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USC men’s basketball pauses team activities, postpones tonight’s game

By Rich Ruben

As a result a confirmed case of Covid-19, the USC men’s basketball program has paused team activities and its game tonight against Stanford at the Galen Center has been postponed.

This game would have been the conference opener for both teams and a good early test for the Trojans against one of the better conference teams. The conference has announced that it will try to reschedule the game later in the season.

According to USC, the individual who tested positive “was identified prior to contact with anyone expected to participate in tonight’s game” and that individual has been isolated.

In other news, the Trojans’ next opponent, the University of San Francisco Dons, lost this afternoon to Cal in Berkeley. The Dons led most of the game but lost on a long buzzer beater three at the final buzzer. Most of the USF offense came from their guards. The USF game will be a matchup of the Trojans front line and the USF backcourt. The Dons already have an impressive win over Virginia.

USC said in its announcement that information regarding the status of the Trojans’ games against USF (Dec. 16) and Oregon State (Dec. 20) will be given at a later time.

Introducing Reese Waters

Throughout the spring and summer, there were rumors that Reese Waters would graduate over the summer and immediately enroll at USC. When Drew Peterson became eligible, the need for immediate help in the backcourt lessened, but Reese is a welcome addition. He signed a letter of intent last month and graduated from high school a few days ago. He has enrolled at USC and has already begun to practice with the team.

Reese will need to learn the offense and defense and it is  too early to tell how much he can contribute this season. At worst he will be much further along next fall. At best he can be a good rotation addition this season.

Waters is 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard who got bigger over the last year and moved up the recruiting rankings. He is a top-50 national player and a top-10 shooting guard. An elite scorer at all three levels, he mixes a bit of Jonah Mathews and D’Anthony Melton. He is taller than either former Trojan and has Mathews’ ability to score from outside. He also is a good defender and rebounder in the mold of Melton. Reese is strong and athletic enough to drive to the basket and pull up for a mid range shot or take the ball to the rim.

Last month the Trojans signed three guards. Reese is more of a pure shooting guard than either of the other, Malik Thomas or Kobe Johnson.