Andy Enfield was sweating through a mask in penalizing August heat, basing on a tennis court and handling a basketball with gloves. The USC coach’s coworkers called, surprised at his team’s situations. The Trojans couldn’t get in their fitness center? We have actually been playing five-on-five inside your home given that July, other college coaches informed him.

It’s no matter to Enfield.

” We’re at a downside, there’s no question,” the eighth-year coach stated throughout a videoconference Friday, “however by Nov. 25 no one’s going to care about that.”

With one week of practice down, the Trojans have another month left to polish their new-look roster. The group, cleared by public health guidelines to start full, indoor practices Oct. 14, returns just 3 significant factors from last season’s squad that connected for 3rd in the Pac-12.

Going back to the gym provided excitement and much-needed normalcy, although it’s not status quo. The lack of familiarity in between gamers makes it feel like the very first week of summer season exercises. The calendar offers a swift truth check.

The conference hasn’t finalized the 20-game schedule, although Enfield knows the Trojans will open at home on Nov. 25, and play the following week in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Competition in Connecticut, where groups will form an unofficial bubble to play nonconference games. Enfield stated the Trojans have Brigham Young, Connecticut and Vanderbilt in their tournament pod.

Wanting to offset lost time, the Trojans tried to work outdoors during the summertime. They weren’t particularly efficient training sessions. Players, unable to pass to their colleagues, had their own ball with their name on it and they ferreted out their own rebounds prior to returning in the layup line.

It was 95 degrees and they practiced on tennis courts behind the baseball stadium. Enfield had never been to that part of school prior to.

But the players were “good sports” about the conditions, Enfield stated. The team sustained the scenarios to start developing chemistry any method possible.

” We’re simply trying to ensure all the men are up to speed,” said sophomore Isaiah Mobley, whose 6.2 points per video game last year make him USC’s leading returning scorer. “We kind of started late being in L.A. with COVID and all that things so we’re simply attempting to make certain that everybody’s on the exact same page, they understand our concepts offensively and defensively and provide us the very best shot to be successful this season.”

Mobley already is linked with one of his brand-new colleagues in particular: his younger sibling Evan. The freshman was the No. 1-ranked recruit in the country. Isaiah anticipates demonstrating how well the siblings play together after a life time of sharing the court.

Evan Mobley seems to amaze Enfield every day. The 7-foot forward is constantly doing something nobody on USC or any of its opponents last year can do.

” It’s fun to see a few of those magnificent plays,” Enfield said. “But he’s a developing player, he’s dealing with his skill-sets, his strength, his defense and likewise learning how to score in various positions on the court.”

Enfield called Evan an “elite shot blocker.” The Trojans require that as star freshman Onyeka Okongwu, who averaged 2.7 blocks per video game, declared for the NBA draft.

With Okongwu anchoring the defense, conference challengers shot 29% from the field against USC in 2015, the best protective mark in the Pac-12, with 64.3 points permitted per video game.

With 7 gamers who are 6-8 or taller, Enfield has his most significant team yet at USC, however the expectations on defense are even bigger.

” We will be really excellent defensively due to the fact that of our size and length and our durability,” Enfield said, “but we just have to find a nice consistency offensively and defensively with a group that’s never ever played together.”