Men's Hoops At Long Beach On Wednesday

Dec. 10, 2001

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

The USC men's basketball team (4-2), which reached the Elite Eight in 2001 for the first time ever in the NCAA Tournament's current format, will try to rebound from its heartbreaking loss at the buzzer to Pepperdine last Thursday (Dec. 6) when it takes on Long Beach State at the Pyramid on Wednesday (Dec. 12) at 7:35 p.m. The Trojans will return to action later in the week to host Miami (Ohio) (2-4) on Sunday (Dec. 16) at 3 p.m. 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.

GAME #7

USC (4-2) at Long Beach State (3-4) on Wednesday (Dec. 12) at 7:35 p.m.. The game will be televised live on FOX Sports Net (West) and will be broadcast live on KMPC-AM 1540. The 49ers are under sixth-year coach Wayne Morgan. The 49ers are led by senior guard Ron Johnson, who tops four players averaging in double figures with a team-best 13.6 points per game. Senior forward Travis Reed is averaging a team-high 8.7 rebounds to go with his 11.6 scoring average. As a team, Long Beach State has shot .454 from the floor, but opponents have made .484 of their shots and .445 from three-point range. The 49ers have lost two in a row, to Texas A&M (71-56) and Pepperdine (93-83).

Series

The series is tied at 5-5. USC evened the series when it beat the 49ers, 95-76, last year at the Sports Arena. The Trojans are 0-2 at the Pyramid losing 81-71 in 1998 and 76-66 in 2000. After losing the first game of the series in 1977, USC won in 1978 and 1982 before dropping back-to-back games in 1988-89. The series resumed with a USC win in 1997 at the Sports Arena. The Trojans also won at the Sports Arena in 1999 and 2001.

Last Game

Behind Sam Clancy's third consecutive double-double (24 and 10), USC finished its non-conference schedule with a 95-73 win at the Sports Arena last year on Dec. 30. USC opened a 25-15 lead with 11:56 to go in the first half, led 39-23 with 6:19 to go and took a 47-33 lead into halftime. The Trojans quickly built their lead to 20 points after the break at 59-39. Brandon Granville added 21 points.

Coach

Wayne Morgan is in his sixth season with the 49ers and is currently 81-71 with the team. He is 2-3 against USC. He has directed Long Beach State to back-to-back winning seasons, going 18-13 last year and 24-6 in 2000, which included a first-round appearance in the NIT. He was named head coach at Long Beach State in April of 1996. Before that, he served as an assistant coach to Jim Boeheim at Syracuse for 12 years (1984-96) and coached in the Division I ranks for 19 years before joining the 49ers.

Probable Starters	Ht.	Yr.	pts.	reb. G  00	Ron Johnson	6-0	Sr.	13.6	2.3G  20	Tony Darden	6-4	Jr.	10.4	1.6G  23	Michael Darrett	6-2	Sr.	7.4	2.7C  50	James Williams	6-9	Sr.	13.1	5.4F  13	Travis Reed	6-8	Sr.	11.6	8.7

GAME #8

USC vs. Miami (Ohio) (2-4) on Sunday (Dec. 16). The game will be televised live on FOX Sports Net (West) and will be broadcast live on KMPC-AM 1540. Charlie Coles is in his sixth year as the head coach of the RedHawks. Senior forward/center Alex Shorts is averaging a team-high 15.0 points per game while senior guard Doug Davis is scoring 13.8 points per game. Freshman forward Danny Horace is pulling down a team-best 7.5 rebounds per game. The RedHawks opened the season 2-2, but have lost two straight, falling at Evansville, 67-63, in overtime, on Dec. 3, and losing to Notre Dame, 70-69, on Dec. 8.

Series

This is the first meeting between the two schools.

Coach

Charlie Coles is in his sixth year at Miami. He entered the season with a 94-60 record in five years with the RedHawks and won Two Mid-American Conference regular season titles (1997 and 1999). He also led his team to the MAC Tournament title game all five years, winning it in 1997. He has guided the RedHawks to the NCAA Tournament twice in five years, once in 1997 and again in 1999, when they reached the Sweet 16. Coles, who was a star guard at Miami from 1963-65, is in his 12th year overall as a head coach. He spent six year at Central Michigan, where he went 92-84.

