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USC guard Byron Wesley gets high praise from coach

SportsBasketballAndy EnfieldUSC Trojans

USC Coach Andy Enfield praises Byron Wesley after nearly every game.

The 6-foot-5 junior guard leads the Trojans with 17.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

Omar Oraby, the 7-2 center, says it is a joy to watch Wesley practice.

"He is so fundamentally sound," Oraby said. "Just to pay attention to everything he's done is a good way to get better at the game."

Enfield said he's impressed with Wesley because Wesley never tries to do the fancy things.

"He does the fundamentally sound thing," Enfield said. "He'll make a layup and not force a dunk. He has a real sense of where the ball is going.

"He gets all those rebounds because he has a good sense of where the ball will go on a missed shot. He's sneaky quick. He just knows where the right place to be is. Every coach wants a player like Byron on the team."

Pe'Shon Howard is settling in

Pe'Shon Howard, a senior point guard who transferred to USC from Maryland, had 23 points in USC's surprising victory over Xavier at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament and scored 56 points during the three-game event.

Howard is from Los Angeles but left to go to Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., for high school basketball. His chest is covered with tattoos of landmark L.A. buildings plus a big picture of his father.

"I'm starting to feel more comfortable," said Howard, who got his Maryland degree and was able to transfer without having to sit out. "Maybe this will be a turning point for me."

Young guys are contributing

Freshmen guards Julian Jacobs and Kahlil Dukes, and freshmen forwards Nikola Jovanovic and Roschon Prince have combined for 174 points in USC's last seven games.

Jovanovic is the team's leading three-point scorer, making nearly 42% of his shots. Jacobs has had at least seven assists three times this season.

Finals week arrives

After the Boston College game Sunday, USC is off for finals before playing host to Cal State Bakersfield on Dec. 15.

diane.pucin@latimes.com

Twitter: @mepucin

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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