Men's Hoops Travels To Bradley
Nov. 28, 2001
LOS ANGELES - The USC men's basketball team (2-1), which reached the Elite Eight in 2001 for the first time ever in the NCAA Tournament's current format, makes its first lengthy trip of the season, travelling to Illinois to play at Bradley (2-1) in Peoria on Saturday (Dec. 1) at 7 p.m. (CST). The Trojans are coming off of a 73-62 win over UC Santa Barbara on Monday (Nov. 26). It will be a deeper USC team that takes on the Braves now that junior center Kostas Charissis is eligible. He has served his three-game suspension for a violation of NCAA amateurism rules and will be available on Saturday. It is USC's first game at Bradley since 1966-67. Under sixth-year Coach Henry Bibby, the Trojans return three senior starters and seven lettermen from the team that tied a school mark for wins with a 24-10 record last year. Senior forwards Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal, both 2002 Preseason Top 50 Wooden Award candidates, and fourth-year starting guard Brandon Granville return to lead this year's squad.
USC (2-1) at Bradley (2-1) on Saturday (Dec. 1). Tip off is set for 7 p.m. (CST) The game will be broadcast live on KMPC-AM 1540. There is no Southern California television coverage (the game will air on WEEK-TV, NBC 25 in Peoria). The Braves, under 11th-year coach Jim Molinari, are a young squad with only two seniors and one junior. Sophomore guard Phillip Gilbert is Bradley's leading returning scorer (12.5). Through three games, he's also the current leading scorer (18.7). Freshman forward Danny Granger is second in scoring (9.7) and leads the team in rebounding (10.0). They opened the season with a 63-41 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 19 and defeated Western Illinois, 84-69, on Nov. 24. They suffered their first loss of the season at Alabama-Birmingham on Tue. (Nov. 27), falling 82-50. A year ago, the Braves were 13-2 on their home court, Carver Arena, and their average crowd of 9,012 was the best in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Trojans trail the series with the Braves, 4-2, but have won the last two meetings, most recently the season opener last year, a 107-92 win. Prior to that, USC won 76-73 in overtime win in the Commissioner's Conference Playoffs in the 1973-74 season. The teams first met in the 1946-47 season as Bradley won, 63-61. The Braves won twice in the 1953-54 season, 79-64, and 74-72, the latter coming in the national semifinal game, knocking the Trojans out of the title game. The Braves' last win came in a 102-97 game in the 1966-67 season.
Last Game vs. Bradley
Sam Clancy scored a career-high 31 points and David Bluthenthal posted a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds as USC opened the season with a rout. The Trojans actually trailed at the half, 49-48, but outscored the Braves, 59-43, in the second half, turning the game into a runaway. USC's 107 points were its most since scoring 117 at the end of the 1998 season. The Braves' 60.0% field goal percentage (30-of-50) was an opponent high last season.
Jim Molinari is in his 11th season as the head coach of Bradley. He is 165-132 in his first 10 seasons with the Braves and is 207-149 overall, which includes two seasons with Northern Illinois. The dean of Missouri Valley current head coaches, Molinari is fifth in conference history in wins (105). He has led the Braves to six postseason tournaments (1994-97, 1999, 2001) in his stint in Peoria, including an NCAA appearance in 1996.
Bradley Probable Starters Ht. Yr. pts. reb. G #12 James Gillingham 6-4 So. 7.7 6.0G #22 Phillip Gilbert 6-3 So. 18.7 3.0C #55 Brandon Heemskerk 7-0 Fr. 2.3 3.0F #21 Reggie Hall 6-6 Sr. 8.7 4.0F #34 Jason Faulknor 6-7 So. 0.0 0.0
USC has fallen out of both polls released Nov. 26. USC has received the 28th most votes in the AP poll and the 29th most in the ESPN/USA Today poll.
UC SANTA BARBARA RECAP
It took more than five halves of basketball, but the Trojans finally found their range from beyond the three-point stripe. And when they did, the Trojans kept on shooting. Propelled by five three-pointers and 19 points from David Bluthenthal, 18 points and 11 rebounds from Sam Clancy and 12 points and 10 assists from Brandon Granville, USC came back twice - erasing deficits in both halves - to defeat UC Santa Barbara, 73-62, on Monday (Nov. 26). USC entered the game having made only 3-of-27 three-point attempts and made only 1-of-11 attempts in the first half. But the Trojans caught fire in the second half, canning 8-of-14 three-point attempts. It was the Gauchos, led by Mark Hull's 17 points, who were doing the sharpshooting in the first half. Up 13-10, UCSB made three consecutive threes to take its biggest lead of the game at 22-10 with 11:33 left in the first half. The Gauchos still led 28-19 with 8:00 to go when the Trojans, still cold from outside, turned up the defensive pressure. USC closed the half by outscoring UCSB 12-2 and took a 31-30 lead into the break. Half of USC's points in the run came from freshman Rory O'Neil, who made his first career start on the night and finished with eight points and two blocks. Santa Barbara rebuilt much of its lead in the second half, going up 46-38 with 11:48 to play. That's when Bluthenthal found his stroke. He made his first three-pointer of the season with 11:39 to go, his second less than a minute later and his third put USC ahead for good at 50-48 with 8:47 remaining. The Gauchos held firm, though, and were within two points at 59-57 with 4:05 left. Still smoking, Bluthenthal sank back-to-back bombs to give USC a 65-59 edge with 2:55 to go. From there, USC made 6-of-8 foul shots and held UCSB to only one more basket the rest of the way to secure its second win of the season.
