USC remains an enigma ahead of Utah State's season opener
To say that Utah State's next opponent is a mystery might actually be an understatement.
USC, under its new coach Andy Enfield, has yet to play a public exhibition. For Stew Morrill and his staff, there's no film to break down. No box scores to pick over. The Trojans will be an unknown entity.
But the Aggies can make a few guesses of what it will be like to face off against USC.
"We're going to find out in a hurry where we're at," he said Thursday. "This is like playing a good Mountain West team. We'll get a good gauge as to how we can guard that kind of athleticism and size. They have a 7-foot-2 guy inside that presents a problem. They have two wings returning who are double-digit scorers."
The new-look USC may be a bit of a enigma, but it has two known quantities: the USC roster that went 9-9 in Pac-12 play, and the coach who wowed the world by taking a 15-seed to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16.
The Trojans' most critical returners are wings J.T. Terrell and Byron Wesley, who each averaged more than two points. And as Morrill aluded to, center Omar Oraby will be a match-up headache for Jarred Shaw and Jordan Stone.
Then there's Enfield, whose Florida Gulf Coast team was the toast of the Big Dance this spring. Now in L.A., USC's latest head coach is expected to bring his "Dunk City" style to his new school.
A lot of Utah State players remember cheering on FGCU last season.
"It was exciting to watch them play and see a team like that, a 15 seed, do as well as they did," Preston Medlin said.
Friday night's game is the first time a Pac-12 team (outside of Utah) has visited the Spectrum since 1977. The last time USC visited Logan was during 1961-1962.
Obviously, not having film is a disadvantage for Utah State. The Trojans have played a pair of closed scrimmages against Santa Clara and UC Santa Barbara. Morrill indicated in his pregame comments that the revenue from exhibitions gives Utah State incentive to do them. The teams didn't exchange film.
"More and more people are going toward playing scrimmage games against Division I opponents," Morrill said. "In your exhibition games you can't play Division I teams. ... It's an interesting call on the exhibition stuff right now and which way you want to go in the preseason."
As a postscript, allow me to put republish this reader e-mail, from the last time USC came to visit Logan. As you'll see, this is a gem:
Hi, Kyle. Back when I was in junior high, about a million years ago, USC came into Logan and beat the Aggies by one point. An Aggie guard, I want to say either Don Holman or Mark Hasen, drove the lane with a floater at the buzzer that went in, but was not counted. to my young eyes and obvious bias, the Ags got hosed; the point of this, however, is that Tom Selleck, of whom you may have heard, was a member of that Trojan team, having come into their program from Grant High in Sherman Oaks. Just a little irrelevant trivia.
Irrelevant? How can it be irrelevant when it comes to Tom Selleck?
See you tonight.
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon