Manuel - USC blog

Kendal Manuel and Oregon State host USC in the Pac-12 opener Wednesday at Gill Coliseum.

Anibal Ortiz, Mid-Valley Media

Here's a look at USC, which opens Pac-12 play at Oregon State on Wednesday night.

The Trojans (13-0) stayed undefeated with a 94-92 overtime win against Wyoming last Friday in Las Vegas. Jordan McLaughlin provided the game-winner on a layup with 4.5 seconds left. Freshman guard Jonah Mathews had 26 points and six steals off the bench.

McLaughlin, a junior guard, is having a strong season, averaging 14.7 points and 5.2 assists while shooting 51.9 percent from the floor. 

Junior guard Elijah Stewart is the team's leading scorer at 15.5 points and also averages 5.5 rebounds. Sophomore forward Chimezie Metu averages 13.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.

Sophomore Bennie Boatwright (10.8 points) has missed the last eight games with a strained left knee ligament and is expected to miss a few more weeks.

The Trojans returned four of their top seven scorers off their 2015-16 team (including McLaughlin as the leading scorer), which went 21-13 and reached the NCAA tournament. 

OSU coach Wayne Tinkle says this year's USC squad is an extremely athletic and deep team.

"They’ve got a lot of weapons that can shoot it or get to the rim. They’re a dangerous team because they get out and pressure," Tinkle said. "They really get in the passing lanes and they want to get out and run. We’ve got to try and keep them in a halfcourt game and get to their shooters."

In their last 10 games, the Trojans are shooting 49.6 percent from the floor, including 39.8 percent on 3-pointers. Eight different players have scored at least 13 points this season.

USC comes to Gill Coliseum having been challenged in numerous games. The Trojans have seven wins by 10 points or less.

"They’ve got some key pieces back from their team that had a great run last year. That maturity is really helping them close games out," Tinkle said.

Andy Enfield is in his fourth year as the Trojans' head coach. USC's NCAA tournament berth last season was the program's first since 2011.

Enfield began his coaching career as shooting coach for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. He was with the Bucks for two years, then as an assistant for the Boston Celtics for two years, a Florida State assistant for three seasons and then as head coach at Florida Gulf Coast for five years.


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