A half-dozen NBA scouts sprawled in an anonymous row of seats behind one of the baskets at Galen Center.
The serious-faced men balanced cellphones, bottles of water and notebooks covered with the pebbled texture of a basketball Thursday night. None of the announced crowd of 2,712 paid attention to them.
But each time USC junior Chimezie Metu touched the basketball, the men scribbled in their notebooks. They had good reason. Behind an all-around effort from Metu, USC defeated Santa Clara 82-59 to end a three-game losing streak.
“Chimezie was dominant at times tonight,” USC coach Andy Enfield said.
The game wasn’t close. The 6-foot-11 Metu, projected as a top-20...