USC Hosts Cal Poly
Dec. 21, 2003
Coming off its third come-from-behind victory this season, USC begins a stretch of four home games in a row, beginning with a date with Cal Poly (3-3) on Monday (Dec. 22) at 7:30 p.m. The Trojans wrap up non-conference play six days later when they host Lafayette College (7-1) on Dec. 28 at 5 p.m. One year removed from back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and 20-win seasons, eighth-year coach Henry Bibby's Trojans return eight lettermen, including five starters, and welcome three talented freshmen and an eligible transfer.
USC (4-3) vs. Cal Poly (3-3) on Monday (Dec. 22) at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the radio on KMPC-AM 1540 in Los Angeles, KSPA-AM 1510 in Ontario/Orange County and XEMM-AM 800 in San Diego. Fourth-year coach Kevin Bromley and Cal Poly are coming off of a 90-71 loss at San Diego State on Dec. 18. Mustang senior forward Varnie Dennis leads the team in scoring (17.5) and rebounding (7.7). Dennis led the Big West in scoring last year (17.5) and was the conference's leading shot-blocker as well (58). Like the Trojans, the Mustangs have struggled from outside the three-point line, shooting only 25.0%. But they are doing a better job of keeping their opponents in check from behind the arc, limiting them to 28.3%. Among the Mustangs' wins this year was a season-opening 63-62 victory at California.
This is the first meeting between the schools.
Kevin Bromley is in his fourth season at Cal Poly. He entered the year with a three-year mark of 35-38, but guided the Mustangs to back-to-back winning seasons in 2002 (15-12) and 2003 (16-14), a first at the school since it moved to Division I. He served associate head coach for six years and became the interim head coach for the 2000-01 season. He was promoted the following season to head coach.
Probable Starters Ht. Yr. pts. reb. G 2 Eric Jackson 6-4 Sr. 8.5 4.3G 3 Kameron Gray 6-1 So. 7.3 4.2F 1 Nick Enzweiler 6-7 Jr. 9.5 5.3F 5 Vladimir Lisinac 6-9 Jr. 2.8 1.3F 44 Varnie Dennis 6-8 Sr. 17.5 7.7
USC vs. Lafayette (7-1, Princeton on Dec. 22) on Sunday (Dec. 28) at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the radio on KMPC-AM 1540 in Los Angeles, KSPA-AM 1510 in Ontario/Orange County and XEMM-AM 800 in San Diego. Ninth-year coach Fran O'Hanlon has directed the Leopards to seven consecutive wins after an opening-season loss to Rutgers. Lafayette starts four seniors, led by guards and scoring leaders Justin DeBerry (16.8) and Winston Davis (14.0). Davis and Sean Knitter are tied for the team lead in rebounding (4.8). The team has combined to shoot 50.7% while holding opponents to a combined 38.7%. Only one starter is not shooting at least 50.0%.
This is the first meeting between the schools.
Fran O'Hanlon is in his ninth season at Lafayette College and has guided the team to a pair of NCAA Tournaments and three Patriot League titles. The Leopards went 13-16 last year, but made it to the league tournament's semifinals for the second year in a row. He entered his ninth year with an overall mark of 123-107. O'Hanlon loved to Lafayette after six seasons as an assistant coach at Penn.
Probable Starters Ht. Yr. pts. reb. G 10 Justin DeBerry 6-3 Sr. 16.8 4.5*G 21 Winston Davis 6-6 Sr. 14.0 4.8G 4 Pat Betley 6-2 So. 5.5 2.4F 33 Rob Dill 6-10 Sr. 8.1 4.1F 40 Mike Farrell 6-8 Sr. 7.0 4.9*assists
AT FRESNO STATE RECAP
Led by 19 points apiece from Desmon Farmer and Lodrick Stewart and a 14-rebound effort from Jeff McMillan, USC erased an eight-point second-half deficit to defeat host Fresno State, 65-62, on Dec. 19. USC trailed 52-44 with 11:43 to go before embarking on a 9-0 run over the next 2:43 to lead 53-52 with 9:00 left. The Bulldogs, led by Renaldo Major's 17 points, made their final field goal of the game on a Marcus West three-pointer with 7:01 left. Fresno State point guard Shantay Legans gave the Bulldogs their final lead with two free throws with 5:37 left for a 60-59 advantage. Stewart, who made a career-high four three-pointers, gave the lead right back to USC at 62-60, sinking a three on the ensuing possession. The two teams then played a stalemate for almost five consecutive minutes, each team coming up empty on six straight possessions. Farmer broke the drought with 28 seconds remaining in the game, making 1-of-2 free throws to give USC a 63-60 lead. Legans, fouled with 17 seconds left, made two foul shots to get the Bulldogs back within one. Fresno State then fouled Rory O'Neil with 13 ticks remaining and calmly made two free throws to give USC a 65-62 lead. Legans attempted two three-pointers on the Bulldogs' final possession, missing one with three seconds left and another at the buzzer. Fresno State led by as many as nine points in the first half (30-21) before heading into the half ahead 32-24. Farmer tied his season-high with six three-pointers on a career-high 14 attempts.
