USC To Face No. 19 Southern Illinois In Anaheim Classic Finals Sunday
Nov. 24, 2007
LOS ANGELES -- The USC men's basketball team (4-1) will face Southern Illinois (3-0) at the Anaheim Convention Center on Nov. 25 at 8:00 p.m. in the finals of the inaugural Anaheim Classic. The game will be televised live on ESPN2. USC has won four straight since opening the season with a loss at home to Mercer on Nov. 10. USC is attempting to start 5-1 for the second consecutive season. The last time they had a better start was the 2000-01 season when the Trojans started 8-0.
SCOUTING SOUTHERN ILLINOIS -- USC will be facing No. 19 Southern Illinois (3-0) for the first time ever. Southern Illinois reached the finals with wins over Chattanooga (63-41) and Mississippi State (63-49). The Salukis' other win came against Northern Illinois (88-68) at home on Nov. 17. The Salukis have won their first three games by an average of 18.7 points. Southern Illinois is one of 12 teams to make the NCAA Tournament in each of the last six seasons, last year advancing to the 'Sweet Sixteen.' Southern Illinois returns three starters and 10 lettermen from a team that went 29-7 in 2006-07 and won its sixth straight conference title. The Salukis are led in scoring by senior forward Randal Falker who is averaging 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in SIU's first three games.
TROJANS DEFEAT MIAMI (OH) IN A NAIL-BITER -- USC defeated Miami (OH) 57-53 in the second round of the Anaheim Classic on Nov. 23. The Trojans outscored the RedHawks 28-20 in the second half and held them to a 27.3 shooting percentage after the break. The game featured 15 lead changes and six ties. O.J. Mayo had 21 points and Daniel Hackett 11 to lead the Trojans. USC took the lead for good at 53-51 on a jumper by Hackett with 2:51 left in the game.
OKLAHOMA ON DECK -- The Oklahoma Sooners return three starters and seven lettermen from a team that went 16-15 in 2006-07 and missed making the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 1981 season. The Sooners are 5-1 on the season with wins vs. San Francisco (71-55), Denver (80-50), Alcorn State (99-59), Gardner-Webb (69-55) and Morehead State (74-42), with the only loss coming to No. 3 ranked Memphis (63-53). The Sooners feature highly-tauted freshman forward Blake Griffin who is averaging 15.0 points and 9.2 rebounds through the first six games. Center Longar Longar and guard Tony Crocker are also averaging in double figures in points.
IT'S CLOSE, BUT IT'S NOT HOME -- By the time USC finishes play in the Anaheim Classic, it will have played just one game at home in the first six. The last time USC had so few home games to start the season was 1988, when they played the first five away from home before returning to play two-straight home games.
ROAD WARRIORS -- With wins at The Citadel and at South Carolina, USC is 2-0 on the road to start the season for just the second time in the last seven seasons, the other time being 2005-06. The Trojans were 4-6 in their 10 road games last season, 4-5 in conference on the road, with a non-conference loss at Kansas.
A RECORD START FOR FLOYD -- Tim Floyd posted a 42-25 record in his first two seasons as USC's head coach, the most wins by a Trojan coach in his first two seasons. Floyd has an impressive track record in the collegiate ranks along with his NBA experience. He brings 20 years of head coaching experience at the collegiate and NBA levels and owns a 289-156 record (4-1 in 2007-08) in his 15 seasons as a college head coach at Idaho (1987-88), New Orleans (1989-94), Iowa State (1995-98) and USC (2005-07). Nine of his first 14 seasons, Floyd has taken his team into the postseason (6 NCAA, 3 NIT). Floyd has helped the development of his student-athletes at each stop, as 12 players in his 14 years have made it to the NBA, including three players that did not even play high school ball.
KEEP AN EYE ON GIBSON -- USC sophomore forward Taj Gibson was one of 50 men's basketball players selected to the preseason Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy lists, the early front-runners for college basketball's coveted trophies. Gibson is USC's leading returning scorer and rebounder, averaging 12.2 points and 8.7 rebounds last season. He set two school freshman records last season with 321 rebounds and 69 blocked shots.
THE RETURNS ARE IN... -- Last season USC entered the season with the leading returning point production (83.7 percent) and rebounding (86.5 percent) among Pac-10 teams. This season, USC ranks last in the conference in returning scoring (40.2 percent) and eighth in rebounding (63.6 percent). The Trojans also return just 17.4 percent of their three-point scoring, 10th in the Pac-10. Despite being just a sophomore, Taj Gibson enters the season with the eighth-most career blocks (69) among Pac-10 players.
A HISTORY OF WINNING -- The Trojans have compiled a record of 1,420-1,018 in their first 102 years of intercollegiate basketball competition. The Trojans have had a .500 or better record in 72 of the first 101 seasons.
2006-07 SEASON IN REVIEW -- The Trojans were coming off a 17-13 season in 2005-06 and were anchored by veterans Nick Young (Jr.), Gabe Pruitt (Jr.) and Lodrick Stewart (Sr.) each reaching the 1,000 points scored plateau during the season. The Trojans went 10-2 in their first 12 games, with an overtime loss to South Carolina in the season and Galen Center opener and a 10-point loss at Kansas. USC defeated then No. 8 Wichita State in the Las Vegas Classic and followed that up with a double-overtime win against No. 14 Washington to begin conference play. USC made it three consecutive wins over a ranked opponent when the won in early January at Oregon, handing the Ducks their first loss of the season. USC did not lose consecutive games all season until the final two regular season games of the season at Washington and Washington State. USC advanced to the Pac-10 finals with wins over Washington State and Stanford, before falling to Oregon in the championship game. USC cruised to victories over Arkansas (77-60) and Texas (87-68) in the NCAA Tournament, before losing to North Carolina in the East Regional semi-finals, 74-64.
TROJAN TIDBITS -- USC does not have a senior on the roster...USC has a preseason Wooden Award and Naismith Award candidate (Taj Gibson) for the first time since 2001 when Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal were Wooden Award candidates and Clancy was a Naismith candidate...Gibson is also ranked as the No. 10 center in the country by The Sporting News and the No. 7 center by Lindy's...Gibson has been named a preseason third-team All-American by Rivals. O.J. Mayo is on the Bob Cousy Award candidates watch list and is rated the No. 2 point guard by The Sporting News and the No. 7 point guard by Lindy's. He also was named a preseason first-team All-American and picked as the Player of the Year by ESPN's Andy Katz and ESPN's Doug Gottlieb listed Mayo as a first-team preseason All-American. Mayo has also been selected by Collegehoops.next as the preseason Freshman of the Year.
FACING THE BEST -- USC's 2007-08 schedule features four games against teams ranked in the top four in the country and 13 potential games against teams ranked in the ESPN/USA Today and AP preseason Top 25. USC has 10 wins over the last two seasons against Top 25 teams, tied for the fifth-most in the country with UCONN, Georgetown, Texas and Ohio State.
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 339 votes, followed by Washington State (273), Oregon (240), Arizona (238), Stanford (205), USC (184), California (140), Washington (132), Arizona State (81) and Oregon State (38). Last season, USC was a preseason No. 6 pick in the conference and finished tied for third.
INJURY UPDATES -- Freshman forward Mamadou Diarra had surgery on his groin on Nov. 5 and is expected to miss approximately 3-5 weeks. Kyle Austin injured his back (spasms) on Nov. 21 and is day-to-day. Marcus Simmons has been battling a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss the Anaheim Classic games.
HACKETT'S TRIPLE-DOUBLE EARNS HIM TSN'S PLAYER OF THE WEEK -- Guard Daniel Hackett was named The Sporting News National Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 12-18, as he averaged 21.5 points, 6.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds, while making 71.4 percent of his shots. Hackett, who had missed six weeks with a broken jaw which was wired shut until Nov. 9 and returned to full practice for the first time on Nov. 12, scored a career high 21 points in his first game back in the 74-47 win at The Citadel on Nov. 15 and followed that up with a new career best of 22 points in the 85-75 win at South Carolina on Nov. 17. In the South Carolina game, Hackett also had career highs in rebounds (10) and assists (10) for a rare triple-double, the first by a Trojan player in at least 30 seasons.
