USC Begins Three-Game Homestand With Bethune-Cookman
Dec. 13, 2006
The USC men's basketball team (6-2) will host Bethune-Cookman (2-4) on Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Galen Center. USC has won its last five home games and six of its last seven games overall.
SCOUTING BETHUNE-COOKMAN -- Bethune-Cookman was 15-15 last season and is 2-4 this season, following a 92-64 loss at Oregon on Dec. 11. The Wildcats are led in scoring by junior Jimmy Hudson who is averaging 14.2 points per game. Bethune-Cookman is located in Daytona Beach, Fla. and USC is facing them for the first time.
DID ANYONE SEE THE RALLY MONKEY? -- USC's incredible comeback from a 20-point deficit in the second half to defeat George Washington 74-65 at the Wooden Classic on Dec. 9 in Anaheim, Calif. had to make one wonder if the famed Anaheim Angels' Rally Monkey had made an appearance. The Trojans were down 29-16 at the half and 38-18 two and a half minutes into the second half, but rallied behind Lodrick Stewart's 19 and Daniel Hackett's 18 points following the break. The comeback was USC's biggest since also overcoming a 20-point deficit to win vs. BYU on Dec. 23, 2000.
CHARLESTON SOUTHERN ON DECK -- USC's next opponent will be Charleston Southern (5-4) on Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. The Buccaneers last played on Dec. 4 when they lost 78-59 at Mercer. CSU is 5-0 at home this season and 0-4 on the road. They are led in scoring by junior guard Chris Moore, who is averaging 14.3 points per game.
GETTING THAT HOME FEELING -- USC has won their last five home games, following the season-opening overtime loss to South Carolina on Nov. 16. The Trojans won six consecutive home games last season, but prior to that had not won more than two consecutive home games in a season since the 2002-03 season.
USC DEFENDS TO THE END -- USC held George Washington to 36.4 percent shooting on Dec. 9 and have held all eight 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 32.9 percent this season, second lowest in the country (through games of Dec. 11):
Team FGM FGA FG Percentage Connecticut 159 485 .328 USC 162 493 .329 Texas A&M 153 448 .342 Southern Mississippi 125 359 .348 Mississippi State 172 488 .352
* Courtesy of Stats, Inc.
USC has held the opposition under 40 percent shooting in 18 of the 38 games Tim Floyd has been the head coach (47 percent), whereas in the previous two seasons, they accomplished the feat eight times in 57 games (14 percent).
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 266-145 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). His record at USC is 23-15. 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.
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.
THE SECOND CENTURY OF HOOPS AT USC -- The Trojans are beginning their second century of intercollegiate basketball and have a 1,397-1,007 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 stumbled 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.
DOUBLE TROUBLE DOWN LOW -- Freshman Taj Gibson has had four double-doubles in points and rebounds in his first eight games, following a 16-point, 17-rebound effort against George Washington. Last season, Nick Young led USC with four double-doubles.
INJURY UPDATES -- Freshman forward Kasey Cunningham is recovering from left knee surgery (ACL).
TROJAN TAKING STOCK IN THE BLOCK -- USC has 36 blocks in the first eight games, including a season-high seven blocks in the game on Nov. 18 vs. Saint Mary's. Freshman Taj Gibson leads the Trojans with 15 blocks.
GIBSON MAKING SUDDEN IMPACT -- Trojan freshman forward Taj Gibson had 18 rebounds on Nov. 24 vs. Long Beach State, the most by a Trojan since Jeff McMillan also had 18 rebounds on Feb. 25, 2004 vs. UCLA and the most by a Pac-10 player this season. The last Trojan with more rebounds in a game was David Bluthenthal who tied the school record with 28 on Jan. 20, 2000 vs. Arizona State. Bluthenthal tied Cliff Robinson's school and freshman record of 28 rebounds set on Jan. 20, 1978 vs. Portland State. Gibson has four double-doubles (points-rebounds) in his first eight games, the most among conference players. Gibson was held to five points vs. LMU, snapping his streak of scoring in double figures at five games, the first USC freshman to score in double digits in his first five collegiate games since Tom Lewis during the 1985-86 season (first nine games). He bounced back with with 15 points on Dec. 4 at Kansas and 16 points on Dec. 9 vs. George Washington.
