Men’s Basketball | November 21, 2023
The No. 23 USC Trojans (3-1) will face the Seton Hall Pirates (4-0) in a first-round game of the inaugural Rady Children’s Invitation at LionTree Arena in San Diego Calif. on Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m. The game will air on FS1 with Aaron Goldsmith and Casey Jacobsen calling the action.
A LOOK AT LAST YEAR — The Trojans went 22-11 during the 2022-23 season, including a 14-6 record in Pac-12 play which tied for second in the conference. USC also advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season. It was the Trojans’ fourth consecutive 20-win season, a school record for back-to-back 20-win seasons. The Trojans return leading scorer and All-Pac-12 guard Boogie Ellis and have added the No. 4 ranked recruiting class in the country, which includes the consensus No. 1 overall player, guard Isaiah Collier.
USC’S STELLAR STRETCH — USC won a school-record 95 games over the last four seasons (22 in 2020, 25 in 2021, 26 in 2022 and 22 in 2023). The four consecutive seasons of 20+ wins sets a school record for most consecutive 20-win seasons, breaking the mark of three consecutive seasons with 20 or more wins from 2016-18. USC’s 95 total wins the last four seasons tied for sixth-most among all Power 6 basketball programs, trailing only Kansas (111), Baylor (104), Arizona (99), UCLA (99) and Duke (97).
FACING SETON HALL — Seton Hall (4-0), located in South Orange, N.J., has home wins over Saint Peters (70-59), FDU (85-55), Albany (96-71) and Wagner (72-51). Guard Kadary Richmond (14.0 ppg) leads three Pirates averaging double figures in points. USC is 1-2 all-time against the Pirates, with the last meeting being a 63-61 loss on Nov. 20, 2008 in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. USC’s women’s team defeated the Seton Hall women’s team 64-54 in the first round of the Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Championship in Nassau, Bahamas on Nov. 20.
IOWA/OKLAHOMA ON DECK AT THE RADY CHILDREN’S INVITATIONAL — The winner of the USC-Seton Hall game on Thanksgiving Day will face the winner of the Oklahoma-Iowa game in a contest on Nov. 24, while the other two teams will also meet that same day. If USC plays Oklahoma, the game will be at 12:30 p.m. and if the Trojans face Iowa, the game will start at 3:00 p.m. Iowa is 3-1 this season and USC is 2-5 lifetime against the Hawkeyes. Oklahoma is 4-0 this season and the Trojans are 5-8 all-time against the Sooners.
TURKEY DAY TRADITION — USC will be playing in a Thanksgiving tournament for the fourth time in the last five seasons, playing at the Battle4Atlantis in the 2022, the Wooden Legacy in 2021 and the Orlando Invitational in 2019. USC won the Wooden Legacy title in 2021 by defeating Saint Joseph’s and San Diego State.
USC FIRST TO BRING IN BOTH MEN’S & WOMEN’S TOP RECRUIT — Isaiah Collier was the consensus No. 1 men’s basketball recruit for 2023 and JuJu Watkins the No. 1 women’s recruit for 2023. It marks the first time that the top recruit on the men’s and women’s sides both selected to attend the same school in the same season. Also, both the USC men’s and women’s team were ranked No. 21 in the AP preseason poll, the first time both teams were ranked in the AP preseason top 25.
ENFIELD MOVING UP THE USC ALL-TIME COACHING WINS LIST — USC head coach Andy Enfield is in his 11th season at USC and has compiled an 208-130 record. He picked up his 200th win on Feb. 4, 2023 vs. Washington. Enfield’s win total ranks fourth on USC’s all-time wins list, trailing only Sam Barry (260), Forrest Twogood (251) and Bob Boyd (216). Including his two seasons as the head coach at FGCU (2012-13), Enfield has compiled a 249-158 record.
IT STARTS WITH DEFENSE — USC held Kansas State to 31.0 percent shooting in the opener on Nov. 6. USC held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting in 19 of its 33 games in the 2022-23 season. Through the first four games this season, USC has held its opponents to 37.8 percent shooting. USC held its opponents to a 39.3 shooting percentage last season, 8th in the country. Over the last four seasons, USC’s defense held the opposition to 38.9 FG percentage, third in the country, tops among teams in the six basketball power conferences. Only two times last season did an opponent shoot over 50 percent in a game. Also over the last four seasons, USC has held the opposition to a 42.4 shooting percentage on two-point field goals, best in the country.
ELLIS NAMED SPORTING NEWS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN — USC guard Boogie Ellis was named to the Sporting News five-man Preseason All-America Team on Nov. 13. Joining Ellis are Zach Edey (Purdue), Kyle Filipowski (Duke), Graham Ike (Gonzaga) and Tyler Kolek (Marquette).
COLLIER NAMED PAC-12 FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK AGAIN –– USC point guard Isaiah Collier was named Pac-12 Men’s Freshman of the Week for the week of Nov. 13-19. It was Collier’s second consecutive selection, also winning for the week of Nov. 6-12. Collier helped the Trojans split a pair of games during the week by averaging 23.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists. With the Trojans playing without team captains Boogie Ellis and Kobe Johnson in the 70-60 loss to UC Irvine on Nov. 14, Collier scored a team-high 23 points. In the 81-70 win over Brown on Nov. 19, Collier scored a season-best 24 points and had three rebounds and three assists.