LAST GAME NOTES
USC is now 11-0 against UC Santa Barbara ... Sam Clancy recorded his 21st career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. It's his third straight double-double and sixth in his last seven games. It is the third time he's had three consecutive double-doubles, doing it once as a sophomore and a junior ... Clancy had three blocks on the night -- the 24th time in his career that he's had at least three blocks in a game ... For the third consecutive game, USC held its opponent to under 39% shooting in the first half and under 40% for the game... David Bluthenthal had a game-high five three pointers -- the 19th time in his career that he's had at least three three-pointers in a game and the fifth time he's had at least five in a game ... Bluthenthal is now tied for 10th on the USC career three-point chart with Duane Cooper (114) ... Brandon Granville's 10 assists were his most since getting 10 at California last year. He now has 617 for his career -- 8th on the all-time Pac-10 list ... USC's nine three-pointers was its most since making 10 last year against Oregon State on Jan. 27.
BIBBY VS. THE BRAVES
Henry Bibby played against Bradley once during his UCLA career. He scored 14 points but was not credited with any of UCLA's five assists as the No. 1 Bruins downed the Braves, 61-56, Jan. 16, 1970 in Chicago. The game was played at the old Chicago Stadium.
A DOUBLE-DOUBLE PLEASE
Sam Clancy has strung together three consecutive double-doubles for the third time in his career, but has never had four in a row. The last Trojan to accomplish that was David Bluthenthal, who turned the trick last year in December. The last Trojan before that to get four in a row was Brandon Granville as a sophomore in 2000. The last USC player to string five in a row was forward Jaha Wilson, who did it twice in 1995 (including five in a row to end the season).
LIKE LAST SEASON
For the second consecutive season, USC has kept its turnovers to a minimum in its first three games. The Trojans are averaging only 11.0 turnovers an outing, the same figure as last year after three games.
NOT LIKE LAST SEASON
USC has yet to shoot better than 41.5% from the field this season. Last year, the Trojans didn't shoot worse than that until their ninth game (and first loss) against Mississippi, when they shot 41.1% from the floor. In fact, USC shot worse than 41.5% last year only six times.
Thus far, USC's first three opponents have taken a combined 43.5% of their overall field goal attempts from three-point range, as compared to 32.5% last season. By comparison, the Trojans have attempted just 25.6% of their field goals from beyond the arc compared to 30.5% last year ... Through three games, USC has totalled just 199 points (66.3 points per game). USC averaged 77.1 points per game last season. The last time the Trojans failed to score 200 points in their first three games was in 1986-87, when the Trojans scored 184 points (though they did go 2-1 in that span).
DERRICK CRAVEN OUT
Freshman guard Derrick Craven will be out four to six weeks, recovering from a stress fracture in his right leg. He is expected back in mid-to-late December. He did not see any action in USC's first two games before the injury announcement, but played in both exhibition games.
USC has held its first three opponents to below 40.0% shooting. USC kept its first two opponents, Wyoming and Fresno State, to less than 29.0% shooting overall, both below the Trojan opponent low from last year (30.4% by Boston College). In fact, Fresno State's 28.1% shooting was the worst for a USC opponent since the Trojans held Loyola Marymount to 23.7% on Dec. 11, 1999. The Cowboys and Bulldogs shot less than 18.0% shooting in the second half of both games, also worse than any second-half opponent outing from last year. In the third game, the Trojans held UC Santa Barbara to 39.3%. On the season, USC has limited opponents to a combined .318 from the field.
SAM CLANCY AND DAVID BLUTHENTHAL NAMED TO WOODEN AWARD PRESEASON LIST
USC senior forwards Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal are among 50 preseason candidates selected for the 2001-2002 Wooden Award All-American Team. The top 50 candidates were selected based on last year's individual performance and team records. The award is announced on March 26. Clancy was a mid-season Wooden Award nominee last year, but did not make the list of finalists.
