Trojans Rarin' To Go Against Kentucky
March 18, 2001
LOS ANGELES -
The No. 6 seed USC men's basketball team (23-9 overall, 11-7 in the Pacific-10 Conference, tied for fourth place), with opening round wins over No. 11 seed Oklahoma State and No. 3 seed Boston College, has advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time under the NCAA Tournament's current format and will play No. 2 seed Kentucky (24-9, 12-4 in the Southeastern Conference, tied for first place, and SEC Tournament champ) in an East Regional semifinal game at 7:38 p.m. (EST) on Thursday (March 22) at the First Union Center in Philadelphia. No. 1 seed Duke (31-4 overall, ACC Tournament champs) and No. 4 seed UCLA (23-8 overall, 14-4 in the Pacific-10 Conference, third place) will play in the other regional semifinal game immediately following the USC-Kentucky contest. USC, in its first NCAA Tournament since 1997, defeated Boston College, 74-71, on March 17 after beating Oklahoma State, 69-54, on March 15 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. USC is now 8-12 in 11 trips to the NCAA Tournament, including a third-place finish in 1940 and a fourth in 1954.
No. 6 seed USC (23-9 overall, 11-7 in the Pacific-10 Conference, tied for fourth place) vs. No. 2 seed Kentucky (24-9, 12-4 in the Southeastern Conference, tied for first place, and SEC Tournament champ) at 7:38 p.m. (EST) on Thursday (March 22). The game will be televised live on CBS and will be broadcast live on XTRA 690-AM. The Wildcats, under fourth-year coach Tubby Smith, are coming off of a 72-68 win over No. 15 seed Holy Cross on March 15 and a 92-79 win over No. 7 seed Iowa on March 17. Kentucky is spearheaded by junior forward Tayshaun Prince, who is averaging team highs in points (17.2) and rebounds (6.5). Sophomore guard Keith Bogans is the next leading scorer (16.8) and rebounder (4.7). The Wildcats shoot .483 from the field while holding their opponents to .401.
A FIRST IN THE 16
It is worth reiterating. When USC plays Kentucky on Thursday, it will mark the Trojans' first Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament's current format. The last time USC reached the round of 16 in the tournament was in 1961, but that was a 32-team draw. That Trojan team opened with a win over Oregon, but then lost to Arizona State and to Loyola Marymount in a consolation game. The last time USC advanced past the round of 16 was in 1954 (it was a 24-team tourney that year). That team defeated Idaho State and Santa Clara to reach the Final Four, only to lose to Bradley in the national semifinal game.
USC VS. 2001 NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS
Including the first-round Oklahoma State game and the second-round Boston College game, USC has played nine teams that made it to the 2001 NCAA Tournament and is a combined 6-7 against the bunch. In addition to the Cowboy and Eagle victories, USC sports wins against Mountain West Tournament champion BYU (70-67), Big Sky Tournament winner Cal State Northridge (99-90) and a pair of victories over Pac-10 rival California (80-66 and 74-69). Among the seven losses, the Trojans dropped two games to top-ranked Stanford (77-71, 70-68), two to Top 10 Arizona (71-58, 105-61), two to Top 20 UCLA (80-75, 86-75) and one to Top 15 Mississippi (85-83 in OT).
VS. NO. 3 BOSTON COLLEGE
Behind 20 points from David Bluthenthal, 18 points from Jeff Trepagnier and a double-double effort of 14 points and 12 rebounds from Sam Clancy, USC defeated No. 3 seed Boston College, 74-71, on Saturday (March 17) at the Nassau Coliseum to advance to the Sweet 16. The Trojans led by as many as 14 points in the first half and still led by 11 at 56-45 with 8:09 to play when the Eagles, behind Troy Bell's game-high 32 points, rallied. USC point guard Brandon Granville fouled out with 7:06 to go, which coincided with a 19-7 Boston College run that gave it a 64-63 lead with 2:43 to play. A high-arching Clancy bank shot gave back the lead to USC with 2:10 to play, setting the stage for some heroics by reserve guard Robert Hutchinson. After a B.C. miss, Hutchinson, inserted into the game after Granville fouled out, got the ball and was fouled. He made both free throws to put USC ahead 67-64 with 1:17 to play. After another Eagle miss, a Clancy dunk put the Trojans ahead 69-64 with 59 seconds left. The Eagles, however, responded with two free throws from Kenny Harley and a dunk by Uka Agbai to get to within 69-68 with 38 seconds left. Hutchinson was fouled again and again hit both foul shots for a three-point Trojan lead with 37 ticks left. Agbai then missed a field goal attempt for the Eagles, forcing them to foul Bluthenthal, who made both foul tosses for a 73-68 lead with 16 seconds left. Bell countered with a long three-pointer with 10 seconds left, cutting the deficit to 73-71. Hutchinson was fouled once more and hit 1-of-2 free throws with eight seconds left. Boston College got off two shots in the final eight seconds, but neither were three-point attempts and both were misses.
