The high-flying Trojans are in need of a spark on the roster, and sophomore guard Julian Jacobs provides that and then some for head coach Andy Enfield. For a man proclaimed to have the best bounce on the program, the Las Vegas native can be seen making electric plays all over the court.
For a more in-depth look at one of USC's two captains, we break down what Jacobs brings to the table.
5. Julian Jacobs - Guard
USC's most electric player must be able to score the basketball, get others involved, and have the intelligent presence to take smart chances with the basketball. There is no doubt that Julian Jacobs can out jump, out run or out hustle anyone on the team, but the sophomore must be wise on when to take those chances on the floor.
In Saturday's exhibition, just when USC needed a spark, trailing 14-1 to Cal State Los Angeles, Jacobs came off the bench providing an immediate spark not just as the distributing guard, but as a finisher, scoring seven straight points to turn the tide. Jacobs will be asked to do a bunch of things this season. Not only will he pass the basketball, Jacobs will drive to the paint and finish strong at the bucket.
And as a leader, Julian Jacobs can provide a solidifying presence as one of the lone returning guards. He understands the pace of this offense and is a natural fit to push the tempo when he's on the floor. The one area of concern in his game is foul trouble. The Trojans need Jacobs to be aggressive in how he plays the game while also being conscious of getting whistled.
What Jacobs can provide, when on the court, is a tenacious approach to defense. That tenacity can sometimes lead to tick-tack fouls but his style is applauded and encouraged by the coaching staff. The Trojans' combo guard has the potential to emerge as a starting guard, but can be utilized in both roles right from the start of the season.
Here's Julian Jacobs taking a break last season and chatting about his adjustment to the college game:
And here's some highlights from last season, including Julian Jacobs throwing down an alley-oop from big man Nikola Jovanovic at one point: