November 13, 2013 by Jacob Freedman
It looks like the musical chair approach to USC’s starting lineup will continue. After putting in three new starters in last night’s 95-79 win over Cal State Northridge, USC head coach Andy Enfield says a different starting lineup will be rolled out this Friday, when USC hosts Northern Arizona.
“There’s no guaranteed spots in our lineup right now as guys prove themselves and earn minutes,” Enfield said following Wednesday’s practice. “I think Friday we’ll have a different starting lineup than the first few nights.”
Part of the reason for the different lineup Tuesday was off the court. Shooting guard J.T. Terrell was benched by Enfield for his performance in the classroom, and had eight points, five rebounds and four assists in 18 minutes of playing time. Terrell also got into foul trouble and four turnovers, though, but his performance off the court will dictate whether he gets the start on Friday. “If he does what he needs to do this week academically, probably,” Enfield said on the matter.
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The three new starters included two freshmen, point guard Julian Jacobs and forward Roschon Prince. Jacobs had nine points and seven assists, while Prince went 4-of-5 to finish with nine points of his own. “I was excited to start and contribute, and I made sure I paid attention to the scouting report so I didn’t mess up in my first start,” Prince said.
There were negatives from last night. The Trojans allowed 79 points and 37 free throw attempts, as seemingly half the lineup got into foul trouble. Still, positivity is the focus after a 16-point win that partially erased the sting of the 13-point road loss to Utah State in the season opener.
“Any time you have 24 assists, it means you’re sharing the ball, making the right decisions and making shots,” Enfield said. But of course, the most excitement came from the first successful rendition of Enfield’s up-tempo system in a game setting. After the football team scored 62 points on Saturday, the basketball team one-upped them by notching their highest point total since 2008. For Prince, fully executing the system translated into fun on the hardwood.
“We lock in on defense, and everybody gets excited when we get the rebound and shoots out to the transition,” Prince said. “We had a couple of lobs last night. I don’t want to say that’s what we live for, because we have to focus on half-court, but when we get in transition everybody gets excited.”
USC looks to improve to 2-1 on Friday, and tip-off against the Lumberjacks is at 8 p.m. at the Galen Center.