Trojans Host Morris Brown
Nov. 29, 2002
Los Angeles - The USC men's basketball team, which has posted back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and 20-win seasons during the last two years for only the second time in its history, continues the task to make it three in a row in both categories as it returns home to host Morris Brown on Saturday (Nov. 30) at 1 p.m. Under seventh-year Coach Henry Bibby, the Trojans return two seniors, four upperclassmen and nine lettermen from last season's squad that finished 22-10 overall, tied for second in the Pac-10 at 12-6, reached the final of the Pac-10 Tournament and received a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Trojan fans going to Saturday's football game against Notre Dame can beat the traffic by coming early to take in a USC men's basketball game at a reduced rate. Fans who show their USC-ND football ticket at the Sports Arena box office can purchase a ticket to the 1 p.m. USC-Morris Brown game for just $5. This offer is only available on Saturday in person. No phone or online orders will be allowed.
USC (1-1) vs. Morris Brown (1-1) on Saturday (Nov. 30). Tip off is set for 1 p.m., four hours before kickoff of the USC-Notre Dame football game at the Coliseum. There is no television coverage of the game, but it will be broadcast live on KMPC-AM 1540. Derek Thompson is in his second year as head coach of the Wolverines, who went 4-25 in 2002. The Wolverines opened the season by falling at Florida International, 60-52, but beating Lipscomb, 67-65. Junior forward/center Reshard Alonza is averaging team bests in scoring (13.5) and rebounding (9.0).
Series / Last Game
This is the first meeting between the two schools.
Derek Thompson is in his second season as head coach at Morris Brown. He served as assistant head coach prior to being elevated to head coach. A 1996 graduate of Morris Brown, he scored more than 1,000 points during his playing days with the Wolverines. His father, Greg, was once Athletic Director at Morris Brown and is currently the assistant head coach for football.
Probable Starters Ht. Yr. pts. reb. G 20 Anthony Adams 6-3 Sr. 12.5 6.5G 4 Larry Washington 6-2 Jr. 8.0 2.0C 00 Reshard Alonza 6-8 Jr. 13.5 9.0F 24 Ed Benton 6-6 Jr. 8.0 3.5F 33 Akiem Claborn 6-8 So. 8.5 3.5
USC at UC Santa Barbara (1-2, vs. San Francisco on Saturday) on Tuesday (Dec. 3). Tip off is set for 7 p.m. There is no television coverage of the game, but it will be broadcast live on KMPC-AM 1540, KPLS-AM 830 in Orange and XEMM-AM 800 in San Diego. UC Santa Barbara, under fifth-year coach Bob Williams, has opened 1-2, falling to Weber State (91-82) and Jacksonville State (73-66) before beating Centenary (84-69). Junior guard Nick Jones is averaging a team-best 16.7 points per game (making 7-of-11 three-point attempts) and junior guard/forward Branduinn Fullove is averaging 15.7 points (making 7-of-15 three-point attempts). As a team, the Gauchos have shot 50.9% from three-point range (27-of-53).
USC is a perfect 11-0 against UC Santa Barbara, but six of those wins came between 1947 and 1968. The Trojans' last five wins came in the last five seasons. USC defeated the Gauchos, 90-76, at the Sports Arena in 1998, beat them at the Thunderdome, 79-73, in 1999, downed UCSB, 94-73, in 2000, edged UCSB, 75-73, in Santa Barbara in 2001 and won 73-62 last year at the Sports Arena.
Down 46-38 midway through the second half, USC came back to win, 73-62, last year at the Sports Arena. David Bluthenthal, who sparked the second-half rally, scored 19 points on five three-pointers and USC canned 8-of-14 three-point attempts overall in the second half. Bluthenthal then hit 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 basket the rest of the way.
Bob Williams is in his fifth season at UC Santa Barbara. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to a 20-11 overall record and an 11-7 mark in Big West Conference play. It was the school's first 20-win season since 1992. It was also UCSB's first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. In his first four-plus seasons in Santa Barbara, Williams' teams have posted a 63-55 overall record. Prior to his arrival at UCSB, he spent eight years at UC Davis (158-76 record).
