No. 15 USC To Face No. 18 Utah In Wooden Classic
Nov. 28, 2000
LOS ANGELES - The USC men's basketball team (No. 15 AP/No. 20 ESPN/USA Today), which returns all five starters and three other lettermen from last year's 16-14 team, will face its toughest challenge to date this season when it squares off against Utah (No. 18/20) in the second game of the Wooden Classic at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday (Dec. 2). UCLA faces Georgia Tech at noon in the first game and the USC-Utah game will follow 30 minutes after. The Trojans, winners of their first three games this year, have won five in a row dating back to last season.
USC (3-0) vs. Utah (3-1) at the Arrowhead Pond on Saturday (Dec. 2). The game is the second in a doubleheader. It will follow 30 minutes after the UCLA-Georgia Tech game, which tips at noon. The game will be televised live locally by KCAL (Channel 9) and broadcast live on KXTA-AM (1150). The Utes, who next host Cardinal Stritch on Tuesday (Nov. 28), are directed by 12th-year Coach Rick Majerus. Utah returns only one starter and three lettermen from last year's squad that went 23-9 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This season, the Utes have won three of their first four games, defeating Idaho State (71-65), American-Puerto Rico (94-37) and Memphis (61-58). Their only loss is to Georgia (60-65). Senior center Nate Althoff is averaging a team-high 10.0 points per game while junior forward Jeff Johnsen, junior guard Kevin Bradley and first-year junior center Chris Burgess are all averaging 9.8 points per game. Junior forward Phil Cullen leads the team in rebounds at 5.2 boards per game. As a team, Utah is shooting .500 from the field and .369 on three-pointers (24-of-65).
USC IN THE RANKINGS
USC is ranked No. 15 by the AP Top 25 Poll (Nov. 27) and No. 18 by the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll (Nov. 27). It is USC's highest ranking since finishing the 1991-92 season ranked No. 8. When USC opened in both preseason polls, it marked the first time since the 1978-79 season that USC opened a season ranked in the Top 25 in one of the two major polls. The last time USC was ranked in the preseason, the Trojans were tabbed No. 12 in the AP poll at the start of the 1978-79 year.
The Trojans remained unbeaten with a 91-68 victory over Loyola Marymount on Saturday (Nov. 25) at the Sports Arena. Senior Brian Scalabrine had a game-high 22 points while junior Brandon Granville had 19 points and nine assists. Granville's nine assists gave him 412 for his career, the most in school history. He passed former record-holder Larry Friend, who had 409. Freshman Desmon Farmer had season bests with 14 points and seven rebounds and senior Tyler Murphy had a season-best 10 points. The Lions were led by Robert Davis' 21 points. USC led from the outset and posted its first double-digit lead at 31-21 on two free throws from Scalabrine with 6:32 to go in the half. The Trojans ultimately went into the half up 47-34. USC, which outrebounded LMU, 34-31, opened the second half with a 13-4 run for a 60-38 lead with 14:53 remaining. The Trojans kept building their lead, which grew as large as 32 points at 81-49 with 7:12 to go. The Trojans made 12-of-24 three-point attempts and 21-of-27 foul shots (77.8%).
LAST GAME NOTES
USC won its fifth game in a row in the series with LMU ... Brian Scalabrine scored 20 or more points for the 19th time in his career ... Brandon Granville made four three-pointers, giving him 106 for his career, good for 10th on USC's all-time list.
Sam Clancy's 31 points against Bradley were the most for a Trojan since Gary Johnson had 32 against Arizona State in the 1998 season finale ... Clancy made his first career three-pointer against San Diego. Prior to that, he was 0-for-2 in his career.
TO START A SEASON
USC's three-game win streak to start the 2000-2001 season marks only the second time the Trojans have started a season with more than two consecutive wins since 1989. The other was in the 1998-99 season with six wins in a row. The 1975 team opened with eight straight victories while the 1971 team won its first 16 games. The record for best start at USC, however, is 17, courtesy of the 1910 Trojans.
