Arena/Stadium Galen Center
Conference Pacific-12 Conference
Colors Cardinal, Gold
Head coach Andy Enfield
Division Division I (NCAA)
|University University of Southern California|
Location Los Angeles, California, United States
The USC Trojans men's basketball program is the college basketball team that competes in the Pac-12 Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and represents the University of Southern California.
- The early years 190628
- The Sam Barry era 192950
- Building a national power 192941
- World War II and the coaching carousel 194245
- Sam Barry returns 194550
- The Forrest Twogood era 195166
- The Final Four 1954
- The Bob Boyd era 196779
- Morrison and Raveling 198094
- The Henry Bibby era 19952005
- Recent success
- Andy Enfield and the future 2013
- NCAA Tournament results
- NCAA Tournament seeding history
- NIT results
- All time record vs Pac 12 opponents
- Notable players
The program was formerly coached by Tim Floyd, until his resignation on June 9, 2009. Other staff members include Phil Johnson, Bob Cantu, Gib Arnold, Rob Brooks and Rudy Hackett. Kevin O'Neill, who last coached in the NCAA at Arizona, was named the head coach by Mike Garrett on June 20, 2009. O'Neill was terminated in January 2013 after a 7–10 start. Longtime assistant Bob Cantu was given interim duties. On April 1, 2013, Andy Enfield, head coach of the Florida Gulf Coast University team known for its upsets during the 2013 NCAA Tournament, was named head coach.
The USC Trojans are 1,500–1,097 (.578) all-time in intercollegiate basketball games. They boast 25 All-Americans, 14 league championships, one conference tournament title, 16 NCAA tournament appearances, four Sweet Sixteen appearances, three Elite Eight appearances, and two Final Four appearances. Sam Barry and four of his USC players (Jack Gardner, Alex Hannum, Tex Winter and Bill Sharman) have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as coaches. (Sharman was also inducted as a player.)
The early years (1906–28)
On December 7, 1906 the Los Angeles Herald declared: "Basketball Is Started At U.S.C." The first official game of USC basketball was an interclass drubbing by the freshman over the sophomores, 25–2. USC would later host its debut intercollegiate basketball game, the first of its kind in Southern California, on January 16, 1907 with an 18–15 win over Occidental College.
After a standout season in 1910, when USC placed second in the league, the Methodists (as they had been known at the time) slowly grew the program under the direction of a series of player-managers and part-time coaches. Several football headmen served as basketball coaches during that time, including Ralph Glaze, Dean Cromwell, Elmer "Gloomy Gus" Henderson, and Leo Calland. In addition, USC's basketball team was often littered with football standouts such as USC Athletic Hall of Famers Morley Drury and Jess Mortensen.
In 1922 USC joined the Pacific Coast Conference. The Trojans then won their first conference title in 1928 under Calland's leadership, edging past the Washington Huskies in the second and final game of the conference championship series. With a see-sawing score for most of the game, Charley Bone buried two shots in the last minute to secure the 27–26 victory and begin a new era of achievement for USC basketball.
The Sam Barry era (1929–50)
When football assistant and basketball head coach Leo Calland left USC in the summer of 1929 to become the football head coach and athletic director of the University of Idaho, legendary USC football coach Howard Jones found himself in need of a new assistant and the university in need of a new basketball head coach. Jones recommended Sam Barry, one of his former assistants at the University of Iowa who had also coached Hawkeye basketball for seven years. Barry agreed to follow Jones west, once more joining his football staff while also taking control of the basketball program.
Building a national power (1929–41)
Barry brought with him an aggressive style of play uncommon outside the midwest. His strategic innovations would lay the groundwork for the Triangle offense and his campaign to do away with the center jump after each basket would change the game forever. "It is rumored that other conference coaches are eyeing the Trojans with no little anxiety," the Daily Trojan mused in the lead up to Barry's first season. The Trojans would finish the 1929–30 season with an overall record of 15–5. USC defeated the Washington Huskies in three games to win the PCC championship for the second time in school history. Guard Johnny Lehners and center Jess Mortensen received All-America honors at the end of the season, becoming the first two All-Americans in program history.
Producing three more All-Americans (Jerry Nemer, Lee Guttero [2-time], Eddie Oram), USC dominated the PCC South Division for much of the 1930s, with five straight division titles from 1932 to 1936 and a title in 1939. In 1935 the Trojans also won the conference title with a victory over Oregon State in Corvallis. After falling to the Beavers in the first game of the series, USC won the second to tie the series. USC won the third contest by a score of 32–31, with All-Southern Division forward Ernie Holbrook making the game-winning shot in the final seconds of the game.