Probable Starters Ht. Yr. pts. reb. G 5 Jakoby Atako 6-1 Jr. 2.7 1.0G 41 Nick Jones 6-4 Jr. 16.7 5.0G 33 Branduinn Fullove 6-4 Jr. 15.7 2.3F 30 Mark Hull 6-7 Sr. 14.7 5.7F 50 Bryan Whitehead 6-8 Jr. 4.0 3.0
RHODE ISLAND RECAP
USC overcame two double-digit deficits, but fell in overtime at Rhode Island, 73-71, on Nov. 26. During a frenetic final few moments in the extra period, Rhode Island's Dustin Hellenga hit a fadeaway jumper with less than three seconds to play to give the Rams a two-point lead. After the basket, Ram players on the bench and some fans ran onto the court, delaying USC's inbounds play. When the Trojans did inbound the play, Desmon Farmer made a three-pointer at the buzzer that was initially ruled good. But officials looked at a television replay and ruled the shot was attempted after the final buzzer. The ending spoiled some fine performances by the Trojans, especially that of Robert Hutchinson and Nick Curtis. Hutchinson scored a career-high 17 points on a career-high five three-pointers and Curtis scored a career-best 14 points while playing every minute of the game. USC actually outshot Rhode Island, 48.2% to 36.8%, but its 25 turnovers - including five in overtime - were its downfall. After trimming a first-half deficit of 10 points to two at the half, USC came back from a 12-point disadvantage (47-35) with 15:13 to go in the second half. USC eventually led by a basket twice in the final 1:17, thanks in part to six Curtis points in the final 3:30, but the Rams tied the game with 31 seconds left and USC was unable to score before time ran out. The Trojans led by two early in overtime, but needed two Curtis free throws with 1:20 left to tie the game at 71-71. USC failed to get a shot off on its next possession, setting up Hellenga for the winning score.
VS. RHODE ISLAND NOTES
Robert Hutchinson posted career highs in field goals (six), field goal attempts (12), three-pointers (five), three-point attempts (nine), minutes (43) and points (17) while Nick Curtis' 14 points and 45 minutes were career bests and his two blocks tied a career high ... The loss was only USC's sixth-ever non-conference defeat in overtime (19-6). USC is now 49-43 overall in overtime, 41-39 in single OTs and 25-20 on the road in overtime ... USC is now 2-5 in road-openers under Henry Bibby ... USC's 25 turnovers were eight more than it had in any game last season.
POSITIVE (IT'S PROBABLY TOO EARLY TOO MENTION) TRENDS
A couple good signs. USC been strong from beyond the three-point line and in front of the free throw line in its first two games. Troy is making 38.2% of its three-pointers and 80.2% of its free throw throws. We'll ignore the combined 41 turnovers.
Sophomore shooting guard Errick Craven, a 2002 All-Pac-10 Freshman selection, is USC's leading returning scorer (11.8) and rebounder (4.4) and joins senior center Kostas Charissis as USC's returning starters. Charissis, who saw limited action last year but was a regular starter when he was healthy, has 32 career starts. Senior point guard Robert Hutchinson, the Trojans' captain as a junior, is back for his third year at Troy. Junior shooting guard Desmon Farmer was USC's top player off the bench as a sophomore and blossomed in the final five games of the season, averaging 17.6 points per outing. Athletic junior small forward Jerry Dupree is back to try to build on his strong finish last year, which featured a 10.3 scoring average in the Pac-10 Tournament, though he will sit out USC's first six games to focus on priorities off the court. Sophomore center Rory O'Neil, who showed a soft touch from the field as a freshman and ability in the paint, has returned with about 25 pounds of added bulk and muscle. Sophomore point guard Derrick Craven saw his role increase toward season's end last year and hopes to continue the trend this year. The story is the same for sophomore power forward Nick Curtis, who showed promise as a rebounder in his limited action in 2002. And don't forget about sophomore forward Gregg Guenther Jr., a tight end on the football team who joined the squad after football season to add some strength in the key. He plans to do the same this year.
