USC Men's Basketball Hosts Portland State In Season Opener Saturday Night|
Nov. 13, 2014
THE 2014-15 USC TROJANS -- The Andy Enfield Era began last year but should really take flight in the 2014-15 season with a young and exciting team which features the 12th-ranked recruiting class and the eligibility of top-notch transfers Katin Reinhardt and Darion Clark. What the Trojans will lack in experience they will make up for in talent, athleticism and exuberance. There are six new impact players which will join forces with the returning group headlined by sophomores Nikola Jovanovic and Julian Jacobs. In fact, 11 of the 14 players on the USC roster will be freshmen or sophomores with just three juniors and no seniors.
ROSTER BREAKDOWN -- There are a total of 14 players on the 2014-15 USC men's basketball roster. The Trojan team by class are: Seniors (0): None; Juniors (3): Chass Bryan (G), Strahinja Gavrilovic (F) and Brendyn Taylor (G); Sophomores (7): Darion Clark (F), Samer Dhillon (F), Kahlil Dukes (G), Julian Jacobs (G), Nikola Jovanovic (F), Devon Pflueger (G) and Katin Reinhardt (G); Freshmen (4): Malik Marquetti (G), Malik Martin (F), Jordan McLaughlin (G) and Elijah Stewart (G).
TROJANS HOST PORTLAND STATE IN OPENER -- USC will open the 2014-15 season by hosting Portland State at the Galen Center on November 15 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be aired on the Pac-12 Network, one of 15 USC games to be shown on the network during the 2014-15 season. The Vikings went 17-15 last season and return three starters and seven lettermen from that team. Their three returning starters all averaged more than 11 points per game, led by senior guard DaShaun Wiggins who averaged 12.9 points. USC and Portland State have only met one other time with USC winning 87-78 on Jan. 20, 1978 in Los Angeles.
USC IN OPENERS -- USC defeated CS Northridge 95-79 in last season's home opener and has won six consecutive home openers and 16 of the last 19. USC is 74-34 all-time in season openers, but is 6-5 in the last 11 first games of the season. USC lost 78-65 at Utah State to open the 2013-14 campaign.
USC's ROSTER FEATURES YOUTHFUL EXPERIENCE -- USC's roster features a combined 53 starts as Trojans, as well as 52 combined starts from transfers Darion Clark (18) and Katin Reinhardt (34). Although USC's roster is made up mostly of freshmen and sophomores, four players have made at least 18 collegiate starts: Clark, Reinhardt, Jacobs (19) and Jovanovic (24). However, six of USC's 14 players have not played a game as a Trojan yet.
UP NEXT: TENNESSEE TECH -- USC's second game will be against Tennessee Tech at the Galen Center on Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. The Golden Eagles of the Ohio Valley Conference went 17-16 in the 2014-15 season and return seven players, including three starters from that team. Senior center Dwan Caldwell from Lancaster, Calif. is Tennessee Tech's leading returning scorer and rebounder with 10.7 and 5.5 averages respectfully. Tennessee Tech will host Piedmont International on Nov. 14 before facing the Trojans. USC and Tennessee Tech have never faced each other before in men's basketball.
USC DEFEATS CS LOS ANGELES IN EXHIBITION GAME -- Freshman Jordan McLaughlin scored 18 points and sophomore Nikola Jovanovic tallied 16 points to lead five Trojans in double figures in an 87-68 exhibition win over Cal State Los Angeles on Nov. 8. USC had a rough start, missing its first nine shots and falling behind 14-1, but immediately got back in the game as sophomore guard Julian Jacobs scored the next seven points to cut the lead to 14-8. The Trojans cruised to victory from there with sophomore Katin Reinhardt adding 13 points, Jacobs 10 and freshman Malik Martin 10. USC had 13 steals in the game, three more than in any game during the 2013-14 season.
TROJANS AT THE CHARLESTON CLASSIC -- USC will be playing in the Charleston Classic tournament in Charleston, S.C. from Nov. 20-23. USC's first-round opponent in the tournament on Nov. 20 will be Akron of the Mid-American Conference. Akron went 21-13 last season and returns four starters and nine lettermen from that squad. The second-round game on Nov. 21 will be against either Drexel or Miami, with the final game on Nov. 23 being played against an opponent from this group: Charlotte, Cornell, Penn State and South Carolina.
TROJANS' FRESHMAN CLASS RANKED No. 12 BY SCOUT -- USC's freshman class of guards Malik Marquetti, Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart and forward Malik Martin was ranked No. 12 by Scout.com. The Trojan freshman classs was also ranked No. 16 by ESPN.com. Marquetti was ranked No. 61 by Scout.com in the 2014 recruiting class, McLaughlin was ranked No. 36 by Scout.com and No. 41 by ESPN.com, Stewart was ranked No. 40 by Scout.com and Martin was ranked No. 109 by Rivals.com and No. 4 in Florida by 247Sports.
PAC-12 PREDICTIONS -- USC was picked to finish 10th in the 2014-15 Pac-12 preseason poll by league media and received 106 points. The rest of the predictions went as follows: 1.) Arizona (383), 2.) Utah (317), 3.) Colorado (316), 4.) UCLA (290), 5.) Stanford (264), 6.) Washington (189), 7.) California (188), 8.) Oregon (159), 9.) Arizona State (155), 11.) Washington State (84) and 12.) Oregon State (45).
THE GALEN ADVANTAGE -- USC is 85-46 in eight seasons at the Galen Center since it opened on Nov. 16, 2006. USC is also 45-14 in nonconference games at the Galen Center, winning its last eight.