Probable Starters	Ht.	Yr.	pts.	reb. G   30	Doug Davis	6-3	Sr.	13.8	2.0G    4	Chester Mason	6-3	So.	5.2	4.0G    5	Juby Johnson	6-5	So.	10.3	3.0F/C 45	Alex Shorts	6-8	Sr.	15.0	5.0F   35	Danny Horace	6-5	Fr.	8.5	7.5

PEPPERDINE RECAP

What appeared to be a hard-fought win turned into a painful, last-second defeat as USC fell to Pepperdine, 78-77, in the second game of the 2001 Loud Records Fab Four tournament at the Forum when Wave guard Craig Lewis' desperation three-pointer with 2.5 seconds to go banked in. USC did not get a shot off on its ensuing possession. The Trojans led for the entire second half until Lewis' shot. USC was ahead 73-62 with 8:02 to play, but managed only two free throws and one basket the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Pepperdine charged ahead. After single free throws by Desmon Farmer and Brandon Granville, USC still led 75-69 with 2:39. But a Terrance Johnson jumper and a pair of Devin Montgomery baskets tied the game at 75 apiece with 41 seconds to play. USC finally made another basket when Granville connected on a runner in the lane to go ahead 77-75 with 26 seconds left. Pepperdine failed on its next possession and fouled Sam Clancy when USC got the ball back. But Clancy missed both free throws, leaving the door open for the Waves. Sam Clancy finished with 25 points and a career-high tying 14 rebounds while Errick Craven had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

LAST GAME NOTES

Sam Clancy's double-double was his fourth in six games this year and he's posted double-digit rebound efforts in five of six games. His 25 points moved him past former teammate Jeff Trepagnier into 15th on USC's career scoring chart (1,142) ... Errick Craven's double-double was his first at USC ... Brandon Granville's 13 points moved him past former Trojan and Pepperdine Coach Paul Westphal. Granville now has 1,089 points, 21st on USC's career chart ... Pepperdine's .533 shooting percentage was the best against USC this year and its 78 points was an opponent high ... The Trojans' 45 first-half points were a season-high.

CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARDS

USC outrebounded Rhode Island on Dec. 4 by 20, 47-27. It was the Trojans' biggest rebounding margin since enjoying a 58-37 edge in a win against Oregon on Feb. 27, 1997. On the year, USC is outrebounding the opposition by an average of 44.8 to 37.3.

SEVENTH RANDOM NOTE OF THE YEAR

USC's one-point loss to Pepperdine was its first one-point loss since losing last year to Mississippi, 84-83, in the Yahoo! Sports Invitational in Laie, Hawaii. The Trojans lost one one-pointer in the 2000 season. The previous time before that was at Oregon State in 1995.

NOTE ARCHIVE

USC held its first five opponents to 65 or less points for the first time since the 1967-68 season. That season, Bob Boyd's Trojans held their opponents to 65 or fewer points in their first six games, which was good enough for a 5-1 start. That team finished 18-8 ... Errick Craven's 5-of-5 three-point showing against Rhode Island tied the USC record for the most three-pointers made without a miss. The only other Trojan to do it was Brad Winslow, who did it at California in 1987 ... The Trojans' 60 points in the win at Bradley was their lowest winning total since defeating Washington, 53-46, in Seattle in 1994 ... USC opponents have shot 20% or less in a half three times ... 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.

A DOUBLE-DOUBLE PLEASE

Sam Clancy has four double-doubles in six games and 22 for his career (tops among active Pac-10 players). He strung together three consecutive double-doubles for the third time in his career at the start of the season, but failed in his attempt to go four in a row, falling four points short. He 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).

SO THERE'S THE BASKET

After failing to shoot better than 41.5% in its first four games, USC shot 52.6% against Rhode Island, helping the Trojans crack the 40.0% barrier for the year. USC edged a little higher against Pepperdine, shooting 42.9%. The Trojans are now at 40.5% from the field.

PLENTY OF 'D'

USC has held five of its first six opponents to below 40.0% shooting. USC kept four of the six to less than 32.0% shooting overall. 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. Wyoming and Fresno State shot less than 18.0% in the second half of both games while Bradley shot only 20.0% in the first half. On the season, USC has limited opponents to a combined .350 from the field, best in the Pac-10.

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.

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 15th with 1,142 points while Granville is 21st with 1,089 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 980 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 632. He is second on the three-point chart (172), needing five to become the school's all-time leader. He is also third in steals (184) - needing 25 to top that list. With 3,220 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 155. Bluthenthal is 10th in three-pointers (116). 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).

USC IN THE PAC-10 STAT RANKINGS (as of Dec. 9)

USC is first in field goal percentage defense (.350), second in scoring defense (60.7) and rebounding (44.8). Sam Clancy is second in rebounds (11.0) and tied for seventh in scoring (16.0). Brandon Granville is second in assists (6.2)

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 51-19 (.729) in their last 70 games at the Sports Arena and USC is 109-43 (.717) 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. He saw his first action at Bradley, grabbing three rebounds in seven minutes without a point. 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.

PRODUCTION FUNCTION

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

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.

SAM CLANCY

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 (155). He has started 76 of his 87 games at USC. He is 15th on USC's career scoring chart with 1,142 career points and was the 25th Trojan ever to reach the millennium milestone.

* Clancy leads USC in scoring (16.0), rebounding (11.0) and steals (2.0) and has eight blocks.

* He scored a game-high 25 points to go with 14 rebounds against Pepperdine for his fourth double-double of the season.

* He 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. He scored only six points at Bradley, but did get 10 rebounds, keeping his double-digit board streak alive.

* 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.

* 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 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.'

