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CBS's The Greatest (68) College Basketball Programs Ever - USC #58

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  • CBS's The Greatest (68) College Basketball Programs Ever - USC #58

    The Greatest College Basketball Programs Ever: Ranking the top teams of all time

    I remember reading this a while ago as it was written at the beginning of the season, but it's always helpful to put USC's recent success in perspective of the USC program historically and how it stacks against other programs.
    58. USC

    Record since 1938-39: 1,247-947 | Regular-season titles: 4
    NCAA Tournaments: 18 | Final Fours: 2
    Weeks ranked: 179 | Top-60 NBA picks: 38
    POINTS: 383.4

    Undeniably eclipsed for decades by UCLA -- and that's why USC has only four regular-season titles -- Southern Cal has still been good enough and loaded with enough talent to validate being a top-60 program. There was even a time, in the early 1970s, when USC was ranked No. 1 and UCLA No. 2. This program can claim three Consensus All-Americans since 1939: Ralph Vaughn (1940), Bill Sharman (1950) and Harold Miner (1992). The Final Fours came in 1940 and 1954; the only other Elite Eight showing was in 2001, when Henry Bibby was coach and Brian Scalabrine the star. USC's 38 top-60 NBA picks ranks as the 16th most of any program in college basketball history -- and a reminder of why I included producing NBA talent as a criterion. It's not the most significant, but if a hallmark of your program is an ability to get players drafted, that is significant and reflects your standing in the sport. Historically, USC has been a reliable place to advance your career if you're a high-end hoops talent. That will bear out yet again this season, when Trojans freshman center Evan Mobley inevitably goes on to be a top-five draft pick in 2021.

    USC Ranked amongst the other Pac-12 programs (surprised Oregon didn't make the cut, but I guess they were really bad before Phil Knight's golden Nike touch):

    66. Cal
    58. USC
    53. Stanford
    51. Washington
    16. Utah
    13. Arizona
    4. UCLA

    These rankings don't even take into account program fan support where USC would rank poorly. Enfield has one of his most talented teams this year and a shot to improve USC's program ranking with a deep run, but I just want to share this to anyone who thinks a program deserves success just because talented players come to USC. Other ranked football schools who rank ahead of USC: 52. LSU, 41. Bama, 40. Florida, 39. Tennessee, 33. Oklahoma, 26. Texas, 23. Notre Dame, 18. Michigan, 12. Ohio State.

    As USC fans, let's enjoy the recent basketball success, something we're not used to. Turning a dying program around was always going to be a long game and despite the unexpected obstacles, the trend is definitely up. Fight On!

  • #2
    Great post. Much needed perspective. Sober optimistic realism.


    • #3
      Not that I like UCLA but how are they not #1??? Most titles and all???? We are were we should be. Maybe 50 but I don’t see top 25


      • usernamealreadytaken2
        usernamealreadytaken2 commented
        Editing a comment
        2 final fours since 1995, that's really all they've got to show. Hasn't been the dominant team in their conference for decades either. Also far less likely than most of the other top 5 to10 to achieve another dynasty anytime soon. Remove Wooden and they are barely top 10-15 and he and Sam Gilbert aren't coming back anytime soon.