#102 USC Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

USC Trojans

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #102
Conference Rank: #9 Pac-12

USC Team Page#102 USC Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy USC Basketball Tickets

Things didn’t go well for Andy Enfield in his first season at the helm of USC. Enfield established himself as one of the top up and coming coaches in the country after two seasons at Florida Gulf Coast, where he won 41 games and captured the attention of the nation with the teams Sweet 16 run as a 15 seed. There was no early success with the Trojans, but Enfield will look to change that in 2014-15. The Trojans bring in seven newcomers, including two division I transfers and a pair of four-star recruits, and they have the future looking bright for USC.

2013-14 Record: 11-21, 2-16
2013-14 Postseason: None
Coach: Andy Enfield
Coach Record: 11-21 at USC, 51-49 overall

Who’s Out:
There is some significant turnover on the roster for Enfield’s second season. Six players depart from last season’s team, led by leading scorer Byron Wesley. The 6-foot-5 guard led the Trojans with 17.8 points per game and was the team’s leading rebounder, averaging 6.4 per game. Wesley and forward Roschon Prince left via the transfer route during the offseason. Prince and his 4.2 points and 2.7 rebound average left for Long Beach State, while Wesley is now at Gonzaga. Point guard Pe’Shon Howard and shooting guard J.T Terrell used up their eligibility last season, as did center Omar Oraby. Howard was second on the team in scoring at 10.8 points per game and led the team in assists at 3.9, while Terrell averaged 9.8 points per game, splitting time between starting and coming off the bench. Oraby was USC’s most consistent low post threat, averaging 8.2 points and 6.0 rebounds to go along with a team high .577 field goal percentage. Reserve center D.J. Haley, 3.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, and guard Daniel Munoz, who played in seven games, round out the departures.

Who’s In:
Enfield is going for the quick fix in year two. A pair of sophomore transfers, guard Katin Reinhardt and forward Darion Clark, become eligible and both could slide into starting spots right away. Reinhardt was the big get for Enfield. The 6-foot-5 guard started 34 games as a freshman at UNLV, averaging 10.1 points. Reinhardt is a safe bet in the starting lineup this season, where he can play both point guard and off the ball. Clark averaged 6.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in his lone season at Charlotte, playing in 32 games with 18 starts. He will add a solid rebounding presence to a frontcourt that loses its top two rebounders from a year ago. Enfield did a tremendous job filling out the rest of the class, bringing in a pair of ESPN Top 100 high school players among a five-player class. Jordan McLaughlin, who ESPN ranked as the 41st best player in the class of 2014, will be in the running to take over the starting point guard spot. He is joined by Elijah Stewart, another Top 100 recruit, who will look to find his way into the guard rotation as a freshman. The remaining three recruits will bolster the frontcourt. Malik Marquetti, a 6-foot-5 forward, should see some time at the small forward spot, while 6-foot-9 forward Malik Price-Martin and 6-foot-11 Jabari Craig could add production in the post.

Who to Watch:
USC returns just two players that saw action in all 32 games in sophomores Julian Jacobs and Nikola Jovanovic. Jacobs started 18 games, averaging 6.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game, while Jovanovic started 24 games and averaged 8.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Both players will be counted on more in their second seasons on campus, as none of the other returning players saw more than 400 minutes of action last season. Forward Strahinja Gavrilovic appeared in 30 games, averaging 3.1 points per game. The 6-foot-9 forward will look to provide depth in a frontcourt that lacks size this season. Sophomore Khalil Dukes and junior Brendyn Taylor are back after averaging 2.7 and 1.1 points per game, respectively, last season. Both fell behind walk-on junior Bryan Chass, 25 games played, three starts and 1.6 points per game, in the rotation. All three will look to find more playing time in a backcourt that has two starters departing. Adding depth are walk-ons Sahmer Dillon and Devon Pflueger, who both played in three games last season.

Final Projection:
The odds are that USC’s starting lineup consists entirely of sophomores and freshman this season. USC has no seniors on their roster and just three juniors, none of whom played over 360 minutes last season. Enfield gets back Jacobs and Jovanovic, who both had solid freshman seasons, and will look to complete the starting lineup with a mix of newcomers. Reinhardt should be a lock in the starting lineup along with Jacobs and Jovanovic. The other two spots are still up for grabs and all depends on which direction Enfield wants to go. He could go with McLaughlin at the point in a three guard backcourt, he could start Stewart at the off guard spot or he could go with Reinhardt at the point and play Marquetti at the small forward position. The second frontcourt spot alongside the 6-foot-10 Jovanovic should go to Clark, unless returning forward Gavrilovic or incoming players Price-Martin or Craig step up and earn it. Whatever Enfield ends up going with should bode well for the future, as every player on the roster has eligibility to return again next season.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Jordan McLaughlin, Freshman, Guard, DNP Last Season
Julian Jacobs, Sophomore, Guard, DNP Last Season
Katin Reinhardt, Sophomore, Guard, DNP Last Season
Darion Clark, Sophomore, Forward, DNP Last Season
Nikola Jovanovic, Sophomore, Forward, 8.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.6 (191st in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 75.3 (295, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.9 (188, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.0 (136, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.6 324, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage:
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.0 (265, 10)
Rebound Margin: 0.1 (188, 10)
Assists Per Game: 12.6 (172, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.0 (306, 12)

Madness 2014 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#41 Jordan McLaughlin
#61 Malik Marquetti
#80 Elijah Stewart


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