Trojans get a new chance to win in Pac-12 tournament

Trojans get a new chance to win in Pac-12 tournament
USC's Katin Reinhardt and UCLA's Norman Powell fight for the ball during the Bruins' 85-74 victory over the Trojans on March 4. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

The USC men's basketball team did not have a regular season to remember, so USC Coach Andy Enfield sees the Pac-12 Conference tournament as a chance to finish on a positive note.

"This is a new season, and everyone has a chance to win," Enfield said. "I told our players this is what you play for."


The Trojans are the bottom seed, meaning they'll play No. 5 Arizona State at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the first round of the tournament at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

USC (11-19) hasn't won a Pac-12 tournament game in its last four tries. Arizona State (17-14) comes in on the rise, having won five of its last seven games.

USC has played competitively late in the season despite starting three freshmen — and without point guard Jordan McLaughlin, another freshman, who is out for the season following surgery on his left shoulder.

The Trojans led for much of the game the last time they met the Sun Devils, on Feb. 22 in Tempe, Ariz. However, USC faltered late, and Arizona State took a 64-59 decision.

USC is the youngest team of any team in a Power Five conference in terms of minutes played, according to The Trojans' nucleus is expected to remain intact for multiple seasons. The tournament, therefore, is a chance to get valuable experience.

"The tournament can always be a momentum builder for the off-season," Enfield said.

USC's game is one of four in the tournament's first round. California will play Washington State in the opener at noon Wednesday. Oregon State will play Colorado, and Stanford will play Washington in the evening session.

The winner between USC and Arizona State will play UCLA in a quarterfinal on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

USC vs. Arizona State

Wednesday, 2:30 p.m.

MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas

TV: Pac-12 Networks; Radio: 710.