USC To Face Oral Roberts In Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout Opener
Nov. 22, 2005
The USC men's basketball team plays Oral Roberts in the opener of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout Wednesday (Nov. 23) at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 8:30 (PT). Both teams are 0-1, having lost their openers at home in overtime. The Trojans are looking to avoid starting the season 0-2 for the first time since the 1994-95 season. Since then, USC has started 2-0 four times and 1-1 six times.
TROJANS AND GOLDEN EAGLES SHARE HOLIDAY PLANS AGAIN -- Last season, both teams played in the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii from Dec. 20-23, but did not meet up. ORU lost to Hawaii in the semi-finals (54-55) and USC lost to the Rainbow Warriors in the finals (68-72). The only other common opponent they had all season was UAB in the Rainbow Classic, which the Trojans defeated 81-78 in the semi-finals and ORU lost to 77-84 in the third-place game. USC is 2-3 all-time against Oral Roberts, losing the last meeting, 72-51, on Nov. 26, 1982 in Oklahoma. Oral Roberts returns four starters from last year's 25-8 team, which played in the NIT and lost in the first round to Maryland (85-72). Junior forward Caleb Green averaged 19.4 points and junior guard Ken Tutt scored 17.1 points a game last season for Oral Roberts.
TROJANS DROP SEASON OPENER AT HOME -- USC lost their first game of the season on Nov. 20 to Cal State Northridge, 81-76, in overtime at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. USC trailed by 10 at the half and as many as 14, before mounting a late comeback which saw them tie the game at 70-70 on a drunk by freshman RouSean Cromwell with 0.8 seconds left. The Trojans jumped out to a 73-70 lead, but could not hold it as they shot just 2-for-12 from the floor in the overtime period. The Trojans struggled all day shooting the ball, hitting 38.5 percent for the game (30-for-78) and 14.8 from three-point range (4-for-27). USC's top two three-point shooters from last season, Gabe Pruitt (0-for-10) and Lodrick Stewart (0-for-4) combined to go 0-for-14 from beyong the arc. The Trojans fell to 4-1 all-time vs. Cal State Northridge and are now 69-31 all-time in season openers. USC had won their last 10 home openers.
THE 2005-06 TROJANS -- USC returns only four scholarship players from a team that went 12-17 (5-13) last season, but the good news is that all three of the top scorers are returning, the first time the Trojans' top three scorers were underclassmen. Leading the way is 2004-05 All-Pac-10 Freshman and USC co-MVP Gabe Pruitt, who led the Trojans in scoring with a 12.3 average and set a school record by nailing 45 percent of his three-pointers. Also back is junior Lodrick Stewart, who scored 12.1 points per game and hit 40 percent of his three-pointers. Sophomore Nick Young, 2004-05 USC co-MVP and honorable mention All-Pac-10 freshman, was third on the Trojans with 11.1 points per game and is the top returning rebounder with 4.1 his freshman season.
IN TIM WE TRUST --There is great excitement on the campus of USC as the Tim Floyd era for the USC men's basketball program has begun. Hired on Jan 14, Floyd began his official duties on April 1 and has not slowed down since, recruiting a nationally-ranked incoming class, assembling a strong staff and installing a new system. Floyd brings 17 years of head coaching experience at the collegiate and NBA levels and owns a 243-131 record in his 13 seasons as a college head coach at Idaho (1987-88), New Orleans (1989-94),Iowa State (1995-98) and USC. Eight of his first 12 seasons, Floyd has taken his team into the postseason (5 NCAA, 3 NIT). Floyd has helped the development of his student-athletes at each stop, as 10 players in his 12 years have made it to the NBA, including three players that did not even play high school ball.
SHOT DOWN AT 1983 SHOOTOUT -- The Trojans only other appearance at the Great Alaska Shootout was in 1983 and they went 0-3, losing to Oklahoma (91-92), Fordham (78-67) and New Mexico (74-60). USC forward Wayne Carlander was selected to the All-Tournament team.
