2007 USC Trojans Basketball Preview
Last season, the USC Trojans (25- 12 overall, 11- 7 Pac-10) tied for third in their conference and won two in the NCAA brackets before succumbing to North Carolina 74- 64 in the regional semifinals. In 2006- 2007, Coach Tim Floyd (42- 25 in two years with USC, 285- 155 in 14 years) got the team to 25 wins, which was eight better than they’d had the season before. But, as Floyd has noted, this season the club lost a whole lot of output with Gabe Pruitt (12.5 PPG), Lodrick Stewart (13.8 PPG) and Nick Young (17.5 PPG) moving on.
Grabbing the ball off the rim last year, the Trojans were even when it came to matching teams on rebbies, placing them seventh in the conference and in the winning column on many of our college basketball picks. They notched 12.8 APG, which secured them ninth position and they turned the ball over 14.6 TPG, putting them eighth in the Pac-10. They were solid in both point production and defensive, placing fourth in scoring with an average of 71.8 PPG and fourth in scoring defense, allowing 65.2 PPG.
Sophomore forward Taj Gibson (12.2 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 55.8 FG%) gives this team a tough, rock-solid player upfront. Freshman Davon Jefferson, a versatile and cagey gamer, should have an immediate impact. Junior forward RouSean Cromwell (2.3 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 43.9 FG%) is one of many returning players that will need to step-up in order for the Trojans to be March Madness contenders.
Coach Floyd believes that freshman guard O.J. Mayo will be an impact player right from the start. Mayo is a dynamic court presence who can score and take over a game. But his defensive skills will need honing. Across from Mayo, two sophomores must contribute—Daniel Hackett (5.3 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.8 APG, 39.5 FG%) and Dwight Lewis (5.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.1 APG, 40.6 FG%).
This team possesses some fine talent, but they are extremely young and the loss of key vets will put a lot of pressure on the incoming and returning talent. Mayo has a lot going for him and he’ll sell tickets, but it’s doubtful that he can carry this team on his back and get them to 25 wins. USC faces a tough schedule early on, which will probably determine the tone for much of the season.