SAM CLANCY NAMED TO PRESEASON NAISMITH CANDIDATE LIST
Sam Clancy was included among 30 preseason candidates for the 2002 Naismith Player of the Year Award, announced Oct. 16.
TROJAN SENIOR TRIO PEPPER RECORD SECTION
USC seniors Brandon Granville, Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal are quite prevalent in the Trojan record books. Look no farther than the career scoring chart. Clancy is 20th with 1,099 points while Granville is 23rd with 1,061 points. If both play a full season, they should be firmly entrenched in USC's Top 10. Bluthenthal is not far behind the 1,000-point club with 949 points and should become USC's 26th player with a four-digit point total early in the season. Granville already is USC's all-time leader in assists with 617. He is second on the three-point chart (167), needing 10 to become the school's all-time leader. He is also third in steals (182) - needing 27 to top that list. With 3,135 minutes, Granville is also in reach of Wayne Carlander's USC record for career minutes played (3,978). As it stands, he's already third on the all-time USC minutes list. Clancy is USC's all-time leader in blocks with 152. Bluthenthal is tied for 10th in three-pointers (114). As far as game records are concerned, Granville owns the USC record for assists (15) while Bluthenthal is tied for the mark in rebounds (28). For a season, Granville owns the assists mark (248) and Clancy owns it for blocks (81).
GRANVILLE CLIMBING THE PAC-10 CAREER ASSISTS CHART
Brandon Granville is the Pac-10's active leader in assists with 617 and is eighth on the all-time list. Seventh is UCLA's Darrick Martin (636) and sixth is UCLA's Tyus Edney (652). Oregon State's Gary Payton holds the Pac-10 record for assists (938).
FOURTH RANDOM NOTE OF THE YEAR
USC is 14-10 all-time against universities that begin with the letter 'B'. That includes Baptist College (1-0), Baylor (1-1), Boston College (1-0), Bradley (2-4), BYU (4-2), BYU-Hawaii (1-0), Brooklyn (1-0) and Butler (2-2).
USC's 53 rebounds at Fresno State was its most in more than two seasons. The last time USC had that many was in the 1999 season finale, when the Trojans grabbed 53 boards in a losing effort at Wyoming on March 10, 1999, in the first round of the NIT. The last time USC had more than 53 was earlier in that season when the Trojans had 57 rebounds in a win over Loyola Marymount on Dec. 9, 1998.
USC AT THE SPORTS ARENA
USC's 12 home wins last year were its most since winning 12 in 1993. Dating back to 1996-97, the Trojans are 50-19 (.725) in their last 69 games at the Sports Arena and USC is 108-43 (.715) 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.
KOSTAS CHARISSIS NOW ELIGIBLE
Junior center Kostas Charissis has served his three-game NCAA suspension for a violation of NCAA amateurism rules and is now eligible to play, starting with the Bradley game. He was originally suspended by the NCAA for 15 games in August, but had his penalty reduced to three games after the NCAA Division I Board of Directors sustained a motion to lessen the punishment for all players affected on Nov. 1. Before he attended USC, Charissis played on a club team in Greece, which included professional players. Even though he played as an amateur, it was an NCAA violation. The NCAA Board sustained the Management Council's policy decision made that the reinstatement condition would be to withhold a student-athlete from a maximum of 20 percent of the number of professional contests played or eight games, whichever is less.
TWO NEW ASSISTANTS
Henry Bibby welcomed two new assistant coaches to his staff to join second-year assistant coach Damon Archibald. Bibby first hired veteran coach Kurtis Townsend, 42, who was previously an assistant coach at Michigan (1999-2001), California (1994-97) and Eastern Kentucky (1998). Bibby then hired Eric Brown, 27, who spent the past three seasons (1999-2001) as an assistant at Northridge, where he helped lead the Matadors to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history last season. Townsend and Brown replace Silvey Dominguez and Dave Miller, both of whom left the team after five-year stints on the Trojan staff.
Despite losing Brian Scalabrine and Jeff Trepagnier to the NBA, USC still has the lion's share of its production back in 2002. Not only do three senior starters return in Brandon Granville, Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal, but sophomore Desmon Farmer brings 16 starts to the table and junior center Kostas Charissis has 14 starts to his credit. Overall, USC has 66.2% of its scoring back, 56.6% of its rebounding, 76.4% of its three-pointers, 58.9% of its blocks and 66.0% of its steals.
THIRD'S A CHARM (AGAIN)
For the second consecutive year, the Trojans were picked to finish third in the Pacific-10 Conference men's basketball race, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball. UCLA, which received 24 of the 27 possible first-place votes, was tabbed as the favorite for the season (267 points). Stanford (222) was picked second and received one first-place vote. USC (208) was third without receiving any first-place votes. Arizona (200) was fourth and received two first-place votes. California (161) was fifth, followed by Oregon (117), Arizona State (111), Oregon State (95), Washington State (57) and Washington (47).