TROJANS TO FACE NEW TEAM, MAYBE A NEW DIRECTION -- The winner of the USC/Oral Roberts game will take on the winner of the Eastern Washington/Marquette game on Nov. 25 at 6:30 (PT). The losing teams will square off at 1 p.m. (PT) on Nov. 25. The Trojans have never faced Eastern Washington, in fact, USC has never played any school in basketball with an East or Eastern direction in their name. Speaking of never facing before, USC has also not played Marquette in men's basketball before. The final game for USC, against a team to-be-determined, will take place on the 26th. The championship game will be at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 26 and will be aired on ESPN2. The extended weather forecast for Anchorage shows chances of snow showers with temperatures ranging from 10-20 degrees for the entire tournament.
100 YEARS OF HOOPS AT USC -- The Trojans are beginning their 100th season of intercollegiate basketball and have a 1,374-993 record. The Trojans have had a .500 or better record in 70 of the first 99 seasons.
2004-05 SEASON IN REVIEW -- The Trojans entered the season with great expectations, as the team featured six experienced seniors, two exciting freshman recruits and a very talented sophomore, but they failed to find their identity and meet those expectations. The Trojans ended up the season 12-17, including a 10th-place finish and a 5-13 mark in the Pac-10. Coach Henry Bibby was relieved of his duties on Dec. 6 and assistant coach Jim Saia was elevated to interim head coach for the season. On Jan. 14, it was announced that Tim Floyd would become the Trojans new head coach beginning April 1 and he joined USC as a Trojan assistant until the season was over, so he could begin recruiting.
THE SCHEDULE -- The Trojans will play 12 of their 29 scheduled games against opponents that begin the season ranked in the top 45 of the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll: No. 9 Arizona (2), No. 13 Stanford (2), No. 18 UCLA (2), No. 28 Washington (2), No. 36 North Carolina (1), tied for No. 44 California (2) and Oral Roberts (1). The Trojans will play 16 home games and 13 games on the road or at neutral sites. Nine of USC's first 13 games will be at home. Note: the home games on Dec. 29 vs. California and Dec. 31 vs. Stanford will be played at Staples Center.
PAC-10 PRESEASON RANKINGS -- The Trojans were picked to finish in eighth place in the Pac-10 conference this season, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball. Arizona was picked to win the conference with 325 votes, followed by Stanford (294), UCLA (263), Washington (238), California (212), Oregon (183), Oregon State (132), USC (87), Washington State (86) and Arizona State (50).
INJURY UPDATES -- Currently the Trojans have no major injuries to report.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE, TWICE -- Sophomore Nick Young (18 points, 10 rebounds) and freshman RouSean Cromwell (17 points, 12 rebounds) both registered their first career double-doubles (points-rebounds) in the game on Nov. 20 vs. CS Northridge. Last season, USC had only one game where two players had double-figures in points and rebounds in the same game and that was the last game of the season, when Jeff McMillan (20 points/12 rebounds) and Rory O'Neil (12 points/10 rebounds) accomplished the feat.
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT -- RouSean Cromwell's 17 points and 12 rebounds in 35 minutes off the bench in his Trojan debut was quite impressive. No USC freshman had grabbed more rebounds in a game during their first season since Sam Clancy had 14 rebounds on Feb. 6, 1999. Cromwell had a total of three points and four rebounds in the two exhibition games.
FUNNY FEELING FOR FRANCIS -- Freshman Ryan Francis had two points, four assists and five rebounds in his first game as a Trojan, but had a strange feeling when leaving the Sports Arena. You see, for Francis, it was his first loss since being a junior at Glen Oaks High in Baton Rouge, La. Last season Francis helped lead this high school team to a perfect 36-0 record and the state 4-A title.
TROJANS GO 2-0 IN THE EXHIBITION GAMES -- The Trojans defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills 97-84 on Nov. 4 in the exhibition opener and then defeated Cal State San Bernardino 80-72 on Nov. 13 in the exhibition finale. In going 2-0 in the preseason, USC was led in scoring by junior Lodrick Stewart (36 points) and sophomores Gabe Pruitt (30) and Nick Young (29). The Trojans shot .553 (63-for-114) from the field in the two games, including hitting 50 percent (18-for-36) of their three-point shots.
