Hit hard by injuries and a school-record 26 losses last season, the Southern California Trojans are eager to put the ugliness behind them and make a big turnaround led by point guard Jio Fontan.
The projected star of the program has mostly been off the court the last two seasons after transferring from Fordham. Fontan played just half a season in his USC debut, then missed all of last season after he tore his ACL during a summer exhibition tour in Brazil.
He wasn't the only player to go down. Forward Aaron Fuller, the team's second-leading scorer, hurt his left shoulder and center Dewayne Dedmon, the No. 3 scorer, tore his ACL, cutting their seasons short.
By season's end, the Trojans had just six scholarship players available. They finished 6-26 - 1-17 in the Pac-12 - after averaging 53 points and shooting 39 percent from the floor.
Now Fontan is healthy and looking forward to finally playing an entire season alongside a mix of transfers and newcomers under coach Kevin O'Neill....