Men's Basetball Wraps Up Pac-10 At UW, WSU
March 5, 2001
LOS ANGELES - The USC men's basketball team (19-9, 9-7, fifth place), coming off a gritty 74-69 win over California on Saturday after a heartbreaking 70-68 loss to No. 1 Stanford on Thursday, continues its quest for its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1997 when it finishes its 2001 Pac-10 schedule at Washington (9-19, 3-13) on Thursday (March 8) at 7 p.m. and at Washington State (12-14, 5-11) on Saturday (March 10) at 1 p.m. A sweep this weekend would give USC its best Pac-10 record since going 12-6 in 1997.
USC (19-9, 9-7) at Washington (19-9, 9-7) on Thursday (March 8). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on XTRA 690-AM. Washington, under eighth-year coach Bob Bender, is coming off of a 79-61 loss at Washington State last week. Washington, which has lost seven in a row since a win over the Cougars on Feb. 3, is led by senior forward Will Perkins, who is averaging team bests of 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds. Fellow senior forward Thalo Green is second on the team in both categories (10.9 points, 5.0 rebounds). The Huskies are last in the Pac-10 in field goal (.418) and free throw percentage (.570).
USC at Washington State (12-14, 5-11) on Saturday (March 10). Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on XTRA 690-AM. Washington State, under second-year coach Paul Graham, is coming off of 79-61 home win over Washington last week. Washington State has gone 4-3 in the second half of the Pac-10 with wins over Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State and Washington. The Cougars will sport a different look than the last time the Trojans saw them. Senior forward Eddie Miller was dismissed from the team earlier this year and junior guard and leading scorer Mike Bush (16.7 points per game) may be forced to sit with an ankle injury. Freshman guard Marcus Moore is averaging 10.0 points and a team-high 3.6 assists per game while junior J Locklier is averaging 9.4 points and a team-best 6.0 rebounds. The Cougars are ninth in the Pac-10 in both field goal percentage (.424) and field goal percentage defense (.456).
LAST TWO GAMES
The Trojans fell to Stanford, 70-68, on Thursday, but came back on Saturday and defeated California, 74-69. Against the Bears, Brandon Granville tied a season-high with 22 points while Sam Clancy had 16 points and a career-high seven blocks to lead USC past Cal. The Trojans, who held Cal to a season-low 35.6% from the field, led by 16 points at 63-47 with 6:13 to go, but had to hold off a furious Bear rally. Cal, paced by Brian Wethers' 18 points, still trailed by 14 at 68-54 with 3:47 to play when it went on a 10-0 run to close to within 68-64 with 2:16 to go. Sean Lampley, the Pac-10's leading scorer, was held to 11 points, but his three-pointer with 19 seconds left brought the Bears to within 72-69. Brian Scalabrine, however, made 1-of-2 free throws with 12.9 ticks remaining and, after a Cal miss, Jeff Trepagnier also made 1-of-2 with four seconds left to seal the win. Cal led for much of the first half, its biggest lead coming at 21-16 with 6:38 to go. But USC responded with an 11-2 run and eventually led by as many as eight points before going into halftime ahead 36-30.
Against Stanford, USC was led by Clancy's 16 points and Scalabrine's 13 points but fell in a heartbreaker. USC had a chance to tie or win the game at the end of regulation, but Granville was unable to get up a shot as he approached the key as time expired. Stanford was led by Casey Jacobsen's 22 points. USC trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half at 53-37 with 13:23 to play and still trailed 60-48 with 8:37 to play. The Trojans methodically rallied, closing to within three at 65-62 on a Desmon Farmer layup with 1:52 to play. Jacobsen and Clancy then traded baskets and, with 31 seconds left, Jacobsen made 1-of-2 free throws to put Stanford ahead 68-64. Scalabrine made a layup with 16 seconds left and Ryan Mendez matched it with two foul shots with 13 to go. Clancy brought USC to within 70-68 on a dunk with six seconds left and USC fouled Jacobsen right away. Jacobsen missed the front end of the 1-and-1 and Bluthenthal rebounded the ball and handed it over to Granville. With the Trojans out of timeouts, Granville pushed the ball up the court, but could not get a shot off. The Trojans led briefly at the outset of the game at 6-3 and at 8-6, but Stanford responded with a 10-0 run. The Cardinal led by as many as nine points in the first half before heading into halftime ahead, 41-34.
