USC Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


USC Trojans

Pac-12 (24-9, 10-8)

Andy Enfield, the man who led Florida Gulf Coast on their magical run through the tournament in 2013, has really made people notice that there are two teams in L.A.  His teams have gotten better each year that he has been at the helm.  While they never made a push to win the Pac-12, the Trojans were rarely an easy out for any of their opponents.  Their win over UCLA put Southern California on notice – the Trojans appear here to stay with Enfield coaching.
Big Wins: 11/25 SMU (78-73), 12/3 vs BYU (91-84), 1/25 UCLA (84-76)
Bad Losses: 1/8 California (73-74), 1/12 at Utah (64-86), 2/26 at Arizona State (82-83)
Coach: Andy Enfield
Why They Can Surprise:
USC was in the unfortunate position of playing in the Pac-12.  Outside of Pac-12 play, the Trojans were undefeated.  In a league with such talent at the top, USC ended up falling victim to the upper echelon teams more times than not.  That being said, they proved that they can certainly compete with the country’s great teams when they took down UCLA at home mid-season.  They do not have many bad losses, but losing to Arizona State was not good. This is a well-balanced team that could do some damage in the first couple of weekends of the postseason.  They have four players averaging double-figures, so they can rely on multiple guys to propel them throughout the course of a game.  A real catalyst has been the return of Bennie Boatwright from an MCL sprain that kept him out ten weeks earlier in the season.  He is a force on the floor, and the Trojans are a much better team with him in the lineup.  He finished the season as the team’s leading scorer having only played 14 regular season games and two conference tournament contests.
Why They Can Disappoint:
USC’s fate will depend a lot on matchups.  They struggled against the highly athletic teams in the Pac-12.  There is no shame in that considering the level of talent the top three teams have.  But teams that can run the floor with ease will be able to give the Trojans some problems.  Their offense has a hard time breaking through against good defensive teams.  California and Utah are good defensive Pac-12 teams, and the Trojans struggled to score in those contests.  USC only won four games all year while scoring under 75 points.  This is also a young team.  With only two seniors on the roster they will have to buckle down and grow up fast in clutch situations.
Probable Starters:
Jordan McLaughlin, Junior, Guard, 13.1 ppg, 5.5 apg
De’Anthony Melton, Freshman, Guard, 8.7 ppg, 3.4 apg, 4.9 rpg, 2.0 spg
Elijah Stewart, Junior, Guard, 12.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Bennie Boatright, Sophomore, Forward, 14.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Chimezie Metu, Sophomore, Forward, 14.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.5 bpg
Key Role Players:
Shaqquon Aaron, Sophomore, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Charles Buggs, Senior, Forward, 2.4 ppg
Jonah Mathews, Freshman, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Nick Rakocevic, Freshman, Forward,5.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.9 (56th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 73.1 (209, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.7 (107, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.8 (127, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.9 (128, 4)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.6 (102, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.8 (64, 4)
Rebound Margin: 0.8 (163, 9)
Assists Per Game: 15.4 (62, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (37, 2)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Providence
2011    NCAA Opening Round loss to VCU
2009    NCAA Round of 64 win over Boston College
2009    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Michigan State
2008    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Kansas State
2007    NCAA Round of 64 win over Arkansas
2007    NCAA Round of 32 win over Texas  
2007    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to North Carolina
2002    NCAA Round of 64 loss to North Carolina-Wilmington
*all team stats through 3/5