Trojans Return Home To Face UC Riverside Highlanders And BYU Cougars
Nov. 29, 2005
The USC men's basketball team (2-2) hosts UC Riverside (0-3) on Wednesday (Nov. 30) and BYU (3-1) on Saturday (Dec. 3) at the Sports Arena. Both games begin at 7:30 p.m. The Trojans have won two games in-a-row and are attempting to win three straight for the first time since winning a season-best four consecutive games from Dec. 11-22 last season. The Trojans went 2-1 at the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Alaska (Nov. 23-26), after losing their home opener to CS Northridge on Nov. 20.
TROJANS DEFEAT HOST ALASKA-ANCHORAGE AT SHOOTOUT -- The Trojans won a tightly contested 57-56 victory over host Alaska-Anchorage in the fourth-place game at the Great Alaska Shootout when freshman RouSean Cromwell tipped in a missed free throw attempt with 10 seconds left. Freshman Ryan Francis, who stole an inbounds pass and was fouled with 13 seconds left, made his first free throw to cut the lead to 56-55, before missing the second and setting up Cromwell's heroics.
USC AND FLOYD GET FIRST VICTORY -- The USC Trojans led wire-to-wire in defeating Eastern Washington 69-51 on Friday (Nov. 25) for their first win of the season and the first win for new head coach Tim Floyd. Sophomore Nick Young led the Trojans with eight rebounds and a career-high 25 points on 11-for-18 shooting. USC jumped out to a 12-1 lead before EWU cut the lead to 14-11 at the 10:49 mark. Sophomore Gabe Pruitt then hit a three-pointer to key a 10-0 run and the Trojans maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Pruitt finished with 13 points and freshman Ryan Francis had eight assists.
THE HIGH-FLYING HIGHLANDERS -- The UC Riverside Highlanders, coached by former USC assistant coach David Spencer (1979-86), are off to an 0-3 record in Spencer's first season at the helm. The team has adopted a fast-paced offensive style based on the Loyola Marymount teams of the late 1980's. The Trojans are 1-0 lifetime against the Highlanders, winning 81-68 on Nov. 22, 2002.
COUGARS UP NEXT -- The BYU Cougars, 3-1 and coming off consecutive victories over Washington State and Southern Utah, will host Lamar on Nov. 30, prior to playing the Trojans on Dec. 3 at 7:30 in the Sports Arena. USC leads the all-time series with BYU 5-3, including winning 87-82 last year at the Sports Arena.
YOUNG LEADS TROJANS AT GREAT ALASKA SHOOTOUT -- Sophomore Nick Young led the Trojans with 50 points and 20 rebounds in USC's three games at the Great Alaska Shootout to earn selection to the all-tournament team. He also was voted Player of the Game in both Trojan victories, including the win vs. Eastern Washington on Nov. 25 when he tallied a career-high 25 points. The Trojans held the opposition to 58.3 points per game, tied with Oral Roberts for best in the tournament.
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 245-132 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.
100 YEARS OF HOOPS AT USC -- The Trojans are beginning their 100th season of intercollegiate basketball and have a 1,376-994 record. The Trojans have had a .500 or better record in 70 of the first 99 seasons.
USC LOSES REBOUNDS AND GAME TO ORU -- The Trojans lost 68-48 to Oral Roberts in their first-round game of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, getting outrebounded 45-25. The Trojans trailed 27-21 with 6:41 left to go in the first half, but were outscored 14-2 and outrebounded 14-4 the rest of the half to trail by 18 at the break (41-23). USC cut the lead to 14 with 6:18 to go in the game, but scored just two more points.
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.
BOUND TO REBOUND -- After getting outrebounded 89-75 in the first two games, including 45-25 vs. Oral Roberts on Nov. 23, USC has outrebounded their next two opponents (Eastern Washington and Alaska-Anchorage) by a total of 70-52. Sophomore Nick Young leads USC with 30 rebounds, while freshman RouSean Cromwell is next with 28.
THE SCHEDULE -- The Trojans will play 12 of their 29 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.