LAST GAME NOTES
USC swept the season series with Cal for the first time since 1992 ... Sam Clancy had a career-high seven blocks. Clancy's seven blocks give him 129 career blocks, breaking the USC record of 128 (Lorenzo Orr) ... Brandon Granville went 4-of-10 on three-point attempts, tying his career high for attempts. He now has 57 three-pointers this season, tying him for ninth-most ever in a season at USC and tying his own season mark from last year. He also now has 155 career three-pointers, one shy of third place on the USC career chart (Phil Glenn is in third with 156) ... Granville also tied his career high of six rebounds (several times) ... USC's 23 three-point attempts were its most since attempting 27 vs. Oregon State on Jan. 27 ... The Trojans won their fifth consecutive regular-season home finale and have now won 10 of their last 12 such games.
RPI AND THE SUCH
As of March 5, USC's 2001 RPI ranking stood at No. 21 with a Strength-of-Schedule rating of No. 12. USC was also No. 28 in the Sagarin Index with an SOS of No. 20.
USC AGAINST THE HEAVIES
Of USC's nine losses, seven are to teams currently ranked in both polls. The Trojans dropped two games to top-ranked Stanford (by a combined eight points), two to Top 10 Arizona, two to Top 20 UCLA and one to Top 15 Mississippi (a one-point loss in overtime). Among the teams USC has defeated this year, three earned some share of a conference title. CSUN won the Big Sky regular season title. Utah and BYU shared the Mountain West regular season crown. Bradley also made it to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament final game (played March 5).
NABC DISTRICT PICKS
The National Association of Basketball Coaches announced its All-District picks and two Trojans were selected. Junior forward Sam Clancy earned District 15 first team honors while senior forward/center Brian Scalabrine earned a second-team nod.
AN INTERESTING NOTE or BAD LUCK FOR ASU
Since 1990, 38 of 39 Pac-10 teams who have won at least 11 conference games have been selected to the NCAA Tourney. The exception? ASU in 1992-93, when it was 11-7 and tied for third. Also, 42 of 44 teams since 1990 who have posted 18 overall wins and 10 Pac-10 wins have qualified for the NCAA. Again, the odd teams out were ASU in 1992-93 and 1999-2000.
MR. RELIABLE or BIG REDD WITH THE SHAVED HEAD
Senior forward/center Brian Scalabrine has been USC's most reliable producer as of late, whether you break it down in the in the last six or 12 games. In the last 12 games, he is averaging a team-high 16.8 points per game and is shooting a team-high .493. He has also hit .867 of his free throws (52-of-60) and is third in rebounds (5.4) in that stretch. The next highest scorer in that run is Sam Clancy (14.8). In the last six games, Scalabrine is averaging a team-best 17.2 points (David Bluthenthal's 13.3 is next) and is averaging a team-high 39.2 minutes per game. And for the record, Scalabrine shaved off his red hair (not the first time he has done it in his USC career) the day of the Oregon game in Eugene on Feb. 24. The barber? Teammate Gennaro Busterna.
A GRANDIOSE NOTE
Two Trojans have reached the 1,000-point plateau in their USC careers this year and two more could do it by season's end. Senior forward/center Brian Scalabrine became the first when he passed the mark against Cal State Northridge earlier this season. He now has 1,377, good for seventh best at Troy. Senior guard Jeff Trepagnier was the second, doing it at California on Feb. 3. He now has 1,044 points, good for 22nd most overall at USC. The next two Trojans who could break through the four-digit barrier this year are juniors Brandon Granville and Sam Clancy, who enter Thursday's game with 975 and 931 points, respectively. Junior David Bluthenthal isn't terribly far behind and is a good bet to achieve the feat next year. He currently has 827, giving every player in the Trojan starting lineup at least 800 career points.
SAM CLANCY EARNED WOODEN AWARD CONSIDERATION
USC junior forward Sam Clancy, who leads the Trojans in scoring (16.9) and rebounding (7.2), was up for John R. Wooden Award consideration by the L.A. Athletic Club. Grade checks were sent out for 30 midseason candidates for the award as well as for 10 additional candidates on Feb. 8 who the voting board feels warrants consideration. Clancy was among the latter mix. Clancy, however, did not make the finalist list of 20 announed on March 3. The 10 finalists will be announced March 27. The Wooden Award winner is announced on April 7.
USC (NOT) IN THE RANKINGS
After being ranked since the preseason every week in at least one poll, USC fell out of the AP poll on Feb. 12 and the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll on Feb. 19. 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.
Brandon Granville trails only UCLA's Earl Watson on the Pac-10's active assist list. Granville has 555, not far behind Earl Watson, whose 585 is in ninth on the Pac-10's all-time Top 10 assist list. Jeff Trepagnier and Granville are both among the Pac-10's top five active steals leaders. Trepagnier is second with 193 while Granville is fourth with 164. Watson is first with 226.
