USC To Host San Francisco At The Galen Center Monday
Nov. 30, 2008
LOS ANGELES -- The USC Trojans (4-2) host the San Francisco Dons (5-1) on Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m at the Galen Center. USC is 3-0 this season at the Galen Center. The game will be shown live on Trojans All-Access, located at USCTrojans.com.
BREAKING DOWN THE DONS -- The Dons are 5-1, winning their last game 65-63 vs. Colorado St. on Nov. 29. Their lone loss was an 87-74 setback at California. Junior forward Dior Lowhorn leads the Dons in scoring with 20.2 ppg. USC leads 14-5 in the all-time series with USF, winning the last meeting 102-82 on Dec. 4, 1971.
TROJANS SOAR OVER SKYHAWKS -- Taj Gibson had 15 points and eight rebounds and USC ran away from Tennessee-Martin 70-43 on Nov. 28 at the Galen Center. USC used a 25-4 run late in the first half to put the game away and take a 40-17 lead at halftime. USC held UT-Martin to 29.0 percent shooting in the game and the 43 points scored were the fewest by a Trojan opponent since Dec. 14, 2006 when USC held Bethune-Cookman to 36 points. Dwight Lewis added 13 points and DeMar DeRozan chippped in with 12.
SOONERS ON DECK: USC's next game will be at No. 11 Oklahoma (6-0) on Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. PT in Norman, Okla. as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. Oklahoma won the NIT Season Tip-Off by defeating No. 10 Purdue 87-82 in overtime on Nov. 28. The Sooners are off to their best start since winning their first 10 games in 2003. Preseason player of the year candidate sophomore forward Blake Griffin is averaging 25.7 points and 19.2 rebounds per game. USC and Oklahoma are 5-5 in the all-time series with USC winning 66-55 at the Galen Center last season.
TROJANS WINNING THE BOARD GAME: So far this season, USC has enjoyed an 11.5 rebound edge per game (44.8-33.3). The Trojans have outrebounded the opposition in all six games and the two games in which they did not enjoy a double-digit advantage (Seton Hall + 4 and Missouri +5) are the team's two losses. USC had the same amount of rebounds as its opponents last season, and lost the battle of the boards the two previous seasons. The most consecutive games USC has had more rebounds than its opponent in the Tim Floyd era is eight (Feb. 21-March 14, 2008).
ENJOYING THE HOME COOKING: USC is 3-0 at the Galen Center this season and have won seven consecutive home games dating back to the 2007-08 season. USC's longest winning streak at the Galen Center is nine games set Nov. 18-Dec. 28, 2006 during the inaugural season. During the seven-game home winning streak, USC has won by an average of 16.3 points (79.0-62.7).
USC TAKES TO THE ROAD: USC's game at Oklahoma on Dec. 4 will be the first true road game of the season. USC was 7-4 in road games last season, winning five of its last seven road contests.
IN TIM WE TRUST -- Tim Floyd has an impressive track record in the collegiate ranks along with his NBA experience. He brings 21 years of head coaching experience at the collegiate and NBA levels and owns a 310-169 record in his 16 seasons as a college head coach at Idaho (1987-88), New Orleans (1989-94), Iowa State (1995-98) and USC (2005-08). He won his 300th career game on Feb. 7, 2008 at Washington. Floyd posted a 63-37 record in his first three seasons as USC's head coach, the most wins by a Trojan coach in his first three seasons. Ten of his first 15 seasons, Floyd has taken his team into the postseason (7 NCAA, 3 NIT). Floyd has helped the development of his student-athletes at each stop, as 13 players in his 15 years have made it to the NBA, including three players that did not even play high school ball.
PINCH-HITTING FOR MARKAS -- USC play-by-play announcer Rory Markas of flagship station 710 ESPN Radio had surgery to remove a blood clot from the side of his head on Nov. 3 and is expected to make a full recovery. While Markas is sidelined, stepping in for the broadcasts are Los Angeles Angels' play-by-play announcer Steve Physioc and Isaac Lowenkron of AM 570 KLAC. Markas will be back to announce his 11th season of USC basketball as soon as he returns to health.
A HISTORY OF WINNING -- The Trojans have compiled a record of 1,442-1,031 in their 103 years of intercollegiate basketball competition. The Trojans have had a .500 or better record in 73 of the first 102 seasons.
TROJANS IN THE RANKINGS -- USC is currently ranked No. 35 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 37 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
USC PICKED TO FINISH THIRD IN PAC-10: At the annual Pac-10 Media Day held on Oct. 30, USC was picked to finish third in the Pac-10 Conference in a vote by the league media. UCLA was picked first with 379 votes, followed by Arizona State (325), USC (292), Arizona (241), Washington (217), Washington State (188), Oregon (147), California (143), Stanford (115) and Oregon State (40). USC was picked to finish sixth in 2007-08 and finished tied for third.