PAC-10 HALL OF HONOR
The conference announced that it will honor 10 former basketball coaches and student-athletes with their induction into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor during the 2002 Pac-10 Tournament. Trojan All-American Bill Sharman is USC's inductee. The others are Sean Elliott (Arizona), Byron Scott (Arizona State), Pete Newell (California), John Dick (Oregon), Gary Payton (Oregon State), Hank Luisetti (Stanford), John Wooden (UCLA), Bob Houbregs (Washington) and Craig Ehlo (Washington State). Sharman was an eight-time NBA All-Star and played on four NBA championship teams with the Boston Celtics. As a coach, he was the only one to ever have led teams to titles in three professional leagues: the ABL (Cleveland Pipers, 1962), ABA (Utah Stars, 1970) and NBA (Los Angeles Lakers, 1972). As general manager and president of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1970s and 1980s, he helped them to five more NBA titles. As a player, he turned free throw shooting into an art and never shot worse than .800 from the line in any NBA season.
TROJANS VS. 2001 TOURNAMENT TEAMS
The Trojans are guaranteed to face only five teams from the 2001 NCAA Tournament and four are from the Pac-10: UCLA, Arizona, California and Stanford. The other is Fresno State. USC faced one NIT team from last year already in Wyoming and has another one down the road in Pepperdine. In fact, those two teams squared off in the first round of the NIT last year with the Waves prevailing.
TROJANS VS. PRESEASON TOP 25 TEAMS
Only a handful of teams in the AP and ESPN/USA Today Preseason Top 25 polls loom ahead for the Trojans. In fact, the only preseason ranked teams on USC's schedule are UCLA, Stanford and Fresno State. Arizona, left off of both polls, returned quickly to the rankings however after the first week and should be added to the slate. Wyoming, USC's first opponent, chimed in at No. 35 on the ESPN/USA Today Poll to start the year.
A (BRIEF) LOOK BACK AT LAST YEAR
The new millennium was good to USC basketball. The Trojans reached their first Elite Eight since 1954 and enjoyed their first 20-win season since 1992. They opened in the preseason Top 25 for the first time since the 1978-79 season, reached as high as No. 12 in the polls for the first time since hitting No. 8 in 1992 and had four players (Brian Scalabrine, Jeff Trepagnier, Sam Clancy and Brandon Granville) crack the 1,000-point barrier. USC's 10 home wins to open this year were its most in a row to start a season since 1975. The Trojans, who played the first 12 games of the season without Trepagnier because of injuries and suspensions, still won their first eight games, including a win over No. 18 Utah that propelled USC to a season-best No. 12 in the rankings. USC's first defeat came in a one-point overtime loss to Top-25 Mississippi in the Yahoo! Sports Invitational in Laie, Hawaii. The next game, however, the Trojans made up for the loss by erasing an 18-point halftime deficit against BYU. USC finished the non-conference slate 10-2 and opened the Pac-10 with a pair of home wins against the Washington schools. The Trojans were brought down to earth a bit after falling at UCLA and losing a hard-fought battle at Arizona. But USC then won three in a row, defeating Arizona State on the road and taking care of the Oregon schools at home. The Trojans next travelled to top-ranked Stanford and trailed by three with a minute to go, but fell by six. USC responded to the loss with a convincing 80-66 win at Cal two days later. The momentum slowed at that point as the Trojans lost three of their next four games, falling to UCLA, defeating Arizona State at home before losing consecutively to Arizona at home and Oregon State on the road. The Trojans then found themselves in Eugene where, down by 12 with five minutes to play, they stormed back to force overtime in an eventual win. USC once again played No. 1 Stanford to the final buzzer (losing by two when Granville was unable to get a shot off as time expired) and then completed a season sweep of Cal two days later. USC finished off the regular season with trouncings at Washington and Washington State. It opened the 2001 NCAA Tournament with an 69-54 win over Oklahoma State and followed it with a 74-71 win over Boston College to earn a trip to the Sweet 16. The Trojans then defeated Kentucky, 80-76, setting up their final game of the year vs. Duke in the East Regional Final. USC fell to the Blue Devils, 79-69, losing to the eventual national champions.
A LOOK BACK AT LAST YEAR'S NCAA TOURNAMENT
USC's appearance in the East Regional Final of the 2001 NCAA Tournament against Duke marked the first team Troy had reached the round of eight since 1954. The only other time USC was among the final eight teams was 1940. The No. 6-seed Trojans used wins over No. 11-seed Oklahoma State and No. 3-seed Boston College in Long Island, N.Y., to advance to the Sweet 16. Then, in Philadelphia, USC downed No. 2-seed Kentucky to reach the East Regional Final, where it fell to top-seed and eventual NCAA Champion Duke. Sam Clancy, David Bluthenthal and Brian Scalabrine all earned East Regional All-NCAA Tournament Team honors.
