Following the departure of head coach Tim Floyd, first-round NBA draft picks Demar DeRozan and Taj Gibson, and point guard Daniel Hackett to play oversees in Europe, the USC basketball team was predicted by many to finish around 8th or 9th place in the Pac-10, if not dead last. What many did not anticipate, however, was that this Trojan basketball team had enough heart to prove doubters wrong.
The defining moment of the Trojan basketball season thus far has been the addition of transfer point guard Mike Gerrity who after bouncing around from campus to campus has found a home at USC in his final year of eligibility. Gerrity debuted in a stunning rout of Tennessee and the Trojans went on to win their next 5 games, putting USC on an 8-game winning streak as well as a 2-0 start in Pac-10 conference play.
Following the controversy surrounding OJ Mayo and alleged benefits received illegally by Mayo, USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett announced self-imposed sanctions to the USC basketball team prohibiting the Trojans from post-season play in both the Pac-10 and NCAA tournaments. Despite knowing they won’t be a part of March Madness this season, new Head Coach Kevin O’Neill and the Trojans have set their sights on something the USC basketball program has never done: win the regular-season Pac-10 championship.
USC beat then #8 Tennesee 77-55, UCLA 67-46 on the road, and Washington 87-61, winning those 3 games by an average of 23 points and is now 12-7 overall (4-3 Pac-10).