THREES A POPPIN'
The Trojans, who ranked fourth in the Pac-10 a year ago in three-point percentage and total three-pointers, are off to their most productive start on three-point baskets since the 1992-93 season. USC has made a combined 30-of-60 from beyond the arc in three games, its most makes in its first three contests since canning 31-of-77 to start the 1992-93 season. The 1993 team set school records for makes and attempts (259-of-720).
THREES AND COUNTING
Junior Brandon Granville currently resides in 10th on USC's all-time three-point chart with 106 career bombs. At his current pace of 49 treys a season, he will surpass Harold Miner's record total of 176 as a senior. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. He still needs 28 to join the Top 5.
GOING FOR A GRAND
Seniors Brian Scalabrine and Jeff Trepagnier are both nearing the 1,000-point threshold in their USC careers. Scalabrine now has 977 while Trepagnier has 939. Both appear to be locks to crack the Trojans' all-time Top 10 scoring chart. Purvis Miller (1978-81) current stands 10th with 1,247 points.
THIRD'S A CHARM
The Trojans were picked to finish third in the 2000-2001 Pacific-10 Conference men's basketball race, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball. Arizona was chosen first and garnered all 29 first-place votes (290 points). Defending Pac-10 co-champion Stanford was picked second (255) and USC (206) edged UCLA (205) for third. California was picked fifth (160), followed by Oregon (138), Oregon State (133), Arizona State (109), Washington (58) and Washington State (41).
A SHOOTER'S BEST FRIEND
After posting nine assists against Loyola Marymount last Saturday, USC junior point guard Brandon Granville now owns the Trojans' career record with 412. He passed the old record holder, Larry Friend, who finished his career with 409 (1983-86). Granville also possesses the USC record for assists in a season (248 last year) and in a game (15 vs. Memphis last season). The Pac-10 career record for assists is 938 (Gary Payton, Oregon State, 1987-90). Tenth place on the Pac-10 list is 554 (Reggie Geary, Arizona, 1993-96).
The Trojans, hit hard by serious foot injuries to forwards Sam Clancy and Jarvis Turner last season, have had their share of nicks and cuts early on, but nothing major (find your own wood on which to knock). The most recent casualty was senior guard Jeff Trepagnier, who suffered a hairline fracture in his left foot at the end of October. Though the injury did not require surgery, Trepagnier missed USC's first three games. He is listed as questionable for the Wooden Classic game against Utah on Saturday (Dec. 2). Returning reserve guard Nate Hair suffered a strained tendon in his knee in late October. The injury did not require surgery, but Hair has missed USC's first three games and is listed as possible for the Utah game. First-year junior college transfer guard Gennaro Busterna has been slowed by an injured toe and is out indefinitely. Returning starting forward David Bluthenthal underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to remove cartilage in late October, but he is back at full strength. First-year junior college transfer Robert Hutchinson, a sophomore point guard slated to back-up starter Brandon Granville, was slowed slightly by a fracture on his little finger, but he is back at full strength and did not miss any time while the injury healed.
TROJANS VS. 1999-2000 TOURNAMENT TEAMS
The Trojans will face a host of teams that played in the postseason last year. USC will face six teams that played in last year's NCAA Tournament: Arizona, UCLA, Oregon and Stanford (twice each) and Pepperdine and Utah. A seventh NCAA Tourney team - Iowa State - looms as a possible third-round match-up in the Pearl Harbor Invitational. The Trojans will also face 2000 NIT teams Arizona State and California (twice each), Long Beach State and either Mississippi or Southern Illinois (one of which will face the Trojans in the second round of the Hawai'i tournament). BYU is another NIT team that USC could play in the islands.
