Men's Hoops At Northwestern
Dec. 25, 2000
LOS ANGELES - The 9-1 USC men's basketball team (No. 16 AP/No. 15 ESPN/USA Today), coming off a 2-1 performance at the Yahoo! Sports Invitational in Laie, Hi., plays its final non-conference road game of the season when it takes on Northwestern (6-5) on Wednesday (Dec. 27) at 7 p.m. (CST). USC then finishes off its non-league slate by hosting Long Beach State (7-4) on Saturday (Dec. 30) at 5:30 p.m. The Trojans took third place in the Hawaii tournament by beating BYU, 70-67, in their finale, overcoming a 20-point second-half deficit to get the job done. USC beat BYU-Hawaii, 86-74, in the opener and fell to Mississippi, 84-83 in overtime, in the second round.
USC (9-1) at Northwestern (6-5) on Wednesday (Dec. 27). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. (CST). The game will be broadcast live on KMPC 1540-AM. Northwestern is under first-year coach Bill Carmody. The Wildcats are led by sophomore forward Winston Blake (11.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg) and sophomore guard Ben Johnson (11.0, 4.3). Junior forward Tavares Hardy leads the team in rebounds (5.9). The only common opponent between the two schools is Pepperdine. USC beat the Waves, 76-73 at home, while Northwestern lost to Pepperdine, 55-53, in Malibu. Northwestern is averaging 60.5 points per game and are giving up only 55.1.
USC vs. Long Beach State (7-4) on Saturday (Dec. 30). Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on FOX Sports West 2 and will be broadcast live on XTRA 690-AM. Long Beach State is under fifth-year coach Wayne Morgan, who is 2-2 against USC. The 49ers are led by senior guard Ramel Lloyd, who is averaging a team-high 20.6 points per game. He is 83-of-178 from the field (.466) and has taken 64 more shots than the next most frequent shooter. That happens to be junior forward Lemi Williams, a JC transfer who is second on the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game. Junior forward Travis Reed, who transferred from UCLA two years ago, is averaging a team-high 7.4 rebounds and 12.2 points. The 49ers are allowing teams to shoot a combined .499 from the field and .455 from three-point range. After opening 3-4, Long Beach State has won four in a row, most recently an 83-76 win over Texas A&M on Dec. 22.
USC IN THE RANKINGS
USC is ranked No. 16 by the latest AP Top 25 Poll (Dec. 25) and No. 15 by the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll (Dec. 25). When USC hit No. 12 in AP earlier in the season, it was 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.
YAHOO! SPORTS INVITATIONAL 3RD-PLACE GAME
USC came back from a 20-point second half deficit to defeat BYU, 70-67, in the third-place game of the Yahoo! Sports Invitational in Laie, Hi. That followed an opening-round win over host school BYU-Hawaii and an overtime loss to Mississippi in the second round. USC looked lost against the Cougars in a first half that saw the Trojans go into halftime down 41-23 after making only 8-of-29 shots (27.6%) and Coach Henry Bibby getting ejected after receiving two technical fouls. But behind Brian Scalabrine, Sam Clancy and a tenacious, trapping defense, the Trojans furiously came back in the second half and outscored the Cougars, 47-26. Scalabrine finished with 26 points and Clancy finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds. USC made 14-of-23 shots in the second half (60.9%) and outrebounded BYU, 19-7. But it still came down to the final few minutes to secure the win. USC got the deficit to single digits at 45-36 five minutes into the second half but didn't tie the game until two free throws from Scalabrine made it 64-64 with 3:49 to play. A Clancy bucket and two more foul tosses by David Bluthenthal gave USC a 68-64 edge with 2:04 to go. The Cougars' Terrell Lyday knocked down a three on the ensuing possession to make it a one-point game. That's how it stayed until the final seconds, when USC guard Brandon Granville, with the shotclock winding down, drove the left baseline for a layup with five seconds left. BYU pushed the ball downcourt, but Trent Whiting's desperation three-point attempt was off base as the buzzer sounded. Bibby was ejected late in the first half after arguing an offensive foul called on Clancy. The four free throws from the techincals and the resulting two free throws from the foul gave BYU a 39-21 lead. USC assistant coach Dave Miller directed the Trojans the rest of the way.
