Julian Jacobs, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound freshman guard for USC had been recruited to be a Trojan by then-Coach Kevin O'Neill, who played a style of basketball where if either team scored 50 points it seemed as if the scoreboard at Galen Center might explode.
On Sunday, Jacobs had five dunks during a public scrimmage USC held at Galen Center. Under O'Neill he might not have had five dunks all season.
It was the first time USC fans could see the makings of the team new Coach Andy Enfield will put on the court when the Trojans open Nov. 8 at Utah State, a bit of a scheduling challenge Enfield said he wouldn't have chosen. Utah State Coach Stew Morrill has a 324-103 record (a winning percentage of 76% as head coach of the Aggies).
"Not my first choice for an opener," Enfield said Sunday.
Possibly the happiest young man on the day Enfield was hired by the Trojans was Jacobs. He played his high school basketball at Las Vegas Desert Pines and had been signed last November by O'Neill.
Jacobs said he had signed with USC because it was where he wanted to go to school, even if O'Neill's slow style of play wasn't his favorite.
"I honestly couldn't believe my luck the day USC hired Andy," Jacobs said Sunday after the scrimmage.
He had averaged 16.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.2 steals a game while leading his high school team to a 27-3 record a year ago. "I never dreamed what happened with Coach Enfield could happen," Jacobs said. "I love coming to practice every day. I love everything about this," Jacobs said.
Jacobs said voters who chose the Trojans to finish 11th in the 12-team Pac-12 this season would be proven wrong. But he said it nicely. "I think a mistake might have been made," Jacobs said. "Now it's up to us to prove it was a mistake."
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