THAT'S A LOD OF POINTS -- Senior Lodrick Stewart reached the 1,000 points scored mark on Nov. 24 against Long Beach when he made a layup two minutes into the second half. He finished that night with 16 points. He currently has 1,088 career points, ranking him 25th all-time on USC's scoring list and first among active career scorers in the Pac-10 (Arron Afflalo has 1,065). On Dec. 2 vs. LMU, Stewart made a career-high six three-pointers (6-for-9) and then added five (5-for-8) at Kansas on Dec. 4. He is 20-for-45 from beyond the arc on the season (.444).
WINNING THE BOARD GAME -- USC and GW tied in the battle of the boards, but the Trojans have outrebounded four of their eight opponents. 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. The 58 rebounds USC collected on Nov. 24 vs. LBSU were its most in a game since also grabbing 58 boards on Feb. 27, 1997 vs. Oregon.
STARTING TO FIND THE RANGE FROM BEYOND THE ARC -- USC is 25-for-55 (45.5 percent) from three-point range in the last five games. 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 11.1 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 and are 6-1 this season.
DEFENDING THE THREE -- USC has held its opponents to 25.0 percent shooting from three-point range (44-for-176), tied with LSU for fifth best in the country. The last six opponents are a combined 32-for-147 from beyond the arc (21.8 percent).
FORTIFIED BY FRESHMEN -- The Trojan freshman are playing a big role for USC in the first eight contests. First-year players Taj Gibson and Daniel Hackett have started all eight games and Dwight Lewis has started one. Gibson leads the team in rebounding (10.6) and is third in scoring (12.6). The Trojans have seven freshmen on this squad and they have combined to score 41.6 percent of USC's points and have played 50.7 percent of the team's minutes.
N0THING FOUL ABOUT THIS SHOOTING -- The Trojans hit 33 of 38 foul shots (86.8 percent) on Dec. 9 vs. George Washington. It was the team's best percentage in a game since making 87.0 percent vs. Washington on March 6, 2003 and the most made free throws in a game since also making 33 on Jan. 20, 2000 vs. Arizona State. USC has made 73.0 percent of its free throws this season, third best in the conference. USC has shot better than 70 percent from the free throw line just one season (2001) in the last 20 years.
HOW RARE WAS THAT COMEBACK? -- USC's comeback from a 20-point deficit in the second half (38-18) to win 74-65 vs. George Washington at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. on Dec. 9 was the most since also staging a 20-point second-half comeback vs. BYU (down 23-43) on Dec. 23, 2000 to win 70-67. Here is a list of the top USC comeback victories in the last 15 seasons:
Trailed Opponent Date Final Deficit Time 20 vs. George Washington* 12-9-06 74-65 18-38 17:25 mark in second half vs. BYU** 12-23-00 70-67 23-43 13 seconds into second half @ UNC-Charlotte 12-7-96 65-61 17-37 early second half 18 Arizona State 1-2-99 72-70 20-38 at 3:43 in first half 17 @ Houston 12-10-94 95-89 10-27 early first half
* Wooden Classic, Anaheim, Calif. ** Yahoo! Sports Invitational, Laie, Hawaii
SECOND HALF MAGIC -- The 58 points USC scored in the second half on Dec. 9 vs. GW were its most in a half since scoring 60 points in the second half at Washington State in a 97-90 win on Jan. 2, 2003. The Trojans have only scored more than 58 points in a half four times in the last 11 seasons. USC has outscored the opposition 298-247 in the second half (not counting overtime) and has outscored its opponent in the second half in all six wins.