THE 2008-09 TROJANS -- USC returns three starters from last year's team which went 21-12, tied for third in the Pac-10 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Leading the way are junior All-Pac-10 forward Taj Gibson, junior guards Daniel Hackett and Dwight Lewis and senior forward Keith Wilkinson. Also key members returning to health this season after injury-marred 2007-08 seasons are forward Mamadou Diarra and guard Marcus Simmons. The other returning players are guards James Dunleavy (redshirted last season), Terence Green and Ryan Wetherell.
NEW ADDITIONS -- The Trojans have added seven new players to the 2008-09 roster which returns 10 players from last season's squad. USC's incoming class, ranked No. 7 by HoopScoop, features consensus top five recruit DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan was named by CollegeHoops.net as a preseason All-America honorable mention. Also in this recruiting class is guard Donte Smith, forward Leonard Washington, guard Percy Miller and walk-on J.J. Meyers. Another addition is small forward Marcus Johnson who transfered from UConn last spring and will be eligible after the first semester.
TROJANS ALL-ACCESS PROVIDES EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE -- USC is offering 11 games this season exclusively on Trojans All-Access, as the only video coverage. Fans can sign up at USCTrojans.com and watch selected games on their computers. Remaining games to be shown exclusively on Trojans All-Access are: Dec. 1 vs. San Francisco, Dec. 15 vs. Pepperdine, Dec. 20 vs. North Dakota St., Dec. 28 vs. Oral Roberts, Jan. 2 at Oregon (delayed), Jan. 15 vs. Arizona St. (delayed).
INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR -- USC's roster includes four players from outside of the country. Guards Daniel Hackett from Italy and Ryan Wetherell from Canada begin their third season with the Trojans, while forward Mamadou Diarra of Mali enters his second and forward Nikola Vucevic from Montenegro begins his first season at USC.
INJURY UPDATES -- Kasey Cunningham, injured on Nov. 23 vs. Missouri, had reconstructive surgery to repair the ACL in his left knee on Nov. 26. He is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
GIBSON A PRESEASON WOODEN AWARD CANDIDATE -- For the second consecutive season, USC forward Taj Gibson is listed as one of the 50 preseason Wooden Award candidates. Gibson is the first Trojan so listed since 2001 when Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal were Wooden Award candidates and Clancy was a Naismith candidate. Gibson averaged 10.8 points and 7.8 rebounds as a sophomore, while setting the USC single-season blocked shots record with 83. Gibson is also listed as an Athlon Preseason All-American (HM) and No. 6 on Lindy's list of top centers.
TAJ HAS BEEN A TOWER OF POWER -- Taj Gibson has averaged 16.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in USC's first six games, including his 17th, 18th and 19th career double-doubles (22 points/10 rebounds vs. NMSU, 19 points/18 rebounds vs. SHU and 17 points/15 rebounds vs. UTC). The 22 points on Nov. 18 vs. NMSU tied a career high and the 18 rebounds on Nov. 20 vs. SHU both tied career highs. His 18 rebounds vs. Seton Hall, along with SHU's John Garcia, established a new Puerto Rico Tip-Off single-game record.
DEROZAN NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM -- USC freshman DeMar DeRozan has been named to the CollegeHoops.net All-Freshman team. DeRozan was a McDonald's All-American and averaged 29.2 points his senior season at Compton High in Compton, Calif. Athlon Sports also named DeRozan to the preseason Pac-10 all-conference third team. DeRozan is also listed as a third-team selection to The Sporting News Preseason All-America team, the No. 9 small forward by Lindy's and the No. 3 freshman by Lindy's.
HACKETT IS MONEY FROM THE LINE -- USC junior Daniel Hackett made .823 percent of his free throws last season (79 of 96) to finish fifth among Pac-10 players from the line. He is 21-for-25 this season and his career free throw percentage of .811 (184 of 227) currently ranks second all-time among Trojan players. Dating back to the game on March 6, 2008 vs. California, Hackett made 18 consecutive free throws before missing his final one against New Mexico St. on Nov. 18 and has hit 32 of his last 36 (.889).
LONG-RANGE LEWIS -- Junior Dwight Lewis entered the season with 51 career three-pointers made, the most on the USC roster. He hit all three he took in the second half vs. UCI and nailed three vs. Tennessee-Martin and now needs 8 three-point baskets this season to crack the Trojans' all-time top 20 in shots made from beyond the arc. He leads all returning Trojans in points scored, three-point baskets made and shots taken in the 2007-08 season. He and Taj Gibson are the Trojans' top returners in points per game, as they both averaged 10.8 last season.
STEPHESON WAIVER PETITION DENIED -- Talented forward Alex Stepheson had his transfer waiver petition denied by the NCAA on Nov. 19 and will not be eligible for competition this season. Stepheson had requested eligibility for USC this season after transferring from North Carolina this fall due to family health concerns.
DRIVEN BY DEFENSE -- USC has held 40 teams to under 60 points in Tim Floyd's first 106 games as USC's head coach. The Trojans held 20 of their opponents last season to 39.2 percent shooting or less, and have accomplished the feat 56 times in the first 106 games under Floyd that USC has held its opponents to 40 percent shooting or less. USC was outshot from the field in just five of 33 games last season. USC has had a better shooting percentage that its opponent in 64 of the last 76 games.