SCALABRINE AND TREPAGNIER GO TO THE NBA
Among the components that will need to be replaced from last year's squad are forward/center Brian Scalabrine and guard Jeff Trepagnier. Scalabrine, USC's sixth-leading scorer ever, and Trepagnier, the Trojans' 15th-top scorer in school history, were both drafted in the second round of the NBA draft. Scalabrine, USC's second-leading scorer last year (14.7), went 35th to the New Jersey Nets and Trepagnier went 36th to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Also gone from last year's team was top reserve Jarvis Turner, who signed a contract to play overseas. USC is also without graduated guard Tyler Murphy as well as center Luke Minor (academics) and Nate Hair (left team).
Henry Bibby, a coach with 19 years of college and professional experience and the only player to ever play for an NCAA, NBA and CBA championship team, is in his sixth full season in 2001-2002 as the head coach of the USC men's basketball program. This past year he guided the Trojans to their first ever NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance under the tournament's current format and led USC to its fourth winning season and third postseason berth (two NCAA, one NIT) under his watch ... With the Trojans on the rise, Bibby was rewarded with a three-year contract extension on Aug. 4, 2000, which will take him through the 2004-2005 season ... In 2001, Bibby led USC to perhaps its greatest season ever. In their second NCAA Tournament appearance under Bibby, the No. 6-seeded Trojans reached the East Regional Final before losing to Duke. USC's three NCAA Tournament wins (against No. 11 seed Oklahoma State, No. 2 seed Boston College and No. 3 seed Kentucky) were its most ever in one tourney and the Trojans' final record of 24-10 matched the most wins ever in one season at USC. The Trojans finished 11-7 in the Pac-10 (tied for fourth place) ... The Trojans' landmark team that Bibby guided featured a pair of NBA draft picks in forward/center Brian Scalabrine and guard Jeff Trepagnier. The pair was taken back-to-back in the second round of the 2001 draft, Scalabrine going to New Jersey with the 35th pick while Trepagnier went 36th to Cleveland. They were the second and third Trojans taken in the NBA draft since Bibby has been at USC (the first was Rodrick Rhodes in 1997) ... In his five years as head coach, Bibby has been instrumental in player development and has guided seven players to a combined nine All-Pac-10 honors and four players to All-Pac-10 Freshman honors. Two Trojans (Rhodes and Scalabrine) have also earned the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year award and another (Elias Ayuso) earned Pac-10 All-Newcomer first team notice. Six of USC's top 25 scorers of all time have played under Bibby.
Senior * forward * 6-foot-7 * 240 pounds
* Sam Clancy, an All-American, Wooden and Naismith Award candidate in 2002, is one of the Pac-10's top offensive and defensive threats and is equally adept from the post, the wing or the top of the key. A major shot-blocking and rebounding presence in the paint, Clancy is in his fourth year as a starting forward.
* Clancy is USC's all-time leading shot-blocker (152). He has started 74 of his 84 games at USC. He is 20th on USC's career scoring chart with 1,099 career points and was the 25th Trojan ever to reach the millennium milestone.
* Clancy leads USC is scoring (17.7) and rebounding (11.7) and has a team-high five blocks. He has opened the 2002 season with three consecutive double-doubles: 22 points and 12 rebounds against Wyoming, 13 points and 12 rebounds against Fresno State and 18 points and 11 rebounds against UC Santa Barbara. He has 21 for his career.
* Clancy earned 2001 Pacific-10 Conference, Sporting News Pac-10, NABC District 15 and USBWA District 9 first-team honors as a junior forward, leading USC in scoring (17.3), rebounding (7.5), field goal percentage (.501) and blocked shots (81).
* He set a school season record for rejections (81) last year. His 588 points on the season were the fifth-most in school history and his 255 rebounds were the 14th most ever at USC. He had a team-high nine double-doubles on the season and scored at least 20 points a team-high 11 times.
* Clancy earned 2001 East Regional All-NCAA Tournament Team honors as he led USC in scoring (18.0), rebounding (10.8) and blocks (4.0) in the Trojans' four NCAA Tournament games. He had 22 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks against Oklahoma State, 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks vs. Boston College, 17 points and seven rebounds vs. Kentucky and 19 points and 11 boards vs. Duke .
* He posted career highs of 31 points twice, once in the season-opener vs. Bradley and again at UCLA (to go with 13 rebounds).
* 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.