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 Scored a season-high five points and had four rebounds on Nov. 28 vs. MVSU Played a season-high 19 minutes, scoring 2 points & grabbing 3 rebounds, during USC's comeback win vs. GW on Dec. 9
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 Had six points and three rebounds in the opener vs. South Carolina; Had 8 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks vs. St. Mary's Scored 13 points, had 4 rebounds and 2 blocks on Nov. 24 vs. LBSU...it was his most points since the 2005-06 opener (17) Had six points and a season-high six rebounds on Nov. 28 vs. MVSU; Had 4 points, 2 rebounds & 1 block vs. LMU
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 Is second on USC in assists with 15; Scored 8 points (6 of 7 from the line) on Nov. 24 vs. LBSU; 4 assists vs. LMU
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; Had 10 points and 18 rebounds vs. LBSU on Nov. 24 (2nd double-double) Led USC with 14 points and 10 rebounds on Nov. 28 vs. MVSU for third double-double...scored in double figures in his first five games, the first USC freshman to score in double digits his first five games since Tom Lewis (1985-86 season-9) Had 15 points and nine rebounds on Dec. 4 at Kansas; Had 16 points and 17 rebounds on Dec. 9 vs. GW Leads the Pac-10 with 10.6 rebounds per game and is tied for sixth in the country in that category Also leads the conference and with four double-doubles; 4th in Pac-10 with 1.88 blocks per game
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 Leads USC with 25 assists; Had a season-best 6 assists on Nov. 24 vs. LBSU; Had 7 points, 3 assists & 3 steals vs. LMU Scored 9 points (7-for-8 in free throws) in loss at Kansas on Dec. 4 Had a career-best 18 points, all in the second half to help key USC's comeback win vs. GW on Dec. 9...was 11-for-11 from the free throw line, the most makes without a miss from the charity stripe by a Trojan since Brandon Granville was also 11-for-11 on Jan. 19, 2002
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 Scored 12 points on 6 of 9 shooting and had 4 rebounds iin win vs. St. Mary's; Had 10 points vs. The Citdadel Made his first start on Nov. 24 vs. LBSU and had 7 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Had 5 rebounds at Kansas
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; Did not start on Nov. 24, but had 7 rebounds in 11 minutes Had 12 points (6-for-6 shooting) and nine rebounds vs. LMU on Dec. 2, both totals one under his career highs Made his only shot and both free throws, but fouled out in 17 minutes at Kansas on Dec. 4 Has made his last eight shots (6-for-6 vs. LMU, 1-for-1 at Kansas, 1-for-1 vs. GW)
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 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 sophomore and enters his third season as a captain (along with N'diaye this season) Hit a three-pointer, grabbed a rebounds and had an assist in four minutes of action vs. MVSU on Nov. 28
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
3 Lodrick Stewart (Sr.) Ht. - 6-4 Wt. - 210 Seattle, Wash. (Rainier Beach HS) Entered this season as the active career points leader in the Pac-10; 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 lost 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 Scored 16 points & passed the 1,000 points scored plateau in the game on Nov. 24 vs. LBSU (30th Trojan to 1,000 points) Had 21 points & hit a career-high 6 three-pointers (6-for-9) on Dec. 2 vs. LMU; Had 23 points & 5 threes at Kansas Dec. 4 Scored 19 of his 21 points after halftime as USC came from 20 down to defeat GW 74-65 on Dec. 9 at the Wooden Classic Has averaged 21.7 points the last three games...also is 14-for-23 from three-point range the last three games (60.1 percent)
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 and 9 rebounds 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 a season-high five points and seven rebounds and hit his second career three-pointer on Nov. 28 vs. MVSU
1 Nick Young (Jr.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 200 Los Angeles, Calif. (Cleveland HS) Entered this season as the top returning scorer in the Pac-10; Was the 2005-06 USC team MVP 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 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds on Nov. 16 vs. South Carolina Scored 24 points (7th time 24 or more in career) on 8 of 9 shooting in win vs. The Citadel on Nov. 21 Led USC with 22 points and grabbed 9 rebounds on Nov. 24 vs. LBSU Had 18 points, an assist, block and steal in win vs. LMU on Dec. 2; Had 13 points and 4 rebounds on Dec. 9 vs. GW Is second in scoring and rebounding on the team and third in assists; Tied for second on the team with 5 blocks