No. 13 Men's Hoops Hosts Pepperdine Thursday
Dec. 11, 2000
LOS ANGELES - The USC men's basketball team (No. 13 AP/No. 13 ESPN/USA Today), which returns all five starters and three other lettermen from last year's 16-14 team, is a winner of six straight and is looking to roll a seven when it hosts Pepperdine (5-2) on Thursday (Dec. 14) at 7:30 p.m. The Trojans are riding an eight-game win streak that dates back to last year. Another victory would tie USC's best win streak since winning nine in a row during the 1991-92 season.
GAME #7 -- USC (6-0) vs. Pepperdine (5-2) at the Sports Arena on Thursday (Dec. 14). Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised live by FOX Sports West 2 and broadcast on KMPC-AM (1540). The Waves have won two in a row, most recently a 62-60 win over San Jose State on Saturday (Dec. 9). They are directed by second-year coach Jan van Breda Kolff. Junior guard Brandon Armstrong is averaging a team-high 17.6 points per game and has made 17-of-36 three-point attempts (.472). Senior forward Kelvin Gibbs is scoring 15.9 points and is averaging a team-best 9.9 rebounds per game. As a team, the Waves are shooting .446 from the field, .356 from behind the arc, .707 from the line and have been outrebounded slightly, 33.4 to 33.0. They are forcing 20.6 turnovers per game compared to only 12.9 of their own. Pepperdine is also holding teams to only 62.4 points per game. First-year USC assistant coach Damon Archibald spent last year in the same capacity under van Breda Kolff. The Trojans are already 2-0 this year against West Coast Conference teams with wins against San Diego and Loyola Marymount.
PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK -- USC junior forward David Bluthenthal has been named the Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 4-10. Bluthenthal averaged 27.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists last week as the Trojans defeated Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara. Bluthenthal scored 29 points on 11-of-18 (.611) shooting with 11 rebounds and four assists in the victory over Northridge. He posted his second double-double of the week, and fourth of the season, with 25 points on 10-of-17 (.588) shooting and 12 rebounds at Santa Barbara. His basket with 5.4 seconds remaining was the difference in a 75-73 victory. For the week, Bluthenthal shot 21-of-35 (.600) from the field, 7-of-15 (.467) from three-point range. It is the second weekly award for Bluthenthal, the 21st all-time honor for the Trojans.
USC IN THE RANKINGS -- USC is ranked No. 13 by the AP Top 25 Poll (Dec. 11) and No. 13 by the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll (Dec. 10). When USC hit No. 12 last week in AP, it was USC's highest ranking since finishing the 1991-92 season ranked No. 8. When USC opened in both preseason polls, it marked the first time since the 1978-79 season that USC opened a season ranked in the Top 25 in one of the two major polls. The last time USC was ranked in the preseason, the Trojans were tabbed No. 12 in the AP poll at the start of the 1978-79 year.
LAST GAME -- The Trojans played their third nail-biter in a row, blowing all of a 12-point lead with 2:51 to play only to escape on David Bluthenthal's putback with five seconds to play for a 75-73 win over host UC Santa Barbara at the Thunderdome on Saturday (Dec. 9). The game wasn't secure until the buzzer as Gaucho forward Mike Vukovich missed a follow slam dunk attempt off of a Jacoby Atako miss as time expired. In USC's first road game of the year, Bluthenthal recorded his third double-double in a row with game highs of 25 points and 12 rebounds. Sam Clancy, who missed most of the first half because of foul trouble, finished with 19 points while Brandon Granville tied a career-high with five three-pointers en route to 18 points. The Trojans shot a respectable .458 from the field (.552 in the second half) and outrebounded the Gauchos, 41-33, but it was their 26 turnovers (a season-high by 11) that almost proved to be their undoing. USC opened the game strong, taking an 18-4 lead six minutes into the game, 12 points coming on four Granville triples. But UCSB, led by Vukovich's 18 points and 15 from Mark Hull, went on a 12-1 run to close the gap to 19-16 with 7:17 to go. The score remained close into the half and the Trojans entered the lockerroom up 32-26. After a three-point play by Sam Clancy opened the second half, UCSB put together a 14-0 run, whitewashing USC for more than four minutes as the Gauchos took a 40-35 lead with 15:25 left to play. The Trojans responded with a run of their own, outscoring their foes, 14-2, to take a 49-42 advantage with 10:48 remaining. USC pushed its lead as high as 12 at 72-60 with 2:51 to go. But hot Gaucho shooting and numerous Trojan turnovers brought UCSB back. Two Vukovich free throws with 18 seconds left tied the game, but that just set the stage for Bluthenthal.
LAST GAME NOTES -- David Bluthenthal has now posted three consecutive double-doubles for the second time in his career, the first coming against Arizona State, Oregon State and Oregon in the second half of the Pac-10 slate last year. The last time a Trojan did it four times in a row was when Brandon Granville did it against Washington, UCLA, Arizona State and Arizona in the first part of conference play last year ... Brian Scalabrine's 10 rebounds against UCSB matched his 10 against Northridge, giving him consecutive double-digit rebound efforts for the first time in his career ... USC committed 26 turnovers (13 each half). Its previous high in turnovers this season was 15 (twice) ... The Trojans had by far their worst three-point shooting day of the young season, making only 9-of-27 (.333). They hadn't shot worse than .407 entering the game ... For the fourth time in six games, USC failed to shoot .700 or better from the foul line, making only .667 from the stripe ... The Gauchos' .413 percentage from the field was the second-lowest USC opponent mark of the season, but UCSB's 63 field goal attempts was an opponent high ... Jarvis Turner did not suit for the game, nursing a bruised left knee ... USC improved to 10-0 against UCSB.
