No. 12 Men's Hoops At UCSB On Saturday
Dec. 7, 2000
LOS ANGELES - The USC men's basketball team (No. 12 AP/No. 15 ESPN/USA Today), which returns all five starters and three other lettermen from last year's 16-14 team, will look to remain perfect when it travels north up Highway 101 to play at UC Santa Barbara (2-4) on Saturday (Dec. 9) at the Thunderdome at 7 p.m. The Trojans are riding a seven-game win streak that dates back to last year.
USC (5-0) at UC Santa Barbara (2-4) at the Thunderdome on Saturday (Dec. 9). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. The Gauchos are coming off of an 80-77 victory in three overtimes over San Diego State on Wednesday (Dec. 6). They are directed by third-year coach Bob Williams. Junior forward Mark Hull leads the team at 16.0 points per game while senior forward Juliano Jordani is averaging a team-best 6.5 rebounds per game. The Gauchos won their first game on Dec. 2 against Westmont, 57-50, in overtime. They also took UCLA to the wire before falling, 83-77. UC Santa Barbara is shooting .386 from the field, .364 on three-pointers, .683 from the free throw line and have been outrebounded slightly, 40.7 to 40.2, by its opponents.
USC IN THE RANKINGS
USC is ranked No. 12 by the AP Top 25 Poll (Dec. 4) and No. 15 by the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll (Dec. 3). 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.
Playing a fired-up Cal State Northridge team Tuesday at the Sports Arena, USC responded with some grit of its own and defeated a tough Matador team, 99-90. David Bluthenthal posted the 11th double-double of his career with a career-high 29 points and 11 rebounds while freshman Desmon Farmer chimed in with a career-best 21 points to lead the Trojans. USC posted its most impressive rebounding performance of the season, outboarding Northridge, 43-27. The Trojans also shot a season-high .523 from the field. USC looked good early and opened a 16-10 lead five minutes in. The Matadors, led by John Burrell's 21 points and Brian Heinle's 18, shot back with seven straight points and, after a Carl Holmes' three-pointer, took the first-half lead for good at 25-22. Northridge eventually entered halftime ahead 52-46. USC, which also got 19 points and 10 rebounds from Brian Scalabrine and 15 points from Brandon Granville, scored the first 10 points of the second half to reclaim the lead. Northridge didn't back down, however, as the game remained close. In fact, the Matadors built a five-point lead at 76-71 with nine minutes to go. But a 15-6 USC run put the Trojans ahead again and after a Bluthenthal layup with 1:49 to go, the Trojans never led by less than one possession again.
LAST GAME NOTES
It's worth saying again. USC went 0-8 last year when trailing at the half, but is now 3-0 under the same circumstances this year ... The last time the Trojans won when giving up as many as 90 points came against Arizona State last year when they defeated the Sun Devils, 95-92, in overtime.
TO START A SEASON
USC's five-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.
The Trojans, dating back to the final two games of last season, have won seven consecutive games, which matches a streak they had in the middle of last year. The last time USC won eight in a row was the final two games of the 1998 season and the first six of the 1999 season. The last time USC won nine in a row was during the 1991-92 season. The last time the Trojans won more than nine consecutive games came at the start of the 1971 season, when Bob Boyd's squad won its first 16 games. USC's record for most wins in a row is 18, spanning the 1909 and 1910 seasons.
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. The 51 three-point baskets are USC's most makes in its first five contests since canning 54-of-122 to start the 1992-93 season. The 1993 team set school records for makes and attempts (259-of-720). USC has made a combined 51-of-107 from beyond the arc in five games, which is tied for second-best three-point field goal percentage in the nation (.477, with Colorado) as of Dec. 7. Arkansas-Littlerock leads the country at .479.
THREES AND COUNTING
Junior Brandon Granville currently resides in 10th on USC's all-time three-point chart with 110 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 24 to join the Top 5. Junior David Bluthenthal is now in 14th on the school chart with 56.
A GRAND IN HAND
Senior Brian Scalabrine became the 23rd player at USC to score more than 1,000 points when he scored 19 against Cal State Northridge. He now has 1,114. Senior Jeff Trepagnier (currently suspended) has 939. Purvis Miller (1978-81) is 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).
USC senior guard Jeff Trepagnier missed the Trojans' first three games recovering from a hairline fracture in his left foot. Before USC's fourth game against Utah, however, Trepagnier was suspended indefinitely by USC Coach Henry Bibby for breaking athletic department rules. His status remains unchanged.