THE NEW FACES
USC welcomes four first-year players into the program in 2003, three junior college transfers and one Division I transfer who will sit out the year. Sophomore Brandon Brooks will immediately challenge for the starting job at point guard after transferring from Compton College, where he concentrated on academics last year. A year earlier, he was among the top JUCO point guards in the country at Indian Hills College. Junior center Jonathan Oliver will challenge for a starting role a year after re-writing the record books at Ventura College, where he set season and career blocked shot records with 173 in 2002, also tops in the state. Junior guard Roydell Smiley rounds out the trio. A sharpshooter who can also play the point and even some small forward, Smiley will challenge for time after two years at Southeastern Iowa College, where he earned a pair of NJCAA Region XI first team honors. Jeff McMillan, who was among the top rebounders in the Atlantic 10 Conference during the past two seasons, transferred to USC from Fordham and will be eligible to play in 2003-2004.
BRIEF HISTORY OF 2002-2003
On the heels of one of their greatest seasons in school history, the 2002 edition of Henry Bibby's Trojans put together another memorable year, albeit one that ended much more abruptly than hoped for. USC finished 22-10 after a 24-10 mark in 2001, posting back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in more than 60 years. The Trojans also reached the finals of the Pac-10 Tournament for the first time ever. Troy earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament's South Regional, but fell victim to an upstart UNC-Wilmington team, which upset the Trojans in overtime in the first round. The squad featured three of the school's all-time top 12 scorers in Sam Clancy (third), Brandon Granville (eighth) and David Bluthenthal (12th). Granville finished as USC's career leader in games, minutes, three-pointers, assists and steals while All-American Clancy, the 2002 Pac-10 Player of the Year, left with the mark in blocks. Despite returning the above three starters and other experience off the bench, Bibby's team was a work in progress early as it slugged out wins during the non-conference schedule, incorporating a host of newcomers into the veteran mix. USC finished the non-league slate 8-2, falling only at Fresno State in the Preseason NIT and against Pepperdine. The loss to the Waves set up an unfortunate theme for the Trojans last year. USC led by two with seconds left when Pepperdine guard Craig Lewis banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer. It was the first of four losses for USC that ended with opponent game-winning shots either at the buzzer or with a second or two remaining. After the Pepperdine loss, however, USC ran off nine straight wins. That streak included a memorable game at Loyola Marymount where USC turned a 15-point second-half deficit into a 14-point win. The streak ended at Arizona where the Trojans suffered one of only two big losses on the year, the other coming at Cal. In fact, the Bears were the only Pac-10 team USC didn't beat on the year. USC's last-second losses (against Pepperdine, California, at UCLA and Oregon) were offset by some fantastic performances, including a regular-season sweep of Stanford for the first time in 10 years and home wins over UCLA and Arizona. The Trojans' 12-6 Pac-10 mark and the tie for second place were both bests since 1997 and good enough to earn a No. 4 seed in the Pac-10 Tournament at Staples Center in Los Angeles. USC beat Stanford for the third time on the season in the quarterfinals and got revenge for two regular-season losses to Oregon with a gutsy win over the Ducks before falling to Arizona in the title game.
NO, THEY CAN'T GET A FIFTH YEAR; WE ALREADY CHECKED
While they won't be missed in Westwood, Eugene, Tucson, Palo Alto or any other Pac-10 town, USC's graduating senior trio of Sam Clancy, David Bluthenthal and Brandon Granville leave the current crop of Trojans with some major voids to fill. In their careers, the threesome combined for 310 starts, 4,400 points, 1,889 rebounds, 1,037 assists, 479 steals and 10,835 minutes. Last year, Clancy, Bluthenthal and Granville combined for 56.4% of USC's offense, 49.7% of its rebounds and took 54.1% of its field goal attempts. Clancy, taken in the second round of the 2002 NBA Draft by Philadelphia, is now playing for 76ers. Bluthenthal was not drafted and signed to play in the pro league in Israel for Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Granville is not currently playing basketball.