DYNAMIC DEBUT FOR MAYO -- O.J. Mayo scored 32 points in his collegiate debut on Nov. 10 vs. Mercer, a new USC record for a freshman in his first collegiate game. His 32-point total also are the sixth-most by a Trojan freshman in a single game, with the record being 39 by Cliff Robinson on Feb. 2, 1978 vs. California. The 32 points scored by Mayo were also the most in a game by a player in the two-year history of the Galen Center.
USC Top Single-Game Freshman Scoring Records 39 - Cliff Robinson, Feb. 2, 1978 vs. California 37 - Harold Miner, Dec. 28, 1989 vs. Central Connecticut State 37 - Harold Miner, Jan. 25, 1990 vs. Oregon State 35 - Cliff Robinson, Jan. 20, 1978 vs. Portland State 34 - Harold Miner, Feb. 15, 1990 vs. Stanford 32 - O.J. Mayo, Nov. 10, 2007 vs. Mercer
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED -- On a roster that features no seniors and just three juniors, the Trojans will be relying on the underclassmen to handle much of the scoring. In the first four games, USC's freshmen scored 176 of the 357 points (49.3 percent) and the freshman and sophomores accounted for 348 of the 357 points (97.5 percent). In the win vs. Miami, USC utilized just seven players - four freshmen and three sophomores.
GIBSON IS DOUBLE TROUBLE -- Sophomore forward Taj Gibson had 20 points and 12 rebounds in the 60-50 win vs. San Diego on Nov. 22, his second double-double in five games this season. He also had 13 points and 14 rebounds in the game vs. Mercer on Nov. 10. He now has 13 career double-doubles (points and rebounds) in 42 collegiate games (31.0 percent).
LOUISIANA LIGHTNING -- Trojan sophomore guard Dwight Lewis, who grew up in Metairie, La. but was uprooted by hurricane Katrina to Katy, Texas, scored a career-best 18 points in the win at South Carolina on Nov. 17. He has scored in double-figures in three of five games this season. Lewis reached double-figures in scoring eight times in his freshman season.
NOTHING FREE AT THE LINE -- USC has shot under 60 percent from the free throw line in three of five games this season. In the last game vs. Miami, the Trojans made 66.7 percent of their shots from the charity stripe (12-for-18). USC's best game from the line was on Nov. 17 at South Carolina when they made 23 of 27 free throws (85.2 percent). In the first five games, the Trojans have hit just 66.1 percent of their free throws (74-for-112). Last season as a team USC hit 71.5 percent of its free throws, its best mark since hitting 71.8 percent from the charity stripe in 1984.
NO MERCY FROM MERCER -- USC's first-game opponent Mercer shot 59.4 percent (38-for-64) from the field on Nov. 10 at the Galen Center. It was the highest shooting percentage in a game by a Trojan foe since UCLA made 60.7 percent of its shots on Feb. 24, 2005.
NO OFFENSE, BUT I'LL TAKE THAT -- Taj Gibson grabbed nine offensive rebounds and 14 boards overall in the game vs. Mercer on Nov. 10. The nine offensive rebounds were a career-high for the sophomore who had a high of seven twice in his freshman season. The last Trojan with more offensive rebounds in a game was Nick Young with 10 on Feb. 25, 2006 vs. Oregon State. Gibson has grabbed 10 or more rebounds in 14 of 42 career games (33.3 percent).
THE DEFENSE RESTS -- The 96 points allowed and 59.4 shooting percentage by Mercer in the first game were quite an aberration for Tim Floyd's teams since he arrived on the USC campus. Last season, USC held 21 of 37 opponents to under 40 percent shooting and 27 of 37 to under 42 percent from the floor. In the first two seasons of the Tim Floyd era, the Trojans held 31 of 67 opponents to 40 percent of less from the floor. The fact that USC was outshot from the floor (59.4 percent to 40 percent) was also out of the ordinary. Last year the Trojans shot better than their opponents in 31 of 37 games. In 2006-07, the most points USC allowed in a game was 88 at Washington State on March 3 in an 88-86 double-overtime loss. That also had been the most points by an opponent since Tim Floyd became USC's head coach for the 2005-06 season. USC out-shot Miami (OH) 50.0 percent to 42.6 percent on Nov. 23 and held them to 53 points, the 21st opponent in Tim Floyd's first 72 games as USC's head coach held under 60 points. The Trojans have held three of their four opponents this season to under 37.7 percent shooting or less, making it 34 times in the first 72 games (47.2 percent) under Floyd that USC held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting.