SWAN SONG FOR THE SPORTS ARENA -- The USC Trojans will be playing their last season at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, their basketball home since 1959. The 16,161-seat arena has housed many Trojan great moments and teams, including the 24-2 1971 team and the 2001 team that reached the Elite 8. Along the way, the Sports Arena showcased the action of Trojan greats like John Block, Mack Calvin, Dennis 'Mo' Layton, Paul Westphal, Gus Williams, Cliff Robinson, Harold Miner, Brian Scalabrine, Sam Clancy and Robert Pack.
THE GALEN CENTER: A BASKETBALL MECCA IN THE MAKING -- The state-of-the-art Galen Center, which will be the new home to USC's men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams, is scheduled to open late summer of 2006. The Galen Center will include a 255,000-square-foot arena with 10,258 seats and a 45,000-square-foot pavilion that includes four practice courts and offices. Among the many amenities that the new center will offer are an Athletic Department Hall of Fame, an athletic merchandise store and a glass wall on the north end which will provide a beautiful view of the Los Angeles skyline.
TROJANS NAB FOUR PREP STANDOUTS -- The Trojans inked prep standouts Kasey Cunningham (Albuquerque, N.M.), Kevin Galloway (Sacramento, Calif.), Taj Gibson (Tarzana, Calif.) and Dwight Lewis (Katy, Tex.) to national letters of intent it was announced by Trojan head coach Tim Floyd on Nov. 17. Cunningham, a 6-7 forward, is widely regarded as the top high school player in the state of New Mexico, where he avereged 17.9 points and 13.6 rebounds as a junior at Cibola High. Galloway, a 6-6 swingman, enters his senior season rated as one of the top guards in the state of California, coming off his junior season in which he was named the Sacramento Bee Player of the Year. He scored 11.9 points a game as a junior at Charter High and dished out a state-high 10.7 assists per game. Gibson, a 6-9 forward, averaged 21 points, 15 rebounds and nearly 10 blocks a game as a junior at Stoneridge Prep in Tarzana, Calif. He is ranked 28th nationaly by HoopMasters.com and 32nd by Rivals.com. Lewis, a 6-5 swingman from Metairie, La., averaged 27.5 points and 9.7 rebounds a game last seaosn as a junior at Archbishop rummel High, earning fourth-team Parade All-American honors. Due to the hurricane damage in Louisiana earlier this year, Lewis is attending James Taylor High in Katy, Tex.
41 Jeremy Barr (Fr.) Ht. - 6-8 Wt. - 265 New Providence, Bahamas (Houston Westbury Christian) Averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds while leading his high school to three TAPPS state titles Was named first-team all-state and led Westbury Christian to a 100-19 record in his three seasons Rated by RivalsHoops as the 28th-best high school power forward...came to America from the Bahamas in 2002 Scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds in the exhibition game vs. CS San Bernardino on Nov. 13 0-for-1 in seven minutes of action on Nov. 20 vs. CS Northridge in his Trojan debut
42 RouSean Cromwell (Fr.)Ht - 6-1 Wt. - 215 Memphis, Tenn. (IMG Academy, Fla) Averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds a game in 2005 while earning all-district honors as a senior at IMG Academy Ranked the 14th-best center and 31st-best power forward in the country by RivalHoops Honored with the Mr. Inspirational award at the National Basketball Players Association camp hed in Richmond Had four rebounds and got to the foul line four times in 26 minutes of action in the two exhibition games Made quite a splash in Trojan debut with 17 points and 12 rebounds vs. CS Northridge on Nov. 20. It was the most rebounds by a USC freshman in a game since Sam Clancy had 14 on Feb. 6, 1999
44 Reed Doucette (Jr.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 215 Lodi, Calif. (Lodi HS) Enters his third season on the Trojan squad Appeared in eight games for USC last season and scored six points...made all three shots he took Walked on as a freshman for the 2003-04 season and did not see any action The former high school valedictorian is a mechanical engineering major with a business minor at USC
12 Ryan Francis (Fr.) Ht. - 5-11 Wt. - 180 Baton Rouge, La. (Glen Oaks HS) Averaged 22 points, five assists and three steals per game as a senior at Glen Oaks HS Helped lead his team to a perfect 36-0 record and the state 4-A title Named 2005 Louisiana Class 4-A Player of the Year and was MVP in the state title game Scored 12 points and dished out a team-high seven assists in the exhibition win vs. CS Dominguez Hills on Nov. 4 Had 12 points, four assists and five rebounds on Nov. 20 vs. CS Northridge
