Northern Arizona (1-1) at USC (1-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 15, 11 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Galen Center (10,258) -- Los Angeles, California. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: NAU 0-0, USC 1-0. Away Record: NAU 1-1, USC 0-1. Neutral Record: NAU 0-0, USC 0-0. Conference Record: NAU 0-0, USC 0-0. Series Record: USC leads, 2-0.
GAMES NOTES: The Andy Enfield experiment continues on Friday when his USC Trojans host the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks for a non-conference bout at the Galen Center.
Playing on the road is something that Northern Arizona needs to get used to as seven of its first 10 games are away from home. The results from the Lumberjacks' first two outings have been mixed. After grabbing a 74-63 triumph over Texas-San Antonio in the opener the Lumberjacks then got trounced, 88-68, by Texas Tech. The Lumberjacks went just 4-13 away from home last season.
Enfield found much more success in his second game on the bench for the Trojans. After falling 78-65 to Utah State in the season opener, USC easily got past CS-Northridge, 95-79. Enfield was hired as the head coach for the Trojans in the offseason as he cashed in on his success at the helm for Florida Gulf Coast in last year's NCAA Tournament. Enfield has already made moves through two games as he switched up the starting lineup between each games subbing opening day starters JT Terrell, Pe'Shon Howard and Strahinj Gavrilovic for reserves Julian Jacobs, Chass Bryan and Roschon Prince.
The Trojans have won both previous matchups with NAU. The most recent victory ended in a 60-52 USC triumph during the 2010 season.
Four different players are scoring in double figures for the Lumberjacks. Chief among them is Max Jacobsen (16.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg), who had team-highs in points (15) and rebounds (seven) in the loss to Texas Tech. Quinton Upshur (14.5 ppg) is doing a solid job, despite playing nearly 10 minutes fewer per game than Jacobsen. Upshur nailed three shots from beyond the arc and all five attempts from the free-throw line to finish with 14 points against the Red Raiders. Upshur's downfall at the forward spot is his lack of rebounding, after he had just a single rebound against the Red Raiders. Aaseem Dixon (14.0 ppg) is scoring in double figures but not at a particularly impressive rate. Dixon finished with 11 points in game two and is shooting at just a 26.9 percent from the field. Kris Yanku has been solid as a key reserve, as he added 10 points off the bench last time out.
In the season opener the Trojans hit only 36.9 percent of their shots from the floor, while assisting on just 12 field goals. The jump in offensive success after Enfield changed the starting lineup was obvious, as USC knocked down 57.1 percent from the floor, while assisting on 24 of its field goals. Byron Wesley has started in each contest and has been the steady hand in the backcourt. Wesley scored 16 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and handed out six assists in the win over CS-Northridge. Omar Oraby (16.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg) has anchored the team up front. To their credit, Terrell and Howard took their benching in stride, at least on the floor, as they combined for 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting off the bench. Terrell also managed to hand out four assists. Expect Enfield to continue to play with the rotation, especially in the early season.
Enfield proved that he knows how to coach as he managed to completely shift the Trojans' direction in just two games. Wesley and Oraby are clearly the players to watch and should again lead USC to victory at the Galen Center.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: USC 78, Northern Arizona 61
11/15 10:33:15 ET