Sam Clancy became USC's all-time leading shot blocker when he rejected a career-high seven blocks vs. California on March 3 at the Sports Arena. The lucky seven game him 129 career blocks, surpassing previous record-holder Lorenzo Orr (128). Clancy is averaging 2.3 blocks per game and has had at least three blocks 12 times this year.
SICK OF CLANCY NOTES YET?
As a freshman, Sam Clancy made only 47.6% of his free throws (30-of-63). As a sophomore, he jumped to 59.7% (74-124). Clancy has continued to improve as a junior and has now gone from a 'hack-a-Shaq' candidate to a good bet from the line, making a very respectable 69.4% this season (118-170). That is slightly less than the team average of 71.2%.
Nearing the end of the 2000-2001 season, few would have guessed that Brian Scalabrine would not lead the team in field goal attempts per game. Scalabrine is averaging 10.8 shots per game while Sam Clancy, who is having a great junior season, is averaging 12.5 attempts. David Bluthenthal is right behind Scalabrine at 10.0 attempts per game.
BG FG NEWS
Quietly, Brandon Granville has made solid improvements in his field goal and three-point percentages. He is shooting .443 from the field and .390 from three-point range this year. Coming into the season, Granville was a career .375 from the field and .343 from beyond the arc. Granville averaged 1.5 three-pointers per game as a freshman and 1.9 as a sophomore. As a junior, he is averaging 2.0 per game.
In USC's first 13 games, the Trojans shot better than .700 from the free throw line only five times. But in 11 of their last 15 games, USC has bettered the mark. For the season, USC is .712 from the stripe. By the way, that team mark would be among the top 10 best season percentages in school history.
Sam Clancy has scored 31 points twice this year, making him the first Trojan to score at least 30 points twice in a season since Gary Johnson did it twice in the 1998 season. Before that Rodney Chatman did it twice in the 1993 season. Harold Miner, USC's all-time scoring leader, did it 11 times his junior year in 1992.
It took 18 games, but Jeff Trepagnier finally registered his first dunk of the season vs. Oregon, a sweet reverse job off of a lob from Brandon Granville. He also had another alley-oop throw-down vs. Oregon State. At Cal, he almost brought an opposing house down with an acrobatic one-handed follow dunk off of a David Bluthenthal three-point miss. A year ago, USC's athletic guard had 52 slams for the season. He has nine this year.
Last season, four of five USC starters all averaged at least 34.6 minutes per game. This year, the only starter averaging more than 32.8 minutes per game is Brandon Granville (34.6).
WHO DO YOU STOP?
USC has had five 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 twice), David Bluthenthal (29 twice), Brian Scalabrine (28) and Desmon Farmer (24) have all scored at least 24 points or more in a game at least once this season (season highs in parentheses). Brandon Granville (22, twice) is the fifth player to score at least 20.
THE END OF JINX ALERT
With his first free throw Oregon State (Jan. 27), David Bluthenthal set the Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws made in conference play at 42 (Stanford's Ryan Mendez currently has a streak of 41 in a row). Bluthenthal also owns the Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws made in all games at 41 (which he now shares Mendez). Ironically, after setting the respective records, Bluthenthal missed his next foul shot both times to end the streaks. Stanford's Todd Lichti was the previous owner of the conference-only record and Lichti and Oregon's John Greig were the previous record holders of the overall record.
USC AT THE SPORTS ARENA
USC's 12 home wins this year are its most since winning 12 in 1993. USC won 14 home games in 1992. Dating back to 1996-97, the Trojans are 48-19 (.716) in their last 67 games at the Sports Arena and USC is 106-43 (.711) 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, a 12-game streak between the 2000 and 2001 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's 10-game home win streak to open the 2001 season was its biggest home win streak to start a season since 1975.
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.
In all but three games this year, the Trojans have scored more points (or the same) in the second half than in the first. USC is averaging 35.8 points in the first half and 41.0 in the second. USC's opponents are averaging 34.2 in the first and 37.6 in the second.
With his four steals at Arizona State, Brandon Granville has now had at least three steals 25 times in his career and has had at least four steals in a game 14 times in his career. He is fourth on USC's all-time steals chart with 164.
THE TROJANS VS. RANKED TEAMS
The Trojans are 1-5 against ranked teams this year. They beat then-No. 18 Utah in the Wooden Classic and lost to then-No 24 Mississippi in the second round of the Yahoo! Sports Invitational, at then-No. 17 Arizona, at No. 1 Stanford, vs. then-No. 8 Arizona and vs. No. 1 Stanford. 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 7-27 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 4-6 against 2000 NCAA Tournament teams this year and 6-1 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.