TO START A SEASON -- USC's six-game win streak to start the 2000-2001 season marks only the second time the Trojans have started a season with more than two consecutive wins since 1989. The other was in the 1998-99 season with six wins in a row. The 1975 team opened with eight straight victories while the 1971 team won its first 16 games. The record for best start at USC, however, is 17, courtesy of the 1910 Trojans.
WWW.WINNINGSTREAK.COM -- The Trojans, dating back to the final two games of last season, have won eight consecutive games. The last time USC won eight in a row was the final two games of the 1998 season and the first six of the 1999 season. The last time USC won nine in a row was during the 1991-92 season. The last time the Trojans won more than nine consecutive games came at the start of the 1971 season, when Bob Boyd's squad won its first 16 games. USC's record for most wins in a row is 18, spanning the 1909 and 1910 seasons.
TROJANS IN THE PAC-10 (as of Dec. 10) -- David Bluthenthal is the second-leading scorer (18.3) in the Pac-10 and is tied in rebounds (9.0). He is also tied for third in steals (1.8). Brandon Granville leads the Pac-10 in assist average (6.8). Tyler Murphy is tied for first in three-point percentage at .500 (9-of-18).
THREES A POPPIN' -- The Trojans, who ranked fourth in the Pac-10 a year ago in three-point percentage and total three-pointers, are off to their most productive start on three-point baskets since the 1992-93 season (despite only making 9-of-27 in their last game vs. UC Santa Barbara). The 60 three-point baskets are USC's most makes in its first six contests since canning 63-of-155 to start the 1992-93 season. The 1993 team set school records for makes and attempts (259-of-720). USC has made a combined 60-of-134 from beyond the arc in six games, which is the sixth-best three-point field goal percentage in the nation as of Dec. 11.
THREES AND COUNTING -- Junior Brandon Granville currently resides in ninth on USC's all-time three-point chart with 115 career bombs. He still needs 19 to join the Top 5. Junior David Bluthenthal is now in 14th on the school chart with 59.
A GRAND IN HAND -- Senior Brian Scalabrine became the 23rd player at USC to score more than 1,000 points when he scored 19 against Cal State Northridge. He now has 1,021, good for 21st on the Trojans' all-time scoring list. Senior Jeff Trepagnier (currently suspended) has 939. Purvis Miller (1978-81) is 10th with 1,247 points.
THIRD'S A CHARM -- The Trojans were picked to finish third in the 2000-2001 Pacific-10 Conference men's basketball race, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball. Arizona was chosen first and garnered all 29 first-place votes (290 points). Defending Pac-10 co-champion Stanford was picked second (255) and USC (206) edged UCLA (205) for third. California was picked fifth (160), followed by Oregon (138), Oregon State (133), Arizona State (109), Washington (58) and Washington State (41).
TREPAGNIER OUT -- USC senior guard Jeff Trepagnier missed the Trojans' first three games recovering from a hairline fracture in his left foot. Before USC's fourth game against Utah, however, Trepagnier was suspended indefinitely by USC Coach Henry Bibby for breaking athletic department rules. His status remains unchanged.
GETTING HEALTHY -- The Trojans are nearing full strength after a string of injuries hobbled USC early. Senior guard Jeff Trepagnier, who suffered a hairline fracture in his left foot at the end of October, is healthy, but is suspended indefinitely by USC Coach Henry Bibby for breaking athletic department rules. Sophomore reserve guard Nate Hair suffered a strained tendon in his knee in late October and was not available for USC's first three games. Hair, however, is healthy and played in his first game against UC Santa Barbara. First-year junior college transfer guard Gennaro Busterna has been slowed by an injured toe and is out indefinitely. Senior Jarvis Turner missed his first game of the season against UCSB, nursing a bruised left knee. Returning starting forward David Bluthenthal underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to remove cartilage in late October, but he has not missed any regular-season games. First-year junior college transfer Robert Hutchinson, a sophomore point guard slated to back-up starter Brandon Granville, was slowed slightly by a fracture on his little finger in the preseason, but he did not miss any time while the injury healed.
THE TROJANS VS. RANKED TEAMS -- The Trojans are 1-0 against ranked teams this year, their only win coming against then-No. 18 Utah in the Wooden Classic. It was USC's first win over a ranked non-conference team since beating then-No. 18 Missouri on Dec. 28, 1995. The Trojans are only 7-22 versus ranked teams since December of 1996. USC was 2-5 against ranked teams last year with wins over No. 2 Arizona and No. 25 UCLA and losses to No. 5 North Carolina, No. 15 Duke, No. 2 Stanford, No. 4 Arizona and No. 1 Stanford. USC's wins over Arizona and UCLA gave the Trojans back-to-back wins over ranked teams for the first time since the 1993-94 season. That year, USC downed No. 18 California, 86-78, and No. 15 UCLA, 85-79. The last time USC defeated ranked teams more than twice in a row was in 1991-92, when the Trojans did it four straight times. They beat No. 24 Stanford, 82-72, No. 2 UCLA, 86-82, No. 4 UCLA, 83-79, and No. 2 Arizona, 70-69. Counting wins over No. 5 Arizona and No. 12 UCLA at the end of the 1990-91 season, the Trojans defeated six straight ranked teams.
