USC Faces LMU Saturday At Galen In Second Game Of Season

Nov. 19, 2009

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LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC Trojans (1-0) will face the Loyola Marymount Lions (1-3) on Nov. 21 at the Galen Center at 5:00 p.m. The game can be watched live on USCTrojans.com and will be aired on ESPN Radio 710 AM.

SCOUTING THE LIONS -- Loyola Marymount opened the season by going 1-2 at the Montana Tournament, losing to Boise St. (90-87) and Montana (64-63) and defeating North Dakota (83-60), before losing at home to UC Irvine (84-78) on Nov. 18. The Lions went 3-28 last season, but return their top four scorers, three of which are sophomores. There top scorers this season have been transfers Drew Viney (18.0) and Larry Davis (14.3). USC is 41-5 all-time vs. LMU with the last meeting being a 67-50 victory for the Trojans on Dec. 2, 2006.

O'NEILL ERA BEGINS WITH WIRE-TO-WIRE WIN VS. UCR -- Dwight Lewis scored the first seven points of the game and recorded a game-high 22 in leading USC to a wire-to-wire 77-67 win vs. UC Riverside in head coach Kevin O'Neill's debut on Nov. 17 at the Galen Center. Also keying the win with career highs in points were Nikola Vucevic (18), Marcus Simmons (18) and Donte Smith (12). O'Neill became the first USC men's basketball coach to win his debut since Stan Morrison won 63-61 on Nov. 30, 1979 vs. Illinois State. USC improved to 12-3 in its last 15 home openers.

ON DECK -- USC will host Coppin State on Friday, Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Galen Center. It will be the first meeting ever between the Trojans and the Eagles. CSU went 13-19 in 2008-09 and returns seven lettermen from that team, including two starters. The Eagles were 9-7 and tied for third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Head coach Ron 'Fang' Mitchell is in his 24th season at the helm of CSU and picked up career victory No. 600 on Nov. 14 vs. West Virginia Tech. The Eagles are 3-1 this season with wins over Lincoln (Pa.), WVT and Columbia Union, with a loss at Colorado. They will also play at UMBC on Nov. 24 before facing the Trojans. Their top returning scorer is guard Michael Harper who averaged 9.3 points per game in 2008-09.

K.O. CHRONICLES -- Kevin O'Neill was named the USC head coach on June 20, 2009 and brings 13 years of collegiate and NBA head coaching experience to the program. He has worked in the coaching ranks for 30 years and spent the 2008-09 season as a special assistant to the general manager of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. He has served as a collegiate head coach at Marquette (1990-94), Tennessee (1995-97), Northwestern (1998-00), Arizona (2008) and USC (1-0). He also was the NBA's Toronto Raptors' head coach in 2004. O'Neill has compiled a 172-180 career mark as a collegiate head coach, despite for the most part taking over programs that were rebuilding. When he served as an assistant at Arizona under Lute Olson from 1987-89, the Wildcats went 82-19 and went to the Final Four one season. He was named Olson's successor for the 2008 season and guided Arizona to a 19-15 record and into the NCAA Tournament despite four of its top five players being freshmen or sophomores. In six of his 12 seasons as a college head coach, he has guided his teams into the postseason.

NO PROBLEM, GET ON MY BACK -- USC had three different players score seven or more straight points for the Trojans in the first game: Marcus Simmons (9), Dwight Lewis (7) and Nikola Vucevic (7).

OPPONENTS FEELING THE FEVER AT GALEN -- USC has a 41-10 record all-time at the Galen Center, including winning 20 of the last 22 home games. Part of the USC home success can be attributed to the USC student support group Trojan Fever Fanatics which sits baseline near the opponents bench. For information about the Trojan Fever Fanatics, contact Eric Ronan at ronan@usc.edu.

FACING THE BEST -- USC's 2009-10 schedule features 12 games against teams that were in the NCAA Tournament last season and another 10 potential games against teams which were in either the NIT or CBI tournaments, meaning a possilbe 22 of 30 games against teams that played in the 2009 postseason and 23 of 30 against teams that posted a .500 or better record.

A HISTORY OF WINNING -- The Trojans have compiled a record of 1,460-1,042 in their 104 years of intercollegiate basketball competition. The Trojans have had a .500 or better record in 74 of the first 103 seasons.

TROJANS IN THE RANKINGS -- USC ranked tied for No. 35 in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and was unranked in the AP and CBSSportsline polls. They currently are unranked.

INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR -- USC's roster includes three players from outside of the country. Guard Ryan Wetherell from Canada is in his fourth year on the team, forward Nikola Vucevic from Montenegro is in his second and forward/center Davis Rozitis is in his first year at USC.

INJURY UPDATES -- Alex Stepheson has been out of action the last 2-3 weeks with a osteochondral defect (OCD) of his left knee...he is listed as day-to-day.

THE DWIGHT STUFF -- Senior Dwight Lewis has scored 1,069 career points, good for 32nd all-time at USC and one point behind USC Senior Associate Athletic Director Brandon Martin (1993-96) who is in 31st place with 1,070 points. Lewis entered the season fifth among returning Pac-10 players in career points. He also ranks 15th on USC's all-time three-point baskets list with 109 which ranks eighth among returning conference players. Lewis led USC with a 14.4 scoring average in 2008-09, as well in three-point baskets (55) and free throw shooting (74.8 percent). He reached double figures in scoring in 27 of his 33 games last season, scoring a career-high 26 twice (vs. San Francisco on Dec. 1 and at Oregon on Jan. 2). He scored 22 points in his first game this season and has had 10 career 20-point games.

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