Don't sleep on USC out West. The loss of power forward/center Nikola Vucevic is huge; Vucevic was a true inside-outside scorer and his versatility was key for the Trojans as he played nearly 35 minutes per night, tallying an offensive rating of 115.7 (ninth in the conference) where his 17.2 points per game ranked third in the conference and his 10.3 rebounds per game led the conference and ranked 16th in the country. Step in Aaron Fuller, a junior this season after sitting out last season when he left Iowa for Southern Cal.
Fuller stands just 6'6", but is an excellent rebound to help make up for the void left behind by Vucevic; as a sophomore at Iowa, Fuller ranked second in the conference with 2.7 offensive rebounds per game and an offensive rebounding rate that led the conference, while his defensive rebounding rate placed sixth in the Big Ten rankings. He is not a great scorer, especially from behind the 3-point line, but he is a capable scorer from inside the arc where he shot 52.1 percent. Where Fuller will continue to make an immediate impact is getting to the foul line where his 50.4 free-throw rate was third in the Big Ten as a sophomore.
As Fuller gels with point guard Jio Fontan, in his first full-year with the program after sitting out half of last season after transferring from Fordham, and shooting guard Maurice Jones, USC could surprise in the Pac-12, although we don't expect them to compete with Washington and UCLA, they are the dark-horse of the league.