Men's Basketball Opens Season Against Wyoming
Nov. 12, 2001
LOS ANGELES - The USC men's basketball team, which reached the Elite Eight in 2001 for the first time ever in the NCAA Tournament's current format, begins the task of repeating last year's success in 2002 when it hosts Wyoming on Tuesday (Nov. 13) at the Sports Arena at 6 p.m. in a Preseason NIT first round match-up. Under sixth-year Coach Henry Bibby, the Trojans return three senior starters and seven lettermen from the team that tied a school mark for wins with a 24-10 record last year. Senior forwards Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal, both 2002 Preseason Top 50 Wooden Award candidates, and fourth-year starting guard Brandon Granville return to lead this year's squad. Also back is sophomore guard Desmon Farmer, who started 16 times as a freshman, junior center Kostas Charissis, who has 14 career starts to his credit, back-up point guard Robert Hutchinson and reserve shooting guard Gennaro Busterna. Ready to help as well is a quintet of newcomers that include 6-2 twin freshman guards Errick and Derrick Craven, 6-11 freshman center Rory O'Neil, 6-8 freshman forward Nick Curtis and 6-7 junior college transfer forward Jerry Dupree.
USC vs. Wyoming on Tuesday (Nov. 13). Tip off is set for 6 p.m. The game will be televised live by ESPN and will be broadcast live on KMPC-AM 1540. The Cowboys, under fourth-year coach Steve McClain, return all five starters from last year's team that tied for the Mountain West Conference regular season title. Junior guard Marcus Bailey returns as the Cowboys' leading scorer (17.4) while senior forward Josh Davis, the 2001 MWC Player of the Year, was second in scoring (13.5) and first in rebounding (9.4).
On the Air
The USC-Wyoming game will be televised live on ESPN 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 postgame shows immediately before and after the game.
USC leads, 6-4, but two of the Trojans' losses to the Cowboys have come in the postseason. The most recent was an 81-77 loss in the first round of the NIT in Laramie, Wyo., in 1999. The other was a first-round NCAA Tournament game that Wyoming won in 1982, 61-58. The Trojans won the first three games of the series (two in 1957 and one in 1962) before the Cowboys won in 1968. USC also posted wins in 1981, 1983 and 1985. The Cowboys have won the last two meetings in 1986 and in 1999.
Despite 24 points and a career-high 17 rebounds from then-sophomore Jeff Trepagnier and 15 points from then-sophomore Brian Scalabrine, USC fell 81-77 in a first-round NIT match-up in Laramie, Wyo. The Trojans actually led for much of the game and controlled the first half, up 41-31 at the break. But playing in its accustomed high altitude, the Cowboys charged back. They got their first lead with 6:20 to go and tied the game at 61 with 3:57 left. USC was within a point at 66-65 with 1:42 to go, but the Cowboys went on a quick scoring burst to pull away for the win.
Wyoming head coach Steve McLain is in his fourth season as head coach for the Cowboys. His 57 wins through three seasons are the most ever by a Cowboy coach in his first three years (57-32). The team has improved its win total each season, winning 18, 19 and 20 games in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Last year, he led Wyoming to its first conference title in 15 years and its first 20-win season in 10 years.
Probable Starters Ht. Yr. *pts. *reb.
G 44 Marcus Bailey 6-5 Jr. 17.4 4.1
G 3 Jason Straight 5-11 Fr. - -
C 5 Uche Nsonwu-Amadi 6-10 Jr. 11.8 8.3
F 4 Ugo Udezue 6-9 Sr. 3.8 3.0
F 22 Josh Davis 6-8 Sr. 13.5 9.4
USC opened in both Top 25 preseason polls for the second consecutive season. Currently, the Trojans are ranked No. 20 in the latest AP poll (preseason) and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today poll (Nov. 12). Wyoming is 34th in votes in the coaches' poll.