LAST GAME NOTES
USC made a season-high 11 three-pointers and held Fresno State to opponent lows of 62 points and 48 field goal attempts ... Errick Craven posted a career-high seven assists, giving him 19 in the last three games ... Jeff McMillan's 39 minutes give him a total of 161 in his last three games (40.3) ... Farmer moved into 17th place on USC's career scoring chart with 1,176 ... Desmon Farmer's 14 three-pointers tied him for the fourth-most ever attempted at USC. It was the most attempted by a Trojan since Adam Spanich put up the same number on Jan. 29, 1998, against Washington. Also sharing the mark is Dwayne Hackett, who took 14 trey attempts on Jan. 28, 1993, against UCLA.
USC's four wins are by an average of 4.0 points, two coming in overtime and none secured until the final moments of all four games. All of the Trojans' losses are by at least nine points, though the defeat to UNLV was also an overtime affair, one which saw USC give up a seven-point lead with little more than a minute left in regulation.
Junior forward Jeff McMillan joined an exclusive club earlier this year, becoming just the third Trojan ever to play more than 40 minutes in back-to-back games. He played 42 minutes in USC's win over Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 9, which followed 41 minutes in the Trojans' victory over St. Mary's on Dec. 6. The other two Trojans to do it, Wayne Carlander and Jacque Hill, were teammates in 1982. In overtime games at Washington (a Jan. 2 loss) and Washington State (a Jan. 4 win), Carlander played 45 minutes in both while Hill played 44 against the Huskies and 41 against the Cougars. Carlander played another 37 minutes in his next game, giving him a three-game USC record of 127 minutes. McMillan played 39 minutes in his next two games, giving him 161 in a four-game span.
THREE-POINT HIGHS AND LOWS
The Trojans broke out of a three-point slump at Fresno State, making a season-high 11-of-25 (44.0%), though it only raised the season mark to 28.8%. USC hopes it is the beginning of a streak. Meanwhile, USC opponents have made 38.9% of their trey attempts and have made 20 more than the Trojans. In fact, Troy has allowed three double-digit three-point performances in seven games. USC allowed only two all of last season.
CLUTCH AT THE LINE
Desmon Farmer leads USC in free throw shooting with a mark of 85.3% (29-of-34). It is a noteworthy trend for Farmer, who shot only 55.7% from the free throw line as a freshman. He improved to 71.6% as a sophomore and made the jump to 82.8% as a junior last year, good enough for the ninth best season performance in school history.
FEED THE BIG MEN!
USC's three post players currently playing have combined to shoot 61.9% from the field (78-of-126). Power forward Jeff McMillan has shot 67.9% (38-of-56) while center Rory O'Neil is shooting 59.3% (35-of-59). Nick Curtis, in limited time, is 5-of-11. Guard Lodrick Stewart is the next highest shooter from the field (41.1%).
HIS PERFECT DAY
Junior guard Derrick Craven was perfect from the field at St. Mary's, going 7-of-7. It was the first time a Trojan made as many field goals without a miss since Brian Scalabrine went 7-of-7 against Memphis in the Maui Invitational on Nov. 23, 1999.
USC battled two of the toughest centers they'll face all year in mid-December. First up was Cal State Fullerton's 6-foot-10, 250-pound senior center Pape Sow, who entered the game against USC leading the Titans in scoring and rebounding. USC fared well against Sow, holding him to nine points and no rebounds in 21 foul-plagued minutes. Then came BYU's 6-foot-11, 280-pound senior center Rafael Araujo, who got the best of USC with 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting and 11 rebounds.