TROJANS VS. 1999-2000 TOURNAMENT TEAMS -- The Trojans will face a host of teams that played in the postseason last year. USC will face six teams that played in last year's NCAA Tournament: Arizona, UCLA, Oregon and Stanford (twice each) and Pepperdine and Utah. A seventh NCAA Tourney team - Iowa State - looms as a possible third-round match-up in the Pearl Harbor Invitational. The Trojans will also face 2000 NIT teams Arizona State and California (twice each), Long Beach State and either Mississippi or Southern Illinois (one of which will face the Trojans in the second round of the Hawai`i tournament). BYU is another NIT team that USC could play in the islands.
USC IN THE NATIONAL STAT CHARTS -- USC's scoring offense., averaging 85.8 points per game, is No. 20 in the nation. The Trojans' three-point percentage of .448 is sixth-best in the nation. Brandon Granville's 6.8 assists per game is tied for 15th in the country (as of Dec. 11).
PRESEASON HYPE -- The Trojans received more than their share of hype in the preseason and have been ranked as high as No. 14 in some polls. Both the Trojans' backcourt and frontcourt have been listed among the nation's Top 10 and each of the starting five are rated by numerous sources as first or second team in the Pac-10 or as the most underrated player in the Pac-10. Lindy's ranks Brian Scalabrine as the No. 2 power forward in the country and The Sporting News has him at No. 4. Jeff Trepagnier is listed as the Pac-10's top defender by Lindy's and Preview Sports. The Sporting News lists Brandon Granville as the seventh-best point guard in the country and Lindy's dubbed him the top playmaker in the Pac-10. Athlon Sports called Sam Clancy the most underrated player in the Pac-10 while The Sporting News gave the same distinction to David Bluthenthal.
IT'S ALL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA -- Among the 12 non-conference games USC will play before the Pacific-10 Conference season, only the three games at the Pearl Harbor Classic in Laie, Hawai`i (within an hour's drive of Honolulu on the North Shore of Oahu) and the game at Northwestern are beyond 100 miles from campus. The Trojans opened the season with four of its first five games at the Sports Arena (the fifth was at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, Calif.) USC began by hosting Bradley, San Diego and Loyola Marymount. USC then played Utah at the Arrowhead Pond in the Wooden Classic. The Trojans returned to the Sports Arena to host Cal State Northridge. USC played at UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. and now returns home to host Pepperdine on Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Then, after the Hawai`i tournament and the game at Northwestern, USC concludes its non-conference slate by hosting Long Beach State at 5:30 p.m.
USC AGAINST PRESEASON RANKED TEAMS -- There were five teams on USC's schedule ranked in the preseason polls: Arizona (No. 1 AP/No. 1 ESPN/USA Today), Stanford (No. 4/3), UCLA (No. 17/19) and Utah (No. 13/16). Iowa State, a possible match-up in the Pearl Harbor Invitational in December, was ranked No. 25 in AP and No. 23 in ESPN/USA Today). Other USC opponents who received votes in the AP poll included California (13), Cal State Northridge (3), Oregon (1) and Pepperdine (1). Possible Pearl Harbor opponent BYU had five. The only other USC opponent that got a mention in the ESPN/USA Today poll was Cal State Northridge, which received one vote.
FREE THROW STUD --- David Bluthenthal made his first eight free throws (four against Bradley and four against San Diego) this season before missing his ninth. The eight straight foul shots gave him 41 in a row, which set a school and Pac-10 record. The former USC record was held by John Block (37, 1966) while the old Pac-10 mark of 40 was shared by Oregon's John Greig (1981-82) and Stanford's Todd Lichti (1989). The Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws made during conference play is 41, also held by Lichti (1989). Bluthenthal, who finished last season making 33 straight in the Pac-10, will begin his quest at Lichti's other mark when USC hosts Washington State on Jan. 4.
TROY ON THE TUBE -- The Trojans will play 18 games that will be broadcast live in Los Angeles. Five games will be aired nationally on FOX Sports Net (Fox Net West in Los Angeles). Three games will be aired on FOX Sports Net West (Los Angeles only) and seven will be broadcast on FOX Sports Net West 2 (Los Angeles only). The game against Utah will be shown on KCAL (Channel 9). USC's game at Arizona State will be shown regionally on ABC and the Trojans home game vs. Arizona will air regionally on CBS. Refer to USC's composite schedule at www.usctrojans.com for complete TV listings.
TROY ON THE RADIO -- Twenty of USC's 30 games - 18 Pac-10 games plus the Loyola Marymount and Long Beach State games - will be broadcast live on XTRA-AM (690). The remaining games will be broadcast live on KMPC-AM (1540). Rory Markas returns for his third year as the play-by-play voice of the Trojans while former USC assistant coach Jim Hefner is back for his fifth year providing commentary.
NUMBER CRUNCHING -- USC has just about all of its firepower back from a year ago. All five starters return in addition to three key reserves. Percentage-wise the numbers are impressive. USC returns 97.2% of its scoring, 86.4% of its rebounding, 97.9% of its three-point production, 99.2% of its blocked shots, 95.8% of its assists and 93.8% of its steals. Overall, USC has eight players coming back who accounted for 94.4% of the minutes played last year.
EARLY TRENDS -- USC has picked up where it left off last year in the way of forcing turnovers. After causing the second-most turnovers in the Pac-10 last year (18.6), USC has forced an average of 17.8 in six games this year ... The Trojans are also getting to the foul line often. They have averaged 28.8 trips to the foul line this year, compared to 22.4 last season ... Sure, USC is off the charts on three-pointers so far, making 44.8% of their attempts (60-of-134). Unfortunately, the Trojans' opponents are doing quite well from afar as well. USC's first five opponents have combined to make 47-of-117 treys (40.2%), well above last year's opponent average (35.6%).