* After the 2001 season, Clancy declared for the NBA draft, but did not sign with an agent, allowing him the option to return to school. Before he removed his name from the draft list, he participated in a three-day NBA Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago, where he was the leading scorer (42 points) and rebounder (28).
* (J.A. Adande of the Los Angeles Times): '(Sam) can score inside or deftly pass to (former teammate Brian) Scalabrine from the high post. He makes the 18-foot jump shot from the baseline or beyond the free throw line. He snatches rebounds at rim level and blocks shots inside or on the perimeter.'
* (Joe Juliano of the Philadelphia Inquirer): 'Sam Clancy resembles a tight end on the basketball court. At 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds, he's not someone who's easy to hide.'
* (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.'
Senior * forward * 6-foot-7 * 220 pounds
* David Bluthenthal, among 50 Preseason Wooden Award candidates, returns for his third year as a starting small forward in 2002 and is one of the top all-around threats in the Pac-10. One of the league's premier three-point shooters, he's also an aggressive rebounder who led the Trojans in that category as a sophomore.
* Bluthenthal has started 62 of his 87 games at USC. He is tied for 10th on USC's career three-point chart (114). He also shares the Trojan record for most rebounds in a game (28).
* Bluthenthal broke out of his shooting slump against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 26. Midway through the second half, he was still 0-for-10 on the season, but got hot quickly and made five three-pointers in the final 12 minutes and finished with a game-high 19 points. He is tied for second on the team in scoring (10.3) and is second in rebounding (8.0).
* Bluthenthal was USC's second-leading rebounder (6.8) and third-leading scorer (13.5) as a junior in 2001. He led the Trojans in three-point percentage (65-of-159, .409) and total three-pointers and was second on the team in steals (50).
* His 65 three-pointers was the sixth-most ever in a season at USC.
* He earned 2001 East Regional All-NCAA Tournament Team honors by averaging 16.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in the postseason. After going scoreless in the tourney opener against Oklahoma State, Bluthenthal came back to score 20 points vs. Boston College, 27 points vs. Kentucky (including 5-of-6 free throws in the final 30 seconds) and had 17 points and 13 rebounds vs. Duke.
* Bluthenthal, named to the 2001 Jewish Sports Review All-America first team, tied a career- and season-high with 29 points at Oregon. He also had five three-pointers and set a career high with five steals.
* He led USC in rebounding (or tied for team-high honors) 15 times last year and had four consecutive double-doubles against Utah, Cal State Northridge, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine.
* Bluthenthal earned his second career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor after the doubles vs. UCSB and CSUN.
* Including a streak of 33 free throws in a row continued from his sophomore year, Bluthenthal set USC and Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws at 41. Bluthenthal also owned the Pac-10 record for consecutive in-league free throws at 42. Both Pac-10 marks, however, were broken by Stanford's Ryan Mendez ... Bluthenthal was named to the 2001 U.S. team for the World Maccabiah Games, but did not play.
* What a fan told his dad, Ralph, following Bluthenthal's Dennis Rodman-esque 28 rebounds vs. Arizona State in 2000: 'He said he was expecting to see a big guy with green hair and they saw me instead.'
* (Todd Harmonson, of the Orange County Register): 'He has become USC's most dependable starter and made the transformation from the player no one knew to the one no one dares to ignore.'
Senior * guard * 5-foot-9 * 175 pounds
* Brandon Granville is USC's all-time leader in assists (the Pac-10's active leader, tied for ninth in league history) and is starting at point guard for the Trojans for his fourth season in 2002. One of the most effective playmakers in Pac-10 history, Granville is also one of USC's all-time three-point threats and one of two 1,000-point scorers on the team.
* Granville is USC's first four-year starting point guard since Jacque Hill (1980-83). He has started 92 of his 95 games at USC. He is first on USC's career chart in assists (617), second in three-pointers (167) and is third in steals (182). He has 1,061 career points, 23rd most ever at USC. He was the 24th player in school history to eclipse 1,000 points. He is one of only four Trojans ever to have at least 150 career three-pointers.
* Had his first double-double of the season with 10 assists and 12 points vs. UCSB.
* In the 2002 opener, he had 11 points, five assists and three steals in 31 minutes. At Fresno State, he had eight points, seven assists and six rebounds.
* Last season, Granville led the Pac-10 in assists (6.1) for the second consecutive year and finished as USC fourth-leading scorer (12.4).
* Granville's 207 assists last year were the second-most ever in a season at USC, behind only his school season record of 248 set as a sophomore.
* His 2001 NCAA Tournament highlights included 14 points, four steals and five assists against Oklahoma State and nine points and six assists versus Boston College. He also had eight assists vs. Kentucky and seven against Duke.