The Trojans received more than their share of hype in the preseason and have been ranked as high as No. 14 in some polls. Both the Trojans' backcourt and frontcourt have been listed among the nation's Top 10 and each of the starting five are rated by numerous sources as first or second team in the Pac-10 or as the most underrated player in the Pac-10. Lindy's ranks Brian Scalabrine as the No. 2 power forward in the country and The Sporting News has him at No. 4. Jeff Trepagnier is listed as the Pac-10's top defender by Lindy's and Preview Sports. The Sporting News lists Brandon Granville as the seventh-best point guard in the country and Lindy's dubbed him the top playmaker in the Pac-10. Athlon Sports called Sam Clancy the most underrated player in the Pac-10 while The Sporting News gave the same distinction to David Bluthenthal.
IT'S ALL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Among the 12 non-conference games USC will play before the Pacific-10 Conference season, only the three games at the Pearl Harbor Classic in Laie, Hawai'i (within an hour's drive of Honolulu on the North Shore of Oahu) and the game at Northwestern are beyond 100 miles from campus. The Trojans open the season with four of its first five games at the Sports Arena and the fifth at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, Calif. USC began by hosting Bradley, San Diego and Loyola Marymount. USC next plays Utah at the Arrowhead Pond in the Wooden Classic. The Trojan-Ute rumble will follow the matinee match-up of UCLA-Georgia Tech, which begins at noon. The USC contest will start 30 minutes after the completion of the first game. The Trojans return to the Sports Arena on Dec. 5 to host Cal State Northridge at 7:30 p.m. USC will play at UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. but returns home once more to host Pepperdine on Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Then, after the Hawai'i tournament and the game at Northwestern, USC concludes its non-conference slate by hosting Long Beach State at 5:30 p.m.
USC AGAINST PRESEASON RANKED TEAMS
There were five teams on USC's schedule ranked in the preseason polls: Arizona (No. 1 AP/No. 1 ESPN/USA Today), Stanford (No. 4/3), UCLA (No. 17/19) and Utah (No. 13/16). Iowa State, a possible match-up in the Pearl Harbor Invitational in December, was ranked No. 25 in AP and No. 23 in ESPN/USA Today). Other USC opponents who received votes in the AP poll included California (13), Cal State Northridge (3), Oregon (1) and Pepperdine (1). Possible Pearl Harbor opponent BYU had five. The only other USC opponent that got a mention in the ESPN/USA Today poll was Cal State Northridge, which received one vote.
FREE THROW STUD
David Bluthenthal made his first eight free throws (four against Bradley and four against San Diego) this season before missing his ninth. The eight straight foul shots gave him 41 in a row, which set a school and Pac-10 record. The former USC record was held by John Block (37, 1966) while the old Pac-10 mark of 40 was shared by Oregon's John Greig (1981-82) and Stanford's Todd Lichti (1989). The Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws made during conference play is 41, also held by Lichti (1989). Bluthenthal, who finished last season making 33 straight in the Pac-10, will begin his quest at Lichti's other mark when USC hosts Washington State on Jan. 4.
TROY ON THE TUBE
The Trojans will play 18 games that will be broadcast live in Los Angeles. Five games will be aired nationally on FOX Sports Net (Fox Net West in Los Angeles). Three games will be aired on FOX Sports Net West (Los Angeles only) and seven will be broadcast on FOX Sports Net West 2 (Los Angeles only). The game against Utah will be shown on KCAL (Channel 9). USC's game at Arizona State will be shown regionally on ABC and the Trojans home game vs. Arizona will air regionally on CBS. Refer to USC's composite schedule at www.usctrojans.com for complete TV listings.
TROY ON THE RADIO
Twenty of USC's 30 games - 18 Pac-10 games plus the Loyola Marymount and Long Beach State games - will be broadcast live on XTRA-AM (690). The game against Utah will be broadcast live on KXTA-AM (1150) while the remaining nine games will be broadcast live on KMPC-AM (1540). Rory Markas returns for his third year as the play-by-play voice of the Trojans while former USC assistant coach Jim Hefner is back for his fifth year providing commentary.