The Trojans are nearing full strength after a string of injuries hobbled USC early. Senior guard Jeff Trepagnier, who suffered a hairline fracture in his left foot at the end of October, is healthy, but is suspended indefinitely by USC Coach Henry Bibby for breaking athletic department rules.Sophomore reserve guard Nate Hair suffered a strained tendon in his knee in late October and was not available for USC's first three games. Hair, however, is healthy and, though he did not see time, could have played against Utah and CSUN. The only remaining injury belongs to first-year junior college transfer guard Gennaro Busterna, who 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 has not missed any regular-season games. 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 in the preseason, but he did not miss any time while the injury healed.
THE TROJANS VS. RANKED TEAMS
The Trojans are 1-0 against ranked teams this year, their only win coming against then-No. 18 Utah in the Wooden Classic. It was USC's first win over a ranked non-conference team since beating then-No. 18 Missouri on Dec. 28, 1995. The Trojans are only 7-22 versus ranked teams since December of 1996. USC was 2-5 against ranked teams last year with wins over No. 2 Arizona and No. 25 UCLA and losses to No. 5 North Carolina, No. 15 Duke, No. 2 Stanford, No. 4 Arizona and No. 1 Stanford. USC's wins over Arizona and UCLA gave the Trojans back-to-back wins over ranked teams for the first time since the 1993-94 season. That year, USC downed No. 18 California, 86-78, and No. 15 UCLA, 85-79. The last time USC defeated ranked teams more than twice in a row was in 1991-92, when the Trojans did it four straight times. They beat No. 24 Stanford, 82-72, No. 2 UCLA, 86-82, No. 4 UCLA, 83-79, and No. 2 Arizona, 70-69. Counting wins over No. 5 Arizona and No. 12 UCLA at the end of the 1990-91 season, the Trojans defeated six straight ranked teams.
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.
USC IN THE NATIONAL STAT CHARTS
USC's offense., averaging 88.0 points per game, is No. 15 in the nation. The Trojans' three-point percentage of .477 is tied for second-best in the nation. Brandon Granville's 7.0 assists per game is tied for 17th in the country (as of Dec. 7).
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 opened the season with four of its first five games at the Sports Arena (the fifth was at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, Calif.) USC began by hosting Bradley, San Diego and Loyola Marymount. USC then played Utah at the Arrowhead Pond in the Wooden Classic. The Trojans returned to the Sports Arena to host Cal State Northridge. 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.
HAWAI'I TOURNEY GAMES ON THE WEB
Not only has the Pearl Harbor Invitational (which USC plays in Dec. 21-23) been renamed the Yahoo! Sports Invitational, but the internet company will broadcast all 12 games of the tournament in live streaming video. The games will be shown at http://sports.yahoo.com and there will also be a separate live audio feed available. The third-annual, eight-team tournament features USC, Iowa State, Boise State, host BYU-Hawai`i, Brigham Young, Mississippi, Southern Illinois and Troy State.
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 remaining 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 17.6 in five games this year ... The Trojans are also getting to the foul line often. They have averaged 31.0 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 47.7% of their attempts (51-of-107). Unfortunately, the Trojans' opponents are doing quite well from afar as well. USC's first five opponents have combined to make 40-of-95 treys (42.1%), well above last year's opponent average of 35.6%.
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 ... The Trojans' 65 points against Utah was its lowest winning total since defeating Arkansas State, 64-48, on Dec. 29, 1998. It was also USC's first win when scoring less then 70 points since that same game. USC was 0-9 in such games last year ... USC held Utah to only .367 from the field, the Trojans' best defensive effort since limiting Washington State to .362 last season in Spokane on Jan. 6... USC had only eight assists against Utah, its lowest total since five against Stanford on Jan. 5, 1998.
COMING FROM BEHIND
USC was 0-8 last year after trailing at the half. But in three of their first five games of the season, the Trojans have reversed the trend. They trailed Bradley, 49-48, at the half, San Diego, 32-28, and Cal State Northridge, 52-46. 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 (but still pertinent)
Junior Brandon Granville is the only Trojan to score in double figures in each of the first five games.
SIXTH RANDOM NOTE OF THE YEAR (UPDATED)
David Bluthenthal made his first eight foul shots this season to set USC and Pac-10 records for consecutive free throws (dating back to last season) at 41. But after making No. 41 (vs. San Diego) he missed four a row for the first time in his career. He got back on track, however, and has now made three in a row.
