USC To Host Long Beach State On Friday Looking For Third Straight Win
Nov. 22, 2006
The USC men's basketball team (2-1) will host Long Beach State (2-1) on Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Galen Center. The Trojans have won two straight after losing their Galen Center opener in overtime to South Carolina (80-74). The game will be part of a tripleheader at the Galen Center as the women's volleyball team will host Oregon in a 1 p.m. game and the women's basketball team will face Notre Dame in a 5 p.m. contest.
SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE -- Long Beach is coming off a 73-70 win at home over CS Bakersfield. They split their two games in the CBE Classic at Stanford, falling 69-68 vs. Air Force and beating San Jose State 86-67. Senior guard Aaron Nixon is averaging 19.3 points and senior forward Sterling Byrd 17.0 through three games. Long Beach State was 18-12 during the 2005-06 season and are picked to win the Big West this season. The 49ers are expected to start five seniors. USC is 6-5 all-time vs. Long Beach St., winning the last meeting 86-68 on Dec. 12, 2001 in Long Beach. In that game, Brandon Granville scored a then-career-high 25 points on the strength of 6 or 9 shooting from three-point range to lead USC.
TROJANS WIN SECOND STRAIGHT -- Nick Young scored 19 first-half points on 6-for-6 shooting and finished with 24 points to lead USC to a 74-58 win vs. The Citadel on Nov. 21. USC made 63.6 percent of their shots in the game and after a quick three by the Bulldogs to open the scoring, USC took the lead for good at 4-3 a minute into the game. USC's 26 turnovers were its most in a game since having 28 on Nov. 28, 2004 at North Carolina.
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE ON DECK -- Mississippi Valley State is 1-3 on the season and will play at Northern Arizona on Nov. 25, before taking on USC in the Galen Center on Nov. 28 in a 7:30 p.m. start. They have lost games at Mississippi, Creighton and Kentucky, but are coming off a win at Central Arkansas on Nov. 22. The Delta Devils begin their season with seven consecutive road games.
USC DEFENDS TO THE END -- USC held The Citadel to 37.8 percent shooting on Nov. 21. The Trojans have held all three of their opponents under 40 percent shooting this season. Last season the Trojans held the opposition under 40 percent shooting 10 times and were 8-2 in those games. USC's opponents are shooting a combined 35.8 percent this season.
USC CLEANS THE BOARDS -- USC outrebounded the Citadel 30-18 and has outrebounded two of its three opponents this season. Last season USC outrebounded the opposition in just eight of 30 games. The Trojans had 47 rebounds in the opener (most since getting 50 in the 2005-06 opener) and 40 in their second game, the first time USC had recorded back-to-back games of 40 or more rebounds since Dec. 3 and Dec. 6, 2003.
TROJAN BLOCK PARTY -- USC has 16 blocks in the first three games, including a season-high seven blocks in the game on Nov. 18 vs. Saint Mary's. USC had three games with seven blocks last season and a season-high nine on Nov. 25, 2005 vs. Eastern Washington. Freshman Taj Gibson leads the Trojans with six blocks, while junior Nick Young and senior Abdoulaye N'diaye have three each.
IN TIM WE TRUST -- The arrival of head coach Tim Floyd brought great excitement to the USC campus and with good reason. Floyd has an impressive track record in the collegiate ranks along with his NBA experience. He brings 18 years of head coaching experience at the collegiate and NBA levels and owns a 262-144 record in his 14 seasons as a college head coach at Idaho (1987-88), New Orleans (1989-94), Iowa State (1995-98) and USC (2005-06). Eight of his first 13 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 13 years have made it to the NBA, including three players that did not even play high school ball.
RADIO BROADCAST TO MOVE -- The USC-Loyola Marymount game on Dec. 2 will be broadcast on the Trojan radio network on KLAA 830 AM, instead of the usual ESPN Radio 710 AM due to a conflict with USC football postgame coverage.
SWINGMAN YOUNG OPENING EYES -- USC's and the Pac-10's top returning scorer is junior guard/forward Nick Young. Young averaged 17.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last season, one of only three Pac10 players to rank in the top 10 in both categories. Young was voted the 2005-06 USC team MVP and as a freshman, shared MVP honors with Gabe Pruitt.
TROJANS TOPS IN RETURNING PRODUCTION -- The Trojans lead the Pac-10 in returning production with 83.7 percent of their scoring and 86.5 percent of their rebounding from the 2005-06 season returning (includes Pruitt's numbers). USC also leads with 96 percent of their blocked shot producers returning. The Trojans return the conference's top two scorers from last season (Young - 17.3 and Pruitt 16.9) and the fourth-leading rebounder in Young (6.6). Senior Lodrick Stewart entered the season as the top active career scorer in the Pac-10 with 956 points.