GIBSON MOVES UP THE CHARTS -- Sophomore Taj Gibson had six blocks on Nov. 16 at The Citadel, the most since he had a career-high seven blocks on Jan. 4, 2007 at Oregon, which had tied for the fourth most in a game by a Trojan. He then blocked four shots at South Carolina on Nov. 17 and three vs. San Diego on Nov. 22, giving him 83 career blocks which rank him tied for seventh on USC's all-time shot block list with Chris Munk. Avondre Jones is sixth with 101 career blocks as a Trojan.
TROJAN TV ALL-ACCESS -- USC is offering live online video streaming of four remainng untelevised games to subscribers of TrojanTV All-Access, while others will be able to access these special online events on a pay-per-view basis. Each game will be available live and on-demand. Current subscribers to TrojanTV All-Access will receive all five broadcasts for FREE as part of their subscription package. Non-subscribers have two options to purchase the games. Each game will be available for a single-game pay-per-view price of $4.99. Fans can also purchase all four broadcasts for a price of $19.99. Annual subscriptions to TrojanTV All-Access are $99.95 for a 12-month subscription, while a monthly renewable subscription is just $9.95. The remaining games to be offered exclusively on Trojan TV All-Access are Dec. 8 vs. Fresno Pacific (Exhibition), Dec. 17 vs. Delaware State, Dec. 22 vs. Cal Poly and Dec. 29 vs. UC Riverside.
JEFFERSON EASING HIS WAY BACK -- Trojan freshman forward Davon Jefferson, a five-star recruit from Lynwood, Calif., played in his first game on Nov. 22 vs San Diego and scored five points in 19 minutes. Jefferson also had three rebounds, one block and one steal and received a nifty pass from fellow freshman O.J. Mayo for a highlight-reel dunk. Jefferson had his early season progress slowed due to a left knee injury early in the preseason. In his second game on Nov. 23 vs. Miami (OH), he had seven points and a block.
TOUGH TERRAIN AHEAD FOR TROJANS -- USC will play three of its next four games against ranked teams, beginning with the Anaheim Classic Finals vs. No. 19 Southern Illinois. After that, USC will return home to face Big 12 power Oklahoma (5-1) on Thursday, Nov. 29 in a Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series Game. On Sunday, Dec. 2, USC will host No. 4 Kansas (4-0) and then travel to New York City to play No. 3 Memphis (4-0) in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 4. In all, beginning with the first game of the Anaheim Classic on Nov. 22, the Trojans are playing six games in 13 days with four of the opponents being 2006-07 NCAA Tournament teams.
MAYO MATCHES GIBSON'S START -- O.J. Mayo has scored in double figures in all five games this season, matching what Taj Gibson did as a freshman in 2006-07. The last Trojan to begin his career with more consecutive double-digit scoring efforts was Tom Lewis in the 1985-86 season, when he reached double figures in scoring in his first nine games as a freshman.
TOURNAMENT PARTNERS -- USC has never faced Southern Illinois, but in the last two in-season tournaments the Trojans have participated in --2005 Great Alaska Shootout and 2007 Anaheim Classic --, both teams have been part of the eight-team fields. Southern Illinois went 1-2 and USC 2-1 at the Great Alaska Shootout.
SCORING IS OVERRATED... -- USC has won its last two games although they scored 60 or fewer points, first defeating San Diego 60-50 on Nov. 22 and then Miami (OH) 57-53 on Nov. 23. It is the first time the Trojans have won consecutive games when scoring 60 points or less since winning 58-56 in two overtimes at California on Dec. 23, 1987 and 53-47 vs. Western Kentucky on Dec. 28, 1987.