VS. NO. 11 OKLAHOMA STATE
No. 6 seed USC won its first NCAA Tournament game since 1992 with a convincing 69-54 win over No. 11 seed Oklahoma State on Thursday at the Nassau Coliseum. Sam Clancy posted a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds while Jeff Trepagnier scored 17 points, including a couple of highlight-reel dunks. The Trojans outscored the Cowboys, 48-19, in the first half and staved off a late rally to advance in the tournament. USC never trailed in the game. The Trojans were up 10-9 only 3:15 into the game when they went on a 14-0 run to go ahead 24-9 with 10:53 left in the first half. After an OSU basket, USC charged forward again, stringing together an 11-0 run, taking a commanding 35-11 lead with 4:38 remaining before the break. When Clancy scored the first basket of the second half, USC had a game-high 31-point lead at 50-19. Oklahoma State battled back, however, getting as close as 58-44 with 8:03 to play. But USC rebuilt its lead to 20 points at 67-47 with 2:53 left, sealing the win. The Cowboys were led by Fredrik Jonzen's 17 points and Andre Williams' 13 rebounds.
BOSTON COLLEGE GAME NOTES
USC advances to the Sweet 16 for the first time in the NCAA Tournament's current format. USC has now won two games in the tournament for only the second time ever. The first was in 1954, when its two wins got it to the national semifinal game (which the Trojans lost to Bradley). USC is now 8-12 all time in the tournament ... With his 14 points, Sam Clancy became the fourth Trojan to reach 1,000 career points this season. He now has 1,010. Brian Scalabrine (1,445), Jeff Trepagnier (1,103) and Brandon Granville (1,022) are the other three. This is the first Trojan team to have four active players with 1,000 career points or more ... USC guard Robert Hutchinson entered the game 4-of-7 for the season on free throws. He went 5-of-6 vs. Boston College ... USC's 59.5% field goal percentage is a season high. Its 37 field goal attempts were a season low (previous low was 45 vs. Arizona). USC held Boston College to an opponent low .304 from the field ... The 14 steals for Boston College are the most for a USC opponent this season. The previous high was 10 ... USC's 27 turnovers was its second-most this year. The most was in a loss at UCLA (28) ... USC outrebounded its opponent for the eighth consecutive game ... With his four blocks, Sam Clancy now has 73 blocks for the season, a USC season record. The previous mark was 72 (Avondre Jones). It was also the 14th time he has had at least three blocks in a game this year. He is also USC's career leader in blocks (139) ... Sam Clancy's 14 points and 12 rebounds marked his eighth double-double of the season, a team high. It was the 10th time this year he's had at least 10 blocks ... With his three steals, Jeff Trepagnier now has 200 for his career. He is in second on USC's career steals list, trailing only Stais Boseman (208) ... Jeff Trepagnier's two three-pointers marked the first time this year he has made more than one in a game ... Sam Clancy now has 552 points this season, the seventh most in school history ... This was the first meeting between the two schools.
Four of the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 are from the Pacific-10 Conference. No. 6 seed USC and No. 4 seed UCLA have advanced to the East Regional in Philadelphia. No. 1 seed Stanford has made it to Anaheim, Calif., in the West Regional while No. 2 seed Arizona is headed to San Antonio in the Midwest Regional. The only Pac-10 team to lose in the tournament this year is California, which was taken out by fellow left coaster Fresno State.
Their campuses separated only by 10 miles in Los Angeles, USC and UCLA will share the spotlight in the East Regional in Philadelphia. This marks the first time that two teams from the same city have advanced to the same regional since Villanova and Pennsylvania did it in 1978. And it's the first time the Trojans and Bruins have shared space at a regional.
USC Coach Henry Bibby is taking the Trojans to the Sweet 16 in Philadelphia, where he played for the 76ers from 1977-80. He helped Philadelphia reach the NBA finals twice, in 1977 and 1980.
