September 7, 2013 by Russell Simon
By Russell Simon
For the first of many times this year, the USC campus is transformed today into one, giant tailgate for the Trojans’ home football opener. The party began, however, on Thursday night at a pep rally at the Galen Center. Student-athletes from various sports appeared in front of thousands of fans, and the Trojan basketball team made a short appearance, showering the Trojan faithful with T-shirts and engaging in a short dance battle at midcourt.
They too are pumped up for game day. “I can’t wait. I can’t wait,” senior shooting guard J.T. Terrell told Galen Central. “The first football game is always amazing and I can’t wait to see us get a win.”
Terrell expressed similar confidence in the basketball team. The team has begun preseason workouts under new head coach Andy Enfield and Terrell already notices the improvement. “The whole team has been working hard and getting better so I’m liking it so far,” he said. “I’m loving the coaching staff and looking forward to a great year.”
Junior guard Byron Wesley echoed Terrell’s confidence in the new coaching staff. “He’s a real good coach,” Wesley said on new head coach Andy Enfield. “His principles are going to take us far.”
Wesley also said the team has taken notice of the early Pac-12 rankings that have appeared as teams begin preseason training. Many of them have ranked the Trojans near the bottom, with ESPN ranking the Trojans at 12th. For Wesley, this preseason criticism means he’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder. “That is just motivation right there,” he said on the ranking. “Every time I’m on the court I play with a chip on my shoulder and I feel like we can play with the best teams in the country. I’m just excited to get a chance to show that.”
He’ll get that chance beginning in nearly two months, when the Trojans open at Utah State on November 8. For now, the basketball team continues to train at the Galen Center while cheering on the football team every Saturday. Terrell has high hopes for the football team, too. “I think the football team will do good,” he said. “They’ve got a great group of guys back again and they look like they are hungry and ready to play. Hopefully it shows on the field.”