TROJANS KEEPING THE DEFENSIVE PRESSURE ON -- USC has forced 83 turnovers in the first five games for an average of 16.6 per game. Last year, the Trojans forced 14.4 turnovers per game. USC forced Miami (OH) to match a season high with 15 turnovers on Nov. 23 and held the RedHawks to 27.3 percent shooting in the second half, after they had hit a blistering 56.0 percent in the first half.
ANOTHER TOUGH CHALLENGE FOR THE OFFENSE -- After facing Miami (OH) on Nov. 23 which has held 37 consecutive teams to under 70 points in a game, the Trojans now face an equally daunting challenge from Southern Illinois. The Salukis have allowed 70 points or more just two times in the past 39 games. Southern Illinois' last two opponents have been held to under 50 points and the Salukis have held their three opponents to a combined .357 shooting percentage.
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES -- USC is 3-0 in games decided by 10 points or fewer this season, twice winning by 10 points (at South Carolina and vs. San Diego) and by four points (Miami). In head coach Tim Floyd's first two-plus seasons at USC, the Trojans have played 39 games decided by 10 points or less and have won 26 of them (66.7 percent).
0 Kyle Austin (So.) Ht. - 6-7 Wt. - 205 Pasadena, Calif. (Pasadena HS) Injured his back in practice on Nov. 21 (back spasms) and did not suit up on Nov. 22 or Nov. 23...is day-to-day Has only played in the season-opener vs. Mercer and did not have any shots or rebounds in three minutes of action Averaged 1.4 points and 1.6 rebounds a game as a freshman; Had season highs of 5 points and 5 rebounds in a game Played a season-high 19 mintues vs. GWU at the 2006 Wooden Classic and was instrumental in USC's comeback win 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 Press-Enterprise Division1-A first team and was a LBPT 2006 Best in the West third-team selection
33 RouSean Cromwell (Jr.) Ht - 6-11 Wt. - 225 Memphis, Tenn. (IMG Academy, Fla) Scored 2 points on 2-for-6 shooting from the free throw line vs. Mercer on Nov. 10 Has come off the bench in 3 of USC's first 5 games and has two points and five rebounds Played in 33 games (5 starts) last year; averaged 2.4 pts. & 2.2 rebounds; Had a season-high 13 points vs. LBSU on 11/24 Made quite a splash in Trojan debut with 17 points and 12 rebounds vs. CS Northridge on Nov. 20, 2005. It was the most rebounds by a USC freshman in a game since Sam Clancy had 14 on Feb. 6, 1999...since passed by teammate Taj Gibson 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
43 Kasey Cunningham (R-Fr.) Ht. - 6-7 Wt. - 225 Albuquerque, N.M. (Cibola HS) Played in his first game as a Trojan on Nov. 10 vs. Mercer and scored 2 points and grabbed 2 rebounds Had a career-high 10 rebounds and six points on Nov. 15 at The Citadel Had a career-high seven points in the win vs. Miami (OH) on Nov. 23...also had three rebounds and a key steal Redshirted in 2006-07 while recovering from left knee surgery...spent the season working on his outside game and dribbling 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
14 Mamadou Diarra (Fr.) Ht. - 7-0 Wt. - 230 Bamako, Mali. (Stoneridge Prep) Had hernia surgery on Nov. 5 and is expected to miss 3-5 weeks Averaged 8.1 points and 6.4 rebounds his senior season at Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley, Calif.; As a junior led them in scoring with an 11.1 average Hoopmasters.com listed him as the No. 4 rated power forward in the 2007 class; Ranked the No. 65 prospect by Rivals.com CNN/SI's rankings of 2007 recruits listed him No. 40; Also Hoopscooponline.com listed him No. 7 among 5th-year players
3 James Dunleavy (Fr.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 190 Los Angeles, Calif. (Harvard-Westlake HS) Is expected to redshirt this season Did not play last season in high school as he had exhausted his eligibility; averaged 2.5 points as a junior Made 21 of 55 three-point shots (38.2 percent) as a junior as Harvard-Westlake went 27-6 Son of L.A. Clippers' coach Mike Dunleavy and brother of Pacers' guard/forward Mike Dunleavey, Jr.