NOTES ARCHIVE -- Sam Clancy's 31 points against Bradley were the most for a Trojan since Gary Johnson had 32 against Arizona State in the 1998 season finale ... Clancy made his first career three-pointer against San Diego. Prior to that, he was 0-for-2 in his career ... The Trojans' 65 points against Utah was its lowest winning total since defeating Arkansas State, 64-48, on Dec. 29, 1998. It was also USC's first win when scoring less then 70 points since that same game. USC was 0-9 in such games last year ... USC held Utah to only .367 from the field, the Trojans' best defensive effort since limiting Washington State to .362 last season in Spokane on Jan. 6... USC had only eight assists against Utah, its lowest total since five against Stanford on Jan. 5, 1998.
COMING FROM BEHIND -- USC was 0-8 last year after trailing at the half. But in three of their first six games of the season, the Trojans have reversed the trend. They trailed Bradley, 49-48, at the half, San Diego, 32-28, and Cal State Northridge, 52-46. The last time USC came back from a halftime deficit before those games was when Adam Spanich made a halfcourt buzzer-beater to down Oregon on Jan. 7, 1999.
FIFTH RANDOM NOTE (but still pertinent) -- Junior Brandon Granville is the only Trojan to score in double figures in each of the first six games.
SIXTH RANDOM NOTE (UPDATED) -- David Bluthenthal made his first eight foul shots this season to set USC and Pac-10 records for consecutive free throws (dating back to last season) at 41. But after making No. 41 (vs. San Diego) he missed four a row for the first time in his career. He got back on track, however, and has now made five in a row.
SEVENTH RANDOM NOTE AND COUNTING -- With USC's win over UC Santa Barbara, the Trojans improved to 10-0 against the Gauchos. The Trojans' next best unblemished mark against an opponent is a 5-0 record against St. Mary's.
BONUS RANDOM NOTE -- Entering this year, Brian Scalabrine averaged 11.5 field goal attempts per game. As a sophomore, he averaged 10.2, and as a junior, he averaged 12.7. This year, however, he is surrounded by a more experienced offense and has only taken 7.8 attempts per game.
ALL THINGS ASSISTS - Junior guard Brandon Granville now owns all of USC's major assist records. He broke Larry Friend's school career assist record of 409 against LMU and now stands at 429. The Pac-10 record is 938 (Gary Payton, Oregon State, 1987-90). Tenth place on the Pac-10 list is 554 (Reggie Geary, Arizona, 1993-96). He had at least 10 assists 13 times as a sophomore last year.
ALL THINGS STEALS - USC junior guard Jeff Trepagnier owns both USC's record for steals in a game (10 vs. Utah State last year) and for a season (94). Trepagnier is working his way up the USC career Top 10 in steals with 172, good for third place. Derrick Dowell is second with 179 and Stais Boseman (1994-97) owns the record with 208. Brandon Granville has quietly followed Trepagnier up the list and is fourth on the career chart with 126. The Pac-10 career record for steals us 321 (Gary Payton, Oregon State, 1986-90). Tenth-place on the list is Boseman at 208.
A (BRIEF) LOOK BACK AT LAST YEAR -- USC opened 1999-2000 by splitting its first 10 games, but two of those losses were to powers North Carolina and Duke and another came in a heartbreaking, buzzer-beating loss to Utah State. USC righted the ship by winning its last two non-conference games and then opened the Pac-10 season tied for first place at 6-1. The opening conference stretch included a road sweep of the Washington schools, a convincing win over No. 25 UCLA to snap a 10-game losing streak to the Bruins and then sweeping Arizona State (an OT win) and No. 2 Arizona before splitting two games in Oregon. But foot injuries to forwards Sam Clancy and Jarvis Turner in the Arizona State overtime win eventually took the steam out of the hot start. After the 6-1 beginning, the Trojans dropped eight of nine, most of them close losses as the Trojans' lack of depth began to show. Included in the tight losses were a four-point defeat to California, a 10-point loss to No. 2 Stanford, a five-point loss at UCLA, a seven-point defeat (after leading for much of the game) at No. 4 Arizona and a three-point loss to Oregon. USC finished the season by sweeping, once again, the Washington schools, but it wasn't enough to earn the Trojans a postseason berth.
1999-2000 PAC-10 HONORS -- Forward/center Brian Scalabrine earned Pac-10 first team honors last year as a junior, the first Trojan to earn the honor since guard Stais Boseman did so in 1997. Three Trojans also earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors last year: guard Jeff Trepagnier guard Brandon Granville and forward David Bluthenthal. The four Trojans selected were the most USC ever had in one season.
USC AT THE SPORTS ARENA -- Dating back to 1996-97, the Trojans are 41-16 (.719) in their last 57 games at the Sports Arena and USC is 99-40 (.712) at the Sports Arena since the beginning of the 1991 season, including a 16-game winning streak over a span of the 1992 and 1993 seasons and two nine-game winning streaks that spanned the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons and the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons.
A FEW OF LAST YEAR'S MORE-INTERESTING NOTES
* Forward David Bluthenthal tied a 22-year-old USC record with 28 rebounds vs. Arizona State on Jan. 20 at the Sports Arena last season. He tied Cliff Robinson, who had 28 boards vs. Portland State on the same date in 1978. It was the most in the conference since Robinson's effort and is tied for fifth-best ever in the Pac-10. Bluthenthal's 28 rebounds is the third-most ever in a Pac-10 game (tied with Washington's Steve Hawes in 1972) and the most in a conference game since Hawes' effort. The Pac-10 record in any game is 36, set by Swede Halbrook of Oregon State (Feb. 15, 1955). For perspective, no one in the Big Ten or the ACC has had at least 28 rebounds in the last 30 years.
