8. USC Trojans (9-6, 2-0 Pac-12) LW: 8
USC has had a considerably historic start to Pac-12 play in both a very positive and a negative way.
On the right side of history, the Trojans are 2-0 to begin conference play for the first time since the 2009-10 season. The team has been largely led by a one-man wrecking crew in the form of forward Nick Rakocevic.
The junior poured in 27 and 23 points against Cal and Stanford, pushing his scoring total to second on the team at 15.7 points per game while also leading the team in rebounds at 10.1 per game.
While Rakocevic’s numbers are in fact impressive, they come at a time where USC is running out of players to put in around the junior.
During the Trojans’ most recent victory over Stanford, coach Andy Enfield was forced to dress a mere seven scholarship players due to four key injuries the team sustained throughout the season.
While the three players look to come back healthy and ready to contribute, the impact of increased minutes will be a factor to look at going forward as key rotation players for USC are already seeing the impact of a short bench.
Against Stanford, Enfield played all of his starters for over 28 minutes of the game, including three of the starters going for over 37 minutes.
Health will most likely be the key to USC’s ability to continue their historic start as they travel to face the Oregon schools.