USC PICKED TO FINISH SIXTH IN PAC-10 IN MEDIA POLL
As it says above, USC was picked to finish sixth in the 2002-2003 Pac-10 title race according to a poll of 27 media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball. Arizona was a unanimous choice to win the title, securing all 27 first-place votes for 270 points. Oregon was second (237), followed by UCLA (195) in third, Arizona State in fourth (160), California in fifth (154), USC in sixth (152), Stanford in seventh (136), Washington in eighth (81), Oregon State in ninth (71) and Washington State in 10th (29).
USC improved to 68-29 all-time in its season openers and has won 12 of its last 15 such games. Under seventh-year Coach Henry Bibby, USC has gone 6-1 with wins over Long Beach State (1997), San Diego State (1999), Cal State Northrdige (2000), Bradley (2001) and Wyoming (2002). The only loss was to New Mexico (1998). The Trojans have also won their last eight home openers.
USC is coming off of one of its best defensive seasons in its history. The Trojans led the Pac-10 in steals (8.97), setting a school season record for total steals (287) as well. The Trojans allowed the third lowest points per game in the conference (69.8), and its three-point field goal percentage defense and overall field goal percentage defense was second and third in the Pac-10, respectively ... Errick Craven returns as the Pac-10's 11th leading scorer in Pac-10 games and will look to defend his Pac-10 categorical title for steals, overall and in Pac-10 games. His 51 steals during conference play last year were 18 more than the next closest player in the league, both of whom were Trojans (Sam Clancy and Brandon Granville) ... With Clancy, Granville and David Bluthenthal gone, the record-keeping gets easier. But there's still a little bookkeeping to do. Desmon Farmer enters his junior year 16th on USC's career three-point chart with 57. With increased minutes and a hot hand, he could have an outside shot at the Top 10. It won't take long too long for Craven to break into the Top 10 in steals. In fact, if he were to match his 68 from last season, he'd break into the Top 5 ... If USC's finishes above .500 this year, it will give the Trojans their first streak of five consecutive winning seasons since they did it nine times in a row between 1967 and 1974.
For the first time in three years, USC did not open the season either the ESPN/USA Today Coaches or Associated Press Preseason Top 25 polls. The Trojans, however, did receive nine votes in the coaches poll and 20 in AP.
GAMES AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
USC will face four teams ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Preseason Top 25 poll and five others that received votes. Pac-10 rival Arizona was No. 1 while Oregon was No. 9 and UCLA No. 12. The Trojans will also play No. 18 Missouri in the Wooden Classic. Schools that received that USC will face include UNLV (13), California (11), Pennsylvania (3), UC Santa Barbara (3) and Stanford (2). In addition, Pac-10 foe Arizona State also received votes in the AP poll.
BIBBY CLIMBING USC COACHING VICTORY LIST
USC seventh-year coach Henry Bibby won his 100th game as Troy's head coach last year at Stanford and is currently 104-78. He is tied for fifth at USC in career coaching victories with Stan Morrison. If USC wins at least 13 games this year, Bibby will pass George Raveling, who is currently fourth with 115 wins. Sam Barry (1930-41, 1946-50) is USC's all-time winningest basketball coach (260), followed by Forrest Twogood (1951-66, 252) and Bob Boyd (1967-79, 216). (Bibby's Trojans went 0-9 after becoming interim head coach at the end of the 1996 for a fired Charlie Parker. One of those losses was later turned into a win after Cal was forced to forfeit its win. Those nine games, however, are not included in his head coaching record at USC).
USC AT THE SPORTS ARENA
Dating back to 1996-97, the Trojans are 57-21 (.731) in their last 78 games at the Sports Arena and USC is 115-45 (.719) 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 12 home wins in 2001 were its most since winning 12 in 1993. USC's 10-game home win streak to open the 2001 season was its biggest home win streak to start a season since 1975. The Trojans have currently won two in a row at the Sports Arena.