USC has just about all of its firepower back from a year ago. All five starters return in addition to three key reserves. Percentage-wise the numbers are impressive. USC returns 97.2% of its scoring, 86.4% of its rebounding, 97.9% of its three-point production, 99.2% of its blocked shots, 95.8% of its assists and 93.8% of its steals. Overall, USC has eight players coming back who accounted for 94.4% of the minutes played last year.
USC has picked up where it left off last year in the way of forcing turnovers. After causing the second-most turnovers in the Pac-10 last year (18.6), USC has forced an average of 19.0 in three games this year ... The Trojans are also getting to the foul line often. They have averaged 35.0 trips to the foul line this year, compared to 22.4 last season ... Sure, USC is off the charts on three-pointers so far, making 50.0% of their attempts (30-of-60). Unfortunately, the Trojans' opponents are doing quite well from afar as well. USC's first three opponents have combined to make 19-of-47 treys (40.4%), well above last year's opponent average of 35.6%.
FIRST RANDOM NOTE OF THE YEAR (BUT STILL PERTINENT)
USC opened the season with three consecutive home games for the first time since the 1988-89 season when the Trojans hosted their first four games. That year, USC won its first four contests against Delaware, Howard, Portland and U.S. International, but lost 22 of its remaining 28 games.
COMING FROM BEHIND
USC was 0-8 last year after trailing at the half. But in their first two games of the season, the Trojans reversed the trend. They trailed Bradley, 49-48, at the half and San Diego, 32-28. The last time USC came back from a halftime deficit before those games was when Adam Spanich made a halfcourt buzzer-beater to down Oregon on Jan. 7, 1999.
FIFTH RANDOM NOTE OF THE YEAR
So far, juniors Brandon Granville and Sam Clancy are the only Trojans to score in double figures in each of the first three games.
ALL THINGS ASSISTS
Junior guard Brandon Granville now owns all of USC's major assist records. With his nine assists against LMU on Nov. 25, Granville became the Trojans' career leader with 412, surpassing Larry Friend's previous top mark of 409 (set in 1983-86). The Pac-10 record is 938 (Gary Payton, Oregon State, 1987-90). Tenth place on the Pac-10 list is 554 (Reggie Geary, Arizona, 1993-96). He had at least 10 assists 13 times as a sophomore last year.
ALL THINGS STEALS
USC junior guard Jeff Trepagnier owns both USC's record for steals in a game (10 vs. Utah State last year) and for a season (94). Trepagnier is working his way up the USC career Top 10 in steals with 172, good for third place. Derrick Dowell is second with 179 and Stais Boseman (1994-97) owns the record with 208. Brandon Granville has quietly followed Trepagnier up the list and is fourth on the career chart with 120. The Pac-10 career record for steals us 321 (Gary Payton, Oregon State, 1986-90). Tenth-place on the list is Boseman at 208.
A (BRIEF) LOOK BACK AT LAST YEAR
USC opened 1999-2000 by splitting its first 10 games, but two of those losses were to powers North Carolina and Duke and another came in a heartbreaking, buzzer-beating loss to Utah State. USC righted the ship by winning its last two non-conference games and then opened the Pac-10 season tied for first place at 6-1. The opening conference stretch included a road sweep of the Washington schools, a convincing win over No. 25 UCLA to snap a 10-game losing streak to the Bruins and then sweeping Arizona State (an OT win) and No. 2 Arizona before splitting two games in Oregon. But foot injuries to forwards Sam Clancy and Jarvis Turner in the Arizona State overtime win eventually took the steam out of the hot start. After the 6-1 beginning, the Trojans dropped eight of nine, most of them close losses as the Trojans' lack of depth began to show. Included in the tight losses were a four-point defeat to California, a 10-point loss to No. 2 Stanford, a five-point loss at UCLA, a seven-point defeat (after leading for much of the game) at No. 4 Arizona and a three-point loss to Oregon. USC finished the season by sweeping, once again, the Washington schools, but it wasn't enough to earn the Trojans a postseason berth.
