The USC Trojans Mens basketball team is .500 in conference, and they aren’t 0-0. The Trojans are 3-3, and Bob Cantu’s first week as interim head coach was the most encouraging weekend for the Trojans hoops teams in several years.
On Thursday the Trojans almost stole a win from the conference leading Oregon Ducks. Those Ducks later went on to beat UCLA at the New Pauley Pavilion on Saturday night. At the Galen Center on Saturday, the Trojans secured their 3rd win of the conference season with unusually efficient scoring and their trademark tough defense under former head coach Kevin O’Neill. The Trojans won 69-68 shooting nearly 50% from the floor.
They actually experienced scoring outbursts over the whole weekend scoring 74 and 69 points in consecutive games. Transfer JT Terrell whom Kevin O’Neill often conflicted with emerged as the go to scoring threat Thursday that the Trojans were looking for when they signed him from Wake Forest. Out from under Coach O’Neill’s feet, Terrell responded well with 22 points on 6-12 shooting. The fresh start appears to be exactly what he and the Trojans needed. Top recruit a season ago Byron Wesley lead the Trojans with 19 points Saturday.
The play wasn’t all bright spots for the Trojans this weekend. Senior Jio Fontan had 10 turnovers on his own against the Beavers on Saturday, but they still managed to escape with the 1 point win.
Whether Trojan fans have noticed remains to be seen. Even though they experienced their 5th National Championship in a row in Mens Water Polo, USC fans are experiencing a hangover from their underwhelming football season. These Trojans are unlikely to reach the kind of success that will make fans get up, and out, and into Galen Center to notice. But if the Trojans can continue to build on their success and split next weekend in Arizona; and more so if they can score an upset over the Bruins in the middle of next week, Trojan nation might take a break from the recruiting search and take notice of this possibly NIT bound team. But there’s a long way to go before MSG.