TOEING THE (FOUL) LINE
The Trojans were pretty solid from the free throw line through five games, hitting a combined 75.5% of their free throws, making at least 75.0% four times. But USC came back down to earth hard at BYU, making only 4-of-14 and didn't fare much better at Fresno State, going only 8-of-15. It dropped the team percentage to 68.1%.
WE DON'T MEAN TO SAY ANYTHING, BUT ...
A quick check of the stats unearthed the following. In three home games, USC enjoys a small advantage in free throws, attempting 28.0 free throws per game to its opponents' 21.7. But on the road, the Trojans four opponents have averaged 28.0 free throws attempts while USC has attempted only 12.8. Making matters worse for Troy, the Trojans are making only 56.9% of their limited road free throw attempts (75.0% at home).
USC played three consecutive overtime games earlier this year (UNLV, St. Mary's, Cal State Fullerton), a first in school history. One more OT game will equal the most the Trojans have played in one season.
The Trojans have been shorthanded since October. Below is a breakdown of the players in question.* Junior forward Jeff McMillan, hampered by a stress fracture in his left foot during the preseason, has been USC's workhorse, averaging 35.4 minutes.* Junior forward Nick Curtis, who missed both exhibition games with tendinitis in his left knee, is averaging 12.4 minutes, though he missed the last game at Fresno State.* Senior center Jonathan Oliver missed USC's first six games and first three months of practice while concentrating on academics, but returned to the team on Dec. 18 and made his season debut at Fresno State on Dec. 19.* Beefy junior forward Gregg Guenther Jr. is still playing football right now, starting, in fact, at tight end on USC's No. 1-ranked football team. He is set to join the team after the season, which could run into the first week of January, though he sprained his knee on Dec. 6.* Senior guard Roydell Smiley, who broke his leg in the Pac-10 Championship game in March, was expected to be back by this time, but is still experiencing pain in his left knee and is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery. Once he has his surgery, he will be out an estimated four to six weeks.* USC added a fifth walk-on, senior forward Joe Buck, who became eligible on Dec. 18. He saw action the following day at Fresno State.
BAD LUCK BACK EAST
USC has had little luck lately when it's travelled east to cross more than one time zone during the regular season. Since Henry Bibby has been coach at USC, he's gone 2-8 when playing in either the central or eastern times in regular-season play. Losses include games at North Carolina (1997), Tennessee (1997), Ohio State (1998), Kansas (1999), St. Bonaventure (2000), Northwestern (2001) and Western Michigan (2003). The only wins came at UNC-Charlotte (1997) and at Bradley (2002). USC also played three games in the eastern time zone during the 2001 NCAA Tournament, going 3-1.
USC senior Desmon Farmer is USC's leading returning scorer. His 18.7 scoring average was fourth best in the Pac-10 last year and good enough to earn 2003 All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors. He was also selected to the Pac-10 All-Tournament team after he averaged 22.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in the conference tourney. He scored in double figures 27 times and had at least 20 points 14 times and became USC's 28th player with at least 1,000 career points ... Junior guard Errick Craven is USC's second-leading returning scorer after posting a scoring clip of 13.0 points. He started 26 times and became the first Trojan ever to lead USC in rebounds (5.3), assists (2.6) and steals (2.5) in the same season. His 73 steals were the most in the Pac-10 and second-most ever at USC in a season (behind Jeff Trepagnier's 94) ... Junior center Rory O'Neil rounds out USC's trio of returning scorers in double figures (10.1). He led the team in blocked shots (1.3, fifth in the Pac-10) and was fourth in rebounding (4.9). He averaged 14.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in the Pac-10 Tournament, earning All-Tournament honors ... Senior guard Roydell Smiley is a sharpshooting swingman who averaged 8.6 points in 2003 despite battling nagging knee injuries for most of the season. He made the second-most three-pointers on the team (40) and shot a team-high 84.4% from the free throw line (38-of-45). He suffered a broken leg in USC's final game of the season and has yet to return to 100% ... Junior guard Derrick Craven, identical twin of Errick, returns after starting for most of last season at the point. He averaged 4.6 points and 2.2 rebounds last year and was one of only two Trojans to play in every game (along with Farmer). His 40 steals and 70 assists were both the second-highest totals on the team ... Junior forward Nick Curtis, who had a strong start in 2003 derailed by nagging foot injuries, is ready to make an impact for the Trojans. He