THAT BLUTHENTHAL STEALS NOTE
David Bluthenthal entered this season with 32 career steals, 27 from last season. But so far this year, he already has 43 thefts, second most on the team. Bluthenthal has had at least three steals in a game seven times this year, including a season-high five at Oregon.
THREES AND COUNTING
Junior Brandon Granville currently is fourth on USC's all-time three-point chart with 155 career bombs. Granville has had at least three three-pointers 11 times this year and 23 times in his career. Junior David Bluthenthal is 12th on the school chart with 96.
USC has 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) ... 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 5-7. They trailed Bradley, 49-48, at the half, San Diego, 32-28, Cal State Northridge, 52-46, BYU, 41-23, and Oregon, 40-37. The Trojans also almost came back from a 15-0 deficit at Northwestern and were three points shy of erasing a 19-point deficit with 11 minutes to go at UCLA. The Trojans also erased all but two points of a 13-point deficit at Arizona and all but two points of a 16-point deficit against Arizona in L.A., but couldn't quite get all the way back in either game.
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 555. The Pac-10 record is 938 (Gary Payton, Oregon State, 1987-90). Tenth place on the Pac-10 list is 572 (Oregon's Ron Lee). He had at least 10 assists 13 times as a sophomore last year and has done it twice as a junior.
ALL THINGS STEALS
USC 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 closing in on the USC career steals record. He now has 193, good for second place. Derrick Dowell is third 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 164. The Pac-10 career record for steals us 321 (Gary Payton, Oregon State, 1986-90).
PAC-10 PRESEASON POLL
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).
ALMOST LIKE HALLEY'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.
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.
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).
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 is USC's seventh all-time leading scorer (1,377) and is also seventh on the school's career blocked shot chart (78). He is also tied for sixth on USC's career free throws made list (330, Allen Young).
* In Pac-10 play, Scalabrine is second in free throw percentage (.870, 60-of-69).
* Scalabrine has scored at least 20 points 26 times in his USC career.
* Scalabrine is USC's second-leading scorer (15.5) and third-leading rebounder (5.5) and is shooting .492 from the field. His assist average of 2.7 is second best on the team and his seven assists against Long Beach State tied a career high.
* He was named a 2001 NABC District 15 second-team selection.
* Scalabrine had 21 points at Oregon, 17 after hafltime.
* He scored 26 points to go with a career-high tying four blocks vs. Arizona State at home and had 20 points vs. then No. 8-Arizona at home.
* He had 17 points at No. 1 Stanford and 15 at Cal. He had 17 in the second game vs. UCLA.
* He scored 20 points and had nine rebounds vs. Oregon and had 16 points and three blocks vs. Oregon State.
* 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 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.
* He 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 second on USC's career chart in steals (193), fifth in blocked shots (97), 15th in three-pointers (55) and 22nd in scoring (1,044).
* In 15 games this year, he is averaging 7.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in 26.3 minutes per game.
* 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.
* Trepagnier came through with his biggest game of the season at California, posting season highs of 19 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and four assists. He also added two monster dunks for good effect.
* In his second game of the season at UCLA, Trepagnier came off the bench to score 13 points and grab seven rebounds in 34 minutes.
* Trepagnier returned to the starting lineup for good at Arizona State. In Tempe, he scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds in 37 minutes. He had 12 points to go with three steals against Oregon.
* 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 (16.9) and rebounder (7.2) and has a team-high 63 blocks (2.3). He is shooting a team-best .505 from the field.
* He is averaging team highs in points (16.5) and rebounds (7.4) in the Pac-10.
* His 129 career blocks are the most ever at USC. The previous Trojan record was 128 (Lorenzo Orr).
* He had a career-high seven blocks vs. Cal on March 3 to go with 16 points and seven boards.
* Clancy was named both a 2001 Sporting News Pac-10 and NABC District 15 first-team selection.
* 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.
* He had his sixth double-double of the season at Oregon State with 13 points and 10 boards. He then tied his rebounding season high with 13 at Oregon.
* He tied his career-high with 31 points (on 12-of-16 shooting) at UCLA to go with 13 rebounds for his fifth double-double.
* Clancy had 28 points, seven rebounds and four blocks at Arizona State after scoring 23 points to go with seven boards and four blocks at Arizona.
* 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 25 points and eight rebounds at Cal.
* 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 scored 21 points and had five blocks vs. Oregon.
* 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 24 points in the season-opener against Cal State Northridge and had 23 points against both then-No. 5 North Carolina and at Washington.