22 Taj Gibson (So.) Ht. - 6-9 Wt. - 225 Brooklyn, N.Y. (Calvary Christian HS, Calif.) Had six points and six rebounds and played strong defense on Miami's Tim Pollitz in the 2nd half on Nov. 23 Had a season-high 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on Nov. 22 vs. San Diego, his 13th career double-double Had 13 points and 14 rebounds on Nov. 10 vs. Mercer USC's top returning scorer (12.2 ppg) and rebounder 8.7 (rpg); A 2006-07 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team selection Set USC freshman records in rebounds (321) and blocks (69); Had 11 double-doubles, one of five freshmen in the country with that many, joing among others Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, the top two selections in the 2007 NBA Draft Has at least eight rebounds in 30 of 41 career games and scored at least eight points in 38 of 41 games Made the Pac-10 Conference All-Tournament team, as he scored 36 points and had 29 rebounds in the three games Scored 51 points and grabbed 34 rebounds in the three NCAA Tournament games, with two double-doubles
30 Terence Green (Jr.) Ht. - 5-11 Wt. - 180 Aliso Viejo, Calif. (Irvine Valley College) Played in three games last season, his first active season for USC, but did not score Transfered to USC for the spring semester of 2006 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
13 Daniel Hackett (So.) Ht. - 6-5 Wt. - 205 Pesaro, Italy (St. John Bosco HS) Has made 63.6 percent of his shots this season (21-for-33), including 66.7 percent from beyond the arc (6-for-9) Had 11 points, 2 assists and two steals and hit the go-ahead jumper in the 57-53 win vs. Miami (OH) on Nov. 23 Scored a career-high 21 points on Nov. 15 at The Citadel, his first game back after missing six weeks with a broken jaw Had a triple-double (22 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) with no turnovers in win at South Carolina on Nov. 17...it was the first triple-double by a Trojan in at least 30 seasons Started 16 games as a freshman and averaged 5.3 points and 2.9 rebounds...second on the team with 103 assists Scored a season-high 20 points vs. Texas in the NCAA Tournament win on 3/18 Originally a 2007 recruit, he graduated early by finishing high school in the summer of `06 and enrolled at USC for 2006-07 Averaged just over 20 points a game at St. John Bosco; Ranked the 6th-best 2007 prospect in California by Rivals.com
5 Davon Jefferson (Fr.) Ht. - 6-8 Wt. - 215 Lynwood, Calif. (Lynwood HS) Played in his first game as a Trojan on Nov. 22 vs. San Diego and had five points, three rebounds, a block and a steal Scored seven points on 3-for-4 shooting, with an assist, block and steal in win vs. Miami (OH) on Nov. 23 Averaged 20.0 points & 12.0 rebounds at The Patterson School (N.C.) in 2006; Sat out 2nd half of season to focus on academics In 2005 at Lynwood HS, averaged 26.0 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists Was rated by Rivals.com as a 5-star recruit, the 15th prospect in the entire 2006 class and the No. 2 player from California
1 Angelo Johnson (Fr.) Ht. - 5-11 Wt. - 180 Minneapolis, Minn. (Stoneridge Prep, Calif.) Had a strong debut as a starter vs. Mercer on Nov. 10, with 17 points, two assists and two steals Had 5 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists at The Citadel; Started on Nov. 17 at South Carolina and had 6 points and 3 assists Has made 5 of 12 three-point shots this season (41.7 percent) and is third on the team with 13 assists Led Stoneridge Prep (Calif.) in scoring as a senior with a 13.7 average...also dished out 4.1 assists per game As a junior, prepped at Marietta Convent Christian (Ga.) and averaged 19.2 points and 6.3 assists per game Ranked the No. 9 prospect among fifth-year players by Hoopscooponline.com and the No. 114 recruit for 2007 by Rivals Began his high school career at Patrick Henry HS in Minneapolis, Minn.