HALL OF HONOR
Each Pac-10 school has selected an inductee to the Pac-10 Tournament's Hall of Honor. These individuals will be honored at a dinner in Los Angeles on March 12, 2003. USC's inductee is Tex Winter, innovator of the 'triangle offense,' was also one of the top pole vaulters while at USC. Other Pac-10 representatives are Arizona's Steve Kerr, Arizona State's Ned Wulk, California's Kevin Johnson, Oregon's Howard Hobson, Oregon State's Amory Gill, Stanford's Todd Lichti, UCLA's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Washington's Marv Harshman, Washington State's Jack Friel.
Henry Bibby, a coach with 20 years of college and professional experience and the only person to ever play for an NCAA, NBA and CBA championship team, is in his seventh full season in 2002-2003 as the head coach of the USC men's basketball program. In the last two years, he has guided the Trojans to only their second back-to-back 20-win seasons ever and only their third back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2001, he piloted the Trojans to their first-ever NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance under the tournament's current format, finishing 24-10. In 2002, he led USC to a 22-10 record that included a 12-6 finish in the Pac-10 (tied for second), a finals appearance in the Pac-10 Tournament and a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The back-to-back 20-win seasons were USC's first since 1939-40. USC enjoyed its fifth winning season and fourth postseason berth (three NCAA, one NIT) under his watch. Bibby was named 2002 NABC District 15 Co-Coach of the Year. 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 trio of NBA draft picks in forward/center Brian Scalabrine, guard Jeff Trepagnier and forward Sam Clancy. Rodrick Rhodes, who played under Bibby in 1997, was also an NBA draft choice. In his six years as head coach, Bibby has been instrumental in player development and has guided seven players to a combined 12 All-Pac-10 honors and five players to All-Pac-10 Freshman honors. Under Bibby, Sam Clancy became a Pac-10 Player of the Year, two Trojans (Rhodes and Scalabrine) have earned the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year award and another (Elias Ayuso) earned Pac-10 All-Newcomer first team notice. Seven of USC's top 20 scorers of all time have played under Bibby.
Sophomore * Guard * 6-Foot-1 * 170 Pounds
* Brandon Brooks is in his first year with the Trojans in 2003 after a year off from basketball spent at Compton (Calif.) College, concentrating on academics. A talented playmaker and a tenacious defender, he will challenge for the starting job at point guard.
* Brooks was named the top-rated JUCO sophomore point guard by Lindy's Basketball and a Street & Smith's Preseason All-America fourth team selection entering the 2002 season. But he did not play last year after transferring to Compton (Calif.) College in January of 2002. He completed the academic year there while redshirting.
* Had a game-high six assists in USC's season-opener in 12 minutes.
Senior * Guard * 6-Foot-2 * 190 Pounds
* Kostas Charissis, a 6-foot-11, 260-pound center and a native of Greece, is a 2003 senior. An imposing figure in the paint, he will compete for playing time at center in his final year with the Trojans. His full first name is Konstantinos.
* A tiny fracture in his ankle prevented him from playing in either exhibition game, but he returned for the opener and had four rebounds and four points in 17 minutes off the bench ... Had another solid outing at Rhode Island, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking two shots in 12 minutes.
* Charissis started 18 of 20 games at center as a 2002 junior, but missed the final eight games of the season with a fracture in his left ankle. He was averaging 2.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10.4 minutes per game when he was injured.
* Had his best game in two years against Cal with a career-high 10 rebounds, eight points and a career-high four field goals.
Sophomore * Guard * 6-Foot-2 * 200 Pounds
* Derrick Craven, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound sophomore guard in 2003 and identical twin brother of fellow Trojan sophomore Errick Craven, is an athletic and aggressive player who has a tenacious work ethic on defense. He will challenge for the starting job at point guard for the Trojans.
* Went scoreless in 15 minutes off the bench in the season-opener vs UC Riverside and played only three minutes at Rhode Island.
* Had five assists and three rebounds in the first exhibition game and scored 11 points and had seven steals in the second game.
* As a 2002 freshman, Craven fought off a stress fracture in his right leg that cost him the non-conference schedule and eventually found a niche in the rotation by season's end as a backup point guard.