USC won its ninth division title in 12 years in the 1939–40 season after defeating Oregon State in two games at the Shrine Auditorium. Led by All-American Ralph Vaughn, USC received its first invitation to the eight-team NCAA tournament and was considered a favorite to challenge for the national title. The Trojans defeated Colorado, 38–32, in the first round to face Phog Allen's Kansas in the semifinals. Senior Keith Lambert gave the Trojans the lead with less than a minute remaining in the game, but Howard Engleman scored with 16 seconds remaining to give Kansas the 43–42 win.
World War II and the coaching carousel (1942–45)
In January 1942, Barry, then-head coach of the three major sports at USC, enlisted in the Navy as a lieutenant commander and was appointed athletic director for the Navy’s western V-5 physical training school in St. Marys, Georgia. Assistant coach Julie Bescos assumed head-coaching responsibilities in Barry's absence, finishing the season until he too left for service in the Navy later in 1942. Jack Hupp, two-time All-Southern Division forward for USC in 1935 and 1936, was then named head coach in October, but in November he joined the Air Force. Ernie Holbrook, Hupp's former teammate and star of the 1935 PCC champion team, then became head coach after the first game of the season and led the Trojans to a 23–5 record and their tenth PCC South Division title in the 1943–44 season. Gene Rock and Ted Gossard were named All-Americans. The following year, however, Holbrook was called to service in the Army, becoming the fourth USC basketball coach to leave for military service in two years.
Bobby Muth, a former teammate of both Hupp and Holbrook, was chosen to be the newest replacement head coach. Muth struggled to match the performance of his predecessor, with no returning players from 1943's division-winning team due to the war. In his first year as head coach, he managed a disappointing 8–12 record, USC's first losing record in 11 years.
Julie Bescos returned to USC after the war's end in 1945 as an assistant football coach, having earned a Silver Star for overseeing the rescue and evacuation of wounded sailors as a flight deck officer on the kamikaze-damaged USS Saratoga. He was posthumously inducted into the USC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.
Former player and coach Ernie Holbrook died during combat in Europe. As a private in the 28th “Keystone” Infantry Division, Holbrook was killed during the early stages of the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. Each year, the Ernie Holbrook Memorial Award is given in his memory to the team’s most inspirational basketball player.
Sam Barry returns (1945–50)
With the surrender of the Japanese in August 1945, Sam Barry was discharged from the Navy, receiving a Naval Commendation for his work in the physical and military training of Navy personnel in the South Pacific. He then returned to his pre-war post as head basketball coach. Barry never managed to truly to regain his pre-war success, however. Before the war, Barry compiled a win-loss record of 208–95, winning 68% of his games. In games after the war, his winning percentage fell to 58%, with an overall record of 68–49. Despite this decline in performance, Barry's teams still finished second in the division in all but one season during the final five years of his career.
Barry's 1949–50 USC team produced another All-American in Bill Sharman. On September 23, 1950, while scouting for football at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Barry suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 57. He remains USC's all-time winningest coach, with an overall record of 260–138. In his 17 years as head coach, his teams won eight division titles and three conference titles, and featured eight All-Americans. His 40 consecutive wins over crosstown rival UCLA stand as the longest winning streak by any coach against a single opponent in the history of college basketball.
The Forrest Twogood era (1951–66)
In the wake of Sam Barry's sudden death in September 1950, USC turned to assistant coach Forrest Twogood, who had previously been the head coach at the University of Idaho and the University of San Francisco. Twogood had worked as an assistant to Barry, coaching the Trojan freshmen, and had played for Barry at the University of Iowa.
The Final Four (1954)
Two weeks before the 1953–54 season's end and in third place in the PCC, USC won two games against then-second-place California. The Trojans' next and final conference series of the regular season came against the first-place UCLA Bruins. Coming into the series, John Wooden's Bruins—winners of four division titles in five years—were on a 13-game win streak, had not been defeated at home all season, had not lost both games of a series at home in six years, and needed just one win in two games to secure the division title.
USC's third team All-America center, Roy Irvin, scored 29 points in the first game in leading the Trojans past the Bruins, 79–68. In the second contest, another strong performance from Irvin saw the Trojans with the lead late in the game, until UCLA tied the score in the final minute. Trojan substitute Chet Carr made a 10-foot jump-shot in the waning seconds, securing the win and the Trojans' first outright division championship in 11 years.
USC faced the Oregon State Beavers and their 7-foot, 3-inch center, Wade Halbrook in the PCC Championship series to determine which team would represent the PCC in the NCAA Tournament. In the opening game of the series, the Trojans contained Halbrook and came away with a 65–47 victory. In the second game, Halbrook scored 12 points and stifled the USC offense with his rebounding and defense. The Beavers outscored the Trojans 20–6 in the final ten minutes of the first half, and despite a third-quarter comeback attempt, USC was defeated for the first time in six games.
The final game was a close affair throughout. Halbrook and Irvin led their teams' efforts in the final minutes, trading baskets and the lead until Irvin's hook shot gave the Trojans the lead for good with under a minute remaining. Two free throws from captain Dick Welsh with 27 seconds remaining secured the 48–45 win for USC.
