November 12, 2013 by Marshall Kelner
By Marshall Kelner
USC (1-1) won its first game in the Andy Enfield era, defeating Cal State Northridge 95-79 in the home opener at Galen Center. Here’s a breakdown of the game.
NEW LOOK LINEUP
Andy Enfield went with three brand new starters following the season opening loss to Utah State. Freshman Roschon Prince and Julian Jacobs made their first career starts, and sophomore walk-on Chass Bryan also joined the starting lineup for the first time. J.T. Terrell, who led the Trojans with 20 points against Utah State, came off the bench, along with Pe’Shon Howard and Strahinja Gavrilovic. After the game, Andy Enfield said that no one is assured of a starting spot and that those positions will be earned in practices and games. Expect him to continue to rotate his starters and experiment with different combinations, especially in the non-conference schedule. Enfield used 12 players total.
WESLEY FILLS IT UP
Byron Wesley recorded a double-double, the first of his USC career. After a rough 1-for-5 start, the junior captain poured in 16 points (5-14), 11 rebounds, and seven assists.
Omar Oraby was too much for CSUN to handle inside, leading the Trojans with 17 points. He also grabbed six rebounds and was a big factor on the defensive end (two blocks, and a lot more shots altered). In his post-game press conference, Andy Enfield praised Oraby but also said he thinks there’s a lot more left in the tank and that he wants his big man to be more aggressive. USC outscored CSUN in the paint 50-26 and outrebounded the Matadors 39-37.
J.T. Terrell, the Trojans best scorer, was held out of the starting lineup due to academic reasons, according to head coach Andy Enfield after the game. He wouldn’t elaborate any further, but Enfield said he hoped Terrell learned his lesson and that it won’t be a problem going forward. Terrell picked up two quick fouls in the first half when he did enter, so he had to sit for much of the half. He did return and picked up a third foul with 26 seconds remaining. His first bucket, a three in transition, came with about 10 minutes to go in the game. The senior captain finished with eight points on (2-4).
The freshmen are going to be a key to USC’s success all year long and they showed a lot of potential tonight. Roschon Prince (nine points), Julian Jacobs (nine points, seven assists), and Nikola Jovanovic (11 points, five rebounds) all played well. Enfield said he would like to see Prince rebound the ball more and he also mentioned that Jovanovic could be a major matchup problem going forward with his ability to stretch the floor.
USC’s defense limited CSUN to 33% shooting, which enabled them to get out in transition for some easy buckets. They scored 14 fast break points and shot over 57% from the field. Chass Bryan was particularly effective in pushing the ball in transition. Enfield said that he is probably the fastest player on the team with the ball in his hands and that Julian Jacobs is close behind.
BIG NAME ON HORIZON?
News broke during the game that top USC recruiting target Stanley Johnson will announce his college plans on Friday. The student section chanted his name on multiple occasions. Johnson was originally planning to announce his decision in the spring, but apparently he’s decided to wrap things up earlier. He is reportedly down to USC and Arizona, with the Wildcats being considered the favorite. If Enfield and USC can land a commitment from him, it would likely round out their 2014 class and more importantly, it would be a huge early victory for Enfield and his staff on the recruiting trail. Stay tuned to Galen Central for full coverage of Johnson’s announcement on Friday.
USC will take on Northern Arizona at Galen Center on Friday at 8:00 p.m.