* (Jim Thomas of the South Bay Daily Breeze): 'The best player in the Pac-10 at the moment and possibly for the season is Sam Clancy. (He) is explosive and powerful around the basket, rising up in traffic to shoot a sweet medium-range jumper that is almost unstoppable. He's also a ferocious jam artist ... and a great shot blocker for someone his size.'
* (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 is the Trojans' second-leading rebounder (7.0) and is third in scoring (13.2). He also has 43 steals, second on the team, and is shooting a team-best .803 from the foul line (53-of-66).
* His 52 three-pointers this year is tied for 13th-most ever in a season at USC.
* Bluthenthal tied a career- and season-high with 29 points at Oregon. He also tied a career-high with five three-pointers and set a career high with five steals.
* He has led USC in rebounding (or tied for team-high honors) a team-best 13 times this year.
* His 95 career three-pointers are the 12th most ever at USC.
* He scored 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds vs. Arizona State at home.
* Bluthenthal made four three-pointers en route to 14 points at Arizona and three treys while scoring 15 at Stanford.
* 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. Bluthenthal also now owns the Pac-10 record for consecutive in-league free throws at 42.
* 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-maker in school history.
* Granville is first on USC's career chart in assists (555) and is fourth in steals (164) and three-pointers (155). He has 975 career points, closing in on becoming the 25th player in school history with at least 1,000 points. He is also one of only four Trojans ever to have at least 150 career three-pointers.
* Granville is averaging a team-best 6.0 assists per game and is fourth in scoring (13.1).
* Granville's 167 assists this year are the third most ever in a season at USC. Only Granville himself (school season record of 248 set last year) and Larry Friend (176 in 1985) have had more.
* He scored a season-high 22 points at Arizona State, going 4-of-6 on three-pointers and making 8-of-8 from the foul line. He matched the effort vs. Cal, scoring 22 points, making four three-pointers and going 6-of-6 from the charity stripe.
* He had 21 points and a season-high 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 at No. 1 Stanford. He had 16 points at Oregon State and 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.
* Turner is averaging 3.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.1 minutes per game this season.
* 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. He played 10 minutes at UCLA and at Arizona and played 14 minutes at Arizona State.
* Turner came off the bench to score nine points and grab five rebounds against San 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 16 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 7.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game.
* Provided a major spark off the bench vs. No. 1 Stanford at the Sports Arena, scoring seven points in 17 minutes and making all three of his shots. He also provided a lift as a reserve against Cal at home, scoring nine points and getting five rebounds in 21 minutes.
* Farmer most recently started at Oregon, but played only three minutes, scoring three points.
* He had 21 points and a career-best nine rebounds against CSUN.
* Farmer scored 14 points in 26 minutes vs. then-No. 8 Arizona at home.
* 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 15 games this year and is averaging 4.5 minutes per game. He made his first start of the season vs. Washington. He scored four points in a season-most 12 minutes. He had four points vs. Long Beach State and vs. Oregon 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).
(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 .343 (12-of-35) from three-point range and is averaging 12.3 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.
* He had six points and four boards at UCLA.
* 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 7.4 minutes per game, has only 11 turnovers in 200 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 had six points vs. then-No. 8 Arizona at home.
* 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.
Sophomore * guard * 6-foot-4 * 200 pounds
* Nate Hair should continue to provide a perimeter scoring threat off the bench in 2001. An athletic player, Hair can also create off the dribble.
* Hair strained a tendon in his knee in October during the preseason that kept him out of USC's first three games. He 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, who started three times as a freshman, made his first start of his sophomore campaign at Oregon, but missed all four shots in 10 minutes of action.
* Hair has played in 13 games, averaging 1.9 points in 11.1 minutes per outing.
* Hair saw his most action in the Pac-10 this year against Oregon State, making 2-of-6 three-point attempts off the bench to go with two rebounds in 11 minutes.
* 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 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) 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 20 minutes in nine 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 two minutes Oregon State.
* 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 much of the season by a toe injury, has been suiting up since the Washington State game, but did not make his debut until playing four minutes off the bench at Arizona, going scoreless. He played one minute at Arizona State and three minutes against Oregon State. He got in late against UCLA at the Sports Arena, but missed both of his three-point attempts.
* Busterna has played in eight games, but has only averaged 1.9 minutes per contest and has missed all seven of his field goal attempts.* 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.
* There are two freshmen walk-ons on this year's squad. They are Anthony Saadey from Canfield, Ohio, and Eze Burts, from Los Angeles. Saadey, was an All-Academic selection in the Metro Atlantic Conference as a senior and was elected to the MAC All-Star game. Burts was a Del Rey League first teamer at St. Bernard High in Los Angeles and also competed on the track team.
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