ALL THINGS ASSISTS
Junior guard Brandon Granville now owns all of USC's major assist records. He broke Larry Friend's school career assist record of 409 against LMU and now stands at 423. 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 124. 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 41-16 (.719) in their last 57 games at the Sports Arena and USC is 99-40 (.712) 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.
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 * forward/center * 6-foot-9 * 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 every game in his USC career.
* He had a season-high 22 points vs. Loyola Marymount and 18 points (including a career-high four treys) and three blocks vs. Utah. In the game against the Utes, his third block with 30 seconds remaining helped seal the win.
* He posted his fifth career double-double vs. CSUN with 19 points and 10 boards.
* 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 * guard * 6-foot-4 * 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 missed USC's first three games while recovering from a hairline fracture in his left foot. Now healthy, Trepagnier was suspended indefinitely by Coach Henry Bibby (before the Utah game) for violating athletic department rules.
* 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 * forward * 6-foot-7 * 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.
* Clancy is tied for USC's scoring lead (17.0) and is USC's second-leading rebounder (7.0).
* 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.
* He had his first double-double of the year (and 10th for his career) vs. Utah with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
* He has 76 career blocks, good for sixth on USC's career chart.
* 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 * guard * 5-foot-9 * 175 pounds
* Brandon Granville returns for his third year as the starting point guard in 2001. He is already USC's most prolific assist-makers in school history.
* Granville is first on USC's career charts in assists (423), fourth in steals (124) and 10th in three-pointers (110).
* He scored a season-high 19 points (including four three-pointers) vs. Loyola Marymount to go with nine assists and had 15 points vs. CSUN.
* 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 history).
* He finished with a team-best nine double-doubles and 13 double-digit assist efforts.
Junior * forward * 6-foot-7 * 220 pounds
* David Bluthenthal returns as a starting small forward and one of the top all-around performers in the Pac-10 in 2001.
* Bluthenthal blossomed as a 1999-2000 sophomore, starting 29 of 30 games at small forward en route to 2000 All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors. He averaged a USC-best 8.3 rebounds per game (third in the Pac-10 and the best USC mark since 1995) and his 250 rebounds were the 14th-most ever by a Trojan.
* After missing both exhibition games this year while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, Bluthenthal returned to play in fine fashion, scoring 23 points and grabbing 13 rebounds against Bradley in the season opener. He followed it up with 10 points against San Diego and seven points in 18 minutes vs. LMU.
* Bluthenthal had his 10th career double-double vs. Utah with 16 points and 12 rebounds and followed it up with his 11th double-double vs. CSUN with a career-high 29 points and 11 boards.
* Bluthenthal made his first four free throws against San Diego before missing his fifth attempt, ending his USC and Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws at 41. The Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws in conference games is 41, held by Todd Lichti in 1989. Bluthenthal has made 33 straight free throws in the Pac-10, a streak that will be live again when USC opens the league season on Jan. 4 against Washington State. The old USC record was 37 (John Block, 1966) and the old Pac-10 record was 40 (John Greig, 1981-82, and Lichti, 1989).
* Bluthenthal was the Pac-10's top rebounder in conference games last year, finishing with a 9.9 clip, the best ever by a Trojan in the Pac-10. He was also the Trojans' third-leading scorer in conference games at 15.3, finishing one rebound short of averaging a double-double in Pac-10 games. In addition, he led the Pac-10 in free throw percentage in conference games at .890 (65-of-73), becoming the first Pac-10 player ever to lead the league in both free throw percentage and rebounds in Pac-10 games.
* Bluthenthal's season was highlighted by a monster performance against Arizona State at the Sports Arena when he tied a USC record (set by Cliff Robinson) with 28 rebounds (the third highest total ever in the Pac-10) to go with 18 points. He followed that up with a career-high 26 points and seven rebounds against Arizona to earn his first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor.
* What a fan told his dad, Ralph, following Bluthenthal's Dennis Rodman-esque 28 rebounds vs. Arizona State last year: 'He said he was expecting to see a big guy with green hair and they saw me instead.'
Senior * forward * 6-foot-8 * 240 pounds
* Jarvis Turner, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound senior forward, is back for a fifth season after the NCAA granted him a medical hardship for the 2000-2001 season. Turner, who missed most of last season with foot injuries, will provide valuable experience off the bench at either forward spot.
* Turner is fifth on the team in rebounds with 3.2 per game.
* Turner came off the bench to score nine points and grab five rebounds against Sand Diego in 20 minutes after playing seven minutes and getting three rebounds in USC's season-opener. He had six points and five rebounds vs. LMU.