1999-2000 PAC-10 HONORS
Forward/center Brian Scalabrine earned Pac-10 first team honors last year as a junior, the first Trojan to earn the honor since guard Stais Boseman did so in 1997. Three Trojans also earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors last year: guard Jeff Trepagnier guard Brandon Granville and forward David Bluthenthal. The four Trojans selected were the most USC ever had in one season.
USC AT THE SPORTS ARENA
Dating back to 1996-97, the Trojans are 40-16 (.714) in their last 56 games at the Sports Arena and USC is 98-40 (.710) at the Sports Arena since the beginning of the 1991 season, including a 16-game winning streak over a span of the 1992 and 1993 seasons and two nine-game winning streaks that spanned the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons and the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons.
With the holiday season just around the corner, the Los Angeles Kings Wives and the USC Athletic Department are teaming up on the Kings Wives annual holiday Toy Drive presented by Pepsi. Kings Wives will be joined by USC student-athletes in collecting toys and distributing raffle tickets on Nov. 7, 9, and 11 before Kings home games at STAPLES Center. Toys will also be collected at USC men's basketball games on Nov. 18 and 21. All proceeds from the toy collection will benefit Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, Shriner's Hospital for Children, USC Women's and Children's Center, and Centinela Hospital Medical Center. Fans who donate a new unwrapped toy will be entered into a drawing to win a team signed hockey stick, a special gift courtesy of Pepsi, or an autographed piece of USC Athletics memorabilia. In December, USC student-athletes will deliver toys collected from the toy drive to USC Women's and Children's Center, while Kings players and their wives will present gifts to pediatric patients during their annual holiday hospital visits. For fans who are unable to drop off their toys at the selected games, USC Athletics will continue to collect toys at Heritage Hall until distribution on Dec. 8.
A FEW OF LAST YEAR'S MORE-INTERESTING NOTES
* Forward David Bluthenthal tied a 22-year-old USC record with 28 rebounds vs. Arizona State on Jan. 20 at the Sports Arena last season. He tied Cliff Robinson, who had 28 boards vs. Portland State on the same date in 1978. It was the most in the conference since Robinson's effort and is tied for fifth-best ever in the Pac-10. Bluthenthal's 28 rebounds is the third-most ever in a Pac-10 game (tied with Washington's Steve Hawes in 1972) and the most in a conference game since Hawes' effort. The Pac-10 record in any game is 36, set by Swede Halbrook of Oregon State (Feb. 15, 1955). For perspective, no one in the Big Ten or the ACC has had at least 28 rebounds in the last 30 years.
* USC set a Pac-10, USC and a Gill Coliseum record for three-pointers made when they connected on 20-of-29 three-point attempts at Oregon State on Jan. 29. The previous conference record was 18 by Washington State vs. Seattle on Dec. 29, 1990.
* USC had three different Pac-10 Players of the Week last year (Brian Scalabrine, David Bluthenthal and Jeff Trepagnier). It was the first time USC had three different players earn the award in one season.
* David Bluthenthal finished one rebound short of averaging a double-double in Pac-10 play.
