Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Nick Rakocevic, Jonah Mathews score 1,000 career points in win over South Dakota St.
By Jonathan Bassey, Contributing Writer
Published November 16, 2019

Fans at the Galen Center witnessed not one, but two of their Trojans reach the 1,000 point milestone in a 84-66 victory over South Dakota State. Childhood friends Nick Rakocevic and Jonah Mathews shared the special moment together becoming the 41st and 42nd members of the Trojans 1,000 point club. 

“This is a crazy moment for both of us. We came here together, I’ve known him forever since I was 16. For this to happen on the same night it’s something special for both of us,” said Senior guard Jonah Mathews. 


The two Trojan Seniors met through AAU basketball and camps. Mathews played a part in recruiting his long time friend, Rakocevic, to commit to USC and play basketball together just like they did when they were younger. 

Mathews is a Los Angeles native from Santa Monica, scoring 12.6 points per game while shooting 43% from the field last season. The Trojans value Mathews mostly as their scoring guard and veteran presence on a team with nine underclassmen.  

Last season Senior forward Nick Rakocevic averaged 14.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, shooting 54.8% from the field. Rakocevic is a Chicago native and just like Mathews is a veteran presence on young team with a lot of promise. 

“Just being in that column with people who have done a lot in the program is truly a blessing. And for it to happen on the same night with Jonah is cool and something we’ll remember forever,” said Rakocevic. 

The first half was a display of pure dominance by Rakocevic. The big man tallied 15 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals at halftime. Without the offensive presence of Rakocevic in the first half the Trojans would’ve been in an uphill battle all night. 


Rakocevic finished with the game with 27 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 blocks proving to be too much for the Jackrabbits to handle in the paint. 


“Being aggressive down low and just crashing the offensive glasses, just kind of how I’ve always been. My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball and getting me in positions to get the ball, taking advantage of the size that I had over [South Dakota St.],” said Rakocevic. 

The Trojans as a team gelled in the second half shooting 46% to the Jackrabbits 36% from the field. Jonah Mathews and Freshman Onyeka Okongwu provided the offensive firepower needed for the Trojans to distance themselves from the Jackrabbits. Okongwu finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds after a 4 point first half. 

USC scored 28 points off of South Dakota State turnovers which guided the Trojans to a comfortable 18 point victory on what was a night to remember for the two Seniors. 

USC (3-0) will travel for their first road contest of the season against the University of Nevada (2-1) Saturday, November 16th. The young Trojans with six Freshman will test their composure on the road.

Categories: Basketball | Sports | Videos
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