* Turner played in only seven of USC's 30 games during his 2000 senior season because of foot injuries. He missed nine games early in the season (not continuously) with a stress fracture in his left foot which he originally suffered in the preseason. He returned at the start of the Pac-10 season, but played in only four games before suffering a fracture in his left ankle against Arizona State on Jan. 20 which kept him out for the rest of the year. Overall, Turner averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game. He had a season-high five points in 14 minutes at Washington State and had a season-high five rebounds in a season-high 24 minutes in the Trojans' opener against Cal State Northridge.
Sophomore * center * 6-foot-11 * 250 pounds
* Kostas Charissis, a native of Greece, is a 2001 sophomore who will be a valuable reserve in the Trojans' frontcourt. His full first name is Konstantinos.
* Charissis played in 26 of 30 games as a 2000 freshman center and started 13 times after injuries depleted USC's frontcourt, including the last 10 games in a row.
* Charissis scored two points and had two rebounds in three minutes in USC's opener. He has played 15 minutes in four games so far.
* He had by far his most productive game of last season at No. 4 Arizona, posting career highs in points (nine), rebounds (eight), minutes (33), free throws made and attempted (3 of 4) and assists (four).
Sophomore * guard * 6-foot-4 * 200 pounds
* Nate Hair should continue to provide a perimeter scoring threat off the bench in 2001. An athletic player, Hair can also create off the dribble.
* Hair strained a tendon in his knee in October during the preseason that kept him out of USC's first three games. He has been available since the Utah game, but has not seen any action.
* Hair played in 27 of 30 games, starting three times, as a 2000 freshman guard. In conference games, Hair averaged 5.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 19.5 minutes per game and his .453 three-point percentage (24-of-53) was best on the team and fifth best in the Pac-10.
* He finished last season as the top reserve off the bench and averaged 4.2 points in 16.7 minutes per game. He made .403 of his three-pointers (29-of-72), tying him with Brian Scalabrine for the best accuracy on the team. It was also good enough for eighth best in the Pac-10.
* He made his first career start at Oregon State and posted season highs in points (14), three-pointers (four), assists (seven), steals (three) and minutes (39).
(RS) Senior * guard * 6-foot-5 * 190 pounds
* Tyler Murphy, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound shooting guard, is a 2001 senior who transferred to USC from Vermont last season as a walk-on. He earned a scholarship both last year and this year and gives the Trojans another quality shooter off the bench.
* He is shooting a team-high .533 (8-of-15) from three-point range.
* Murphy scored a USC career-high 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in 27 minutes vs. Loyola Marymount. He made his Trojan debut against Bradley, scoring eight points in 17 minutes off the bench. He played 21 minutes against San Diego, scoring five points and grabbing two boards.
* Murphy made both of his three-point attempts and had three rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench against Utah.
* Murphy averaged 6.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game as a junior at Vermont in 1998-99, starting four of 27 games. He made 34-of-97 three-point attempts (35.1%) and made 32-of-43 free throw attempts (74.4%). He scored a career-high 17 points against Yale and had 15 points against Towson.
(RS) Freshman * center * 7-foot-3 * 320 pounds
* Luke Minor, a 7-foot-3, 320-pound center, is a 2001 redshirt freshman who will look to earn minutes as a reserve. The tallest player ever at USC, Minor's size gives the Trojans a load of untapped potential in the post.
* Minor saw his first action as a Trojan in USC's opener against Bradley, scoring two points on a hook shot in three minutes. He also had one steal. He played one minute against both San Diego and LMU.
* Minor redshirted as a 2000 freshman center. He had surgery during the season to correct hammer toes, but resumed practice before the end of the year.
Freshman * guard * 6-foot-4 * 225 pounds
* Desmon Farmer, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound shooting guard, is a 2001 freshman who comes to the Trojans as one of the most highly rated prep shooting guards in the country.
* Farmer, who has started USC's first five games in lieu of Jeff Trepagnier, posted career highs of 21 points and nine rebounds against CSUN.
* He had 14 points and seven rebounds vs. Loyola Marymount. He started his first game as a Trojan against Bradley, scoring 13 points in 27 minutes. He scored six points against San Diego.
* Farmer prepped at Northwestern High in Flint, Mich. As a senior in 2000, he averaged 23 points per game in leading Northwestern to a 23-2 mark and a trip to the state regional playoffs. He earned Detroit News Michigan All-State second team honors and earned All-City first team honors. He injured his left knee in June of 1999 in an AAU game, but still played as a senior.