THE SECOND CENTURY OF HOOPS AT USC -- The Trojans are beginning their second century of intercollegiate basketball and have a 1,393-1,006 record. The Trojans have had a .500 or better record in 71 of the first 100 seasons.
2005-06 SEASON IN REVIEW -- The Trojans entered the season coming off a last place Pac-10 finish and with their two of their top three turning scorers being sophomores, but quickly gelled as a team and made great strides. After losing their first two games of the season, USC ran off a nine-game winning streak, their longest since the 2001-02 season, including a 74-59 win over the defending NCAA Champion North Carolina Tar Heels. Freshman forward RouSean Cromwell went down with a foot injury after that game which hindered USC's rebounding success the rest of the season. USC had a 15-6 record after a home upset win over Arizona on Feb.2, but slumped down the stretch, dropping seven of their final nine games. All-Pac-10 guard Gabe Pruitt suffered a knee injury during that stretch and missed five games of action. One of the wins at the end of the season while Pruitt was out was a 71-68 victory over eventual NCAA runner-up UCLA. The Trojans lost to California 82-67 in the first-round of the Pac-10 Tournament to end their season.
THE SCHEDULE -- The Trojans are scheduled to play five games against teams entering the season ranked in the AP top 10 (Kansas-1, UCLA-2, Arizona-2) and may face six opponents garnering top 25 votes in the preseason: Kansas, UCLA, Arizona, Washington, Wichita St. and George Washington. According to the Sagarin preseason ratings, USC would play 12 games against opponents ranked in the top 50. USC is scheduled to potentially play eight games against Sports Illustrated's preseason Sweet 16.
PAC-10 PRESEASON RANKINGS -- The Trojans were picked to finish in sixth place in the Pac-10 conference this season, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball. UCLA was picked to win the conference with 335 votes, followed by Arizona (280), Washington (236), Oregon (193), California (177), USC (160), Stanford (127), Oregon State (75), Arizona State (69) and Washington State (54). Last season, USC was a preseason No. 8 pick and they finished sixth.
INJURY UPDATES -- Freshman forward Kasey Cunningham is recovering from left knee surgery (ACL).
STEWART A BASKET AWAY FROM 1,000 POINTS -- Senior guard Lodrick Stewart, who began the season as the top active career scorer in the conference (but now is six points behind Mustafa Shakur of Arizona), is two points away from reaching the 1,000 points scored plateau. When he gets there, he will become just the 30th Trojan in school history to reach that mark. Joe Mackey (1970-72) is 29th on the list with 1,007 career points, Dan Anderson (1972-74) is 28th with 1,020 points and Brandon Martin (1993-96), an Associate Athletic Director at USC now, is 27th with 1,070 points. Stewart is the Pac-10's active career three-point shot maker with 158, 27 more than his teammate Gabe Pruitt who is in second with 131. Stewart is third among active Pac-10 players in career steals with 112.
MAYO HIGHLIGHTS TROJANS' NO. 2 RATED RECRUITING CLASS -- Top recruit O.J. Mayo ended much speculation on Nov. 15 when he sent his signed National Letter of Intent to USC, where he will be a member of head coach Tim Floyd's Trojans. Also signing NLIs with USC were prep standouts Davon Jefferson from Lynwood, Calif., Leonard Washington from Lake Charles, La. and Marcus Simmons from Alexandria, La. These four signings earned USC the No. 2 rated recruiting class nationally by Rivals.com and HoopScoop. 'We feel as a result of this recruiting class that it has changed the perception and expectations of our program,' said head coach Tim Floyd. 'In O.J. Mayo we signed the No. 1 player in the country. We think the impact of he alone raises the level of the program. Then, in Leonard Washington, we have added someone we think can be an all-league player and Davon Jefferson was in the top 10 in his senior class. Marcus Simmons we think has a chance to be as good a defender as anyone in the Pac-10.' Mayo, a 6-5, 215-pound guard from Huntington, W.V., is the top rated recruit in the country by Scout.com and is a unanimous five-star player in all rating services. He is a two-time Mr. Basketball in Ohio, a two-time first-team Parade All-American and a two-time USA Today All-USA basketball first-team selection. In his three seasons at North College Hill, Mayo averaged 29.2 points and became the school's all-time leader in points (2,033), points in a season (748) and assists (505). In fact, his point totals in each of his three seasons there are the top three scoring marks in NCH school history. He also holds the school record for points in a game, as he poured in 56 on Dec. 17, 2004 vs. Lockland. Jefferson, a 6-8, 195-pound forward, was widely regarded as a top 10 recruit his senior season and as a top five recruit among fifth-year prep school basketball players last season. Rivals.com lists Jefferson as a five-star recruit, the 15th rated prospect of the entire 2006 class and as the No. 2 player out of California. He attended Lynwood (CA) HS and averaged 26.0 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists during the 2005 season, before going to The Patterson School in Patterson, N.C. last season, where he averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds in a half of a season. Washington, a 6-7, 225-pound forward from Washington Marion HS in Louisiana, is a physical player who is ranked by HoopScoop as the No. 54 recruit in the 2007 class. He averaged 24 points and 13 rebounds last season for Washington Marion. Simmons, a 6-5, 180-pound swingman from Peabody HS in Louisiana, is considered one of the best on the ball defenders in high school and is rated by Rivals.com as the No. 4 recruit in the state of Louisiana and the No. 138th ranked recruit nationally. He led his Peabody HS team to a 34-5 record as a junior and a No. 2 ranking in the state, as he averaged 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists per game.
