The Trojans kick off their 2012 basketball season Friday evening, and to their luck, transfer Omar Oraby has been cleared by the NCAA to suit up with the Trojans.
Oraby, the 7-foot-2, 265-pound center comes to SC from Rice University. In his short tenure there he broke Rice’s single-season block record and the Trojans are looking to utilize that skill in their own defense. Though he was such a menacing defender, he didn’t see much playing time and only avergaed six points per game.
Count on USC head coach Kevin O’Neill to unleash this guy, to see what he can do when given time to develop.
The Trojans went 6-26 last season after a series of unfortunate events that sidelined four starters to season-ending injuries, and a few other players to academic ineligibility. Those injured players are healthy now, and a slew of talented transfers further bolsters the Trojan roster and could help this team exceed expectations of finishing 9th in the Pac-12.
Going into Friday night’s clash with Coppin State, Dewayne Dedmond will get the start, but O’Neill expects Oraby to relieve him when necessary and record a fair amount of playing time. According to ESPNLA, UC Irvine transfer F Eric Wise, sophomore Byron Wesley, Wake Forest Transfer SG J.T. Terrell, and fan-favorte Jio Fontan at PG will start alongside Dedomond. Walk-on freshman Chass Bryan is expectation to back up Fontan, and the word around campus is that he is going to be pretty good.
The Trojans went through a really rough season last year, but with Oraby getting cleared and actually having a fully healthy, stocked roster to start the season, the early signs suggest that USC’s luck could be changing.