Busting Brackets

USC Basketball: USC Trojans 2015-16 Season Preview


USC Trojans

2014-2015 Record: 12-20 (3-15, Pac-12)
Postseason: No Postseason

It was ok when the Trojans only won 11 games during 2013-2014 season, coach Andy Enfield was just in his first year.

It was even ok last season when USC only improved on that win total by one game, his team was extremely young, and hiccups were to be expected.

But entering his third season as the head coach at USC, expectations are growing for Enfield and his young Trojans.

Picked to finish 10th in the Pac-12 in the preseason media poll, the Trojans return every major contributor to last year’s team. In addition they are adding two solid recruits in Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu.


F – Chimezie Metu (#39 247Sports Composite)
F– Bennie Boatwright (#66 247Sports Composite)

Key Non-Conference Games

Nov. 21 vs. New Mexico – New Mexico has been an extremely solid program over the past decade or so, and not being as strong as they were a few years ago, the Lobos should put up a nice test for the Trojans. There aren’t many quality opponents on the USC schedule but New Mexico is solid.

More from Pac-12

Nov. 26- Nov. 29 at the AdvoCare Invitational – With a stacked field that includes Wichita State, Notre Dame, Dayton, Xavier, and Iowa among others this will be by far the toughest week for the young Trojans. USC faces off against tournament favorite Wichita State in the first game and will face Xavier or Alabama the next day. Looking ahead, if the Trojans are going to threaten to get into the NCAA tournament, these games could be the only opportunity to get quality wins during their non-conference schedule.

Dec. 3 at UC Santa Barbara – I wanted to put Yale here, because they will probably be the toughest team USC faces outside of the AdvoCare Invitational, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to point out that the Trojans will be traveling to Santa Barbara for their only true road game on Dec. 3. With a young team, it’s great to build confidence by manipulating the schedule but this is a bit ridiculous. Things could backfire for the Trojans if bad losses accumulate during their stroll through the non-conference schedule.

Key Players

Jordan McLaughlin – The sophomore guard is coming off double shoulder series, but should be ready to go when USC takes on San Diego. McLaughlin was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team averaging 12.1 points and 4.5 assists per game before injuring his shoulder late last season. The young Trojans named McLaughlin a co-captain heading into this year and he really is the building block behind the up tempo offense Andy Enfield likes to run.

Katin Reinhardt – The most glaring weakness on last years USC team was the poor shooting from deep. The team shot a collection 32%, and only two players managed to shoot over 30%: Elijah Stewart and Katin Reinhardt. Spacing is vital in all half court offenses and making threes is essential to proper spacing. Reinhardt is the most consistent and prolific 3 point shooter on this roster and the Trojans will need that aspect of his game if they are going to make some noise in the Pac-12.

Season Outlook

You know that classic gag where you say “Hey what’s that over there?” and then when your friend looks the other way you steal a french fry, that’s essentially the position the USC Trojans are in.

There are other teams that labeled as “surprisingly good”. Oregon State the hot pick at the moment. But I wouldn’t look past this team.

I’m sure there will be some hiccups and tough losses, but don’t be surprised if the Trojans steal a victory or two from a Pac-12 contender. They may be a year away from competing for top 5 spot in the Pac-12 but look for them to make some noise this season.

Next: St John's 2015-16 Season Preview

More from Busting Brackets