* USC set a Pac-10, USC and a Gill Coliseum record for three-pointers made when they connected on 20-of-29 three-point attempts at Oregon State on Jan. 29. The previous conference record was 18 by Washington State vs. Seattle on Dec. 29, 1990.
* USC had three different Pac-10 Players of the Week last year (Brian Scalabrine, David Bluthenthal and Jeff Trepagnier). It was the first time USC had three different players earn the award in one season.
* David Bluthenthal finished one rebound short of averaging a double-double in Pac-10 play.
Henry Bibby, a coach with 18 years of college and professional experience and the only player to ever play for an NCAA, NBA and CBA championship team, will begin his fifth full season in 2000-2001 as the head coach of the USC men's basketball program. With the Trojans on the rise, Bibby was rewarded with a three-year contract extension on Aug. 4, which will take him through the 2004-2005 season. In 1999-2000, Bibby directed the Trojans to a 16-14 overall finish and a 9-9 mark in the Pac-10 (sixth place), but USC fell just short of receiving a postseason berth. The Trojans looked to be headed to the NCAA Tournament after opening the Pac-10 season 6-1, but injuries to starting forward Sam Clancy and top reserve Jarvis Turner early in the conference schedule derailed the Trojans. The previous year, USC 15-13 (7-11 in the Pac-10, tied for seventh) and made a first-round appearance in the NIT. USC went 9-19 in 1997-98, but closed out the year with a stunning 91-90 overtime victory over then-No. 2 Arizona and a 117-71 rout of Arizona State. In his first full season at the helm of the Trojan program, Bibby did not waste any time in moving Troy in the right direction. The 1996-97 campaign saw the Trojans finish second in the Pacific-10 Conference and make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992. The previous year, the Trojans went 11-19 and finished ninth in the conference. The seven-game improvement is the third-biggest turnaround in USC history and the seven spot increase in the standings matches a school best. In addition, Bibby's 17-11 mark in 1996-97 is the best by a Trojan coach in his first full year since Forrest Twogood went 21-6 in his debut season in 1951. Bibby was named USC's head coach on March 15, 1996. Bibby joined the Trojan program in May of 1995 as an assistant coach. He was named USC's interim head coach on Feb. 7, 1996, replacing Charlie Parker. Bibby came to USC after coaching a club team in Venezuela in 1995. He was a head coach for eight seasons in the Continental Basketball Association. His teams made it into the CBA playoffs six times and posted a 223-213 regular season record, making him only the fourth CBA coach to post 200 wins.
(RS) Senior * forward/center * 6-foot-9 * 250 pounds
* Brian Scalabrine, a 2001 Playboy pre-season All-American and 2001 Wooden and Naismith Award candidate, is one of the Pac-10's top offensive threats and most versatile players who can score equally well from the inside or outside. One of five Trojan returning starters, he is the Pac-10's leading returning scorer.
* He has started every game in his USC career.
* He had a season-high 22 points vs. Loyola Marymount and 18 points (including a career-high four treys) and three blocks vs. Utah. In the game against the Utes, his third block with 30 seconds remaining helped seal the win.
* He posted his fifth career double-double vs. CSUN with 19 points and 10 boards. He followed it with 10 rebounds and seven points at UCSB, giving him back-to-back double-digit rebound efforts for the first time in his career.
* Scalabrine has scored at least 20 points 19 times in his USC career.
* Scalabrine earned 2000 The Sporting News All-American honorable mention, All-Pac-10 and NABC All-District 15 first team honors as a 2000 junior forward/center, finishing as the Pac-10's second-leading and USC's top scorer at 17.8 points per game.
* He led the Trojans in field goal percentage (.531, fifth in the conference), tied for the best three-point percentage (.403), was second in assists (2.83) and was fourth in rebounds (6.0) last year. His 19.4 scoring average in Pac-10 games was second in the league. He scored in double figures in 26 of 30 games, scoring at least 20 points 12 times and at least 25 points six times. Scalabrine's 534 points on the season were the eighth most ever by a Trojan.
* He had a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds against Oregon, 28 points at Arizona, 27 points at home vs. Arizona and 26 points against both Arizona State and Oregon State.
* (Arizona Coach Lute Olson on Scalabrine): '(Scalabrine) is an all-leaguer. He's the closest thing I've seen to (ex-Washington and NBA star) Detlef Schrempf since Detlef Schrempf. He can bring it on the break. He can pass it and he can shoot it. He's a pro, no question.'
(Former Oregon State Coach Eddie Payne): 'Scalabrine showed us how smart of a player he is. He took our guys to school. He is arguably the best player in the league.'
(Ken Goe of the Oregonian): 'Strong, mobile, able to play inside and out, the 6-foot-9 Scalabrine almost certainly has a professional career waiting for him when he leaves the Trojans.'
Senior * guard * 6-foot-4 * 195 pounds
* Jeff Trepagnier, a two-year returning starter, is a well-rounded swingman and one of the top athletes in the nation, as evidenced by his 40-inch vertical leap and high-jumping performance for the Trojan track team. Trepagnier, USC's second-leading returning scorer and third-leading returning rebounder, looks to continue the improvements that have made him one of the country's most versatile players in 2001.
* Trepagnier missed USC's first three games while recovering from a hairline fracture in his left foot. Now healthy, Trepagnier was suspended indefinitely by Coach Henry Bibby (before the Utah game) for violating athletic department rules.
