The post-OJ Mayo era tips off this fall for USC, but the Trojans may not suffer quite the relapse that some are predicting. Tim Floyd has been working the recruiting trail and his class of newcomers may be enough to keep USC near the top of the PAC-10.
Trojans could play 23 games against teams off .500 or better seasons
LOS ANGELES – A trip to San Juan, PR for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, a game at Oklahoma in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, a home game against perennial ACC power Georgia Tech and the always challenging slate of Pac-10 games highlight the 2008-09 USC men’s basketball schedule announced today (Aug. 19) by head coach Tim Floyd.
“We think we have put together a great schedule for the USC fans,” said Floyd. “At the same time, as challenging as our schedule was last season with Kansas, Memphis and Oklahoma, if you look at the RPI from a year ago this non-conference slate is even tougher.”
USC’s schedule features a potential 23 games against teams that fi nished .500 or better in 2007-08, including 14 that won 20 or more games. Also, nine of the teams that USC is set to face in 2008-09 were in last year’s tournament, including two games each with the five other Pac-10 teams which were in the NCAA Tournament.
USC is trying to register its third consecutive season of 20 or more wins and make the NCAA Tournament three straight times - both never accomplished before in school history.
USC will open the season with home games against UC Irvine on Nov. 15 and New Mexico State coached by former USC assistant coach Marvin Menzies on Nov. 18.
The Trojans will then take part in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan, Puerto Rico with an eight-team fi eld featuring NCAA runner-up Memphis, Elite Eight team Xavier, Virginia Tech, Missouri, Seton Hall, Fairfi eld, Chattanooga and USC. The Trojans will play Seton Hall in the first round on Nov. 20 and then face either Memphis or Chattanooga the next night. USC’s opponent is still to be determined for its fi nal game in the tournament on Nov. 23.
Following a home game on Nov. 28 vs. Tennessee-Martin, USC will make its fi rst basketball trip to Norman, Okla. since 1984 where they will take on a powerful Oklahoma team and its Player of the Year candidate Blake Griffin. USC defeated Oklahoma 66-55 at the Galen Center last season as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
The Trojans final five games before Pac-10 play begins are at home against San Francisco on Dec. 13, vs. Pepperdine on Dec. 15, vs. North Dakota State on Dec. 20, vs. Georgia Tech on Dec. 22 and 2007-08 NCAA Tournament team Oral Roberts on Dec. 28.
USC will open conference play on the road at Oregon on Jan. 2 and Oregon State on Jan. 4 before returning home to host defending Pac-10 Champion UCLA on Jan. 11, Arizona State on Jan 15 and Arizona on Jan. 17. USC’s other conference home games are on Jan. 29 vs. Stanford, Jan. 31 vs. California, Feb. 19 vs. Washington State, Feb. 21 vs. Washington, March 5 vs. Oregon and March 7 vs. Oregon State.
The Pac-10 Conference Tournament will take place at Staples Center in Los Angeles, March 11-14.