GIBSON MAKING SUDDEN IMPACT -- Trojan freshman forward Taj Gibson scored 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in his first collegiate game, an 80-74 loss to South Carolina in overtime. His 14 rebounds were the most in a game by a USC freshman since Sam Clancy also grabbed 14 boards on Feb. 6, 1999. In his second game, he scored 15 points and had five rebounds and followed that up with 10 points and four rebounds vs. The Citadel. Gibson is the first USC freshman to score in double figures in his first three collegiate games since Tom Lewis during the 1985-86 season (first nine games).
SLOW START FROM BEYOND THE ARC -- USC has struggled as a team from three-point range so far this season, hitting just 26.5 percent of their shots (9-for-34). Sharp-shooter Lodrick Stewart, who has a career three-point field goal percentage of .383 is just 3-for-16 (.188) on the young season. USC averaged 19 three-pointers per game last season and took a conference-high 20.4 per Pac-10 game in 2005-06. USC is averaging just 11.3 three-point shots per game this season, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Last season when USC took 15 or less shots from behind the arc, they were 8-1.
DEFENDING THE THREE -- USC has held its opponents to 24.3 percent shooting from three-point range. The last two opponents are a combined 5-for-41 from beyond the arc (12.2 percent).
BALANCED ATTACK -- USC has had four players score in double figures in each of the first three games this season. The last time USC had three straight games in a season with four players scoring 10 or more points was Dec. 22, Dec. 23 and Dec. 28, 2004. The last time they had four consecutive games in a season with four double-figure scores was Dec. 28, 2003 and Jan. 2, Jan. 4 and Jan. 8, 2004.
FORTIFIED BY FRESHMEN -- The Trojan freshman are playing a big role for the Trojans in the first two contests. First-year players Taj Gibson and Daniel Hackett have started all three games and Gibson leads the team in and rebounding (7.7) and is third in scoring (13.7). The Trojans have seven freshmen on this squad and they have combined to score nearly half of USC's points (45.2 percent). The freshman have also combined to play nearly half of the team's minutes (48.3 percent).
GETTING FAMILIAR WITH THE GALEN CENTER -- USC begins the season with six consecutive home games for the first time since the 1960-61 season. That season they started with 10 home games, though games six and seven were played at the Loyola Gym and the other seven at the Sports Arena.