* Trepagnier has started 58 of his 85 games at USC. He enters 2001 third on USC's career chart in steals (178), fourth in blocked shots (84) and tied for 15th in three-pointers (53).
* Trepagnier earned 2000 All-Pac-10 honorable mention and NABC All-District 15 second team honors as a 2000 junior guard.
* He led the Pac-10 in steals (3.2, ninth nationally) and was the only player in the league to finish in the Top 10 in five statistical categories, posting career highs in each: steals, blocked shots (1.4, fourth), scoring (15.9, sixth), rebounding (6.6, 10th) and three-point percentage (.380, 10th).
* He had a USC single-season record 94 steals (third-most ever in the Pac-10), breaking the old mark of 62 (Derrick Dowell). He set a school record with 10 steals vs. Utah State in the Maui Invitational, breaking his old mark of eight.
* He scored a career-high 28 points on 13-of-18 shooting vs. Washington and 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting plus 10 rebounds vs. UCLA.
* He was one of only two players shorter than 6-foot-8 to be in the Pac-10's Top 10 in blocks (the other was Washington State's 6-foot-6 Tyrone Evans).
* (Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski): 'Jeff Trepagnier is as good of an athlete as we've played against and he's got courage, too.'
(Gordon Wittenmyer, formerly of the Riverside Press-Enterprise): 'Jeff Trepagnier can be spectacular the way he starts - that quick first step, that where'd-he-come-from vertical leap that dazzles fans and demoralizes opponents.'
(Stacy Clardie of The Sporting News): 'On the basketball court, his quickness and leaping translate into acrobatic moves under the hoop, stunning dunks and steals galore.'
(Trojan teammate Brian Scalabrine, on Trepagnier's athleticism): 'Jeff breaks all basketball rules.'
Junior * forward * 6-foot-7 * 240 pounds
* Sam Clancy returns as a two-year starting forward after missing 10 games last year due to a fracture in his right foot.
* Clancy is USC's second-leading scorer (17.3) and rebounder (6.3) and its top shotblocker (1.8).
* Clancy scored a career-high 31 points on 10-of-20 shooting and 11-of-13 shooting from the line against Bradley and followed it with a game-high 22 points vs. San Diego, which included his first career three-point basket. He had 18 points at UC Santa Barbara
* He had his first double-double of the year (and 10th for his career) vs. Utah with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
* He has 76 career blocks, good for sixth on USC's career chart.
* Clancy averaged 15.5 points and 6.9 rebounds as a 2000 sophomore forward, but had what was turning into a monster season derailed by a fractured foot suffered against Arizona State on Jan. 20. At the time of the injury, Clancy was averaging team highs in points (17.6, also second in the Pac-10), rebounds (7.8) and blocks (1.6).
* He scored a career-high 24 points in the season-opener against Cal State Northridge and had 23 points against both then-No. 5 North Carolina and at Washington.
* (Trojan teammate David Bluthenthal): 'Teams will try to trash-talk him, but you can't really get to Sam. When I guard him in practice, I talk at him and he talks back to me, but it doesn't affect the way he plays. You can't really faze him.'
Junior * forward * 6-foot-7 * 220 pounds
* David Bluthenthal returns as a starting small forward and one of the top all-around performers in the Pac-10 in 2001.,* Bluthenthal blossomed as a 1999-2000 sophomore, starting 29 of 30 games at small forward en route to 2000 All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors. He averaged a USC-best 8.3 rebounds per game (third in the Pac-10 and the best USC mark since 1995) and his 250 rebounds were the 14th-most ever by a Trojan.
* Bluthenthal leads the Trojans in scoring (19.0) and rebounding (9.0) and is shooting a team-best .547 (41-of-75) from the field. He also has a team-high 11 steals.
* Bluthenthal earned his second career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor after back-to-back doubles vs. UCSB and CSUN. He had his third consecutive double-double at UCSB with 25 points and 12 boards. That followed a career-high 29 points and 11 boards vs. CSUN. The game before, he had 16 points and 12 rebounds vs. Utah.
* After missing both exhibition games this year while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, Bluthenthal returned to play in fine fashion, scoring 23 points and grabbing 13 rebounds against Bradley in the season opener. He followed it up with 10 points against San Diego and seven points in 18 minutes vs. LMU.
* Bluthenthal made his first four free throws against San Diego before missing his fifth attempt, ending his USC and Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws at 41. The Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws in conference games is 41, held by Todd Lichti in 1989. Bluthenthal has made 33 straight free throws in the Pac-10, a streak that will be live again when USC opens the league season on Jan. 4 against Washington State. The old USC record was 37 (John Block, 1966) and the old Pac-10 record was 40 (John Greig, 1981-82, and Lichti, 1989).
* Bluthenthal was the Pac-10's top rebounder in conference games last year, finishing with a 9.9 clip, the best ever by a Trojan in the Pac-10. He was also the Trojans' third-leading scorer in conference games at 15.3, finishing one rebound short of averaging a double-double in Pac-10 games. In addition, he led the Pac-10 in free throw percentage in conference games at .890 (65-of-73), becoming the first Pac-10 player ever to lead the league in both free throw percentage and rebounds in Pac-10 games.
* Bluthenthal's season was highlighted by a monster performance against Arizona State at the Sports Arena when he tied a USC record (set by Cliff Robinson) with 28 rebounds (the third highest total ever in the Pac-10) to go with 18 points. He followed that up with a career-high 26 points and seven rebounds against Arizona to earn his first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor.