averaged 6.6 points and 5.3 rebounds (tied for team high) in 21.0 minutes, posting three double-doubles and starting 15 times ... Senior center Jonathan Oliver joins Farmer and Smiley as the three seniors on the team. Oliver saw limited action last year as a reserve and missed most of the preseason this year while concentrating on his academics. When he becomes available, Bibby hopes he can contribute to the Trojans' front line ... Junior forward Gregg Guenther Jr., a two-sport player at USC, became a boon to Bibby last year in his second season switching from football to basketball. A starter at tight end for football as a junior, he will join the basketball team at the completion of football season. Guenther averaged 6.2 points and 5.0 rebounds in 18.6 minutes, starting nine of 19 games and showed marked improvement in his second year with the team. His overall rebound average was third on the team and his 6.1 boards per game in Pac-10 play was eighth in the conference ... Jeff McMillan, who transferred from Fordham last year and spent the year as a redshirt, will bolster the Trojans frontcourt in 2004. A beefy forward whose build mirrors the 2002 Pac-10 Player of the Year Sam Clancy, his inside scoring and knack for rebounding will be a welcome addition.
THE NEW FACES
Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart, 6-foot-4 guards from Rainier Beach High in Seattle and 6-foot point guard Quinton Day from Paseo Academy in Kansas City, Mo., join the Trojans as freshmen in 2004. Rodrick Stewart earned Parade All-American third team, McDonald's Preseason All-American, All-State first team and Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team honors and was named 3-A State Player of the Year as a 2003 senior, averaging 18.8 points, 8.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 4.5 steals. His brother Lodrick earned McDonald's Preseason All-American alternate, Students Sports All-American special selection and Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team honors, averaging 19.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 3.0 assists. Day earned All-State first team honors and was named the Kansas City Star's All-Metro boys' Player of the Year as a senior in 2003, averaging 20.2 points, 5.0 assists, 6.0 steals and 3.2 rebounds.
USC AGAINST THE PRESEASON TOP 25
USC is scheduled to play two schools that opened in the ESPN/USA Today Preseason Top 25 and another five that received votes. The two ranked schools looming on the Trojan schedule is No. 4 Arizona and No. 17 Stanford. Oregon just missed the Top 25, finishing 26th among the coaches' votes. Other USC opponents also receiving votes are fellow Pac-10 schools California and Arizona State as well as non-conference foes BYU and UNLV.
SOMETHING IS IN THE WATER
Thank heavens for uniform numbers. This year, USC features two sets of identical twins. Trojan fans and the Pac-10 have grown familiar with Errick and Derrick Craven, twin 6-foot-2 guards from Carson, Calif., who enter 2004 as juniors. Now as freshmen come USC's second set of mirror image players, Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart, 6-foot-4 guards from Seattle. Surprisingly, this is not the first time two pairs of twins have been on the same Division I team at the same time. Valparaiso, in the 1994-95 season, featured two sets of twins - Bill and Bob Jenkins were freshmen and Jeff and Brian Smith were juniors. In other athletic twin news, Alabama-Birmingham currently has one set of twins on its basketball team, but its football and track teams both feature two sets of twins each.
PETE NEWELL CAMP
Rory O'Neil and Nick Curtis both attended Pete Newell's Big Man Camp over the summer. For O'Neil it was his second consecutive time at the camp while Curtis participated for the first time. Both received strong reviews from the mentor of the program.
OFF THE TOP OF OUR HEAD NOTES
The Trojan team Desmon Farmer joined in 2001 featured five players who would eventually settle into the top 19 of the school's all-time top scorers and four of the top 12. They included Sam Clancy (third), Brian Scalabrine (seventh), Brandon Granville (eighth), David Bluthenthal (12th) and Jeff Trepagnier (19th). Farmer is now 17th on the list with 1,176 points (passing Trepagnier on Dec. 6) and has a good chance at cracking the top 5 this season ... Coach Henry Bibby and Farmer are the last connections remaining from USC's breakthrough 2001 Elite Eight team that reached the NCAA Regional final before falling to eventual national champion Duke. As a freshman , Farmer played 26 minutes in three games off the bench in USC's NCAA run ... Bibby has coached nine of USC's 28 players who have scored at least 1,000 points. Errick Craven is poised to become No. 10 of 29, beginning his junior campaign with 753 points (he now has 821). After Craven, Rory O'Neil seems the next best bet to crack the 1,000-point threshold, but he is still more than 500 points off and is likely another year away.