* Granville's 64 three-pointers on the season were the seventh-most in school history.
* 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
* As a sophomore in 2000, Granville dished out more assists than any USC guard in school history (and the third most ever in the Pac-10) when he had 248 en route to 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).
* (Former teammate Brian Scalabrine): 'Everything happens for us when Brandon is in control of the basketball. And we're out of sync without him. In this league, everything begins, offensively and defensively, with your point guard.'
Sophomore * guard * 6-foot-4 * 225 pounds
* Desmon Farmer is a 2002 sophomore with a great scoring touch and a fiery defensive presence who looks to start this year.
* Starting at shooting guard, Farmer had 10 points and five rebounds in the 2002 opener against Wyoming. He also started at Fresno State, but scored only two points in 16 minutes. He had seven points off the bench against UCSB.
* Farmer started 16 of 32 games as a 2001 freshman guard last year, most of his starts coming in place of Jeff Trepagnier, who was out for the first half of last season.
* Farmer averaged 6.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game last year. He started in 15 of his first 16 games, averaging 9.1 points through the first half of the season. When Trepagnier returned, Farmer became a key reserve off the bench.
* He scored a career-high 24 points and had three assists in USC's Pac-10 opener vs. Washington State.
* He had 21 points and a career-best nine rebounds against CSUN. He scored 14 points in 26 minutes vs. then-No. 8 Arizona at home and 14 points and seven rebounds vs. Loyola Marymount.
Junior * center * 6-foot-11 * 250 pounds
* Kostas Charissis, a native of Greece, is a 2002 junior who will look to have an increased role on this year's squad ... His full first name is Konstantinos ... Originally suspended for the Trojans' first 15 regular-season games this season for a violation of NCAA amateurism rules, it was reduced to three games and he is now eligible to play. The original suspension stems from the fact that before he attended USC, Charissis played on a club team in Greece which included professional players. Even though he played as an amateur, this is an NCAA violation.
* Charissis will suit up for the first time this year at Bradley.
* Charissis played in 18 games as a sophomore reserve center in 2001. He averaged 1.2 points and 1.2 rebounds in 4.7 minutes per game
* He made his first start of the season vs. Washington. He scored four points in a season-high 12 minutes ... He had four points vs. Long Beach State and Oregon State ... He scored two points and had two rebounds in three minutes in USC's opener vs. Bradley.
* 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.
* He had by far his most productive game of his career as a freshman 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) Junior * guard * 6-foot-1 * 195 pounds
* Hutchinson saw his most action of the season against UCSB. Though he didn't attempt a shot, he had two assists and two rebounds in 13 minutes of action. He has three assists and no turnovers in the three games.
* Hutchinson played in every game as a reserve point guard as a 2001 sophomore, averaging 1.2 points in 7.4 minutes per game.
* He became a hero, however, with his play against Boston College in the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament. Filling in for Brandon Granville, who had fouled out, Hutchinson stepped in admirably, making 5-of-6 free throws in the final 77 seconds to go with two rebounds and a key assist, helping seal the win. He then played 12 minutes vs. Kentucky in the Sweet 16 and six minutes vs. Duke.
* 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.
Senior * guard * 6-foot-3 * 205 pounds
* Gennaro Busterna is a senior who has a soft perimeter touch and will be looked on to provide offense off the bench in 2002.
* Busterna got in for the final few moments of USC's season opener, but did not attempt a shot. He also played a minute at the end of the Fresno State game, but went 0-for-2.
* Busterna came to USC as a JUCO transfer as a 2001 junior guard, but saw limited action off the bench
* Busterna played in eight games, but only averaged 1.9 minutes per contest and missed all seven of his field goal attempts
* Sidelined much of the season by a toe injury, Busterna began suiting up in 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 spent the previous 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.
(RS) Sophomore * forward * 6-foot-11 * 220 pounds
* Jerry Dupree, a sophomore forward, is in his first year with the Trojans after a year off from basketball when he was concentrating on academics at San Bernardino College. An extremely athletic player, Dupree figures to challenge for starting time at small forward.
* Dupree started at small forward in his Trojan debut against Wyoming. He scored 13 points in 37 minutes and added seven rebounds, three blocks and a handful of highlight dunks reminiscent of the graduated Jeff Trepagnier. He also started at Fresno State, scoring 12 points. He started his third game vs. UCSB, but went scoreless in only four minutes.
* Dupree played in 25 games, all as a reserve, as a 2000 freshman at College of Southern Idaho ... He averaged 7.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 13.2 minutes per game ... He shot .538 from the field (78-of-145) and was .647 from the foul line (22-of-34) ... He had a season-high of 16 points.
