#45 USC Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

USC Trojans
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #45
Conference Rank: #5 Pac-12
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USC had a forgettable 2018-2019 season. The Trojans finished below .500 and lacked any form of consistency. Three starters are gone too and that does not help. However, Coach Andy Enfield is bringing in a very talented freshmen class and folks in Los Angeles are excited. The Trojans have some issues to deal with off the court when it comes to some lingering sanctions, but on the court this is a USC team that has the talent to reach the NCAA Tournament.
2018-19 Record: 16-17, 8-10
2018-19 Postseason: None
Coach: Andy Enfield
Coach Record: 110-93 at USC, 151-121 overall
Key Departed Players:
Bennie Boatwright, Forward, 18.2 ppg
Shagguan Aaron, Guard, 8.3 ppg
Derryck Thornton, Guard, 7.7 ppg
Kevin Porter Jr, Guard, 9.5 ppg
J’Raan Brooks, Forward, 2.0 ppg
Victor Uyaelunmo, Forward, 0.8 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Nick Rakocevic, Senior, Forward, 14.7 ppg
Jonah Mathews, Senior, Guard, 12.8 ppg
Elijah Weaver, Sophomore, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Chuck O’Bannon Jr, DNP last season
Key New Players:
Quinton Adlesh, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Columbia
Max Agbonkpolo, Freshman, Forward
Ethan Anderson, Freshman, Guard
Talin Lewis, Sophomore, Guard
Drake London, Freshman, Guard
Isaiah Mobley, Freshman, Forward
Onyeka Okongwu, Freshman, Forward
Kyle Sturdivant, Freshman, Guard
Daniel Utomi, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Akron
Noah Baumann, Junior, Guard, Transfer from San Jose State, not eligible
Nick Rakocevic and Jonah Mathews will be the senior leaders of the team. Rakocevic, a 6-11 forward, was second on the team with 14.7 points per game and led the Trojans with 9.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Rakocevic has been outshined by some other talented big men, but this is his year to get the headlines. Mathews averaged 12.6 points per game and will be one of the more productive shooters in the Pac-12. Elijah Weaver and Chuck O’Bannon are the only other returning players. Weaver played very well by the end of his freshman campaign and O’Bannon is a highly regarded player who missed nearly all of last season with an injury. Graduate transfers Quinton Adlesh, from Columbia, and Daniel Utomi, from Akron, are a couple of proven shooters. At the least, those two will provide a nice offensive spark off the bench. Freshmen Kyle Sturdivant, Ethan Anderson and Drake London are expected to add more options on the perimeter. But the most exciting freshmen are in the frontcourt where Isaiah Mobley, Onyeka Oknogwu and Max Agbonkpolo are all ready to make an immediate impact. Mobley and Okongwu will continue the potent USC frontcourt tradition at USC and Trojan fans will quickly forget all about lost leading scorer Bennie Boatwright. It may take some time, but by March this could be one of the most dangerous teams in the Pac-12.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.3 (79th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 73.0 (218, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.0 (79, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (110, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.5 (89, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.2 (20, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.5 (335, 11)
Rebound Margin: -1.8 (255, 9)
Assists Per Game: 16.2 (19, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (78, 4)
Madness 2020 NBA Draft Rankings:
#26 Isaiah Mobley
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#17 Isaiah Mobley
#23 Onyeka Okongwu
#52 Max Agbonkpolo
#121 Kyle Sturdivant