USC EYEING WINNINGEST SEASON EVER
USC, at 23-9, is one win away from matching its record for most wins in a season (24). Three Trojan teams have won 24 games (24-2 in 1971, 24-5 in 1974, 24-6 in 1992). Only one other team has won 23 games (23-5 in 1943). The most recent Trojan 20-win team was the 1992 version (led by Harold Miner), which went 24-6. That team finished the regular season ranked No. 8 and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament's Midwest Region before being upset by Georgia Tech in the second-round. The previous high for a Bibby-coached USC team was his 1997 team that went 17-11 and made an appearance in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (a loss to Illinois).
DUKE, KENTUCKY, UCLA AND .... USC?
Combined, the four participating teams in the 2001 NCAA Tournament East Regional have won 20 basketball national championships. Breaking that down, UCLA has 11, Kentucky has seven and Duke two. USC, as of yet, is without one. However, if you trade in the roundball for the pigskin, the scales tip in favor of the Trojans, who have eight national titles. The other three combine for a pair (Kentucky in 1950 by Sagarin and UCLA in 1954 by UPI and numerous other polls).
MORE TROJAN GRIDIRON-HOOPS CONNECTION
As the Trojans advance through the East Region and arrive in Philadelphia on Monday (March 19), they'll know they're in good hands. That is because the Facility Manager for the NCAA East Regional Semifinals and Finals is former Trojan footballer John Page. Page, who lettered in 1986 and 1987 as an offensive lineman at Troy, is the Senior Vice President at the First Union Complex, which houses the First Union Center, where the Trojans will play Kentucky on Thursday.
NABC DISTRICT PICKS
The National Association of Basketball Coaches announced its All-District picks and two Trojans were selected. Junior forward Sam Clancy earned District 15 first team honors while senior forward/center Brian Scalabrine earned a second-team nod.
USC ON THE ALL-PAC-10 TEAM
Junior forward Sam Clancy was the only Trojan on the 2001 All-Pacific-10 Conference first team honors. Senior forward/center Brian Scalabrine earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors while guard Desmon Farmer earned All-Pac-10 Freshman honorable mention honors.
MR. RELIABLE or BIG REDD WITH THE SHAVED HEAD
Senior forward/center Brian Scalabrine was USC's most reliable producer in the second half of Pac-10 play. In the last nine games, Scalabrine led USC in scoring (15.9), rebounds (7.8), free throw percentage (.820, 41-of-50) and minutes played (37.8) And for the record, Scalabrine shaved off his red hair (not the first time he has done it in his USC career) the day of the Oregon game in Eugene on Feb. 24. The barber? Teammate Gennaro Busterna. Scalabrine's hair has since grown back into an orange fuzz.
SAM CLANCY EARNED WOODEN AWARD CONSIDERATION
USC junior forward Sam Clancy, who leads the Trojans in scoring (17.4) and rebounding (7.3), was up for John R. Wooden Award consideration by the L.A. Athletic Club. Grade checks were sent out for 30 midseason candidates for the award as well as for 10 additional candidates on Feb. 8 who the voting board feels warrant consideration. Clancy was among the latter mix. Clancy, however, did not make the finalist list of 20 announced on March 3. The 10 finalists will be announced March 27. The Wooden Award winner is announced on April 7.
USC IN THE RANKINGS
After being ranked since the preseason every week in at least one poll, USC fell out of the AP poll on Feb. 12 and the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll on Feb. 19. When USC hit No. 12 in AP earlier in the season, 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.
Sam Clancy became USC's all-time leading shot blocker when he rejected a career-high seven blocks vs. California on March 3 at the Sports Arena. He now has 139 career blocks, surpassing previous record-holder Lorenzo Orr (128) on March 3. Clancy also owns the USC season record for blocks with 73. He is averaging 2.3 blocks per game and has had at least three blocks 14 times this year.
SICK OF CLANCY NOTES YET?
As a freshman, Sam Clancy made only 47.6% of his free throws (30-of-63). As a sophomore, he jumped to 59.7% (74-124). Clancy has continued to improve as a junior and has now gone from a 'hack-a-Shaq' candidate to a good bet from the line, making a respectable 67.1% this season (141-210). That is slightly less than the team average of 71.0%.
Nearing the end of the 2000-2001 season, few would have guessed that Brian Scalabrine would not lead the team in field goal attempts per game. Scalabrine is averaging 10.6 shots per game while Sam Clancy, who is having a great junior season, is averaging 12.7 attempts. David Bluthenthal is right behind Scalabrine at 9.7 attempts per game.