* Dupree prepped at Valley View High in Moreno Valley, Calif., where he averaged 17.5 point, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a senior in 1999 ... He earned All-CIF Southern Section Division 1-AA second team and All-San Bernardino County and All-Sunbelt League first team honors as a senior.
Freshman * center * 6-foot-11 * 220 pounds
* Rory O'Neil, a freshman center in 2002, figures to add immediate help to USC's frontcourt. A talented big man, O'Neil comes to Troy with a solid scoring touch and a good feel for the game.
* Made his first collegiate start against UCSB, scoring eight points and blocking two shots in 23 minutes. He was 4-of-7 from the floor.
* O'Neil played 23 minutes off the bench at Fresno State, including all 20 minutes of the second half, and scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds. He was 5-of-8 from the field.
* He played six minutes as a reserve against Wyoming, going 1-for-2 from the field. His one basket catapulted USC to a 17-0 run that turned a seven-point deficit into a 10-point lead.
* O'Neil was a Street & Smith's preseason All-American high honorable mention selection, a Student Sports Senior All-American fourth teamer and All-CIF Division III first team pick as a 2001 senior at Burroughs High in Ridgecrest, Calif.
* He averaged 25.1 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game last year.
* He was the 2001 Desert Sky League 200 Player of the Year and was named the sixth-best prep center in the country by ESPN.com.
Freshman * guard * 6-foot-2 * 170 pounds
* Errick Craven, a freshman guard in 2002 and identical twin brother of fellow Trojan freshman Derrick Craven, is an athletic addition to the team whose intensity on defense and growing offensive skills should be a boon for the Trojans.
* Scored a season-high nine points against UCSB and had eight rebounds (four offensive) to go with three assists and two steals. He scored his first points as a Trojan at Fresno State, making 2-of-5 field goals to go with two rebounds and a block. He played seven minutes off the bench against Wyoming, missing his only shot. He had one steal.
* Craven prepped at Bishop Montgomery High in Torrance, Calif., where he averaged 19.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.6 steals and shot 53.0% from the field as a 2001 senior while leading the Knights to both their second consecutive California and CIF Southern Section Division III titles.
* He was a 2001 Street & Smith's preseason All-American honorable mention selection and was named South Bay Daily Breeze Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
* He was the first player to win the Daily Breeze's Player of the Year in consecutive years since the Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce did it in 1994-95.
* He shared 2001 CIF Division III Player of the Year and Del Rey League MVP honors with his brother Derrick for the second consecutive year
* He was named the No. 10 best prep shooting guard in the country by ESPN.com.
Freshman * forward * 6-foot-8 * 220 pounds
* Nick Curtis, a freshman forward in 2002, comes to USC as a strong rebounder who will lend solid frontcourt depth to the Trojans.
* Started USC's first two games at forward but did not play against UCSB. In his first game as a Trojan, Curtis made USC's first basket of the 2002 season and finished with six points in 11 minutes, going 3-of-4 from the field. He went scoreless in six minutes at Fresno State.
* Curtis earned 2001 Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team, All-CIF Division I-AAA first team and Los Angeles Times All-Ventura and All-Pacific View League MVP honors while leading Oxnard to a 25-4 record as a senior in 2001.
* He is Oxnard High's career record holder for points (1,215), rebounds (1,003) and blocks (244).
* A three-year starter, Curtis averaged 19.9 points, 14.8 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game as a senior. He shot 68.0% from the field and 79.0% from the free throw line.
Freshman * guard * 6-foot-2 * 170 pounds
* Derrick Craven, a freshman guard in 2002 and identical twin brother of fellow Trojan freshman Errick Craven, is an athletic addition to the team with a strong defensive work ethic. He is expected to push for time off of the bench.
* Craven will be out four to six weeks (as of Nov. 19), recovering from a stress fracture in his right leg. He is expected back in late December or early January. He did not see action in USC's first two games.
* Craven prepped at Bishop Montgomery High in Torrance, Calif., where he averaged 16.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.9 steals while shooting 56.0% from the field as a 2001 senior while leading the Knights to both their second consecutive California and CIF Southern Section Division III titles.
* He was a 2001 Street & Smith's preseason All-American honorable mention selection, a Daily Breeze All-Area first team pick and shared CIF Division III Player of the Year and Del Rey League MVP honors with his brother Errick for the second consecutive year.
* There are four walk-ons on this year's squad. Anthony Saadey from Canfield, Ohio, and Eze Burts, from Los Angeles, return as redshirt freshmen. 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. Burts and Saadey are joined by freshmen Peter McCaslin and Joe Buck. McCaslin prepped at Chadwick High, where he earned All-CIF honors as a sophomore, junior and senior. He holds his school record for points with 2,770 points. Buck comes to USC from Redondo Union High in Redondo Beach, Calif.