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Trojans celebrating their defeat of Providence in the NCAA Tournament’s First Four. Photo courtesy of usctrojans.com

 

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TROJANS BASKETBALL

Final Record, 2016-17:  26-10, 10-8 and 5th place in the Pac-12 Conference

  • Beat Providence in the NCAA Tournament’s Play-In Game, 75-71
  • Beat #6 seed SMU in the NCAA Tournament’s First Round, 66-65
  • Lost to #3 seed Baylor in the NCAA Tournament’s Second Round, 82-78
  • Set the all-time program record for most wins in a season with 26

Final Rank:  None, was ranked as high as 22nd this year.

Key Players:

Bennie Boatwright, Soph. F – 15.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg (My choice for team MVP)

Chimeze Metu, Soph. F – 14.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg

Jordan McLaughlin, Jr. G – 12.9 ppg, 5.5 apg

Elijah Stewart, Jr. G – 12.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg

Seniors Leaving: 1 – Charles Buggs, F

 

Highlights of USC defeating Providence (and avenging last year’s loss), 75-71, on March 15th. Courtesy of YouTube.

 

Final Thoughts:

You have to give these Trojan hoopsters MUCH credit for what they achieved this season.

Particularly as they have and will always have an uphill battle considering the longtime iconic status and cultural emphasis of their football brothers on and off campus.

Coach Andy Enfield’s Men of Troy did much to show the Trojan Family that football shouldn’t be the only thing cared about as they won more games in a season than any previous basketball team at USC.

And with only one player graduating, the best part of this ‘SC resurgence on the hard court is this…

 

Jordan McLaughlin (#11) pushing the ball up the court against Oregon earlier this season, trailed by Chimeze Metu (#4). Photo courtesy of bustingbrackets.com

 

These Trojans are slated to be scary good on a Pac-12 title contender/going far in the NCAA Tournament scale next year.

 

Provided, of course, that – as point guard Jordan McLaughlin put it – “…everybody comes back,” as according to pundits, Bennie Boatwright and Chimeze Metu are the players most apt to turn pro.

I, however, would be surprised if either of them announces their intentions to go into the NBA Draft as I honestly don’t see them as guaranteed picks in either of the two rounds; Boatwright, in my view, has a just OK chance of being taken in the second round.

In other words, if Boatwright and Metu declare, chances are they would end up in the D-League or overseas.

Which is why I expect both of them to remain Trojans and give them a chance to do something really spectacular in 2017-18.

 

Highlights of what in my view was USC’s biggest win this season: a 66-65 triumph over SMU in the Big Dance. Courtesy of YouTube.

 

The Bottom Line:  This USC team is hungry.

VERY hungry; with what happened this year making them that way.

I’m sure that those Trojans are working out right now, wishing that next season started today and just chomping at the bit to get things going and to show folks that UCLA is not the only college basketball team in SoCal that matters.

It’s certainly how I would be feeling if I were them.

 

USC players experiencing the thrill of March Madness, reacting after beating SMU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Photo courtesy of oregonlive.com

 

 

 

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