USC PICKED TO FINISH FIFTH IN MEDIA POLL
USC was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 media poll on Nov. 6, receiving one of the 35 first-place votes. Arizona was picked first with 26 first-place votes and 339 points. Stanford (seven first-place votes and 321 points) was second and California was third (the remaining first-place vote and 238 points). Oregon was fourth (215), followed by USC, UCLA (188), Arizona State (185), Washington (108), Washington State (69) and Oregon State (55).
USC AT THE SPORTS ARENA
Dating back to 1996-97, the Trojans are 67-26 (.720) in their last 93 games at the Sports Arena and USC is 123-51 (.709) 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.
USC fell to 68-30 all-time in its season openers and lost only its fourth in the last 16 such games. Under eighth-year Coach Henry Bibby, USC has is now 6-2 with wins over Long Beach State (1997), San Diego State (1999), Cal State Northrdige (2000), Bradley (2001), Wyoming (2002) and UC Riverside. The losses are to New Mexico (1998) and Western Michigan (2004). The Trojans have now won nine straight home openers.
THE TROJANS VS. RANKED TEAMS RECENTLY
USC was 3-6 against ranked teams in 2002-03, falling to No. 15 Missouri at the Wooden Classic, to No. 2 Arizona at home, at No. 25 California, at No. 1 Arizona, vs. No. 21 Stanford and vs. No. 18 California, but beating No. 19 Oregon at home and No. 14 Stanford and No. 23 California in the Pac-10 Tournament. The Trojans were 12-16 against ranked teams in the past three years combined and 14-21 in the last four years. USC was 6-4 against ranked teams in 2002, defeating No. 11 UCLA on Jan. 10, losing at No. 15 Arizona on Jan. 17, defeating No. 14 Stanford on Jan. 26, losing at No. 15 UCLA, defeating No. 9 Arizona on Feb. 16, beating No. 10 Stanford on Feb. 21, losing to No. 13 Oregon on Feb. 28, beating No. 16 Stanford on March 7, downing No. 9 Oregon on March 8 and falling to No. 14 Arizona on March 9.
USC COACH Henry Bibby
Henry Bibby, a coach with 21 years of college and professional experience and the only person to ever play for an NCAA, NBA and CBA championship team, is in his eighth full season in 2003-2004 as the head coach of the USC men's basketball program. He is just one year removed from guiding the Trojans to only their second back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2001 and 2002 and only their third back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.
* Bibby and the Trojans underwent a rebuilding season in 2003 as USC finished 13-17 overall, 6-12 in the Pac-10 (tied for sixth). Two big bright spots, however, created major optimism for 2004. First of all, USC, despite fielding a team made up predominantly of underclassmen, held second-half leads in almost every game (though it had trouble closing them out). Secondly, the Trojans made their second consecutive run to the Pac-10 Tournament championship game, showing a maturation Bibby hopes carries over to 2004.
* 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 20 wins gave USC back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time 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.
* In 2001, Bibby led USC to perhaps its greatest season ever, piloting the Trojans to their first NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance under the tournament's current format. 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. Scalabrine and Trepagnier were 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. Clancy went in the second round of the 2002 draft to Philadelphia with the 45th pick. Clancy was the fourth Trojan taken in the NBA Draft since Bibby has been at USC (the first was Rodrick Rhodes in 1997). Elias Ayuso became the fifth Trojan under Bibby to sign with an NBA team when he inked a deal with the San Antonio Spurs in the summer of 2003.
* In his seven years as head coach, Bibby has been instrumental in player development and has guided eight players to a combined 13 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 (Ayuso) earned Pac-10 All-Newcomer first team notice. Eight of USC's top 20 scorers of all time, and eight of its 28 1,000-point scorers have played under Bibby.
Junior * Guard * 6-Foot-2 * 215 Pounds
* A 6-foot-2, 215-pound junior guard in 2004 and identical twin brother of fellow Trojan junior Errick Craven, he is an athletic and aggressive player who has a tenacious work ethic on defense. He matured as Troy's starting point guard for most of 2003 and will fight to keep the job in 2004.