MISSISSIPPI 84, USC 83 (YAHOO! INV. 2ND ROUND)
USC lost to Mississippi, 84-83 in overtime on Friday. The Trojans had been flirting with danger all season, letting late leads slip away in the final moments and barely getting by. The ill-fated practice caught up to them against the Rebels. USC was up 76-70 with 1:29 to go, but both David Bluthenthal and Nate Hair missed two free throws each and the Trojans also committed a costly turnover, allowing Ole Miss to tie the game at 78-78. The Trojans had the final shot in regulation, but Brian Scalabrine's jumper was blocked. The Rebels took an 84-81 lead with 2:22 in overtime, but USC could manage only two free throws by Scalabrine the rest of the way. USC had one final look at the game. Rebel Richard Kirklin missed two free throws with six seconds left, but Scalabrine's three-point attempt from the left wing at the buzzer bounced in and out, ending the game. Scalabrine had a game-high 27 points and Sam Clancy had 18 points. Brandon Granville and Desmon Farmer had 13 apiece while Bluthenthal had 10 rebounds.
USC 86, BYU-HAWAII 74 (YAHOO! INV. 1ST ROUND)
In the first game of the tourney, USC gave up a season-high 14 three-pointers, but prevailed past an upstart BYU-Hawaii team, 86-74, in the first round of the Yahoo! Sports Invitational at the Cannon Activities Center on Thursday (Dec. 21). Brian Scalabrine made a career-high 14 field goals out of a career-high tying 20 attempts to lead the Trojans, who posted season highs for field goals (36) and field goal percentage (.537). Sam Clancy scored 17 points for USC and Brandon Granville added 15 points and seven assists. The Seasiders dropped their first game after winning five straight and were led by 22 points from Brian Skinner, who nailed 6-of-10 three-pointers, and Scott Salisbury, who had a game-high nine rebounds. BYU-Hawaii led for much of the first half, its biggest lead coming at 17-11 with 14:41 to go. It still led 25-21 with 6:34 before the half when the Trojans went on a 14-0 run to take a 35-25 lead with 3:16 to go. USC went into the break ahead 43-31. The Trojans extended their lead to 47-31 a minute into the second half, but the Seasiders stayed close. They cut the lead to 49-43 with 15:19 to play and, after seeing their deficit grow to double digits again, clawed back and were down only 70-64 with 7:22 to go. From there, USC finally asserted itself and rebuilt its lead thanks to a 15-1 run that gave the Trojans an 84-65 advantage with 3:05 left, sealing the victory.
LAST GAME NOTES
With his 26 points, Scalabrine now has 1,124 points in his USC career, good for 15th place on the Trojan career scoring chart. He needs four more to move into 14th. It was also the 23rd time he's scored at least 20 points in a game while at USC ... With his three blocks, Sam Clancy now has 83 for his career, tied for fifth on USC's career blocked shot list. He needs one more to tie teammate Jeff Trepagnier in fourth ... Brandon Granville is no longer the only Trojan to score in double figures in each game. He had only four points against BYU ... The Trojans' eight turnovers were a season low, as were their .133 three-point field goal percentage (2-of-15) ... Scalabrine's 14 free throws and 16 free throw attempts were both career highs.
YAHOO! SPORTS INVITATIONAL NOTES
Brian Scalabrine scored 81 points in the three games, averaging 27.0 points per game, setting tournament records in both categories ... Sam Clancy averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds while David Bluthenthal, USC's leading scorer entering the tourney, averaged 9.3 rebounds to go with 8.3 points ... USC shot .463 for the tournament (81-of-175), but only .260 from three-point range (13-of-50). Opponents, however, made .435 of their treys (27-of-62).
ALMOST LIKE HALEY'S COMET
A USC non-conference overtime loss is a rare commodity indeed. When the Trojans fell to Mississippi on Friday (Dec. 22), it was their first OT loss to a school outside the Pac-10 since losing to Georgia, 77-75, in the 1973 season. In fact, it was only the fourth non-conference overtime loss ever and only the second in 60 years (USC is now 18-4 in such games). The other two defeats came against San Francisco, a 51-49 winner in the 1942 season, and to Ohio State, a 40-38 victor in the 1937 season. USC is now 47-40 overall in overtime games, 39-36 in single overtime games and 2-1 in OT games at a neutral site.