20 Kyle Austin (Fr.) Ht. - 6-7 Wt. - 195 Pasadena, Calif. (Pasadena HS) Averaged 21 points and seven rebounds in leading Pasadena High to a 25-4 record as a senior Was named Pacific League MVP as a senior and shared the honors as a junior; 2-time Star News Player of the Year Named to the P-E Division1-A first team and was a LBPT 2006 Best in the West third-team selection Scored four points and grabbed five rebounds in 10 minutes of action vs. The Citadel on Nov. 21
41 Jeremy Barr (So.) Ht. - 6-9 Wt. - 264 New Providence, Bahamas (Houston Westbury Christian) Averaged 3.1 points and 1.5 points as a Trojan freshman; Made three starts and appeared in 23 games Had a career-high 9 points on Nov. 25 vs. E. Washington and had a career-best 5 rebounds on Nov. 30 vs. UC Riverside Averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds while leading his high school to a 100-19 record and three TAPPS state titles Rated by RivalsHoops as the 28th-best high school power forward as a senior...came to America from the Bahamas in 2002
42 RouSean Cromwell (So.)Ht - 6-11 Wt. - 217 Memphis, Tenn. (IMG Academy, Fla) Appeared in 15 games as a freshman, averaging 4.2 points and 4.5 rebounds; 9 pts. vs. Cal Poly Pomona in exhibition win 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 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 RivalsHoops as a senior Had six points and three rebounds in the opener vs. South Carolina; Had 8 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks vs. St. Mary's
43 Kasey Cunningham (Fr.)Ht. - 6-7 Wt. - 220 Albuquerque, N.M. (Cibola HS) Averaged 22.0 points and 15.0 rebounds with six blocks per game as a senior at Cibola High Led team to a 13-1 record before suffering a season-ending left knee injury...had ACL surgery, missed the rest of the season Began season widely regarded as the top player in New Mexico; Named to the LBPT Best in the West second team
44 Reed Doucette (Jr.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 212 Lodi, Calif. (Lodi HS) Enters his fourth season on the Trojan squad; Appeared in four games last season and had one rebound in seven minutes Appeared in eight games for USC as a sophomore and scored six points...made all three shots he took The former high school valedictorian is a mechanical engineering major with a business minor at USC
13 Kevin Galloway (Fr.) Ht. - 6-7 Wt. - 200 Sacramento, Calif. (Sacramento HS) Averaged 17.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as a senior; Led Sacramento High to a 29-6 reocrd Registered 10 double-doubles in points and rebounds and scored a season best of 34 points as a senior Named to 2006 LBPT Best in the West first team; Rated the 88th-best prospect as a senior by Scout.com Had four points, two steals and an assist in 14 minutes of action in the opener on Nov. 16 vs. South Carolina Tied for the team lead with Nick Young and Daniel Hackett with seven assists
22 Taj Gibson (Fr.) Ht. - 6-9 Wt. - 210 Brooklyn, N.Y. (Calvary Christian HS, Calif.) Played last season at Calvary Christian High in San Fernando, Calif. which played an abbreviated schedule As a sophomore and junior at Stoneridge Prep in Tarzana, Calif., averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and 7 blocks per game Rated the 7th-best power forward and 32nd overall by RivalsHoops; USA Today ranked him as the 33rd best prospect Led USC with 16 points and 14 rebounds vs. South Carolina on Nov. 16...it was the most rebounds by a USC freshman since Sam Clancy also had 14 on Feb. 6, 1999 Scored 15 points and had 5 rebounds vs. St. Mary's...first USC freshman to score in double figures in first three games since Tom Lewis (1985-86 season)
30 Terence Green (So.) Ht. - 5-10 Wt. - 176 Aliso Viejo, Calif. (Irvine Valley College) Transfered to USC for the spring semester last season and practiced as a walk-on, but was ineligible for competition Played high school ball at Aliso Niguel High; Helped lead the team to a 28-4 record his senior year Was second-team all-CIF, All-Sea View League (3 years) and third-team All-Orange County
11 Daniel Hackett (Fr.) Ht. - 6-5 Wt. - 205 Downey, Calif. (St. John Bosco HS) Originally a 2007 recruit, he graduated early by finishing his high school work this summer and enrolled at USC a year early Averaged just over 20 points a game at St. John Bosco; Ranked the 6th-best 2007 prospect in California by Rivals.com Was on the Division 2A All-CIF team in 2004 and 2005; Named a first-team selection to the 2005-06 LBPT Dream Team Had 13 points, including two key three-point plays down the stretch in the opener vs. South Carolina on Nov. 16 Tied for third on the team in rebounds (14) and tied for first in assists (7)
15 Dwight Lewis (Fr.) Ht. - 6-5 Wt. - 200 Metairie, La. (James Taylor HS, Tex.) Played his senior season at James Taylor High in Katy, Tex. after being uprooted from Louisiana by hurricane Katrina Scored 21 points per game as a senior in helping lead his team to a 17-10 record; Named first team All-Region As a junior at Archbishop Rummel High in Metairie, La., he averaged 27.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game Was a fourth-team selection to the 2004-05 Parade All-American team Scored 12 points on 6 of 9 shooting and had 4 rebounds iin win vs. St. Mary's; Had 10 points vs. The Citdadel
21 Abdoulaye N'diaye (Sr.) Ht. - 6-11 Wt. - 220 Dakar, Senegal (College of Southern Idaho) Played in all 30 games (24 starts) for USC last season, averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game Scored a career-high 13 points and grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds on Feb. 25, 2006 vs. Oregon State Had 47 blocks as a USC junior and his 1.57 blocks per game average ranked third among Pac-10 players Ranked the No. 1 junior college center in 2005 by HoopScoop; Scored 17 and had 14 rebounds in Cardinal & Gold game Had five rebounds and four points on Nov. 16 vs. South Carolina
25 Sead Odzic (So.) Ht. - 6-3 Wt. - 192 Skokie, Ill. (Niles West HS) Appeared in all 30 games for USC as a freshman, making 5 starts and averaging 3.2 points and 1.2 rebounds per game Finished fourth on USC with 22 three-pointers made; Scored a career-high 9 points on Feb. 4, 2006 vs. Arizona State 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.
