrell led all players in Pac-12 play by making an average of 2.5 three-pointers per game. Terrell began his career at Wake Forest, then spent a season playing at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Wash., before enrolling at USC last summer.
THE BIG "O" - Senior center Omar Oraby enters this season as lone remaining bigman that played significant minutes a year ago. One year ago today (Nov. 8, 2012) he was granted a waiver to compete for USC following his transfer from Rice in September of 2012. Oraby played in all 32 games for USC, making four starts and averaging 6.3 points and 3.9 rebounds while playing 14.6 minutes per game. His best game of the season was the final game of the 2012-13 season when he started and scored a career-high 18 points in a career-high 35 minutes. Oraby was seventh in conference in blocks with 47, which ranks ninth on USC's all-time single season list. He had one stretch where he registered at least one block in 14 consecutive games. He had USC's best points to minutes played ratio last season and if his stats were prorated over a 40 minute game, he would has averaged 17.3 points per game.
FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE - USC was able to add to it's 2013-14 roster this summer experienced point guard Pe'Shon Howard and center D.J. Haley, both who are eligible to compete this season after competing three seasons at other schools. The proven floor general Howard appeared in 83 games for Maryland, making 44 starts. Howard was granted a legislative relief waiver by the NCAA to be able to transfer and play closer to home, due to the health issues of his grandmother He has had 20 career games with five or more assists and helped lead Maryland to the 2013 NIT semifinals. Howard was a member of the Dec. 20, 2013 Bob Cousy Watch List. Haley appeared in 102 games for VCU, including making 48 start and graduated this summer in three years with a degree in mechanical engineering. The Rams made it to the post season all three season he was on the team, including facing USC in the 2011 First Four game in Dayton, Ohio.
OUT IN THE COMMUNITY - The USC men's basketball team tries to be a conscientious member of the community and has routinely had youth groups or schools visit practice or ventured out into the community for an event over the last several years. Recently, the USC team went to visit the 99th Street Elementary school as a part of the USC Athletic's new SCORE Initiative (Serving Community through Outreach, Recreation, and Education). USC assistant coach Tony Bland grew up in the Southland and attended 99th Street Elementary before playing college ball, turning pro, and coaching at the collegiate level. The day, which included an educational session and a friendly game of five-on-five, not only served future generations, but provided a reminder of the past.
CURRENT TROJANS IN THE NBA -- USC currently has five fromer players playing in the NBA: DeMar DeRozan (Toronto), Taj Gibson (Chicago), O.J. Mayo (Dallas)*, Nikola Vucevic (Orlando) and Nick Young (Philadelphia). In addition, Dewayne Dedmon was signed by Golden State as a non-drafted free agent and is expected to be assigned to its Santa Cruz team in the Development League.