With his four steals against Mississippi, Brandon Granville has now had at least four steals in a game 10 times in his career. He has had at least three steals 22 times. He is fourth on USC's all-time steals chart with 137.
TO START A SEASON
USC is off to its best start (9-1) since the 1998-99 season when the Trojans opened with the same record. The next best start after that was 11-1 to begin the 1976 season. The 1975 team opened 13-1. That Trojan squad also lost its ninth game after winning its first eight
After making at least 10 three-pointers in four of their first five games, USC has failed to do so in five consecutive contests. The Trojans averaged 10.2 three-pointers in the first five games and only 5.4 since then.
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 1,124, good for 15th on the Trojans' all-time scoring list. 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.
USC senior forward Jarvis Turner underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee on Wednesday (Dec. 13) and is expected to be sidelined two to four weeks. He has played in five games this year and is averaging 4.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game. Turner played in only seven games last year because of foot injuries and was granted a fifth season of eligibility this year for medical hardship. He missed six games as a freshman with a back injury and missed six more because of a broken bone in his hand as a sophomore.
First-year junior college transfer guard Gennaro Busterna has been slowed by an injured toe and has not played for the Trojans at all this year. He is out indefinitely.
THE TROJANS VS. RANKED TEAMS
The Trojans are 1-1 against ranked teams this year. They beat then-No. 18 Utah in the Wooden Classic and lost to No 24 Mississippi in the second round of the Yahoo! Sports Invitational. USC's victory over Utah was its 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
USC is 2-0 against 2000 NCAA Tournament teams this year and 1-1 against 2000 NIT teams. Overall, USC will face six teams that played in last year's NCAA Tournament: Arizona, UCLA, Oregon and Stanford (twice each) and Pepperdine and Utah. The Trojans will face 2000 NIT teams Arizona State and California (twice each), Long Beach State, Mississippi and BYU.
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 CALIFORNIAAmong 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 played at UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 9 returned home to host Pepperdine on Dec. 14. 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). BYU had five. The only other USC opponent that got a mention in the ESPN/USA Today poll was Cal State Northridge (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.
PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
USC junior forward David Bluthenthal was named the Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 4-10. Bluthenthal averaged 27.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists last week as the Trojans defeated Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara. Bluthenthal scored 29 points on 11-of-18 (.611) shooting with 11 rebounds and four assists in the victory over Northridge. He posted his second double-double of the week, and fourth of the season, with 25 points on 10-of-17 (.588) shooting and 12 rebounds at Santa Barbara. His basket with 5.4 seconds remaining was the difference in a 75-73 victory. For the week, Bluthenthal shot 21-of-35 (.600) from the field, 7-of-15 (.467) from three-point range. It is the second weekly award for Bluthenthal, the 21st all-time honor for the Trojans.
THREES AND COUNTING
Junior Brandon Granville currently is tied for eighth on USC's all-time three-point chart with 119 career bombs. Granville needs 15 to join the Top 5. Junior David Bluthenthal is now in tied for 13th on the school chart with 63.
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 (18.7), USC has forced an average of 18.4 in seven games this year ... The Trojans are also getting to the foul line often. They have averaged 30.4 trips to the foul line this year, compared to 22.4 last season ... USC opponents continue to strike gold from the outside. USC's first 10 opponents have combined to make 83-of-201 treys (41.3%), well above last year's opponent average (35.6%).
USC's eight-game win streak to start the 2000-2001 was the best start for a Trojan team since the 1975 team opened with eight straight victories. The 1971 team, meanwhile, won its first 16 games. The record for best start at USC, however, is 17, courtesy of the 1910 Trojans ...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 this year, the Trojans have reversed the trend. They trailed Bradley, 49-48, at the half, San Diego, 32-28, Cal State Northridge, 52-46, and BYU, 41-23. 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.
NOT TOO RANDOM 11TH NOTE AND COUNTING
USC was 2-5 in 1999-2000 in games decided by five points or less, but is already 4-1 in such games this season.
