USC basketball team is ranked for the first time since 2008

Darion Clark, Elijah Stewart, Chimezie Metu

USC forward Darion Clark (0) celebrates with teammates Elijah Stewart (30) and Chimezie Metu after scoring late in the game to help the Trojans pull away for a 75-65 victory over Arizona State on Jan. 7.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

For the first time since 2008, USC is a ranked basketball team.

In the Associated Press poll released Monday, the Trojans were ranked No. 21. The last time they cracked the top 25, on Nov. 17, 2008, their roster included future NBA players DeMar DeRozan, Taj Gibson and Nikola Vucevic

USC was on the verge of joining the top 25 last week, when it had the most votes of non-top-25 teams. An emphatic 89-75 win over UCLA on Wednesday put it over the top.

USC (15-3, 4-1) now has wins over Arizona, UCLA, Wichita State and Monmouth.


The Trojans are tied with Washington atop the Pac-12 Conference standings.

The Associated Press wasn’t the only ranking that prominently featured the Trojans. USC is ranked No. 14 in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), which is a power ranking system. ESPN’s latest “bracketology” slated USC as a No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Follow Zach Helfand on Twitter: @zhelfand