#22 USC Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

USC Trojans
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #22
Conference Rank: #3 Pac-12
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USC is coming off a great season. The Trojans finished 25-8 overall and finished in second place in the Pac-12. Their run to the Elite Eight was their best NCAA Tournament showing since they equaled that mark way back in 2001. The program is moving in the right direction and Coach Andy Enfield should keep them moving that way despite the loss of Evan Mobley. Mobley earned the rare trifecta of awards last year and it will not be easy to replace the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Year, Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.
2020-21 Record: 25-8, 15-5
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Andy Enfield
Coach Record: 157-110 at USC, 198-138 overall
Key Departed Players:
Evan Mobley, Forward, 16.4 ppg
Tahj Eaddy, Guard, 13.6 ppg
Noah Baumann, Guard, 3.6 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Isaiah Mobley, Junior, Forward, 9.9 ppg
Drew Peterson, Senior, Guard, 9.8 ppg
Isaiah White, Senior, Guard, 7.6 ppg
Ethan Anderson, Junior, Guard, 5.7 ppg
Chevez Goodwin, Senior, Forward, 5.6 ppg
Max Agbonkpolo, Junior, Forward, 3.9 ppg
Boubacar Coulibaly, Sophomore, Forward, 1.3 ppg
Reese Dixon-Waters, Freshman, Guard, 0.5 ppg
Key New Players:
Zach Brooker, Sophomore, Guard
Boogie Ellis, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Memphis
Harrison Hornery, Freshman, Forward
Kobe Johnson, Freshman, Forward
Malik Thomas, Freshman, Guard
Evan Mobley may be gone, but his older brother Isaiah Mobley returns for his junior year. The elder Mobley averaged 9.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in 2020-2021 and should be asked to play a larger role offensively without his brother around. If the NCAA Tournament was any indication, Mobley is more than ready to play a much larger role and emerge as an extremely dynamic scorer. He only hit 17 three-pointers last season, but Mobley went 10-of-15 from beyond the arc in the NCAA Tournament. Chevez Goodwin figures to see the biggest boost in minutes in the frontcourt, but players like Boubacar Coulibaly and Joshua Morgan are very good rim protectors and should give the Trojans a decent amount of frontcourt depth. The backcourt returns plenty of experience. Ethan Anderson will step back into a starting job after Tahj Eaddy took that role last season. Anderson saw his assist numbers decrease with Eaddy on the team, but he still was an efficient scorer. Stepping back into the starting lineup, Anderson should be much closer to his 4.2 assists per game total from 2019-2020 than his 2.7 assists last year. Isaiah White and Drew Peterson will return to their starting spots in the backcourt. Peterson is the team’s top returning three-point shooting threat, but the addition of Boogie Ellis will add another consistent shooting threat to the backcourt. Ellis spent two seasons at Memphis and averaged 10.2 points per game last season. A talented group of freshmen, led by four-star combo guard Malik Thomas, will give Coach Enfield the depth he needs to remain competitive in the Pac-12.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.9 (78th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.1 (46, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.2 (38, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.0 (9, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (252, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.0 (67, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.9 (318, 12)
Rebound Margin: 6.2 (30, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (116, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (109, 7)
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#77 Malik Thomas