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Previewing the Pac #9: USC Trojans

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The USC Trojans enter the season at #9 in the UWDP Pac-12 hoops poll.

Ethan Miller

#10: USC Trojans

2013-14 recap

Record: 11-21 overall (2-16 Pac-12)

Pac-12 Finish: 12th

Recap: The Trojans were one of the worst scoring teams in the country under first year coach Andy Enfield, averaging 70.6 points per game. They suffered losing streaks of 10 and five games, both of which came during conference play, and their only two wins during the Pac-12 schedule were against Washington State and California

Season Preview

Key Returners

Nikola Jovanovic (So.)- 8 points, 4.4 rebounds

Julian Jacobs (So.)- 6.6 points, 4.4 rebounds

Biggest Departures

Byron Wesley-17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds

Pe'Shon Howard- 10.8 points, 3.9 assists, 3 rebounds

J.T. Terrell- 9.8 points, 2.9 rebounds

Omar Oraby- 8.2 points, 6 rebounds

Newcomers

Freshman

Malik Marquetti- Compton, Calif.

Malik Martin- Miami, Fla.

Jordan McLaughlin- Etiwanda, Calif.

Elijah Stewart- DeRidder, La.

Best Case Scenario

The Trojans have a lot to replace having lost their four leading scorers from last season, but the Trojans will not lack talent having brought in a quality recruiting class that has gone under the radar. Former UNLV guard Katin Reinhardt is a proven scorer and is probably anxious to get back in action after having to sit out last year. If he can provide 15-20 points on a consistent basis, the Trojans could surprise some teams in conference play.

Worst Case Scenario

Being young can also lead to being immature and with USC's roster lacking a ton of experience, the Trojans could become one of the most inconsistent teams in the conference. The Trojans don't return any players who averaged 10 or more points per game and if Reinhardt shoots as much as he did at UNLV, the other players on the team won't have many shots to share.

Storylines

Fountain of Youth- The Trojans are probably one of the few teams in the entire NCAA who don't have one senior on their roster. The Trojans carry two juniors, Brendyn Taylor and Strahinja Gavrilovic, but neither played large roles a season ago.

Freshman of the Year?: Freshman point guard Jordan McLaughlin enters the season with high expectations, and if you aren't voting for Arizona's Stanley Johnson, I think he is the next favorite for Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. McLaughlin was rated a four-star prospect by ESPN and held offers from Indiana, Kansas and UCLA, and was an LA Times All-Area Team selection his senior season. He will be joined in the backcourt by fellow freshman Elijah Stewart, a four-star prospect who averaged 19.2 points per game his senior season.

Can the Trojans finish in the top half of the Pac-12? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.