Sam Clancy ESPN.com Chat Wrap

Feb. 14, 2002

Sam Clancy: I am here and ready for your questions. Let's get started.


Fred, Dallas: Hey Sam. Trojan Alum. How is the team's mental state after having so many tough losses in the Pac 10 this year(Cal by 1, UCLA at the buzzer, close loss to Oregon)?

Sam Clancy: We're fine. We know we had some tough losses at the buzzer. But we are righting the ship for the Pac-10 tournament and if we can win our last six games, we can be league champs.


Dean Griffith (Los Angeles, CA): Sam: What are your feelings and the team's feelings on the addition of the PAC-10 tournament this year? Do these extra games help in providing experience for March Madness or do they wear teams out and drain you guys before the Madness starts???

Sam Clancy: I think it is a good thing for the conference and all the teams because it gives us more experience going into the big tournament. It gives us more experience in a tournament atmosphere and if you don't play well during the season it still gives you a chance to win the league.

This is the first time we have had a tournament so I don't know if it will be a drain or not. I know we are playing more games than anyone else but it is just something we have to play through.


los angeles: AS a 4 year starter how did it feel to go to the elite 8 ?

Sam Clancy: It was the best experience of my whole career. That is what I have been dreaming about since I was a little kid -- playing in the big game with a chance to go to the Final Four. Hopefully we can repeat that this year.


Justin (Alta Loma, CA): Sam,Trojans everywhere are grateful you decided to stay. We will miss you next year. My question is what areas is the team looking to improve in in order to hopefully make another deep NCAA tourney run?Thank you

Sam Clancy: Obviously they will need someone to step up for me, plus we are losing scorers and rebounders. But I think the recruits we have coming in will be able to contribute right away.


John A. (West Covina, CA): Sam, which team (besides the Trojans) do you think has the best chance of winning the PAC-10?

Sam Clancy: I have no clue. Right now, it is just who is playing their best basketball heading into the tournament. We are all right there, so anything can happen.


Dean Griffith (Los Angeles, CA): Sam: Is it scary for you to think that if Pepperdine, Cal, and UCLA don't make those amazing shots at the buzzer that this 16-6 USC team could be and probably should be a Top 5 team in the country with a 19-3 record.

Sam Clancy: It is. We think a lot about 'what if' ... but it did happen and we realize we can't let these games be so close and we are working on finishing these games better.


Los Angeles: Sam I'm a loyal Trojan, and was ecstatic when you decided to come back for your last year. How do you feel this year's team matches up with last year's team? I like our improved depth, but there are some question marks.

Sam Clancy: I think we are better in a lot of ways this year. We are more athletic and we press a lot this year. We didn't do that last year so we are better defensively. Plus, we are understanding more what the coach wants from us this year.


B.C Los Angeles: Hey Sam, Thanks for the great memories and goodluck in the NBA draft. You are a great Trojan. How do you feel about rest of the schedule? Do you think we can win all the remaining games? Fight On!

Sam Clancy: I think we can. Our shot is just as good as anyone else to win it all. It all starts tomorrow with ASU and Arizona on Saturday. If we can continue to come together and play as a team, I think we can win them all.


Erik DeMarco (boston): As a BC fan, I got a good look at you in last year's NCAA tournament. What part of your game have you improved the most in from last season?

Sam Clancy: I think I have a lot more confidence. I go into each game knowing what I want to do and realize when I have the ball it is hard for a lot of teams to stop me. I just think I am a smarter player than I was last year.


Justin Young, Marietta, GA: Looking ahead at life after USC...people around the NBA have said, 'Man I wish Clancy was 6-10. He would make a great NBA PF.' What is your reaction to that?

Sam Clancy: Well, I'm not 6-10 so they will have to deal with me at 6-7. But I work hard and I have gotten better every year. Everyone knocks your size no matter what, but I get it done on the court. I am always looking to improve and think I can still get better.


Ryan (Los Angeles): Hey Sam-I am a student at USC and love going to all the basketball games. What do you think you need to do as well as your team to finish strong in the Pac-10? How do you think needs to step up in this last month of the regular season? Thanks Sam...FIGHT ON!

Sam Clancy: I think we need to get more guys playing well on our team. Some guys need to step up. We have had one or two guys playing well and we have been able to win. But we need more guys to step up. If they do, we'll be all right.


Walter (Seattle): Sam, do you think the Trojans can top last years performance in the tournament?

Sam Clancy: Definitely. We feel we are a better team than last year. But in order for that to happen, we have to have everyone bringing their 'A' game every night and we have to peak all at the same time. If we can do that, we feel we can go further than we did last year.


SoCalRob: Sam, where do you feel you have improved the most this year? Do you have any regrets about not turning pro?

Sam Clancy: None at all. It was the best decision I could have made. With the way I am playing now, I think I have improved my stock and hopefully I can go in the first round somewhere.


Marty (Chicago): Hello Sam, Describe how it feels being considered one of the 'Best' College Basketball Players in the Country today?

Sam Clancy: It feels great. It is what I have been working for my whole life. I worked hard to improve in the offseason and it shows that it has paid off. I just try and do what I can to help our team win and it is nice to get that recognition.

Sam Clancy: I have to run. Thanks for taking the time to ask me these questions. I appreciate it.

Take care everyone.

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