USC To Face Akron In Charleston Classic Opener On Thursday|
Nov. 19, 2014
The USC Trojans (1-1) will face the Akron Zips (1-0) in the first game of the Charleston Classic at TD Arena in Charleston, S.C. on Nov. 20 at 9:30 a.m. (PT). The winner of this game will face the winner of the Miami/Drexel game on Nov. 21 at 11:30 a.m. (PT), while the other two teams will square off at 9 a.m. (PT) on the same day.
FIRST UP AT THE CHARLESTON CLASSIC: AKRON -- USC's first-round opponent at the Charleston Classic (Nov. 20-23) on Nov. 20 will be Akron of the Mid-American Conference. Akron opened with a 74-57 home win over UMBC on Nov. 14. 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.
USC BOUNCES BACK TO BEAT TENNESSEE TECH -- After trailing nearly the entire game in the opening loss to Portland State, USC never fell behind in defeating Tennessee Tech 70-58 on Nov. 17 to pick up its first win of the season. The guard tandem of Katin Reinhardt (19 points) and Jordan McLaughlin (15 points) led the way. McLaughlin also pitched in with seven assists, four rebounds and four steals. The Trojans were outrebounded 42-33, but outshot the Golden Eagles 44.7 percent to 33.8 percent. USC had 11 steals in the game, more steals than they had in any game during the 2013-14 season.
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).
MAKING A DEFENSIVE STAND -- USC has held both of its opponents this season to under 40 percent shooting as Portland State shot 39.1 percent and Tennessee Tech 33.8 percent. For the two games, USC has held the opposition to a combined 36.4 shooting percentage (48-for-132).
SUDDEN IMPACT -- Freshman Jordan McLaughlin leads USC with an average of 17.0 points in the first two games. He also leads USC in free throws attempted (14), assists (13), steals (5) and blocks (3). USC's freshman class of McLaughlin, Malik Martin, Elijah Stewart and Malik Marquetti has scored 41 percent of the Trojans' points this season (56 of 138).
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' 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.
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED -- The Trojans started freshmen guard Jordan McLaughlin and forward Malik Martin in the opener, the first freshmen in the USC opening night lineup since Byron Wesley started the 2011-12 season opener. They also became the first pair of USC freshmen to start since Bryce Jones and Maurice Jones got the nod in the opener of the 2010-11 season. USC's freshmen scored 21 of the Trojans first 25 points and 50 percent of the team's points in the opener (34 of 68).
BETTER BE READY TO ROLL... -- Starting with the game against Portland State on Nov. 15, the USC men's basketball team began a stretch of six games in 11 days (1-1). The longest stretch of days without a game between Nov. 15 and Nov. 25 is two days, with no games on Nov. 18 and 19. USC will travel to South Carolina for the Charleston Classic on the 18th and practice on the 19th.