TROJANS ENTER THE 'HOME STRETCH' -- USC tonight begins a stretch of playing eight of their next nine games at home, including the games vs. California (Dec. 29) and Stanford (Dec. 31) which will be played at Staples Center due to a scheduling conflict at the Sports Arena. USC has had a .500 or better record at home in each of the last seven seasons (starting with the 1998-99 season) for a combined home record of 65-33 (.663). USC lost their only home game this season in overtime to CS Northidge on Nov. 20.
USC'S YOUNG GUN -- Sophomore swingman Nick Young scored a career-high 25 points on Nov. 25 vs. Eastern Washington and led USC in scoring in each of the first three games. Through four games, Young is averaging 17.0 points and 7.5 rebounds. He has made 28 of 49 shots (.571 percent), 4 of 5 from three-point range (.800) and is 8 of 9 from the free throw line (.889).
FRESHMAN FRANCIS MAKING AN IMPACT -- Freshman Ryan Francis was second on the team on Nov. 25 with six rebounds and dished out eight assists in the game vs. Eastern Washington. The eight assists were the most by a Trojan since Gabe Pruitt also also had eight on Dec. 11, 2004 vs. San Diego. In his first four collegiate games, Francis is averaging 5.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.75 steals.
THE GOOD HANDS PEOPLE -- Point guards Ryan Francis (5 assists) and Dwayne Shackleford (3 assists) combined to dish out eight assists without committing a turnover in USC's 57-56 win at Alaska-Anchorage on Nov. 26. In addition, Francis stole an inbounds pass with 13 seconds left in the game and the Trojans trailing 56-54, to set up the winning score with his free throw and a RouSean Cromwell tip in off his second free throw attempt. Through four games, Francis and Shackleford have combined to have 27 assists and 11 turnovers.
SWAT TEAM -- Junior center Abdoulaye N'diaye (2) and freshman RouSean Cromwell (3) combined for five blocks in the 57-56 win at Alaska-Anchorage, including a game-saving swat by Cromwell with 6.0 seconds left in the game. Both players have nine blocks through the Trojans' first four games. Last season, Rory O'Neil led USC with 27 blocks in 29 games. The Trojans as a team have 25 blocks this season, after finishing the 2004-05 season with a total of 76 as a team.
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 on Nov. 20 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.
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.
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 0-for-1 in seven minutes of action on Nov. 20 vs. CS Northridge in his Trojan debut...2-for-2 vs. ORU on Nov. 23 Scored five of USC's first nine points as they buitl a 9-1 lead vs. EWU on Nov. 25...finished with nine points and two boards
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 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 Had six points, six rebounds & three blocks in 57-56 win vs. UAA on Nov. 26...led USC in rebounding in the first two games
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 Had 12 points, four assists and five rebounds on Nov. 20 vs. CSUN...had five assists and key steal on Nov. 26 at UAA Had four points, six rebounds and eight assists on Nov. 25 vs. EWU...most assists by a Trojan since 12/11/04 (Gabe Pruitt)
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
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
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 Scored eight points (4-for-6) and had three blocks on Nov. 25 vs. Eastern Washington Had four points, four rebounds and two blocks in 57-56 win at Alaska-Anchorage on Nov. 26
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. Scored five points in Trojan debut (2-for-7) on Nov. 20...had six points (2-for-3 in 3-pointers) vs. ORU on Nov.23.
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 Averaged 22 points per game as a senior at Westchester HS (Calif), earning Parade All-America honors 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 Scored 13 points on 4-for-8 shooting (2-for-3 in 3-pointers) and had five rebounds on Nov. 25 vs. Eastern Washington Led USC with 17 points on Nov. 26 vs. Alaska-Anchorage...is 12-for-15 from the free throw line this season (.800)
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 Played 20 minutes vs. ORU on Nov. 23 and led the team with three assists...had four points and two rebounds
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 last season 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...had 12 points on Nov. 26 at UAA
23 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 last season 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 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 Scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds on Nov. 25 vs. Eastern Washington Had 12 points and eight rebounds on Nov. 26 at UAA...named to the Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team