Talented Starting Five Bolstered By Added Depth

Nov. 17, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Southern California showed last season that depth and health means agreat deal in determining how far a team can go.

The 23rd-ranked Trojans hope to showcase that depth this season whenthey open the 2000-01 campaign against Bradley at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

USC returns all five starters from a squad that finished just16-14 overall last season despite starting 6-1 in the Pac-10. The Trojans fadeddown the stretch and missed a postseason bid, mostly because of devastating footinjuries to power forward Sam Clancy and sixth-man Jarvis Turner. The lossof both players exposed The Trojans' lack of a bench and sent the team to aneventual 9-9 record in the conference.

'We weren't as deep as we would have liked last year and the injurieshurt us,' head coach Henry Bibby said recently. 'When two of your top six guys godown, it hurts.'

Heading into the season the 6-foot-7 Clancy is healthy and, along with6-9 center Brian Scalabrine, will give Bibby a formidable frontcourt presence.Scalabrine led the Trojans in scoring, averaging 17.8 points, while Clancywas third on the team with 15.5 points per game despite missing the last 10games of the year.

Also back for the Trojans are forward David Bluthenthal and guardsJeffTrepagnier and Brandon Granville.

Bluthenthal was fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 13.9 points,andled the club in rebounding, pulling down 8.3 per game, while Granvilleaveraged13.1 points and eight assists per contest.

Gone for the Trojans is Turner, who provided valuable defensive help.But inhis place, significant minutes should go to sophomore Nate Hair, whoaveraged4.2 points in 27 games, and sophomore Kostas Charissis, who started 12games,averaging 1.7 points.

But while USC brings a great deal of experience to the floor,Bradley returns only two starters from a team that went 14-16 and wasknockedout of the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.

Senior forward Eddie Cage and senior guard Jerome Robinson will anchortheBraves offense this season. Cage averaged 7.4 points and four rebounds,whileRobinson averaged 6.2 points and two assists.

The other five returners for the Braves combined to average just 6.9pointsand 5.5 rebounds between them.

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