Men's Hoops Set For Rumble With UCLA
Jan. 9, 2001
LOS ANGELES - The 12-2, 2-0 USC men's basketball team (No. 19 AP/No. 18 ESPN/USA Today), coming off of a home sweep of the Washington schools, looks to make it three in a row in the Pac-10 as it heads west, across the city, to play at UCLA (7-4, 2-0) on Thursday (Jan. 11), at 7:30 p.m. A Trojan win at Pauley Pavilion will be the first for USC in the Westwood arena since a 72-62 victory in 1993.
USC (12-2 overall, 2-0 in the Pac-10) vs. UCLA (7-4, 2-0) on Thursday (Jan. 11). Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on FOX Sports Net and will be broadcast live on XTRA 690-AM. UCLA, which is coming off of an 86-64 win over Washington and a 75-57 win over Washington State last week, is led by sophomore forward Jason Kapono, who is averaging a team-high 17.2 points per game. Senior guard Earl Watson is second on the team in scoring at 15.5 points per game. Junior center Dan Gadzuric is averaging 13.2 points and a team-best 8.7 rebounds per game. For the season, UCLA is shooting .455 from the field and .343 from three-point range. The schools have played two common non-league opponents: Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara. USC defeated the Matadors, 99-90, and beat the Gauchos on the road, 75-73. UCLA fell to Northridge, 78-74, and downed UCSB, 83-77.
USC IN THE RANKINGS
USC is ranked No. 19 by the latest AP Top 25 Poll (Jan. 8) and No. 18 by the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll (Jan. 7). 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.
ONCE IN A GENERATION
When No. 18 USC plays UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Thursday, it will mark the first time that a ranked Trojan team takes on an unranked Bruin team since Feb. 2, 1962. In that game, USC entered the game ranked No. 5 in both the AP and UPI polls, but fell to the Bruins, 73-59.
USC senior guard Jeff Trepagnier made his first appearance of the season vs. Washington State after having his eligibility reinstated by the NCAA last week. He 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. Trepagnier missed the Washington game while nursing a slight left ankle sprain, but he is expected to play on Thursday against UCLA.
LAST TWO GAMES
USC swept the Washington schools at the Sports Arena for the third consecutive season, defeating Washington, 87-61, on Saturday, and disposing of Washington State, 82-59, on Thursday. Against the Huskies, David Bluthenthal scored a game-high 25 points - 21 in the first half - while Brian Scalabrine and Sam Clancy each chipped in with 15. The Trojans made their first seven shots and, after missing their eighth, made 10 more in a row. They shot a season-high .750 in the first half (24-of-32) and held a commanding 55-34 lead at the half. USC, playing without Jeff Trepagnier, who was resting a sore left ankle, and a sick Nate Hair, finished by shooting a season-high .569 from the field. The Trojans also found their long-lost touch from three-point range, making 10-of-22. Washington, limited to .403 from the field, was led by Will Perkins' 12 points and nine rebounds. USC Coach Henry Bibby brought regular starters Scalabrine, Clancy and Brandon Granville off the bench, a punishment after the trio had broken team rules the day before. Subs-turned-starters Jarvis Turner, Robert Hutchinson and Kostas Charissis joined Bluthenthal and Desmon Farmer at the start of the game and got the Trojans off to a great start. Farmer opened with a three-pointer, which was followed by a Charissis layup, a Bluthenthal three-pointer, a Hutchinson layup, another Bluthenthal three-pointer, another Charissis bucket and a basket by Turner, good for a 17-9 lead. After a Hutchinson miss, USC got, consecutively, a tip-in by Bluthenthal, a basket by Clancy, back-to-back fastbreak scores by Farmer, Scalabrine's first basket, another Bluthenthal three-pointer, a layup from Granville, a Clancy slam, another two-pointer from Scalabrine and one more Bluthenthal trey. USC was 17-of-18 from the field at that point and leading 39-14 with 9:29 still to play in the first half. The Trojans coasted to the half up 55-34 and kept the bulge going throughout the second half, never letting the Huskies get closer than 19 points. USC's biggest lead of the game was 32 points at 87-55 with three minutes left. Against the Cougars, USC welcomed back Trepagnier, but it was the freshman Farmer who stole the show, scoring a career-high 24 points in leading the Trojans in both teams' Pac-10 opener. Clancy scored 17 points and had three blocks and Bluthenthal added 14 points, nine boards and three steals. Trepagnier came off the bench but only scored three points in 15 minutes, though he did block two shots. The Cougars were led by Mike Bush's 14 points. USC held Washington State to opponent lows in points (59), field goals (21) and field goal percentage (.323). The Trojans raced out to an 18-10 lead, but the Cougars responded with a 7-0 run. The score remained close the rest of the half as USC went into break ahead, 38-33. The Cougars kept within striking distance in the first part of the second half and only trailed by nine at 59-50 with 8:45 to go. But the Trojans went on a 12-3 run over the next 3:42 to open an 18-point lead that they would not relinquish.