21 Dwight Lewis (So.) Ht. - 6-5 Wt. - 215 Metairie, La. (James Taylor HS, Tex.) Had 15 points and grabbed three rebounds vs. Mercer on Nov. 10; Scored 10 at The Citadel on Nov. 15 Scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed four rebounds in the win at South Carolina on Nov. 17 Is USC's second-leading returning scorer, averaging 5.8 points and 2.1 rebounds as a freshman; Top-returning 3-point shooter with 20 made in 2006-07; Scored a season-high 14 points last season on Feb. 24 vs. California 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
32 O.J. Mayo (Fr.) Ht. - 6-5 Wt. - 200 Huntington, W.V.. (Huntington HS) Scored 32 points in the opener vs. Mercer to set a school freshman debut record, a Galen Center record for points in a game and the sixth-most points ever in a game by a USC freshman; Also had seven rebounds and hit four 3-pointers Made 6 of 12 shots (3 of 6 3-pointers) and finished with 16 points on Nov. 15 at The Citadel...led USC with five assists Led USC with 29 points, hit three 3-pointers and grabbed four rebounds in the 85-75 win at South Carolina on Nov. 17 Had 20 points in the win vs. San Diego on Nov. 22...also had three rebounds, three assists and three steals Led USC with 21 points in the 57-53 win vs. Miami (OH) on Nov. 23...also had 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a key steal at the end of the game Was the 2006-07 EA Sports National High School Boys Basketball Player of the Year; Was also selected a McDonald's All-American, Parade All-American and USA Today All-USA team selection Named the West Virginia High School Boy's Player of the Year as he led Huntington to a 25-2 record and its first state title Averaged 28.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.1 rebounds as a senior; Had 41 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in title game Attended North College Hill his freshman-junior seasons, leading the Trojans to their first two state titles; Mayo left the school as its all-time leading scorer; His high school teams were a combined 99-5 with three state titles (2 OH, 1 WV) Was Ohio's 'Mr. Basketball' as a sophomore & junior, joining LeBron James as the only sophomores to receive the honor Scored 56 points vs. Lockland HS (OH) on Dec. 17, 2004; Averaged 20+ points playing varsity ball in KY in 7th & 8th grade
20 Marcus Simmons (Fr.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 200 Alexandria, La. (Peabody HS) Played in his first game as a Trojan on Nov. 15 at The Citadel...had two rebounds in nine minutes of action Had three rebounds in two minutes of play at South Carolina on Nov. 17 Averaged 18.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals as a senior at Peabody HS in Alexandria, La. Helped lead Peabody to a 37-4 record and the 2006-07 Louisiana state championship; Named to the All-State team Ranked as the No. 47 small forward in 2007 by Rivals.com Slowed in the preseason with a high left ankle sprain which continues to keep him out of the lineup
2 Ryan Wetherell (So.) Ht. - 5-11 Wt. - 175 Calgary, Canada (Sir Winston Churchill HS) Had a rebound, a steal and an assist in seven minutes of action vs. Mercer on Nov. 10 Played in 15 games and logged a total of 49 minutes as a freshman; Had a season-best three points vs. B-CC on 12/14/06 Scored in five of the first eight games he appeared; Had two points and two assists at Oregon State on 1/6/07 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)
23 Keith Wilkinson (Jr.) Ht. - 6-10 Wt. - 225 Mission Viejo, Calif. (Capistrano Valley HS) Had five rebounds, an assist and a steal vs. Mercer on Nov. 10; Had 3 points and 3 rebounds on Nov. 15 at The Citadel Made his only shot, grabbed a rebound and had a block in the win at South Carolina on Nov. 17 Also made his only shot and had two rebounds in four minutes of action in the 60-50 win vs. San Diego Played in 33 games (5 starts), averaging 1.5 points & 1.9 rebounds last year as a sophomore; Played in all 3 NCAA games Scored a career-high nine points and dished out a career-best three assists on 3/1/07 at Washington 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) Averaged 20 points a game to lead CVHS to the CIF Div. IIAA semi-finals, where they lost 57-54 to champion Dominguez His father, Jerry, played four years in the NFL for the Rams and Browns
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
TODAY | 3:00pm PTLive
TODAY | 6:00pm PTLive