Coming off a sluggish season-opening setback, USC looks to regroup at home Thursday in Los Angeles when it hosts Alabama State.
The Trojans (0-1) went through multiple, lengthy scoring droughts in Monday’s 74-61 loss to coach Andy Enfield’s former team, Florida Gulf Coast. A stretch lasting more than eight minutes without USC managing a field goal proved to be the difference in the lopsided defeat.
“They have to score,” Enfield said in his postgame press conference. “Our big guys did their job tonight, but we have to be able to make plays for each other on the offensive end.”
Chief among USC’s offensive struggles was its inability to shoot the 3-pointer. The Trojans had just one successful attempt from deep until late in the second half and finished 3-of-19.
USC aims to rebound facing an opponent that struggled as much defensively in its opener as the Trojans struggled offensively.
Alabama State (0-1) gave up more than 42 percent shooting from beyond the arc and more than 58 percent from inside it in the Hornets’ 111-70 loss to UAB on Monday.
The blowout defeat marked the debut of first-year Alabama State head coach Tony Madlock. Madlock spent last season at South Carolina State after a stint as an assistant to Penny Hardaway at Memphis.
Along with a new coach, Alabama State tipped off 2022-23 with a largely new-look roster featuring a bevy of transfers and freshmen.
“Before I stepped on campus, I had 10 guys from the former team that jumped into the transfer portal,” Madlock told Sports Illustrated’s HBCU Legends. “You know how that works. I basically got a brand-new team.”
Among the newcomers is the coach’s son, TJ Madlock, who followed his dad from South Carolina State. TJ Madlock scored 25 points in his Alabama State debut. Alex Anderson, a transfer from South Alabama, debuted with eight points, five assists and a steal.
–Field Level Media