USC hoops announces home-and-home series with major SEC opponent
USC is going to be meeting the reigning SEC champions on the hardwood next season.
The Trojans announced on Friday they have agreed to a home-and-home series with Auburn, with the Tigers scheduled to come to Galen Center for the first meeting on Dec. 18 next season. USC will play Auburn on the road to close out the series in December of 2023.
OFFICIAL: The Trojans have inked a home-and-home against the reigning SEC champs – Auburn – starting this season on Dec. 18 at Galen. pic.twitter.com/ecxPYgfMAV
— USC Men's Basketball (@USC_Hoops) June 3, 2022
The 2021-22 Trojans tied the school single-season wins record by going 26-8, finishing third in the Pac-12 and advancing to the 2022 NCAA Tournament for the second straight season and the fourth time under Enfield. The Trojans opened the year 13-0 and, for the most part, cruised through the non-conference portion of their schedule early in the year thanks to a suffocating defense.
But, the Trojans’ non-conference strength of schedule ranked 292nd out of 358 Division I teams, according to KenPom. As USC continued to stack wins on the season, the public was largely hesitant to get behind Enfield’s squad on account of its perceived “strength of record.” With Auburn on the docket next season, it’s fair to say Enfield heard the complaints and said, “bring it on.”
Next season’s USC squad will be a bit different from the previous iteration, though. The starting frontcourt of Isaiah Mobley and Chevez Goodwin has moved on, as have guards Ethan Anderson and Max Agbonkpolo. However, USC found out earlier this week that starting guards Boogie Ellis (12.5 ppg) and Drew Peterson (12.4 ppg) will be returning next season. They’ll be joined by rising guard Reese Dixon-Waters (4.8 ppg) and the sixth-ranked freshman class—center Vincent Iwuchukwu, forward Kijani Wright, and guards Tre White and Oziyah Sellers.
Auburn went 28-6 last season, winning the SEC regular-season title and reaching the Round of 32 in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Auburn did end up falling to the same Miami team that knocked off the Trojans in the first round.
This will be the first meeting between the two teams since 1977 and only the third all time. USC has won both of the previous two meetings.