* Averaged 6.5 minutes in 13 games, but played in each of USC's final eight games and averaged 10.0 minutes per game in the last five games
* Played a career-high 20 minutes in the regular-season finale against Oregon State with a career-best four assists and two blocks.
Sophomore * Guard * 6-Foot-2 * 190 Pounds
* Errick Craven, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound sophomore guard in 2003 and identical twin brother of fellow Trojan sophomore Derrick Craven, returns to the Trojans as one of the top all-around guards in the Pac-10. A 2003 Basketball Times Preseason All-America honorable mention pick, he is USC's leading returning scorer.
* Scored a team-high 22 points in 24 minutes off the bench against UC Riverside and had a career-high five assists ... Had seven points and four rebounds at Rhode Island.
* Craven, who started 28 of 32 games, earned 2002 All-Pac-10 Freshman first team honors as USC's fourth-leading scorer (11.8) and third-leading rebounder (4.4) last year.
* He became the first freshman to lead the Pac-10 in steals (2.1) since Cal's Jason Kidd in 1993 and his 68 steals were the second-most ever at USC.
* His 376 points were the most for a USC freshman since Harold Miner had 578 in 1990.
Sophomore * Forward * 6-Foot-8 * 220 Pounds
* Nick Curtis, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound sophomore forward in 2003, is a strong rebounder and athletic presence who will push for an increased role in the Trojans' frontcourt.
* After posting career highs of 12 points and eight rebounds against UC Riverside, he had 14 points at Rhode Island to go with seven boards, playing all 45 minutes of the overtime affair.
* Had 14 points and eight rebounds in the exhibition opener and 11 points and six boards in the exhibition finale.
* As a 2002 freshman, started four of 22 games, averaging 1.0 point and 0.8 rebounds in 5.2 minutes per game
* Had a season-high six points in 11 minutes in the season opener vs. Wyoming.
Junior * Forward * 6-Foot-7 * 200 Pounds
* Jerry Dupree, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound 2003 junior forward, will look for an increased role in the Trojan frontcourt in his second year with the team. An extremely athletic player, Dupree has worked hard in the off-season to improve his all-around game.
* Dupree started seven of 30 games as a 2002 sophomore forward, averaging 3.7 points and 1.8 rebounds in 11.7 minutes per game.
* Had a strong showing in the Pac-10 Tournament, averaging 10.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in the three games and making 14-of-19 field goals (.737).
* Will miss USC's first six games while concentrating on priorities as a student-athlete off the court.
Junior * Guard * 6-Foot-4 * 225 Pounds
* Desmon Farmer is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound junior guard in 2003 with a great scoring touch and a fiery defensive presence who will challenge for a starting spot. USC's second-leading returning scorer, Farmer looks to build on his strong finish to his sophomore season.
* Farmer had 11 points and four rebounds in the season-opener and followed it up with 14 points and six boards at Rhode Island, coming off the bench in both games.
* Led USC in scoring in both exhibition games, scoring 24 points, including 4-of-8 on three-pointers, in the first, and netting 17 points in the second.
* Farmer started five of 31 games as a 2002 sophomore guard, averaging 9.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game.
* He posted 14 double-digit scoring efforts, including five in a row to end the season, the longest such stretch of his career
* During the final five games, which included the regular-season finale against Oregon State, three Pac-10 Tournament games against Stanford, Oregon and Arizona, and the NCAA Tournament game against UNC-Wilmington, Farmer averaged 17.6 points and 4.0 rebounds, making 30-of-55 field goals (.545) and 13-of-29 three-pointers (.448). He came off the bench in all five games.
* Tied season highs of 20 points and four three-pointers in the NCAA Tournament, matching totals he had against Rhode Island.
GREGG GUENTHER JR.
Sophomore * Forward * 6-Foot-8 * 245 Pounds
* Gregg Guenther Jr., a 6-foot-8, 245-pound redshirt sophomore, is a two-sport player who plays tight end on USC's football team as well as power forward for the basketball team. A physical athlete, Guenther provides the Trojans with a good deal of muscle in the post with the ability to rebound. He is set to join the team after the 2002 football season.