Henry Bibby, a coach with 18 years of college and professional experience and the only player to ever play for an NCAA, NBA and CBA championship team, will begin his fifth full season in 2000-2001 as the head coach of the USC men's basketball program. With the Trojans on the rise, Bibby was rewarded with a three-year contract extension on Aug. 4, which will take him through the 2004-2005 season. In 1999-2000, Bibby directed the Trojans to a 16-14 overall finish and a 9-9 mark in the Pac-10 (sixth place), but USC fell just short of receiving a postseason berth. The Trojans looked to be headed to the NCAA Tournament after opening the Pac-10 season 6-1, but injuries to starting forward Sam Clancy and top reserve Jarvis Turner early in the conference schedule derailed the Trojans. The previous year, USC 15-13 (7-11 in the Pac-10, tied for seventh) and made a first-round appearance in the NIT. USC went 9-19 in 1997-98, but closed out the year with a stunning 91-90 overtime victory over then-No. 2 Arizona and a 117-71 rout of Arizona State. In his first full season at the helm of the Trojan program, Bibby did not waste any time in moving Troy in the right direction. The 1996-97 campaign saw the Trojans finish second in the Pacific-10 Conference and make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992. The previous year, the Trojans went 11-19 and finished ninth in the conference. The seven-game improvement is the third-biggest turnaround in USC history and the seven spot increase in the standings matches a school best. In addition, Bibby's 17-11 mark in 1996-97 is the best by a Trojan coach in his first full year since Forrest Twogood went 21-6 in his debut season in 1951. Bibby was named USC's head coach on March 15, 1996. Bibby joined the Trojan program in May of 1995 as an assistant coach. He was named USC's interim head coach on Feb. 7, 1996, replacing Charlie Parker. Bibby came to USC after coaching a club team in Venezuela in 1995. He was a head coach for eight seasons in the Continental Basketball Association. His teams made it into the CBA playoffs six times and posted a 223-213 regular season record, making him only the fourth CBA coach to post 200 wins.
(RS) Senior o forward/center o 6-foot-9 o 250 pounds
* Brian Scalabrine, a 2001 Playboy pre-season All-American and 2001 Wooden and Naismith Award candidate, is one of the Pac-10's top offensive threats and most versatile players who can score equally well from the inside or outside. One of five Trojan returning starters, he is the Pac-10's leading returning scorer.
* He has started all 61 games of his USC career.
* He had a season-high 22 points vs. Loyola Marymount.
* Scalabrine has scored at least 20 points 19 times in his USC career.
* Scalabrine earned 2000 The Sporting News All-American honorable mention, All-Pac-10 and NABC All-District 15 first team honors as a 2000 junior forward/center, finishing as the Pac-10's second-leading and USC's top scorer at 17.8 points per game.
* He led the Trojans in field goal percentage (.531, fifth in the conference), tied for the best three-point percentage (.403), was second in assists (2.83) and was fourth in rebounds (6.0) last year. His 19.4 scoring average in Pac-10 games was second in the league. He scored in double figures in 26 of 30 games, scoring at least 20 points 12 times and at least 25 points six times. Scalabrine's 534 points on the season were the eighth most ever by a Trojan.
* He had a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds against Oregon, 28 points at Arizona, 27 points at home vs. Arizona and 26 points against both Arizona State and Oregon State.
* (Arizona Coach Lute Olson on Scalabrine): '(Scalabrine) is an all-leaguer. He's the closest thing I've seen to (ex-Washington and NBA star) Detlef Schrempf since Detlef Schrempf. He can bring it on the break. He can pass it and he can shoot it. He's a pro, no question.'
(Former Oregon State Coach Eddie Payne): 'Scalabrine showed us how smart of a player he is. He took our guys to school. He is arguably the best player in the league.'
(Ken Goe of the Oregonian): 'Strong, mobile, able to play inside and out, the 6-foot-9 Scalabrine almost certainly has a professional career waiting for him when he leaves the Trojans.'
Senior o guard o 6-foot-4 o 195 pounds
* Jeff Trepagnier is set to start for his third consecutive season, is a well-rounded swingman and one of the top athletes in the nation, as evidenced by his 40-inch vertical leap and high-jumping performance for the Trojan track team. Trepagnier, USC's second-leading returning scorer and third-leading returning rebounder, looks to continue the improvements that have made him one of the country's most versatile players in 2001.
* Trepagnier has missed USC's first three games while recovering from a hairline fracture in his left foot. He is listed as questionable for the game against Utah in the Wooden Classic on Dec. 2.
* Trepagnier has started 58 of his 85 games at USC. He enters 2001 third on USC's career chart in steals (178), fourth in blocked shots (84) and tied for 15th in three-pointers (53).
