After not having any marquee non-conference games in Los Angeles this season, the USC basketball team has added yet another exciting matchup to next season's schedule.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the creation of the Hoophall LA doubleheader showcase event to be held at Staples Center on December 3. It also announced USC was one of the four teams selected to participate in the event. The Trojans will take on the BYU Cougars while Arizona will face off against Gonzaga in a matchup of the West Coast two most consistent programs in recent history.
“We are thrilled to be part of such a competitive event at STAPLES Center," Andy Enfield said in a statement. "It’s always exciting to be a part of an inaugural event, especially in your own city.”
USC is coming off its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2011 and a 21-win season that was ended abruptly by a last second basket by Providence in the first round of March Madness. BYU was 26-11 last season, but did not make the NCAA tournament. Instead, the Cougars participated in the NIT. They were eliminated in the semifinals, losing 72-70 to Valparaiso.
BYU will have to reload after the graduations of leading scorer Chase Fischer (18.2 ppg) and Mr. Do-It-All Kyle Collinsworth, who led the nation with 12 triple-doubles the last two seasons while no one else had more than two in either season.
Tickets go on sale on May 4 at 10 a.m. Game times and broadcast information will be released at a later date.
This is another addition to USC's non-conference schedule after home-and-home series with Texas A&M and SMU were announced last month. The full schedule has not been released, but along with those three games, USC has agreed to participate in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic during December.
In the tournament, USC will play a pair of games at the Galen Center before traveling for two games at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Other teams set to participate in the Las Vegas Classic are Wyoming, Depaul, Missouri State, Southeast Missouri, Detroit, Chicago State and Cornell.
USC could also host UC Santa Barbara after traveling to play the Gauchos this season. However, it has not been confirmed.