USC advanced to the 16-team NCAA Tournament and began tournament play in Corvallis, where the Trojans defeated Idaho State in the first round, 73–59. In the second-round game, the Trojans faced the Santa Clara Broncos, a team that had played in three consecutive NCAA Tournaments. The game was closely contested throughout, with 13 lead changes and eight ties. The third quarter saw a forward surge from the Trojans, which the Broncos matched as the quarter closed. Santa Clara entered the final 40 seconds of a low-scoring fourth quarter with a three-point lead. USC's Irvin was fouled as he scored on a lay-in, and his made free throw tied the game at 57–57. The score remained tied at the end of the regulation period. In the final minute of the overtime period, the Trojans again trailed by three points. Welsh scored to bring the Trojans within one point of Santa Clara. Guard Tony Psaltis then tied the score at 65–65 with a free throw, forcing a second overtime period.
A single point—coming on a free throw from USC's Welsh during the first 30 seconds of the second five-minute overtime period—provided the winning margin for the Trojans. In the same year the NBA would introduce the 24-second shot clock, Santa Clara held the ball to stall the game for four minutes and seven seconds. With 17 seconds remaining, the Broncos' Ken Sears attempted to drive to the basket. Several Trojans surrounded him and forced a turnover. Time expired and the Trojans advanced to the Final Four in Kansas City.
USC faced the Bradley Braves in the Final Four game. The Trojans maintained a lead for most of the contest, but Bradley mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter. Holding a one-point lead with one minute remaining, the Trojans were without leading scorer Roy Irvin, who had fouled out of the game. Bradley scored five unanswered points in the final minute to take a 74–70 lead, securing the win. USC's Jack Dunne scored with six seconds remaining, but the score was not sufficient to erase the Trojans' deficit. USC fell to Penn State in the national third-place game, 70–61, after the Trojans' late comeback attempt, begun as they trailed by 20 points, fell short.
The USC student-run newspaper, the Daily Trojan, reflected on the season:
The Bob Boyd era (1967–79)
In a 13-year career as head coach of the USC basketball team his teams went 216–131 overall and played in the post-season four times (the 1979 NCAA playoffs, 1973 NIT and 1974 and 1975 Commissioner's Conference tourney). His 1971 team, which went 24–2 and was ranked fifth in the nation (USC was ranked first at midseason), is regarded among USC's best (he also won 24 games in 1974). His wins over UCLA in 1969 and 1970 were the UCLA's first losses in Pauley Pavilion, built in 1966. He was twice named the conference Coach of the Year. He sent ten players into the NBA, including Paul Westphal and Gus Williams.
Morrison and Raveling (1980–94)
In seven seasons at USC, Stan Morrison had a record of 103–95 and finished first in the Pac-10 in 1985. George Raveling took over the program in 1987, leading the Trojans to two NCAA tournament appearances. He compiled a 115–118 overall record in eight seasons.
The Henry Bibby era (1995–2005)
In 1995, Henry Bibby was named head coach of USC men's basketball. In ten seasons, Bibby had an overall won-loss record of 131–111 at USC. He led his 1997, 2001 and 2002 teams to the NCAA tournament, including an "Elite Eight" appearance in 2001, but was fired after four games into his final season.
USC advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, led by future NBA players Nick Young, Taj Gibson, and Gabe Pruitt, with Tim Floyd as their head coach. This was the first time since 2001, and the second time since 1961. This team defeated Kevin Durant and the Texas Longhorns before facing Tyler Hansbrough and the UNC Tarheels in the Sweet Sixteen. USC had built a sizeable lead in the first half against UNC before multiple questionable foul calls against Taj Gibson forced USC to sit Taj Gibson for an extended period of time in the second half, whereby the Tarheels were able to take the lead and win the game. The Tarheels eventually went on to win the tournament and become the National Champions.
In the 2007–08 season, USC featured guard O. J. Mayo from Huntington High School. He had been ranked by several major sports publications as the top prospect of the 2007 recruiting class. During the 2007–2008 season, the Trojans played the Kansas Jayhawks and the Oklahoma Sooners at home. They also played in the Anaheim Classic from November 22–25, 2007. Each night, USC played a team from the Big Ten, Big East, SEC, and Big 12. Additionally, they had a return game against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia, South Carolina. After the regular season and Pac-10 Tournament had ended, USC earned a #6 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans were seeded against the #11 seed Kansas State Wildcats. This first-round game gained heavy media attention because of the matchup between college phenoms O. J. Mayo and Michael Beasley. Although the game was relatively close throughout the first half and early second half, the Wildcats came away with the victory by a score of 80–67. As expected by many, Mayo entered the NBA Draft at the end of the 2007–08 season. He was selected as the 3rd overall lottery pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Trojans finished the 2007–08 season with a record of 21–12. However, on January 3, 2010, the University concluded its internal investigation over allegations that Mayo received improper benefits during his stay at USC in 2007–08. The University concluded that Mayo did receive improper benefits and that head coach Tim Floyd was an active participant in ensuring that Mayo continued to receive money and gifts on behalf of a sports agent, in violation of NCAA rules. Therefore, USC declared Mayo ineligible to play in 2007–08, and USC Basketball has voluntarily vacated all regular season wins from the 2007–08 season. The USC record for 2007–08 thus is 0–12, a result of the peculiar scoring rules for marking vacated wins as no contests.