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 448. 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 137. 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.
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.
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.
* Scalabrine is USC's leading scorer (18.2) and third-leading rebounder (5.7) and is shooting a team-best .563 (58-of-103) from the field.
* He averaged 27.0 points per game in the three games of the Yahoo! Sports Invitational, the best three-game average of his Trojan career. He earned All-Tournament honors for his efforts* He posted a season-high 28 points vs. BYU-Hawaii, making a career-high 14 field goals in a career-high tying 20 field goal attempts. He followed it with 27 points vs. Ole Miss. He played 44 minutes vs. the Rebels, the eighth time he's played at least 40 minutes in a game for the Trojans. He then had 26 points against BYU.
* Scalabrine had 22 points against Pepperdine, matching the same total he had vs. Loyola Marymount. He also had 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. He followed it with 10 rebounds and seven points at UCSB, giving him back-to-back double-digit rebound efforts for the first time in his career.
* Scalabrine has scored at least 20 points 23 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 last year.
* (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, a two-year returning starter, 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 USC's second-leading scorer (17.0) and rebounder (6.2) and has a team-high 17 blocks.
* 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 second double-double of the season vs. BYU, scoring 26 points and pulling down 11 rebounds at the Yahoo! Sports Invitational and earned All-Tournament honors there.
* Clancy had 18 points at UC Santa Barbara and vs. Mississippi and scored 17 vs. BYU-Hawaii.
* He had his first double-double of the year (and 10th for his career) vs. Utah with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
* He has 80 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 * 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.
* Bluthenthal leads the Trojans in rebounding (9.2), is third in scoring (15.4) and is second in field goal percentage (.514). He also has 16 steals.
* With his 10 points and 11 rebounds vs. BYU, Bluthenthal now has six double-doubles and has had at least 10 rebounds seven times this year.
* He had his fourth consecutive double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds vs. Pepperdine.
* Bluthenthal earned his second career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor after back-to-back doubles vs. UCSB and CSUN. He had his third consecutive double-double at UCSB with 25 points and 12 boards. That followed a career-high 29 points and 11 boards vs. CSUN. The game before, he had 16 points and 12 rebounds vs. Utah.
* 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 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.'
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 (448), fourth in steals (137) and is tied for eighth in three-pointers (119).
* Granville scored 17 points vs. Pepperdine and posted career highs of free throw makes (10) and attempts (14). The game before, he canned 5-of-9 three-point attempts at UCSB, tying a career-high for makes en route to 18 points.
* He scored a season-high 19 points (including four three-pointers) vs. Loyola Marymount to go with nine assists and had 15 points vs. both CSUN and BYU-Hawaii.
* 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 last year.
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, is expected to provide valuable experience off the bench at either forward spot.
* Turner underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee on Dec. 13 and is expected to be sidelined two to four weeks.
* 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.
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 each USC game in lieu of Jeff Trepagnier, posted career highs of 21 points and nine rebounds against CSUN. He is averaging 8.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per game.
* Farmer had 13 points vs. Mississippi (12 in the first half).
* 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.
Sophomore * center * 6-foot-11 * 250 pounds
* Kostas Charissis, a native of Greece, is a 2001 sophomore who is 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 tied a season-high with nine minutes at UCSB.
* 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 had a season-high nine points to go with three steals and three rebounds vs. BYU-Hawaii.
* Hair scored his first eight points of the season vs. Pepperdine, making 2-of-4 three-pointers and 2-of-4 free throws to go with four rebounds in 25 minutes.
* Hair strained a tendon in his knee in October during the preseason that kept him out of USC's first three games. He had been available since the Utah game but did not seen any action until playing 18 minutes at UCSB. Though he missed all five shots, he did snag a career-high-tying six rebounds.
* 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 .429 (9-of-21) from three-point range and is averaging 17.3 minutes per game.
* 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 againstUtah.
* 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 three minutes vs. BYU-Hawaii.
* 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.
(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 8.9 minutes per game, has only two turnovers in 89 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., has played in one game this year, playing five minutes in the first half against BYU. He 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 four games, most recently a three-minute stint against BYU in the first half.
* 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.