BG FG NEWS
Quietly, Brandon Granville has made solid improvements in his field goal and three-point percentages. He is shooting .432 from the field and .375 from three-point range this year. Coming into the season, Granville was a career .375 from the field and .343 from beyond the arc. Granville averaged 1.5 three-pointers per game as a freshman and 1.9 as a sophomore. As a junior, he is averaging 2.0 per game.
LATEST RANDOM NOTE
USC's current average of 77.2 points per game would be among the Trojans' top 10 offenses of all time (eighth).
Sam Clancy has scored 31 points twice this year, making him the first Trojan to score at least 30 points twice in a season since Gary Johnson did it twice in the 1998 season. Before that Rodney Chatman did it twice in the 1993 season. Harold Miner, USC's all-time scoring leader, did it 11 times his junior year in 1992.
It took 18 games, but Jeff Trepagnier finally registered his first dunk of the season vs. Oregon, a sweet reverse job off of a lob from Brandon Granville. He also had another alley-oop throw-down vs. Oregon State. At Cal, he almost brought an opposing house down with an acrobatic one-handed follow dunk off of a David Bluthenthal three-point miss. A year ago, USC's athletic guard had 52 slams for the season. He has 18 this year.
Last season, four of five USC starters all averaged at least 34.6 minutes per game. This year, the only starter averaging more than 32.8 minutes per game is Brandon Granville (34.6).
WHO DO YOU STOP?
USC has had six different players lead the team in scoring this year and the same six each have had at least 22 points once this year. In fact, Sam Clancy (seven times, high of 31 twice), David Bluthenthal (four times, high of 29 twice), Brian Scalabrine (four times, high of 28) and Desmon Farmer (once, high of 24) have all scored at least 24 points or more in a game at least once this season. Brandon Granville (22, twice) and Jeff Trepagnier (22) are the fifth and sixth players to score at least 22.
THE END OF JINX ALERT
With his first free throw at Oregon State (Jan. 27), David Bluthenthal set the Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws made in conference play at 42. He also owned the Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws made in all games at 41. Ironically, after setting the respective records, Bluthenthal missed his next foul shot both times to end the streaks. That was unfortunate for the junior forward, because Stanford's Ryan Mendez broke both marks on the final day of Pac-10 play. His new mark is 49.
USC AT THE SPORTS ARENA
USC's 12 home wins this year are its most since winning 12 in 1993. USC won 14 home games in 1992. Dating back to 1996-97, the Trojans are 48-19 (.716) in their last 67 games at the Sports Arena and USC is 106-43 (.711) 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, a 12-game streak between the 2000 and 2001 seasons and two nine-game winning streaks that spanned the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons and the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons. USC's 10-game home win streak to open the 2001 season was its biggest home win streak to start a season since 1975.
USC PAC-10 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK THIS YEAR
Junior forwards Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal have both been named Pac-10 Player of the Week this year. It is Clancy's first such honor, Bluthenthal's second and gives the Trojans 22 overall. Clancy earned the honor for the week of Dec. 25-Jan. 1. He averaged 19.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.5 blocks and 2.5 steals in USC's loss at Northwestern and win over Long Beach State. He posted double-doubles in both games and shot 19-of-29 overall (.655). Bluthenthal was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 4-10. He averaged 27.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists as the Trojans defeated Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara. It was Bluthenthal's second such honor of his career.
In all but four games this year, the Trojans have scored more points (or the same) in the second half than in the first. USC is averaging 36.6 points in the first half and 40.2 in the second. USC's opponents are averaging 33.2 in the first and 37.3 in the second.
With his four steals vs. Oklahoma State, Brandon Granville has now had at least three steals 26 times in his career and has had at least four steals in a game 15 times in his career. He is fourth on USC's all-time steals chart with 173.
THE TROJANS VS. RANKED TEAMS
The Trojans are 2-5 against ranked teams this year. They beat then-No. 18 Utah in the Wooden Classic and beat No. 10 Boston College in the NCAA Tournament. USC lost to then-No 24 Mississippi in the second round of the Yahoo! Sports Invitational, at then-No. 17 Arizona, at No. 1 Stanford, vs. then-No. 8 Arizona and vs. No. 1 Stanford. USC's victory over Utah was its first win over a ranked non-conference team since beating then-No. 18 Missouri on Dec. 28, 1995. The Trojans are only 8-27 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.
The Trojans received more than their share of hype in the preseason and were ranked as high as No. 14 in some polls. Both the Trojans' backcourt and frontcourt were listed among the nation's Top 10 and each of the starting five were 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 ranked Brian Scalabrine as the No. 2 power forward in the country and The Sporting News had him at No. 4. Jeff Trepagnier was listed as the Pac-10's top defender by Lindy's and Preview Sports. The Sporting News listed 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.
