The USC basketball team is coming off its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2011 and most wins since Tim Floyd’s final year in 2008-09.
The Trojans finished the season 21-13 before falling in the final seconds to Providence. They began the season 11-2 in the non-conference schedule, including a perfect 9-0 at home.
Replicating their strong non-conference play next year will be a tougher task as USC announced the additions of home-and-home series with Texas A&M and Larry Brown’s SMU Mustangs squad — a pair of teams that finished in the top 25 this season.
Trojan fans will get an opportunity to see the Mustangs on Nov. 25 next season as Brown will attempt to reload his Southern Methodist team that was banned from the postseason this year. SMU loses three seniors that averaged in double figures, including dynamic scorer Nic Moore, the two-time American Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
USC will then travel to Dallas to return the visit on Dec. 2, 2017. The Trojans will have already have experience traveling to Texas before that trip since they will play in College Station next season. Texas A&M will come to Galen Center during the 2017-18 season marking only the second Trojans’ non-conference home game against a Power Five program since Kansas’ visit in 2011.
The Trojans are 3-1 all time against SMU, winning 91-83 in 1995 the last time the two teams met. USC won its only meeting against the Aggies, 26-18, all the way back in 1937.
With his own recruits and players better fitting his style of play, it appears Andy Enfield is opening up the schedule a little bit after a cadre of non-marquee non-conference home games the past couple of seasons — even though a handful of the teams have been quality opponents such as Yale and Monmouth this season.
USC’s 2016-17 schedule has not been released, but the Trojans are set to participate in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic during December, which will feature a pair of home games and then a pair of games at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. None of the other teams are big names with Wyoming, Depaul, Missouri Stat, Southeast Missouri, Detroit, Chicago State and Cornell set to participate. Coincidentally, SMU won the Las Vegas Classic this season, defeating Colorado 70-66 in the championship game.
After USC traveled to UC Santa Barbara this past season, it’s highly likely the Gauchos will visit the Galen Center this year, but that matchup has not been confirmed.
This story has been updated with specific dates of the SMU matchups.