LAST GAME NOTES
Brian Scalabrine had started all 71 games of his USC career prior to coming off the bench against Washington ... Scalabrine's 15 points gives him 1,172 moving him into 13th place on the Trojans' all-time scoring chart ... USC has now won 10 consecutive games in the Sports Arena, its longest streak since winning 16 between the 1992 and 1993 seasons ... The 26-point margin of victory over Washington was the Trojans' biggest over the Huskies since a 37-point win in 1967 ... USC has now won four in a row over the Huskies, its longest streak over its Northwest rival since winning four in a row between 1990-92 ... Sam Clancy blocked three more shots, the fifth game in a row he has had at least that many.
Junior forward Sam Clancy is in a blocking zone. He has blocked 18 shots in the last five games, including three against Washington, the fifth game in a row he has had at least that many. He's had at least three blocks six times this year. For the year, he has a team-high 32 rejections, five more than he had in 20 games last year. He blocked 39 shots as a freshman in 27 games. He has 98 for his career, fourth-best ever at USC.
Last season, four of five USC starters all averaged at least 34.6 minutes per game. This year, the only starter averaging more than 31.3 minutes per game is Brandon Granville (33.6).
USC IN THE PAC-10
As a team, USC leads the conference in steals per game (8.2) and turnover margin (+4.2). The Trojans are also third in field goal percentage (.476). Brandon Granville leads the Pac-10 in steals per game (2.2) while teammate David Bluthenthal is third in that category (1.9). Bluthenthal is also fourth in the conference in rebound average at 8.6. Sam Clancy is fourth in scoring (17.2) and leads the conference in blocks per game (2.3).
WHO DO YOU STOP?
USC has had four different players lead the team in scoring this year and have had five different players score at least 20 points in a game this year. In fact, Sam Clancy (31), David Bluthenthal (29), Brian Scalabrine (28) and Desmon Farmer (24) have all scored at least 24 points or more in a game at least once this season. Brandon Granville (21) is the fifth player to score at least 20.
USC PAC-10 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK THIS YEAR
Junior forwards Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal have both been named Pac-10 Player of the Week this year. It is Clancy's first such honor, Bluthenthal's second and gives the Trojans 22 overall. Clancy earned the honor for the week of Dec. 25-Jan. 1. He averaged 19.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.5 blocks and 2.5 steals in USC's loss at Northwestern and win over Long Beach State. He posted double-doubles in both games and shot 19-of-29 overall (.655). Bluthenthal was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 4-10. He averaged 27.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists as the Trojans defeated Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara. It was Bluthenthal's second such honor of his career.
USC has already scored at least 90 points four times. The most times the Trojans have scored 90 points or more in a game in one season is 10 (Bob Boyd's 1975).
FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH
USC has been a much better offensive team when playing at the Sports Arena than when playing away from it. The Trojans are scoring 16 points a game more at home. USC is averaging 89.4 points at home compared to 73.3 away from it. The Trojans are shooting .493 at home and have hit .400 of their threes at home. Away from home, they are only .452 from the field and .299 from behind the arc. However, USC's defense does improve somewhat on the road. The Trojans have allowed teams to shoot .453 against them at home and only .436 on the road.