40 Greg Gaudino (Sr.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 195 La Canada, Calif. (La Canada HS) Earned a scholarship for his senior year, after being a walk-on the last two seasons Played in 10 games for USC last season and scored five points...also grabbed five rebounds Played varsity basketball and volleyball at La Canada HS Considered a good athlete and a high energy player off the bench for the Trojans Did not take a shot in the two exhibition games, but had four rebounds in 12 minutes...started the second half on Nov. 13
11 Adam Goldston (Fr.) Ht. - 5-10 Wt. - 185 Beverly Hills, Calif. (Montclair Prep) Joins his brother Ryan as walk-ons on the Trojan team this season Helped lead Montclair Prep to a 25-8 record his senior season...played AAU ball for Pump `N' Run He and his brother become USC's third set of twins in the last three seasons, joining Derrick and Errick Craven (2002- 05) and Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart (2003-04) Is a business major at USC and would like to someday work in the entertainment industry...did not make the trip.
13 Ryan Goldston (Fr.) Ht. - 5-10 Wt. - 165 Beverly Hills, Calif. (Montclair Prep) Joins his brother Adam as walk-ons on the Trojan team this season Helped lead Montclair Prep to a 25-8 record his senior season...was third on the team with 22 three-pointers made He and his brother become USC's third set of twins in the last three seasons, joining Derrick and Errick Craven (2002- 05) and Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart (2003-04) Played AAU ball for Pump `N' Run...he and his brother did not make the trip to Alaska.
21 Abdoulaye N'diaye (Jr.) Ht. - 6-11 Wt. - 230 Dakar, Senegal (College of Southern Idaho) Averaged 9.2 points and 5.9 rebounds as a sophomore at the College of Southern Idaho last season Helped lead CSI to a third-place finish at the National Junior College tournament Was tops on CSI with 92 blocks and was second on the team with 202 rebounds Was ranked the No. 1 junior college center in 2005 by HoopScoop Totaled 17 points and seven rebounds in the two exhibition games Got into early foul trouble and was held to three rebounds and two points in 10 minutes vs. CS Northridge on Nov. 20.
25 Sead Odzic (Fr.) Ht. - 6-3 Wt. - 180 Skokie, Ill. (Niles West HS) Averaged 20 points, five rebounds and four assists as a senior at Niles West HS (Ill.) Shot better than 40 percent for his career from beyond the three-point stripe Named a three-time All- Central-Suburban South League first team selection and was an all-state selection Born in Yugoslavia and came to the US at the age of 4...speaks English and Serbian. Was 3-for-6 in three-point shots during the two exhibition games...scored 5 points in Trojan debut (2-for-7) on Nov. 20.
10 Chris Penrose (Jr.) Ht. - 6-0 Wt. - 160 San Diego, Calif. (Francis Parker HS) Third season in the Trojans program...began as a freshman walk-on for the 2003-04 season, but saw no action Appeared in 11 games for USC last year and scored eight points...made both free throws he took and two three-pointers Received the Trojan Spirit award last year, after being so nominated by the coaching staff Named a team captain last season, the only non-senior to be selected as a captain Was 2-for-2 from the field (1-for-1 on 3-pointers) for five points in the exhibtion opener vs. CS Dominguez Hills on Nov. 4
34 Gabe Pruitt (So.) Ht. - 6-4 Wt. - 170 Los Angeles, Calif. (Westchester HS) Earned USC co-MVP honors and led the team in scoring as a freshman, averaging 12.3 points per game Led USC in points (356), average, three-point percentage (.450-a school record), assists (92), and steals (56) Was a first-team selection to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team Scored in double-digits in 20 of 29 games, including a season-best 23 points twice Finished among the top 10 all-time among USC freshmen in points, average, field goals, field goal percentage, three- pointers, three-point percentage, free throw percentage, assists and steals Nailed seven three-pointers on Feb. 27 at Stanford to tie for the second most three-pointers ever in a game by a Trojan Averaged 22 points per game as a senior at Westchester HS (Calif), earning Parade All-America honors Scored a combined 30 points and eight assists in the two exhibition wins...was 5-for-10 from three-point range Struggled with his shot on Nov. 20 vs. CS Northridge, going 3-for-20, including 0-for-10 from 3-pt. range...had 10 points.