* Scored in double figures in three consecutive games for the first time in his USC career, ending with an 11-point, seven-assist game against Cal State Fullerton.
* He had a season-high 16 points at St. Mary's, going 7-of-7 from the field in 20 minutes. It was the first 7-of-7 performance by a Trojan since Nov. 23, 1999 (Brian Scalabrine). The St. Mary's effort followed 11 points vs. UNLV and four assists.
* He is averaging 7.6 points and is second in assists (22).
* He averaged 4.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game last year, starting 25 of 30 games as a 2003 sophomore. He was one of only two Trojans to play in every game (along with Desmon Farmer).
* His 40 steals and 70 assists were both the second-highest totals on the team.
Junior * Guard * 6-Foot-2 * 205 Pounds
* A 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior guard in 2004 and identical twin brother of fellow Trojan Derrick Craven, Errick Craven returns to the Trojans as one of the top all-around guards in the Pac-10. One of the quickest players and top defenders in the conference, he is USC's second-leading returning scorer and is tied as the top returning rebounder.
* Scored a season-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting against UNLV and had 16 points, six assists and five steals against Cal State Fullerton.
* Fourth on the team in scoring (9.7) and has a team-high 27 assists (19 in the last three games). He is tied for second in steals (11).
* Sent the game at St. Mary's into overtime with a layup with eight seconds left.
* He is fifth on USC's career steals chart (151) and 17th on Troy's career three-point chart (60).
* His 2.3 career steals average is just off Pac-10 record-holder Jason Kidd's 2.5.
* Has had at least five steals 11 times in his career.
* Averaged 13.0 points (second on the team) and 5.3 rebounds (tied for first) as a 2003 sophomore guard, starting 26 of 29 games.
* Became the first Trojan ever to lead USC in rebounds (5.3), assists (2.6) and steals (2.5) in the same season.
* His 73 steals were the most in the Pac-10 and second-most ever at USC in a season (behind Jeff Trepagnier's 94).
Junior * Forward * 6-Foot-8 * 225 Pounds
* Nick Curtis, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound junior forward in 2004, is a strong rebounder and athletic presence who will look to build on a solid sophomore campaign that was curtailed by nagging injuries to both feet.
* A sore left knee (tendonitis) that's bothered him all season forced him to miss the Fresno State game (as well as both of USC's exhibitions).
* He is averaging 2.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 12.3 minutes coming off of the bench ... Had a season-high seven rebounds at St. Mary's.
* He attended the Pete Newell Big Man Camp in August for the first time with teammate Rory O'Neil.
* Averaged 6.6 points and 5.3 rebounds (tied for team high) in 21.0 minutes, starting 15 of 29 games.
* Had three double-doubles in 2003, including a 17-point, 15-rebound (career-high) effort at Washington.
Freshman * Guard * 6-Foot-0 * 175 Pounds
* An athletic and quick 6-foot, 175-pound point guard, 2004 freshman Quinton Day is a first-year Trojan whose perimeter skills and know-how for the game figure to give him an opportunity to earn playing time right away.
* Averaging 1.2 points in limited action in five games.
* Scored his first points against Cal State Fullerton, connecting on one three-pointer in eight minutes ... He had another three-pointer at BYU in 11 minutes.
* Playing in front of family that drove up from Kansas City, Mo., to watch him play, Day saw six minutes of action at Western Michigan and had one assist and one block. He did not suit against Cal State Northridge and played only two minutes against UNLV.
* He averaged 20.2 points, 5.0 assists, 6.0 steals and 3.2 rebounds as a 2003 senior guard, leading Paseo Academy (Kansas City, Mo.) to a 26-4 record and a second-place finish in Missouri Class 4. He earned All-State first team honors and was named the Kansas City Star's All-Metro boys' Player of the Year.
Senior * Guard * 6-Foot-5 * 220 Pounds
* Desmon Farmer is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior guard in 2004 with a great scoring touch and a fiery defensive presence who will start for the second year in a row.
* Averaging team-best 16.3 points per game to go with a team-high 19 three-pointers, is third in rebounding (3.7) and has made 29-of-34 free throws (85.3%).