* Trepagnier earned 2000 All-Pac-10 honorable mention and NABC All-District 15 second team honors as a 2000 junior guard.
* He led the Pac-10 in steals (3.2, ninth nationally) and was the only player in the league to finish in the Top 10 in five statistical categories, posting career highs in each: steals, blocked shots (1.4, fourth), scoring (15.9, sixth), rebounding (6.6, 10th) and three-point percentage (.380, 10th).
* He had a USC single-season record 94 steals (third-most ever in the Pac-10), breaking the old mark of 62 (Derrick Dowell). He set a school record with 10 steals vs. Utah State in the Maui Invitational, breaking his old mark of eight.
* He scored a career-high 28 points on 13-of-18 shooting vs. Washington and 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting plus 10 rebounds vs. UCLA.
* He was one of only two players shorter than 6-foot-8 to be in the Pac-10's Top 10 in blocks (the other was Washington State's 6-foot-6 Tyrone Evans).
* (Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski): 'Jeff Trepagnier is as good of an athlete as we've played against and he's got courage, too.'
* (Gordon Wittenmyer, formerly of the Riverside Press-Enterprise): 'Jeff Trepagnier can be spectacular the way he starts - that quick first step, that where'd-he-come-from vertical leap that dazzles fans and demoralizes opponents.'
(Stacy Clardie of The Sporting News): 'On the basketball court, his quickness and leaping translate into acrobatic moves under the hoop, stunning dunks and steals galore.'
(Trojan teammate Brian Scalabrine, on Trepagnier's athleticism): 'Jeff breaks all basketball rules.'
Junior o forward o 6-foot-7 o 240 pounds
* Sam Clancy returns as a two-year starting forward after missing 10 games last year due to a fracture in his right foot. He is one of the Pac-10's top rebounders and is rounding into one of the league's most consistent scorers from the post or outside. He is also a fine shot blocker.
* Clancy currently leads USC in scoring (21.3) and rebounding (6.7).
* Clancy scored a career-high 31 points on 10-of-20 shooting and 11-of-13 shooting from the line against Bradley and followed it with a game-high 22 points vs. San Diego, which included his first career three-point basket.
* Clancy averaged 15.5 points and 6.9 rebounds as a 2000 sophomore forward, but had what was turning into a monster season derailed by a fractured foot suffered against Arizona State on Jan. 20. At the time of the injury, Clancy was averaging team highs in points (17.6, also second in the Pac-10), rebounds (7.8) and blocks (1.6).
* He scored a career-high 24 points in the season-opener against Cal State Northridge and had 23 points against both then-No. 5 North Carolina and at Washington.
* (Trojan teammate David Bluthenthal): 'Teams will try to trash-talk him, but you can't really get to Sam. When I guard him in practice, I talk at him and he talks back to me, but it doesn't affect the way he plays. You can't really faze him.'
Junior o guard o 5-foot-9 o 175 pounds
* Brandon Granville returns for his third year as the starting point guard in 2001. Already USC's most prolific assist-makers in school history, Granville has established himself as one of the Pac-10's most effective playmakers who has become a reliable scorer as well.
* Granville is first on USC's career charts in assists (412), fourth in steals (120) and 10th in three-pointers (106).
* He scored a season-high 19 points (including four three-pointers) vs. Loyola Marymount to go with nine assists.
* Granville scored 12 points and had nine assists in USC's opener against Bradley and had 18 points vs. San Diego.
* Granville dished out more assists than any USC guard in school history (and the third most ever in the Pac-10) as a 2000 sophomore when he had 248 en route to 2000 All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors. He led the Pac-10 in assists (8.3, fourth nationally), was fourth in steals (2.1) and 10th in free throw percentage (.786). Granville set a USC single-game record with 15 assists against Memphis in the Maui Invitational (tied for sixth-best in Pac-10 hi