The USC Trojans will try to put the worst season in school history behind them, as they open the 2012-2013 college basketball campaign with actual depth, and a glimmer of hope. The Trojans get their season underway Friday night as they host the Coppin State Eagles at Galen Center.
Senior point guard Jio Fontan returns after missing all of last season with a torn ACL, and he is joined by a pair of players who also suffered major injuries last season in forward Aaron Fuller and center Dewyane Dedmon. The USC front court received another dose of depth on Thursday when the NCAA granted center Omar Oraby's request for eligibility for this season after transferring from Rice.
USC finished last season at 6-26, including a putrid 1-17 in conference play. But this season the Trojans were picked to finish ninth in the conference by Pac-12 media in the preseason poll, narrowly behind the Oregon St. Beavers.
Coppin State returns just five scholarship players and no starters from last year's 14-16 squad. The Trojans won their only other meeting against the Eagles, 74-43 in Los Angeles on Nov. 27, 2009.
USC has won four straight season openers, including a 66-59 win last season over Cal State Northridge. This is the ninth consecutive season the Trojans have opened at home.
Friday's 8 p.m. PT game will be televised by Pac-12 Networks.