THAT BLUTHENTHAL STEALS NOTE
David Bluthenthal entered this season with 32 career steals, 27 from last season. But so far this year, he already has 47 thefts, second most on the team. Bluthenthal has had at least three steals in a game seven times this year, including a season-high five at Oregon.
THREES AND COUNTING
Junior Brandon Granville currently is third on USC's all-time three-point chart with 161 career bombs. The career record is 176 (Harold Miner). Second place is Elias Ayuso (163). Granville's 63 treys this year are sixth on USC's single-season list. Granville has had at least three three-pointers 12 times this year and 24 times in his career. Junior David Bluthenthal is 12th on the school chart with 101.
USC has scored at least 90 points four times. The most times the Trojans have scored 90 points or more in a game in one season is 10 (Bob Boyd's 1975) ... USC's eight-game win streak to start the 2000-2001 was the best start for a Trojan team since the 1975 team opened with eight straight victories. The 1971 team, meanwhile, won its first 16 games. The record for best start at USC, however, is 17, courtesy of the 1910 Trojans ...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 yearï¿½ 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 this year, the Trojans are 5-7. They trailed Bradley, 49-48, at the half, San Diego, 32-28, Cal State Northridge, 52-46, BYU, 41-23, and Oregon, 40-37. The Trojans also almost came back from a 15-0 deficit at Northwestern and were three points shy of erasing a 19-point deficit with 11 minutes to go at UCLA. The Trojans also erased all but two points of an in-game 16-point deficit against Stanford in L.A., but couldn't quite get all the way back in either 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 580. The Pac-10 record is 938 (Gary Payton, Oregon State, 1987-90). Granville's 580 is good for 10th place on the Pac-10 list. He had at least 10 assists 13 times as a sophomore last year and has done it twice as a junior.
ALL THINGS STEALS
USC 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 closing in on the USC career steals record. He now has 200, good for second place. Stais Boseman (1994-97) owns the record with 208. Brandon Granville has followed Trepagnier up the list and is fourth on the career chart with 173 (Derrick Dowell is third at 179). The Pac-10 career record for steals us 321 (Gary Payton, Oregon State, 1986-90).
PAC-10 PRESEASON POLL
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).
ALMOST LIKE HALLEY'S COMET
A USC non-conference overtime loss is a rare commodity indeed. When the Trojans fell to Mississippi on Friday (Dec. 22), it was their first OT loss to a school outside the Pac-10 since losing to Georgia, 77-75, in the 1973 season. In fact, it was only the fourth non-conference overtime loss ever and only the second in 60 years (USC is now 18-4 in such games). The other two defeats came against San Francisco, a 51-49 winner in the 1942 season, and to Ohio State, a 40-38 victor in the 1937 season. USC is now 47-40 overall in overtime games, 39-36 in single overtime games and 2-1 in OT games at a neutral site.
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.
YAHOO! SPORTS INVITATIONAL NOTES
USC defeated BYU-Hawaii, 86-74, lost to Mississippi in overtime, 84-83, and defeated BYU, 70-67. Brian Scalabrine and Sam Clancy both earned All-Tournament honors. Scalabrine scored 81 points in the three games, averaging 27.0 points per game, setting tournament records in both categories ... Clancy averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds while David Bluthenthal, USC's leading scorer entering the tourney, averaged 9.3 rebounds to go with 8.3 points ... USC shot .463 for the tournament (81-of-175), but only .260 >from three-point range (13-of-50). Opponents, however, made .435 of their treys (27-of-62).
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.
TROY ON THE TUBE
The Trojans played 20 games broadcasted live in Los Angeles. Five games were aired nationally on FOX Sports Net (Fox Net West in Los Angeles). Three games were aired on FOX Sports Net West (Los Angeles only) and seven were broadcast on FOX Sports Net West 2 (Los Angeles only). The Utah game was shown on KCAL (Channel 9). USC's game at Arizona State was shown regionally on ABC and the Trojans home game vs. Arizona was a national game on CBS. CBS also showed USC's NCAA games versus Oklahoma State and Boston College to much of the nation.
TROY ON THE RADIO
Twenty of USC's 30 games all Pac-10 games plus the Loyola Marymount and Long Beach State games will be broadcast live on XTRA-AM (690). The remaining games are carried by 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.
LAST YEAR'S BEST NOTE
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.
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, is in 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.