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USC’s Bennie Boatwright suffers knee injury

09 March 2016: USC (25) Bennie Boatwright celebrates after a time out call during the men's Pac-12 Basketball Tournament game between the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)
Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

USC Trojans sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright left Wednesday night’s 76-55 victory over the San Diego Toreros with a left knee injury that resulted in needing help being carried to the locker room. He’d grab just a single rebound before departing the game.

Boatwright is coming off his best game of the young season, having scored 21 points and drilled five three against UC-Santa Barbara on Sunday. After missing the first two games of the year, he has returned and taken at least 11 shots in the four games he appeared in prior to Wednesday night.

As a freshman, Boatwright averaged 11.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in head coach Andy Enfield’s up-tempo attack, while playing just 24.4 minutes per night. In his four games this season, he is averaging 8.3 threes attempted per contest, showcasing his willingness to fire from long range.

A four-star recruit at Village Christian HS from Mission Hills, California, Boatwright chose to stay in-state and join the Trojans. He shirked other offers from the Pac-12, including UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, and Cal, as well as national power Kansas, in order to play in the fast-paced, new-look Trojans offense.

Should Boatwright be forced to miss time due to the knee injury, the onus will remain on the USC backcourt to continue to pick up the slack in the scoring column. Junior guard Elijah Stewart led the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game entering Wednesday, but three other Trojans are averaging in double-figures as well.

To begin the year, USC has gotten off to a 7-0 start, with wins against Texas A&M and SMU. They will have another non-conference challenge on Saturday when they take on the BYU Cougars, who enter the game at 5-2.

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