* What a fan told his dad, Ralph, following Bluthenthal's Dennis Rodman-esque 28 rebounds vs. Arizona State last year: 'He said he was expecting to see a big guy with green hair and they saw me instead.'
Junior * guard * 5-foot-9 * 175 pounds
* Brandon Granville returns for his third year as the starting point guard in 2001. He is already USC's most prolific assist-makers in school history.
* Granville is first on USC's career charts in assists (429), fourth in steals (126) and 10th in three-pointers (115).
* Granville canned 5-of-9 three-point attempts at UCSB, tying a career-high for makes en route to 18 points.
* He scored a season-high 19 points (including four three-pointers) vs. Loyola Marymount to go with nine assists and had 15 points vs. CSUN.
* Granville scored 12 points and had nine assists in USC's opener against Bradley and had 18 points vs. San Diego.
* Granville dished out more assists than any USC guard in school history (and the third most ever in the Pac-10) as a 2000 sophomore when he had 248 en route to 2000 All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors. He led the Pac-10 in assists (8.3, fourth nationally), was fourth in steals (2.1) and 10th in free throw percentage (.786). Granville set a USC single-game record with 15 assists against Memphis in the Maui Invitational (tied for sixth-best in Pac-10 history).
* He finished with a team-best nine double-doubles and 13 double-digit assist efforts.
Senior * forward * 6-foot-8 * 240 pounds
* Jarvis Turner, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound senior forward, is back for a fifth season after the NCAA granted him a medical hardship for the 2000-2001 season. Turner, who missed most of last season with foot injuries, will provide valuable experience off the bench at either forward spot.
* Turner, who missed the UCSB game while nursing a bruised left knee, is tied for fourth on the team in rebounds with 3.2 per game.
* Turner came off the bench to score nine points and grab five rebounds against Sand Diego in 20 minutes after playing seven minutes and getting three rebounds in USC's season-opener. He had six points and five rebounds vs. LMU.
* Turner played in only seven of USC's 30 games during his 2000 senior season because of foot injuries. He missed nine games early in the season (not continuously) with a stress fracture in his left foot which he originally suffered in the preseason. He returned at the start of the Pac-10 season, but played in only four games before suffering a fracture in his left ankle against Arizona State on Jan. 20 which kept him out for the rest of the year. Overall, Turner averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game. He had a season-high five points in 14 minutes at Washington State and had a season-high five rebounds in a season-high 24 minutes in the Trojans' opener against Cal State Northridge.
Sophomore * center * 6-foot-11 * 250 pounds
* Kostas Charissis, a native of Greece, is a 2001 sophomore who will be a valuable reserve in the Trojans' frontcourt. His full first name is Konstantinos.
* Charissis played in 26 of 30 games as a 2000 freshman center and started 13 times after injuries depleted USC's frontcourt, including the last 10 games in a row.
* Charissis scored two points and had two rebounds in three minutes in USC's opener. He tied a season-high with nine minutes at UCSB.
* He had by far his most productive game of last season at No. 4 Arizona, posting career highs in points (nine), rebounds (eight), minutes (33), free throws made and attempted (3 of 4) and assists (four).
Sophomore * guard * 6-foot-4 * 200 pounds
* Nate Hair should continue to provide a perimeter scoring threat off the bench in 2001. An athletic player, Hair can also create off the dribble.
* Hair strained a tendon in his knee in October during the preseason that kept him out of USC's first three games. He has been available since the Utah game but did not seen any action until playing 18 minutes at UCSB. Though he missed all five shots, he did snag a career-high-tying six rebounds.
* Hair played in 27 of 30 games, starting three times, as a 2000 freshman guard. In conference games, Hair averaged 5.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 19.5 minutes per game and his .453 three-point percentage (24-of-53) was best on the team and fifth best in the Pac-10.
* He finished last season as the top reserve off the bench and averaged 4.2 points in 16.7 minutes per game. He made .403 of his three-pointers (29-of-72), tying him with Brian Scalabrine for the best accuracy on the team. It was also good enough for eighth best in the Pac-10.
* He made his first career start at Oregon State and posted season highs in points (14), three-pointers (four), assists (seven), steals (three) and minutes (39).
(RS) Senior * guard * 6-foot-5 * 190 pounds
* Tyler Murphy, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound shooting guard, is a 2001 senior who transferred to USC from Vermont last season as a walk-on. He earned a scholarship both last year and this year and gives the Trojans another quality shooter off the bench.
* He is shooting a team-high .500 (9-of-18) from three-point range and is averaging 21.8 minutes per game.
* Murphy scored a USC career-high 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in 27 minutes vs. Loyola Marymount. He made his Trojan debut against Bradley, scoring eight points in 17 minutes off the bench. He played 21 minutes against San Diego, scoring five points and grabbing two boards.
* Murphy made both of his three-point attempts and had three rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench against Utah.
* Murphy averaged 6.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game as a junior at Vermont in 1998-99, starting four of 27 games. He made 34-of-97 three-point attempts (35.1%) and made 32-of-43 free throw attempts (74.4%). He scored a career-high 17 points against Yale and had 15 points against Towson.
(RS) Freshman * center * 7-foot-3 * 320 pounds
* Luke Minor, a 7-foot-3, 320-pound center, is a 2001 redshirt freshman who will look to earn minutes as a reserve. The tallest player ever at USC, Minor's size gives the Trojans a load of untapped potential in the post.
* Minor saw his first action as a Trojan in USC's opener against Bradley, scoring two points on a hook shot in three minutes. He also had one steal. He played one minute against both San Diego and LMU.,* Minor redshirted as a 2000 freshman center. He had surgery during the season to correct hammer toes, but resumed practice before the end of the year.