(RS) Sophomore * guard * 6-foot-1 * 195 pounds
* Robert Hutchinson, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound point guard, is a JUCO transfer who will serve as the back-up point guard as a 2001 sophomore. He is one of three first-year Trojans on the squad.
* Hutchinson, averaging 10.2 minutes per game, has only two turnovers in 51 minutes this season.
* Hutchinson scored three points (on a three-pointer) in 14 minutes in his first game as a USC guard against Bradley. He had a very solid outing against San Diego, scoring eight points in 19 minutes, going 2-for-2 on three-pointers as well as from the foul line. He also had three assists without a turnover.
* Hutchinson played at Okaloosa-Walton College in Niceville, Fla., as a redshirt freshman in 2000. He was a 2000 All-Panhandle Conference and Region 8 state tournament first team selection. He led his team to a 26-5 overall mark, a first-place finish in the Panhandle Conference (9-3) and an appearance in the Region 8 state finals.
* On a team with six players scoring in double figures, Hutchinson averaged 13.5 points, 7.2 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. He shot 44.0% from three-point range and 75.0% from the foul line.
Junior * guard * 6-foot-3 * 205 pounds
* Gennaro Busterna, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound shooting guard, is a JUCO transfer who will add potent perimeter shooting off the bench as a 2001 junior. He is one of three first-year Trojans on the squad.
* Busterna is currently sidelined by a toe injury and is out indefinitely.
* Busterna spent the last two seasons at McCook (Neb.) College. As a sophomore, Busterna was the 2000 Nebraska Junior College and Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference Player of the Year and earned 2000 All-Region 9 first team honors while leading McCook to a 25-6 record.
* He averaged 20.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last year. He shot .505 from the field (202-of-436), .491 from three-point range (113-of-230) and .744 from the foul line (64-of-86). He also had 55 assists.
* Coach Henry Bibby has a stable of able walk-ons from which to choose from in any situation.
* Senior forward Abdullah Elmagbari, from Greeley, Col., played in 10 games last year and saw meaningful minutes in USC's win over No. 2 Arizona and against Stanford in both games.
* Junior Jamie Hooper, a native of San Diego who redshirted with the Trojans last year after transferring from Montana State, is a talented point guard who could see time in the backcourt. He has been in two games, most recently playing three minutes in the first half against CSUN, posting two assists.
* Junior forward Rob Eres, from Sacramento, Calif., is back for this third year. He saw action twice last year.
, There are two freshman walk-ons as well on this year's squad. They are Anthony Saadey from Canfield, Ohio, and Eze Burts, from Los Angeles.
Dec. 9, 2000
Santa Barbara, CA -- 7 p.m.
On the Air
The USC-UC Santa Barbara game will be carried live on KMPC-AM (1540). Rory Markas handles the radio play-by-play, while ex-USC assistant coach Jim Hefner adds the color commentary. All of USC's radio broadcasts feature short pre- and post-game shows immediately before and after the game.
USC is a perfect 9-0 against UC Santa Barbara, but six of those wins came between 1947 and 1968. The Trojans' last three wins came in the last three seasons. USC defeated the Gauchos, 90-76, at the Sports Arena in 1997-98, beat them at the Thunderdome, 79-73, in 1998-99, and downed UCSB, 94-73, last year at home.
Led by 23 points and five steals from Jeff Trepagnier, USC cruised to a win over UC Santa Barbara at the Sports Arena on Dec. 1, 1999. Four Trojans scored in double figures and Sam Clancy posted his first double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds. USC led by as many as 18 points in the first half before entering the break ahead 40-30. The Trojans then opened the second half with a 16-0 run that put the game away.
Bob Williams is in his third season at UC Santa Barbara. He led the team to a 15-13 overall mark and a 12-4 finish in the Western Division of the Big West in his debut season in 1998-99, earning Big West Conference Coach of the Year honors. Last year, Williams' squad finished 14-14, 10-6 in the Western Division, good for second. Williams joined the Gauchos after heading the program at UC Davis for eight years, culminating in an NCAA Division II national championship in 1997-98. Williams was 158-76 with the Aggies, guiding them to NCAA Division II tournament appearances and 20-win seasons in each of his last four years there.
Probable Starters Ht. Yr. pts. reb.
G 35 B.J. Ward 6-1 So. 9.0 5.0*
G 3 LaRon Bryant 6-2 Sr. 11.5 2.8
F 30 Mark Hull 6-6 Jr. 16.0 4.0
F 40 Mike Vukovich 6-9 Jr. 6.2 5.5
F 50 Juliano Jordani 6-7 Sr. 4.8 6.5
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