In all but three games this year, the Trojans have scored more points in the second half than in the first (and in one other, USC scored as many). On average, USC is averaging 38.4 points in the first half and 43.7 in the second. USC's opponents are averaging 34.9 in the first and 36.4 in the second.
YAHOO! SPORTS INVITATIONAL NOTES
USC defeated BYU-Hawaii, 86-74, lost to Mississippi in overtime, 84-83, and defeated BYU, 70-67. Brian Scalabrine and Sam Clancy both earned All-Tournament honors. Scalabrine scored 81 points in the three games, averaging 27.0 points per game, setting tournament records in both categories ... 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).
TURNER BACK IN ACTION
USC senior forward Jarvis Turner, who underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee on Dec. 13, made his first appearance since Dec. 5 when he played one minute against Long Beach State on Dec. 30. Turner, however, was called for three fouls in his short stint and did not return. He played 12 minutes against Washington State, scoring six points. He then started against Washington, grabbing three rebounds in 14 minutes. 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.
BUSTERNA BACK IN ACTION
First-year junior college transfer guard Gennaro Busterna, who had not been available yet this season because of an injured toe, suited for the first time against Washington State on Jan. 4. However, he has not played in a game yet.
With his five steals against Long Beach State, Brandon Granville has now had at least four steals in a game 13 times in his career. He has had at least three steals 23 times. He is fourth on USC's all-time steals chart with 147.
JOE 3-POINTER RETURNS
For the first time in nine games, USC reached double digits in three-pointers, making 10-of-22 against Washington. USC opened the season making at least 10 three-pointers in four of their first five games, but had failed to do so in eight consecutive contests. The Trojans averaged 10.2 three-pointers in the first five games and 5.6 since then. USC shot .477 from three-point range in the first five games and only .286 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 1,172, good for 13th on the Trojans' all-time scoring list. Senior Jeff Trepagnier has 942 (26th).
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).
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 2-1 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.
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.
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, has begun his quest at Lichti's other mark.
13TH RANDOM NOTE AND COUNTING
David Bluthenthal entered this season with 32 career steals, 27 from last season. But in 14 games this year, he already has 26 thefts, second most on the team. Bluthenthal has had at least three steals in a game five times this year.
THREES AND COUNTING
Junior Brandon Granville currently is sixth on USC's all-time three-point chart with 127 career bombs. Granville needs six to join the Top 5. Junior David Bluthenthal is now 13th on the school chart with 72.
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 18.3 this year ... The Trojans are also getting to the foul line often. They have averaged 27.6 trips to the foul line this year, compared to 22.4 last season. USC opponents are only attempting 18.6 free throw attempts per game.
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 had only eight assists against Utah, its lowest total since five against Stanford on Jan. 5, 1998 ...USC held Washington State to .323 from the field, the lowest USC opponent mark since Loyola Marymount hit only .237 of its shots last season on Dec. 11.
COMING FROM BEHIND
USC was 0-8 last year after trailing at the half. But this year, the Trojans are 4-1. They trailed Bradley, 49-48, at the half, San Diego, 32-28, Cal State Northridge, 52-46, and BYU, 41-23. The Trojans also almost came back from a 15-0 deficit at Northwestern.
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 469. 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 147. The Pac-10 career record for steals us 321 (Gary Payton, Oregon State, 1986-90). Tenth-place on the list is Boseman at 208.
USC AT THE SPORTS ARENA
USC is currently riding a 10-game win streak at home. Dating back to 1996-97, the Trojans are 44-16 (.733) in their last 60 games at the Sports Arena and USC is 102-40 (.718) 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.
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.
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.
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 - all Pac-10 games plus the Loyola Marymount and Long Beach State games - will be broadcast live on XTRA-AM (690). The remaining games are carried by 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 all but one game in his USC career. He came off the bench for the first time against Washington this season.
* He averaged 12.5 points in USC's opening Pac-10 weekend.