Freshman * guard * 6-foot-4 * 225 pounds
* Desmon Farmer, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound shooting guard, is a 2001 freshman who comes to the Trojans as one of the most highly rated prep shooting guards in the country.
* Farmer, who has started USC's first six games in lieu of Jeff Trepagnier, posted career highs of 21 points and nine rebounds against CSUN.
* He had 14 points and seven rebounds vs. Loyola Marymount. He started his first game as a Trojan against Bradley, scoring 13 points in 27 minutes. He scored six points against San Diego.
* Farmer prepped at Northwestern High in Flint, Mich. As a senior in 2000, he averaged 23 points per game in leading Northwestern to a 23-2 mark and a trip to the state regional playoffs. He earned Detroit News Michigan All-State second team honors and earned All-City first team honors. He injured his left knee in June of 1999 in an AAU game, but still played as a senior.
(RS) Sophomore * guard * 6-foot-1 * 195 pounds
* Robert Hutchinson, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound point guard, is a JUCO transfer who will serve as the back-up point guard as a 2001 sophomore. He is one of three first-year Trojans on the squad.
* Hutchinson, averaging 10.0 minutes per game, has only two turnovers in 60 minutes this season.
* Hutchinson scored three points (on a three-pointer) in 14 minutes in his first game as a USC guard against Bradley. He had a very solid outing against San Diego, scoring eight points in 19 minutes, going 2-for-2 on three-pointers as well as from the foul line. He also had three assists without a turnover.
* Hutchinson played at Okaloosa-Walton College in Niceville, Fla., as a redshirt freshman in 2000. He was a 2000 All-Panhandle Conference and Region 8 state tournament first team selection. He led his team to a 26-5 overall mark, a first-place finish in the Panhandle Conference (9-3) and an appearance in the Region 8 state finals.
* On a team with six players scoring in double figures, Hutchinson averaged 13.5 points, 7.2 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. He shot 44.0% from three-point range and 75.0% from the foul line.
Junior * guard * 6-foot-3 * 205 pounds
* Gennaro Busterna, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound shooting guard, is a JUCO transfer who will add potent perimeter shooting off the bench as a 2001 junior. He is one of three first-year Trojans on the squad.
* Busterna is currently sidelined by a toe injury and is out indefinitely.
* Busterna spent the last two seasons at McCook (Neb.) College. As a sophomore, Busterna was the 2000 Nebraska Junior College and Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference Player of the Year and earned 2000 All-Region 9 first team honors while leading McCook to a 25-6 record.
* He averaged 20.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last year. He shot .505 from the field (202-of-436), .491 from three-point range (113-of-230) and .744 from the foul line (64-of-86). He also had 55 assists.
* Coach Henry Bibby has a stable of able walk-ons from which to choose from in any situation.
* Senior forward Abdullah Elmagbari, from Greeley, Col., played in 10 games last year and saw meaningful minutes in USC's win over No. 2 Arizona and against Stanford in both games.
* Junior Jamie Hooper, a native of San Diego who redshirted with the Trojans last year after transferring from Montana State, is a talented point guard who could see time in the backcourt. He has been in two games, most recently playing three minutes in the first half against CSUN, posting two assists.
* Junior forward Rob Eres, from Sacramento, Calif., is back for this third year. He saw action twice last year.
, There are two freshman walk-ons as well on this year's squad. They are Anthony Saadey from Canfield, Ohio, and Eze Burts, from Los Angeles.
Dec. 14, 2000
Sports Arena (15,509)
Los Angeles, CA -- 7:30 p.m.
On the Air
The USC-Pepperdine game will be televised live by FOX Sports West 2 and will be carried live on KMPC-AM (1540). Rory Markas handles the radio play-by-play, while ex-USC assistant coach Jim Hefner adds the color commentary. All of USC's radio broadcasts feature short pre- and post-game shows immediately before and after the game.
USC has only met Pepperdine three times and holds a 2-1 lead in the series. The teams met twice in the 1943 season, the Trojans winning the first meeting, 58-38, but falling in the rematch, 56-51. The only other time the teams met was in the second round of the NIT in 1993 when USC defeated Pepperdine, 71-59, at the Sports Arena.
Behind a 7-of-10 three-point effort from Dwayne Hackett and Lorenzo Orr's fourth double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, USC defeated Pepperdine in a second-round NIT match-up at the Sports Arena on March 22, 1993. Hackett's seven bombs tied a career-high. He hit four threes in the final 4:15 of the first half, helping the Trojans take a 36-23 lead at the break. USC then extended the lead to a game-high 19 points with 6:11 remaining in the second half to seal the win.
Jan van Breda Kolff is in his second year as Pepperdine's head coach. He led the Waves to a 25-9 record during his first season in 1999-2000. Pepperdine claimed the regular season West Coast Conference championship for the first time since 1993 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament - last accomplished by a Waves' team in 1981. Van Breda Kolff succeeded Lorenzo Romar as the Waves' head coach in April of 1999. The 25 wins last season tied a modern era single-season school record established by the 1985-86 team.
Probable Starters Ht. Yr. pts. reb.
G 3 Brandon Armstrong 6-4 Jr. 17.6 2.9
G 12 Micah McKinney 6-3 Fr. 6.0 2.4
F 32 Kelvin Gibbs 6-6 Sr. 15.9 9.9
F 50 David Lalazarian 6-7 Sr. 7.9 2.4
F 52 Will Kimble 6-9 Fr. 2.7 2.3
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