DAVID BLUTHENTHAL

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 64 of his 90 games at USC. He is 10th on USC's career three-point chart (116). He also shares the Trojan record for most rebounds in a game (28).

* He is third on the team in scoring (10.3) and second in rebounding (7.0).

* 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 followed it up with 14 points and eight rebounds at Bradley. He had nine points off the bench against Rhode Island and scored eight against Pepperdine.

* 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).

* He earned 2001 East Regional All-NCAA Tournament Team honors by averaging 16.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in the postseason.

* 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.'

BRANDON GRANVILLE

Senior * guard * 5-foot-9 * 175 pounds

* Brandon Granville is USC's all-time leader in assists (the Pac-10's active leader, eighth in league history) and is starting at point guard for the Trojans for his fourth season in 2002.

* Granville is USC's first four-year starting point guard since Jacque Hill (1980-83). He has started 94 of his 98 games at USC. He is first on USC's career chart in assists (632), second in three-pointers (172) and is third in steals (184). He has 1,089 career points, 21st 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.

* He is tied for fourth on the team in scoring (9.8) and is first in assists (6.2) and second in steals (1.7).

* Had his first double-double of the season with 10 assists and 12 points vs. UCSB. Had a season-high 13 points vs. Pepperdine.

* 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.

* He scored a season-high 22 points twice last year, at Arizona State and vs. Cal.

* 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.'

DESMON FARMER

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.

* After not playing a minute at Bradley, Farmer started against Rhode Island and came up big, posting his first career double-double with 20 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. His four three-pointers were also a career best. He then scored 13 points and played all 40 minutes against Pepperdine.

* Farmer is USC's second-leading scorer (10.4) and third-leading rebounder (5.2).

* Starting at shooting guard against Wyoming, Farmer had 10 points and five rebounds. 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.

KOSTAS CHARISSIS

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 played in his first game of the season at Bradley, getting three rebounds in seven minutes, but missed his only two shots. He also went scoreless in three minutes vs. Rhode Island. He did not play vs. Pepperdine.

* 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).

ROBERT HUTCHINSON

(RS) Junior * guard * 6-foot-1 * 195 pounds

* Robert Hutchinson is back as a junior reserve point guard in 2002 who figures to give the Trojans quality minutes behind starter Brandon Granville.

* He made his third career start against Rhode Island, grabbing a career-high five rebounds and tying a career-high with three assists in 19 minutes.

* Hutchinson scored his first four points of the season at Bradley, making his only shot and canning both free throw attempts. He added two assists and a steal. He also had two assists against UCSB. On the season, he has nine assists and two turnovers, averaging 9.8 minutes per game.

* 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.

GENNARO BUSTERNA

Senior * guard * 6-foot-3 * 205 pounds

* Gennaro Busterna is a senior who has a soft perimeter touch and could be looked on to provide offense off the bench in 2002.

* Busterna has seen a combined five minutes in four games this season, but is 0-2 from the field this year with one rebound.

* He 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.

JERRY DUPREE

(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 has started three of six games for the Trojans, averaging 6.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game.

* He started at small forward in his Trojan debut against Wyoming, scoring 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. He came off the bench at Bradley, scoring eight points in 20 minutes. He scored two points vs. Rhode Island and four against Pepperdine.

* 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.

ERRICK CRAVEN

Freshman * guard * 6-foot-2 * 190 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.

* He is averaging 9.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game.

* Craven posted his first double-double vs. Pepperdine, scoring 12 points and getting 10 rebounds.

* In his second start, Craven had a huge game against Rhode Island, scoring 20 points and blocking three shots. He was 5-of-5 from three-point range, tying the USC record for most threes made in a game without a miss.

* Made his first collegiate start at Bradley, scoring 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting and grabbing seven rebounds in 35 minutes.

* Scored 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.

* 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.

RORY O'NEIL

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.

* O'Neil has started three of six games, averaging 5.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per game. His eight blocks are tied for team high.

* 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. He made his second start at Bradley, blocking four shots to go with eight rebounds and four points in 20 minutes. He had six points and three rebounds vs. Rhode Island.

* He 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.

NICK CURTIS

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.

* Curtis has started three of his five games, averaging 2.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game.

* He had five points and five rebounds against Rhode Island.

* 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 against Wyoming. He went scoreless in six minutes at Fresno State. At Bradley, he came off the bench to grab four rebounds in eight minutes.

* 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.

DERRICK CRAVEN

Freshman * guard * 6-foot-2 * 190 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.

* Derrick 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.

WALK-ONS

* 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 saw his first action as a Trojan at Bradley, playing in the final minute of the game, going scoreless. He 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.

Categories:
Now on Pac-12 Network
12:00 PM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network
  • Pac-12 Sports Report
    Sun 6/4 | 6:00pm PT

    Airing on:

    • Pac-12 Network
    Live
Get Pac-12 Networks
Unable to get Pac-12 Network?
Contact your provider ▶
Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder
Close