10 Chris Penrose (Sr.) Ht. - 6-0 Wt. - 172 San Diego, Calif. (Francis Parker HS) Fourth season in the Trojans program...began as a freshman walk-on for the 2003-04 season, but saw no action Played in three games last season and scored two points in seven minutes: has a career-best of three points twice Appeared in 11 games for USC in 2004-05 and scored eight points...made both free throws he took and two three-pointers Named a team captain as a sophomoe and enters his third season as a captain (along with N'diaye this season)
34 Gabe Pruitt (Jr.) Ht. - 6-4 Wt. - 170 Los Angeles, Calif. (Westchester HS) Academically ineligible for the first semester; Started 25 games last season and averaged 16.9 points Named to the 2005-06 All-Pac 10 first team and to the NABC District 15 first team Scored a career-high 36 points on Dec. 10, 2005 at LMU which helped him earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honor Scored 30 or more three times, the ninth Trojan to accomplish that in a single season and first since 1992 (Harold Miner) Earned USC co-MVP honors and led the team in scoring as a freshman, averaging 12.3 points per game Nailed seven three-pointers on Feb. 27, 2005 at Stanford to tie for the second most three-pointers in a game by a Trojan Averaged 22 points per game as a senior at Westchester HS (Calif), earning Parade All-America honors
3 Lodrick Stewart (Sr.) Ht. - 6-4 Wt. - 210 Seattle, Wash. (Rainier Beach HS) Enters this season as the active career points leader in the Pac-10 with 956; Averaged 12.3 last year in 30 games, 25 starts Made 50 of 126 three-pointers last season (39.7 percent) to rank sixth in the Pac-10 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 His twin brother Rodrick played at USC as a freshman and transferred to Kansas where USC plays on Dec. 4 Scored a career-high 27 points on Dec. 11, 2004 at San Diego in a 87-75 win...made five of 11 three-pointers in that game Had 11 points and five rebounds on Nov. 16 vs. South Carolina...scored the Trojans' first points in the Galen Center Let USC with 19 points and tied his career high (4th time) with 8 rebounds in win vs. St. Mary's on Nov. 18
2 Ryan Wetherell (Fr.) Ht. - 5-10 Wt. - 165 Calgary, Canada (Sir Winston Churchill HS) Played three years of varsity at Sir Winston Churchill High; Was starting point guard and team MVP as a senior Averged 30 points and eight assists as a senior; Helped lead his Junior Trojans club team to the provincial championship three straight years, earning MVP honors each season (2004-06) Had nine points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal to help lead the Gold team to victory in the Cardinal & Gold game Scored his first two points as a Trojan in his first game on Nov. 21 vs. The Citadel
23 Keith Wilkinson (So.) Ht. - 6-10 Wt. - 220 Mission Viejo, Calif. (Capistrano Valley HS) Appeared in 19 games as a freshman, averaging 1.1 points and 1.4 rebounds Had bests of 5 points on Jan. 7 at Arizona and 9 rebounds on Feb. 2 vs. Arizona 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
1 Nick Young (Jr.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 200 Los Angeles, Calif. (Cleveland HS) Enters this season as the top returning scorer in the Pac-10; Was the 2005-06 USC team MVP Scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds on Nov. 16 vs. South Carolina Averaged 17.3 points and 6.6 rebounds last year, one of three players in the Pac-10 to rank in the top 10 in both categories Named to the 2005-06 All-Pac-10 first team and to the NABC District 15 first team; Scored double figures in 29 of 30 games Scored a career-high 33 points on Feb. 25, 2006 vs. Oregon St.; Had 32 points vs. WSU on Jan. 14, 2006 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 Scored 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots in win vs. St. Mary's on Nov. 18 Scored 24 points (7th time 24 or more in career) on 8 of 9 shooting in win vs. The Citadel on Nov. 21
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