* Guenther played in nine games, starting three times in his first year with the basketball team last year.
* Averaged 3.8 minutes an outing with a total of nine rebounds.
* As a tight end in 2002, Guenther has played in 10 games and has seven receptions. He caught his first touchdown pass at UCLA. He has six career points in football and one in basketball.
Senior * Guard * 6-Foot-1 * 185 Pounds
* Robert Hutchinson, 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and one of two seniors on USC's team in 2003, returns to the Trojans as a key contributor in the backcourt and a challenger for the starting job at point guard.
* Had the best night of his career, stat-wise, at Rhode Island, posting career highs in points (17), field goals (six), three-pointers (five) and minutes (43). He also started at point in USC's season-opener.
* Had a combined seven assists and three steals in USC's two exhibition games.
* Hutchinson, USC's team captain as a 2002 junior guard, played in 30 of 32 games, starting once. On the season, he had 48 assists and only 21 turnovers, averaging 2.0 points in 11.7 minutes per game.
* At LMU, he had a then-career-high 10 points in a career-high 26 minutes.
* Had a career-high seven assists at Arizona.
Junior * Forward * 6-Foot-8 * 250 Pounds
* Jeff McMillan, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound forward, is a junior transfer from Fordham who will sit out the 2003 season in compliance with NCAA transfer rules.
* McMillan started 14 of Fordham's 28 games as a sophomore power forward for the Rams in 2001-02.
* Led Fordham with 7.6 rebounds per game (seventh in the Atlantic 10) while averaging 10.2 points per game (second best on the team).
* As a freshman in 2000-01, McMillan started 26 times, averaging 10.0 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds.
Junior * Center * 7-Foot-0 * 230 Pounds
*Jonathan Oliver, a 7-foot, 230-pound center, is a junior college transfer who is in his first year with the Trojans. Extremely agile for his size, he is a superb shot blocker and runs the floor with ease.
*Scored five points (like he did in both exhibition games) and had two blocks in 12 minutes against UC Riverside, but did not play at Rhode Island.
*Oliver earned 2002 California Community College All-State first team honors and was the Western State Conference MVP after averaging 17.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.2 blocks per game as a 2002 sophomore at Ventura (Calif.) College.
*Started all 33 of his team's games and shot 62.8% from the field (213-of-339).
*His 173 blocks (5.2) were first in the state and broke Ventura's single-season and career records.
Sophomore * Center * 6-Foot-11 * 240 Pounds
* Rory O'Neil, a 6-foot-11, 240-pound sophomore center, will look to have an increased role in 2003. Working hard in the gym to add muscle to his long frame, he also spent the off-season refining what is already an ever-improving inside-outside game. He has a solid scoring touch from the outside and has an instinctive feel for the game.
* Posted his first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds against UC Riverside. Had four points at Rhode Island.
* O'Neil started three of 32 games as a 2002 freshman center, averaging 4.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.4 minutes per game. His 21 blocks were second best on the team
* Set a career high with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting against Stanford to go with two blocks in 24 minutes last year.
* Played a career-high 28 minutes and scored 10 points for his fifth double-digit scoring output of the year against Oregon at home.
Junior * Guard * 6-Foot-4 * 195 Pounds
* Roydell Smiley, 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, is in his first year with the Trojans as a junior guard after transferring from Southeastern Iowa College. A hard-nosed player, he brings an excellent perimeter game to the Trojans and has the ability to play the point as well.
* Made his Trojan debut as a starter, scoring 10 points and making 2-of-3 three-pointers in the season-opener. He followed it up with 13 points, six boards and five steals at Rhode Island.
* Scored 17 points and hit three three-pointers in the first exhibition game and added 13 points in the second game.
* Smiley earned NJCAA Region XI first team honors as a 2002 sophomore and a 2001 freshman at Southeastern Iowa College in West Burlington, Ia.
* As a sophomore, Smiley averaged 14.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.8 steals.
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
TODAY | 4:00pm PTLive
TODAY | 7:00pm PTLive
TOMORROW | 10:30am PTLive