Coach: Kevin O’Neill (Three seasons at USC 41-55) Overall 212-235, 15 years
2011-12: Record 6-26 overall, 1-17 in Big East (12th)
Starters Returning (2 ) Byron Wesley, Dewayne Dedmon
Preseason Tournament: Maui Invitational
Top Non-Conference Games: at Nebraska, vs. Minnesota, at Georgia
Transfers Out : Garrett Jackson (St. Mary’s); Curtis Washington (Georgia State); Alexis Moore (Penn), Maurice Jones
Transfers In: — Renaldo Woolridge (Tennessee – eligible immediately), Omar Oraby (eligible immediately)
Sat Out: Ari Stewart (Wake Forest); Eric Wise (UC Irvine)
Last season was a very disappointing season for the Trojans winning just 1 game in Pac 12 play. This year was looking promising until returning leader scorer Maurice Jones was deemed ineligible and transferred out of the program. There has been great player turnover the last couple of years with players leaving and transferring into the program. The last couple of years the Trojan roster hasn’t come close to having 13 scholarship players until this season.
The Trojans will be led by their starting point guard Jio Fontan. Fontan sat out all of last year with an ACL injury. The year before he started every game for USC. Fontan added 10.5 ppg in 2010-11. Joining Fontan in the backcourt is Wake Forest transfer J.T. Terrell. Terrell averaged 11.1 ppg as a freshman at Wake Forest. Providing depth in the backcourt is Greg Allen (4.7 ppg) and freshman and Brendyn Taylor.
Starting at the power forward position will be Byron Wesley (9.6 ppg). He started every game last year as a freshman. The rest of the starting frontcourt will be handled by two guys who suffered season ended injuries last season. Aaron Fuller (10.3 ppg) was probably the team’s best player before suffering his a shoulder injury. Center Dewyane Dedmon (7.6 ppg) returns at center. Providing depth will be a bunch of players that transferred into the program Renaldo Woolridge (Tennessee), Eric Wise (UC Irvine), and Ari Stewart (Wake Forest). Also providing depth is Freshman Strahinja Gavrilovic and James Blasczyk (3.2 ppg). Also watch out for Zach Banner who might join the basketball team after football season. If he would ever play he be one of the biggest players to play college basketball. Update the Trojans got a huge boost when transfer Omar Oraby was ruled to able to play right away. Look for him to get ton of playing time.