30 Collin Robinson (Fr.) Ht. - 6-0 Wt. - 170 West Covina, Calif. (Diamond Bar HS) Averaged 25.9 points his senior season at Diamond Bar HS (Calif.)...made 103 of 255 three-point attempts (40 percent) Scored 802 points as a senior, breaking the school record previously held by NBA star Keith Van Horn Was a 2005 All-CIF Division 1-AA Southern Section first team selection...scored 42 points in a playoff win vs. Peninsula Known for having a good outside shot and an ability to score points Saw two minutes of action in the exhibition game vs. CSUSB and scored a point on 1-for-2 shooting from the line
15 Dwayne Shackleford (Sr.)Ht. - 5-10 Wt. - 185 Washington, DC (Allegany College, MD) Averaged 5.2 points as a junior after transferring to USC from Allegany College in Maryland Had his time limited due to injuries as a junior, suffering a lateral meniscus tear in his knee on the first day of practice His .778 free throw percentage (14 of 18) was tops on the team and earned him the Joe Barbato Award as the team's best player from the charity stripe Averaged 21.4 points for Allegany College as a sophomore in 2004, earning NJCAA Division 1 All-America honors Had seven assists and five points in 22 minutes of action in USC's two exhibition contests
3 Lodrick Stewart (Jr.) Ht. - 6-4 Wt. - 220 Seattle, Wash. (Rainier Beach HS) Finished second on the team with a 12.1 points per game average as a sophomore Had 70 three-pointers to lead USC in 2004-05 and rank as the sixth-most ever made in a single season by a Trojan He posted six games of 20 or more points and reached double-digits in 15 of USC's first 18 games His twin brother Rodrick played at USC as a freshman and transferred to Kansas where he is eligible to play this season Scored 27 points on Dec. 11, 2004 at San Diego in USC's 87-75 win...made five of 11 three-pointers in that game Led USC with 36 points in the exhibtion games on 13-for-21 shooting (.619) from the field Scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds on Nov. 20 vs. CS Northridge...0-for-4 from 3-point range.
Keith Wilkinson (Fr.) Ht. - 6-9 Wt. - 215 Mission Viejo, Calif. (Capistrano Valley HS) Averaged 16 points and eight rebounds a game for Capistrano Valley HS (Calif.) during his senior season Led his team in rebounding (230) and three-point baskets (55)...was second on the team in points (471) and blocks (37) Scored 20 points per game in leading Capistrano Valley to the CIF Div. IIAA semi-finals, where they lost 57-54 to eventual champion Dominguez His father, Jerry, played four years in the NFL for the Rams and Browns Had seven points in 14 minutes on the court in the exhibition games...was 5-for-6 from the line and 1-for-1 from the field
1 Nick Young (So.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 200 Los Angeles, Calif. (Cleveland HS) Earned USC co-MVP honors his freshman season as he scored 11.1 points per game Had a season-high of 22 points in a game twice, and reached double-figures in scoring 15 times Was third on the team in scoring, field goals made (123), three-point baskets (28) and second in free throws made (47) Finished among the Trojan freshman all-time top 10 in points, average, field goals, three-pointers and free throws made Averaged 27.2 points and 10.8 rebounds as a senior at Cleveland High in Reseda, Calif....tabbed by HoopScoop as the seventh-best player in the country...scored 56 points in one game and had 23 rebounds in another Led USC with 21 points and eight rebounds in exhibition game vs. San Bernardino on Nov. 13 * Had his first career double-double and led USC in scoring on Nov. 20 vs. CSUN (18 points/10 rebounds), but got in foul trouble in the first half and fouled out at the end of regulation in the Trojans' overtime loss.