Utah State takes on USC Friday night (9 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network) so in order to know more about the Trojans we reached out to SB Nation's USC site Conquest Chronicles to answer some questions he had for them.
1. There was a lot of buzz surrounding Andy Enfield coming from Florida Gulf Coast and bringing the fast-paced style of play to USC, but is this Trojans roster have the type of players to run his system from the get-go?
The interesting part about this USC team is that they played a very similar up-and-down style near the end of last season under interim coach Bob Cantu. This roster is loaded with plenty of depth at the guard position, and have the pieces on the perimeter to run this offense but that will certainly take some time to gel together. The question becomes whether Omar Oraby can adjust in the paint, now playing more of a stretch forward role. It may be a struggle at first for this team to put the pieces together to the tune Enfield has dreamed about since taking the USC coaching job, but as the year progresses the team will find a way to fire up the juices for some high-octane scoring.
2. What type of impact will Maryland transfer Pe'Shon Howard have on this team now that he is immediately eligible to play?
Pe'Shon Howard will not only start from day one, he will also be in prime position to instantly become a double-digit assist man in Enfield's offense. Early on this fall, Howard has shown a great ability to drive into the rack and pass the ball with vision. These first few weeks should also be rather kind to Howard, who is taking a step down (relatively speaking) in competition from the likes in the ACC, and will be given the keys to the kingdom to let his physicality run rampant in opposing defenses.
3. Utah State has a notoriously great home court advantage at the rowdy Spectrum with an 194-13 record under head coach Stew Morrill. How do you think the Trojans players will respond to the situation if they fall behind early?
This is a tough situation from all standpoints because the Trojans are not only starting the season on the road, but the team has eight new players and a brand new coaching staff to work with. While not the most ideal start to the season for Enfield and staff, this game could be an excellent spring board in their relatively soft non-conference schedule. If this team were to fall behind from the start, one would expect them to compete to the very end only because the first impression under a new coach and program would be filled with plenty of hustle and tenacity.
4. Who are some key players this year for USC?
Some of the key players to watch this season are shooting guard J.T. Terrell, forward Byron Wesley and a sneaky power forward in sophomore Strahinja Gavrilovic. All three of these players are expected to start this season and should provide the Trojans key shooting options from the outside to spread the court.
5. What is your prediction for this game?
Despite the fact that USC may actually be the better team come seasons end, the Aggies have plenty of senior leadership in their starting lineup and should come out with plenty of emotion from their raucous crowd. In terms of the final score, I expect the Aggies to come out with a five-point victory that will come right down to the wire.