There are many who feel that the key to the USC Trojans finding greater success on the hardwood this season is the development of their star signings in the 2015 recruiting class; 6-foot-9 power forwards Chimezie Metu and Bennie Boatwright. If Friday night's debut is any indication, the Trojans could be in for an exciting winter.
In a blowout 83-45 win over the San Diego Toreros, both Metu and Boatwright got the chance to get their feet wet in their collegiate debuts. Much is going to be expected from these freshmen as both were ranked in the ESPN 100 (Metu 40, Boatwright 85) and they provide an immediate talent boost for the Trojan frontcourt.
Boatwright got the start in this game and showed some things on offensive side of the floor. He finished the night with 10 points on 3-6 shooting, including a pair of three-point field goals, while recording six rebounds on the night, two of which came on the offensive side of the ball. He did get into a bit of foul trouble, picking up three personal fouls, and wound up playing just 15 minutes.
Metu came off the bench and provided a defensive boost, accounting for five of the team's 11 blocked shots on the night. He didn't get as many looks offensively, but still finished the game with five points to go along with five rebounds in 19 minutes of play.
While they may not have taken over the game, both freshmen forwards showed plenty to like in their college debut. As the duo continues to develop and grow in Andy Enfield's up-tempo system, they'll provide a much-needed presence in the frontcourt that will help the Trojans move up out of the Pac-12 cellar this season.
If USC's success in 2015-16 falls on the shoulders of their top freshmen forwards, there's plenty of reason for optimism if this strong regular season debut is any indication.