* Had a streak of 21 consecutive games scoring in double figures snapped after scoring eight points at BYU.
* Tied a season-high with six three-pointers at Fresno State en route to 19 points, taking a career-high 14 three-point attempts.
* Posted an 18-point game off the bench against Cal State Fullerton that included career highs in free throws (12) and free throw attempts (13).
* Scored 19 points at St. Mary's after pouring in 26 points, including six three-pointers, against Cal State Northridge to go with eight rebounds. This came after scoring 12 points in front of many friends and family at Western Michigan. He also had 12 against UNLV.
* He is 17th on USC's career scoring chart with 1,176 points and is seventh on the career three-point chart with 139.
* He averaged 18.7 points as a 2003 junior guard, tops on the Trojans and fourth-best in the Pac-10 ... He was named a 2003 All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection and earned Pac-10 All-Tournament honors after he averaged 22.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in the conference tourney.
* He averaged 20.4 points in Pac-10 play, becoming only the second Trojan to average at least 20 points in conference games since 1992.
Gregg Guenther Jr.
Junior * Forward * 6-Foot-8 * 245 Pounds
* Gregg Guenther Jr., a 6-foot-8, 245-pound redshirt junior in 2004, 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 and hit the open jumper. He is set to join the team after the 2003 football season.
* He is currently starting at tight end on the football team and has 16 receptions and two touchdown receptions. He sprained his knee against Oregon State, however, but hopes to play in the Rose Bowl and with the basketball team after.
* He averaged 6.2 points and 5.0 rebounds in 18.6 minutes last year, starting nine of 19 games and showed marked improvement in his second year with the team.
* His overall rebound average was third on the team and his 6.1 boards per game in Pac-10 play was eighth in the conference.
Junior * Forward * 6-Foot-8 * 260 Pounds
* Jeff McMillan, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound redshirt junior forward in 2004, is a strong rebounder with the ability to score around the basket. He sat out the 2003 season after transferring from Fordham in 2002 and is expected to make big contributions this season.
* Leading USC rebounder (9.1) and second in scoring (13.7) and also leads the team in field goal percentage (67.9%, 38-of-56).
* Had a USC career-high 14 rebounds at Fresno State, the most for a Trojan since Nick Curtis had 15 last season at Washington.
* Scored a season-high 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting to go with eight rebounds against Cal State Northridge.
* Became the third Trojan ever to play more than 40 minutes in back-to-back games (41 at St. Mary's and 42 against Cal State Fullerton). With 39 minutes at Fresno State, it gave him an average of 40.3 in the last four games.
* Posted back-to-back double-doubles with 16 points and 11 rebounds at St. Mary's and 20 points and 11 rebounds against UNLV.
* In his first career USC home game, scored 13 points and had nine boards against Northridge. He had eight points at Western Michigan.
* He started 14 of Fordham's 28 games as a sophomore power forward for the Rams in 2002 and led them with 7.6 rebounds per game (seventh in the Atlantic 10) while averaging 10.2 points per game (second best on the team).
Senior * Center * 7-Foot-0 * 230 Pounds
* Jonathan Oliver, a 7-foot, 230-pound center, is a 2004 senior in his second year with the Trojans. Extremely agile for his size, he is a quality shot blocker who runs the floor with ease. After seeing only limited time as a junior, Oliver hopes to expand his role this season.
* Saw his first action of the year with four minutes at Fresno State. He missed USC's first six games while concentrating on his academics.
* He averaged 2.5 points, 1.6 rebounds and 7.8 minutes in 17 games as a reserve center last year.
Junior * Center * 6-Foot-11 * 240 Pounds
* Rory O'Neil, a 6-foot-11, 240-pound junior center, hopes to build on a solid sophomore campaign in 2004. For the second summer in a row, he has worked hard in the gym to add muscle to his long frame. One of the best shot-blockers in the conference, O'Neil seems poised to become one of the top big men in the Pac-10.
* USC's third-leading scorer (11.7), second-leading rebounder (4.0) and leader in blocks (eight). He is also second in field goal percentage (59.3%) and has made 6-of-14 three-pointers (42.9%). Has scored in double digits five times.
* Scored a season-high 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting against Cal State Fullerton.
* Hit two free throws with 13 seconds left to give USC a three-point lead at Fresno State, one it maintained for a win.
