Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: 10 biggest early team disappointments of 2023-24 season

Oakland v Michigan State
Oakland v Michigan State / Rey Del Rio/GettyImages
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4. USC Trojans - 6-5

There were multiple reasons why the Trojans were “must-see” TV this season, thanks to the freshmen class that included No. 1 prospect Isaiah Collier and four-star notable name, Bronny James Jr. After beating Kansas State to open the season, things looked up for them.

However, USC suffered a home loss to UC Irvine, which showed flaws in its roster. After that was a span of 4 losses in 5 games, including a setback to Long Beach State in overtime. Wins over Seton Hall and Kansas State are okay but considering how down the Pac-12 is overall, they’ve dug themselves a hole.

The starting backcourt of Boogie Ellis (19.5 ppg) and Isaiah Collier (16.1 ppg and 4.3 apg) have been fine offensively, while Kobe Johnson has become a double-digit scorer. However, outside of Joshua Morgan blocking 10 shots in a single game, the frontcourt hasn’t done much at all. Washington State transfer DJ Rodman (5.4 ppg) has also been one of the more disappointing newcomers from the portal.

The hope is that having James back and healthy gives the Trojans needed backcourt depth and a defensive lift. Right now, they aren’t an NCAA Tournament and when you have the No. 1 freshman in the class on your roster, that’s just not acceptable.