The men’s basketball team had a strong showing in an Oct. 23 scrimmage against Air Force, leaving USC coach Kevin O’Neill impressed with the team’s play — particularly from freshman point guard Maurice Jones, who is expected to start at the position until transfer junior Jio Fontan is eligible to play.
Jones played 38 minutes in the scrimmage, racking up 10 points and 10 assists and leading the Trojans to an unofficial victory of 75-46 over the Birds. Junior forward Nikola Vucevic also made his presence felt during the game, with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Vucevic is expected to be a key contributor of this Trojans team. Freshman guard Bryce Jones out of nearby Taft High picked up eight rebounds in 21 minutes of play.
O’Neill was also pleased with the team’s stamina and conditioning, saying that “as the game wore on, we got stronger.” The defense also did its part, holding Air Force’s “Princeton” offense to 46 points. The team prepared through film study and ensured that they would not give up the easy backdoor layups that the Princeton offense is reliant on.
Freshmen forwards Curtis Washington and Garrett Jackson did not participate in the scrimmage because of a strained groin and broken nose, respectively. Fontan and transfer forward Aaron Fuller also did not participate because they are not eligible under NCAA transfer guidelines.