* Posted team highs in points (15) and rebounds (eight) at Western Michigan in 39 minutes. Had 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting against UNLV.
* He attended the Pete Newell Big Man Camp in August for the second consecutive year.
* He started 25 of 29 games as a sophomore center in 2003 and averaged 10.1 points per game, third-best on the team. He led the team in blocked shots (1.3, fifth in the Pac-10) and was fourth in rebounding (4.9). He scored in double figures 17 times and had four double-doubles.
* He was named a Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention selection with a 3.01 GPA in mathematics.
Senior * Guard * 6-Foot-4 * 195 Pounds
* Roydell Smiley, 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, is in his second year with the Trojans as a senior guard in 2004. A hard-nosed player, he brings an excellent perimeter game to the Trojans as well as the ability to handle the ball.
* Expected to have arthroscopic knee surgery in the upcoming week. Once he undergoes the surgery, he will be out an estimated four to six weeks.
* He broke his lower left leg in the season finale loss against Oregon and was expected to return by the start of the season, but is experience pain in his knee preventing him from playing.
* He finished as USC's fourth-leading scorer (8.6) despite battling nagging knee injuries for most of the season in 2003.
* He made the second-most three-pointers on the team (40) and shot a team-high 84.4% from the free throw line (38-of-45).
* Made a team-best 26 consecutive free throws during an 11-game span.
Freshman * Guard * 6-Foot-4 * 210 Pounds* Lodrick Stewart, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound freshman and the identical twin of fellow Trojan freshman Rodrick Stewart, is a gifted and athletic player who can play the 1, 2 or 3 positions. Like his brother, he's an excellent finisher with a knack for scoring. Also a tenacious defender, he will fight for minutes in the backcourt.
* Posted season highs of 19 points, four three-pointers, five rebounds and four steals at Fresno State in 27 minutes off the bench.
* Had 13 points and had three steals in 27 minutes off the bench at St. Mary's.
* Averaging 9.0 points and 3.1 rebounds and is second on the team with 10 three-pointers.
* Scored 12 points and made 3-of-4 three-pointers in his first collegiate game at Western Michigan and followed it with a seven-point effort of the bench against Cal State Northridge.
* Stewart, a 2003 McDonald's Preseason All-American alternate, Students Sports All-American special selection and Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first teamer, averaged 19.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 3.0 assists as a 2003 senior at Rainier Beach High (Seattle, Wash.) ... Earned 3-A State Tournament MVP honors en route to leading Rainier Beach to its second consecutive state title.
Freshman * Guard * 6-Foot-4 * 200 Pounds* Rodrick Stewart, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound freshman and the identical twin of fellow Trojan freshman Lodrick Stewart, is a gifted and athletic player who can play point guard, shooting guard or small forward. A great open-court player and defender who can also finish with the best, he will challenge for immediate playing time.
* Scored a season-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting in 25 minutes at BYU.
* He is averaging 4.6 points in 22.1 minutes per game.
* Had 10 points, starting at point guard in his Trojan debut at Western Michigan. He had three assists against Cal State Northridge and six points and four assists at St. Mary's.
* Prepped at Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.) High, where he earned Parade All-American third team, McDonald's Preseason All-American, All-State first team and Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team honors and was named 3-A State Player of the Year as a 2003 senior ... Averaged 18.8 points, 8.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 4.5 steals in 2003, helping to lead Rainier Beach to a 26-3 record and its second straight 3-A state title.
* USC is currently fielding five walk-ons: second-year 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Edward Chang, first-year 6-foot-6 sophomore forward Greg Gaudino, 6-foot-1 freshman guard Andrew Moore, 6-foot-6 freshman forward Reed Doucette and 6-foot-7 senior Joe Buck.
* Chang prepped at Dallas (Tex.) Jesuit. He served as a translator for the Chinese Jr. National team in the summer of 1999 and got to practice with the team as well ... Gaudino played on USC's volleyball team in 2003 as a freshman ... Buck played with the Trojans as a walk-on two seasons ago. He then played at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky., in the fall of 2002 before transferring back to USC the following spring. He became eligible to play this year after the BYU game.
* Buck saw the first action of any walk-on this year, getting in for two minutes at forward in the first half of the Fresno State game. In his limited time, he kept alive an offensive rebound that led to a USC basket.