The 2008–09 Trojans team featured the 3rd-ranked recruit in the nation according to Rivals.com, All-American forward Demar DeRozan. USC also received a commitment from point guard Percy Romeo Miller, Jr aka Lil Romeo, the son of Master P. The team opted not to have an October 17, 2008 Midnight Madness celebration.
Building upon the success of previous years, the Trojans defeated Arizona State in the Pac-10 Championship Game and clinched their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance. They defeated Boston College to reach the second round, where they lost 74–69 to eventual runner-up Michigan State.
On January 3, 2010, USC announced that it had implemented self-imposed sanctions for violations of NCAA rules related to Mayo. The sanctions include a one-year ban on postseason competition following the 2009–2010 regular season, a reduction of one scholarship for the 2009–2010 and 2010–2011 academic years, and reductions in the numbers of recruiting days and coaches participating in off-campus recruiting through 2011. The school also vacated all wins earned during the 2007–2008 season, due to Mayo's ineligibility at that time.
Andy Enfield and the future (2013– )
After becoming the first head coach to lead a 15-seed to the Sweet 16, guiding his Florida Gulf Coast Eagles to upsets of Georgetown and San Diego State, Andy Enfield was hired as the new head coach at USC on April 1, 2013. Enfield replaces interim coach Bob Cantu, who substituted for fired coach Kevin O'Neill, terminated after a 7–10 start to the Trojans' season. The Trojans had finished the season 14–18 and had missed the NCAA Tournament the previous two years.
Enfield's first two assistant hires were Tony Bland from SDSU with a reported contract of $300,000 per year, and Jason Hart from Pepperdine University. Both have strong reputations as recruiters.
The stage of Shrine Auditorium served as home court for USC basketball for much of the 1940s. However, the nature of hosting a basketball game in a theater meant that visibility was limited except in the center section of the audience. "If you had a seat on the extreme right or left, you missed seeing one basket," said Alex Omalev, a Trojan forward from 1940 to 1943. The score was kept by two men seated on an elevated platform and a gun blast marked the end of each half.
Beginning in 1949 the Pan-Pacific Auditorium in the Fairfax District hosted USC basketball until 1959 at which point the Trojans moved into the nearby Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, where they would remain for close to the next 50 years.
USC had talked about building an on-campus arena for the better part of century and that dream finally came to fruition when Louis Galen, successful banker and long-time Trojan fan, donated a total $50 million to ensure the facility was built. They broke ground in 2004 and the Galen Center officially opened its doors in 2006, becoming the new home of USC basketball.
The facility is 255,000 square feet (23,700 m2), with a 45,000 square feet (4,200 m2) pavilion, and has three practice courts and offices. The seating capacity is 10,258, and there are 22 private suites. Total construction cost was an estimated $147 million.
The first men's basketball game was held on November 16, 2006 against the University of South Carolina. The first sellout crowd was the men's basketball game against the UCLA Bruins on January 12, 2007 with an attendance of 9,682. On January 31, 2008 the USC men's basketball game against the Arizona Wildcats set the arena's attendance record with a crowd of 10,258 in attendance. That record has been matched three times since: February 17, 2008 vs UCLA; January 11, 2009 vs UCLA; and January 9, 2011 vs UCLA.
The following are the USC men's head basketball coaches who have led the Trojans against conference competition. Prior to fielding conference teams, USC men's basketball was also coached by notable USC coaches such as Dean Cromwell who was a track and field and baseball coach as well as Elmer "Gloomy Gus" Henderson who also coached baseball and football at USC.
NCAA Tournament results
The Trojans have appeared in 18* (17) NCAA Tournaments, including two Final Four appearances. USC's combined record is 14–20* (14–19).
* 2008 tournament appearance and loss to Kansas State were vacated due to NCAA penalty. The revised record is 12–17 all-time.
NCAA Tournament seeding history
The NCAA began seeding the tournament with the 1979 edition.
The Trojans have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) four times. Their combined record is 2–4.
All-time record vs. Pac-12 opponents
The USC Trojans lead the all-time series vs. four of the other eleven Pac-12 opponents. They trail the series vs. five opponents and are even vs. two more.