* Scalabrine is USC's second-leading scorer (16.4) and third-leading rebounder (5.6) and is shooting .524 from the field. His assist average of 2.9 is second best on the team and his seven assists against Long Beach State tied a career high.
* 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 made his first appearance of the season vs. Washington State on Jan. 4. Coming off the bench, he played 15 minutes, scoring three points (on a three-pointer) and blocking two shots. He missed the Washington game while resting a sore left ankle, but is expected to play vs. UCLA.
* He had missed USC's first three games while recovering from a hairline fracture in his left foot. Trepagnier was then suspended indefinitely by Coach Henry Bibby (before the Utah game) for violating athletic department rules.
* Trepagnier is third on USC's career chart in steals (178), fifth in blocked shots (86) and tied for 15th in three-pointers (54).
* 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 leading scorer (17.2) and second-leading rebounder (6.6) and has a team-high 32 blocks (2.3).
* He averaged 16.0 points and 3.0 blocks in the opening Pac-10 weekend.
* Clancy was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 25-Jan. 1. He averaged 19.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.5 blocks and 2.5 steals in USC's loss at Northwestern and win over Long Beach State.
* 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 posted his third straight double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds vs. Long Beach State and tied a career high with six blocks against the 49ers.
* 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. He followed it with another double-double at Northwestern with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
* 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.
* 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 (8.6), is third in scoring (15.4) and is third in field goal percentage (.513). He also has 26 steals, second on the team.
* Bluthenthal's 26 steals is one short of what he had all of last season.
* He had 25 points and seven rebounds against Washington after getting 14 points and nine rebounds vs. Washington State.
* With his 10 points and 11 rebounds vs. BYU, Bluthenthal got his sixth double-double of the season 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 is live again. 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 (469), fourth in steals (147) and is tied for sixth in three-pointers (127).
* Granville is averaging a team-best 5.8 assists per game. He had six assists in each of USC's first two Pac-10 games.
* He posted season highs of 21 points and five steals against Long Beach State.
* 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 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, out since playing against Cal State Northridge on Dec. 5, returned from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee against Long Beach State on Dec. 30, though he only played one minute. Turner's surgery was Dec. 13.
* Against Washington, Turner started for the first time since Nov. 24, 1998. He had three boards in 14 minutes. He scored six points in 12 minutes off the bench in the Pac-10 opener vs. Washington State.
* 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 13 games (mainly in lieu of Jeff Trepagnier),scored a career-high 24 points and had three assists in USC's Pac-10 opener vs. Washington State.
* He is averaging 10.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in 26.4 minutes per game. He is third on the team in assists (23).
* He had 21 points and a career-best nine rebounds against CSUN.
* Farmer had 13 points vs. Mississippi (12 in the first half) and 13 vs. Long Beach State.
* He had 12 points and five assists at Northwestern.
* 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 has played in 11 games this year and made his first start of the season vs. Washington. He scored four points in a season-most 12 minutes. He has averaged 5.4 minutes per game. He had four points vs. Long Beach State. He scored two points and had two rebounds in three minutes in USC's opener.
* 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 has shot .345 (10-of-29) from three-point range and is averaging 16.1 minutes per game.
* He started his first game as a Trojan at Northwestern, but went scoreless in eight minutes.
* After going scoreless in four straight games, Murphy tied his USC career-high with 10 points vs. Long Beach State.* 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) 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 9.6 minutes per game, has only six turnovers in 135 minutes this season.
* He started his first game at Northwestern, but went scoreless in 14 minutes. He then started against Washington and scored two points in 19 minutes.
* 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.
(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 has played 16 minutes in seven games. He 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. He most recently played four minutes against Washington.
* 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.
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, sidelined all season by a toe injury, suited up for the first time in both Washington games, but did not play.
* 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 two games this year, playing five minutes in the first half against BYU and one minute vs. Washington State. 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 five games, most recently a seven-minute stint at Northwestern.
* Junior forward Rob Eres, from Sacramento, Calif., is back for this third year. He made his seasondebut vs. Washington State, playing one minute. 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.
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