PRESEASON NIT FIELD
If USC were to defeat Wyoming, it would play the winner of the Fresno State-Montana State game, which will tip off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Fresno. If USC were to defeat Wyoming, it would play the winner of the Fresno State-Montana State game, which will tip off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Fresno. The date of the second round game is tentatively set for Thursday (Nov. 15). The site and time of the second-round game is TBA. A win in the second round would send USC to New York City to play in Madison Square Garden. The semifinals are set for Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (EST) and the final is set for Nov. 23 at 9:30 p.m. There is a consolation game on Nov. 23 that starts at 7 p.m., thus guaranteeing all four teams that make it to New York two games each. Potential semifinal opponents for USC include Maine and Arkansas (who play each other on Nov. 12) and North Carolina-Wilmington and Wake Forest (who also play on Nov. 12). The other side of the field includes Manhattan at Syracuse (Nov. 12), Fordham at DePaul (Nov. 12), Central Connecticut at Oklahoma (Nov. 12) and Detroit at Michigan State (Nov. 12).
EXPERIMENTAL RULES IN PLAY DURING NIT
There will be three experimental rules in effect during the Preseason NIT. * The first widens the free-throw lane and three-second lane to the NBA free-throw and three-second lane. Current NCAA rules regarding the number of players permitted on the lane during free throws and positioning on the block shall remain in effect. * Another states that no free throws shall be awarded to the offended team for a foul committed by a member of a team in control of the ball. Instead, the offended team will be awarded possession of the ball at a designated spot and play shall resume. * Lastly, jump balls will be held at the center circle for all situations in which the alternating-possession arrow was used. Any two players may jump, except for a held ball when the ball is simultaneously caused to go out of bounds. In those cases, the two players ruled to have caused the dead ball shall jump.
Senior point guard Brandon Granville scored a game-high 26 points, including USC's final seven, to pace the Trojans in an 83-79 win over the EA Sports All-Stars on Friday (Nov. 9) at the Lyon Center. USC played without both of its senior forwards, Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal, who were suspended for the game for breaking team rules. As a result, Coach Henry Bibby started four first-year Trojans, freshman center Rory O'Neil, freshman forward Nick Curtis, freshman guard Errick Craven and junior college transfer sophomore forward Jerry Dupree, along with Granville. The newcomers came through well for USC. Craven finished with 13 points, Dupree had 12, O'Neil had 11 and Curtis had a game-high 11 rebounds. Granville saw his first action after missing the first exhibition game with an injury to his mouth. Sporting a newly fitted mouthpiece, the fourth-year starter made 8-of-15 shots and was 4-of-7 from behind the arc. Former Arizona forward Justin Wessel put the All-Stars ahead 77-76 with 1:06 to play. But Granville responded with a three-pointer from the top of the key with 39 seconds left to give USC a two-point lead. The Trojans put together back-to-back defensive stops and Granville hit four consecutive free throws to ice the win. Former Trojan Adam Spanich, who played for USC in 1998 and 1999, had 15 points, all on three-pointers, against his former team. Guard Maurice Spillers led EA Sports with 24 points.
Behind 23 points from sophomore guard Desmon Farmer and 22 from senior forward Sam Clancy, USC came from behind to defeat L.A. City Stars, 101-91, in overtime, in its exhibition opener on Nov. 4. The Trojans trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half but rallied late. Jelani Janisse's layup with five seconds remaining in regulation gave the Stars an 82-80 lead. But Farmer drove the length of the court and his driving layup went through the rim as the buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime. The Stars, led by Derrick Anderson's 21 points, went up 89-86 two minutes into overtime. But the Trojans countered with an 11-0 run to go ahead 97-89 with 34 seconds to go, sealing the win.
SAM CLANCY AND DAVID BLUTHENTHAL NAMED TO WOODEN AWARD PRESEASON LIST
USC senior forwards Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal are among 50 preseason candidates selected for the 2001-2002 Wooden Award All-American Team. The top 50 candidates were selected based on last year's individual performance and team records. The award is announced on March 26. Clancy was a mid-season Wooden Award nominee last year, but did not make the list of finalists.
SAM CLANCY NAMED TO PRESEASON NAISMITH CANDIDATE LIST
Sam Clancy was included among 30 preseason candidates for the 2002 Naismith Player of the Year Award, announced Oct. 16.
TROJAN SENIOR TRIO PEPPER RECORD SECTION
USC seniors Brandon Granville, Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal are quite prevalent in the Trojan record books. Look no farther than the career scoring chart. Clancy is 22nd with 1,046 points while Granville is 23rd with 1,030 points. If both play a full season, they should be firmly entrenched in USC's Top 10. Bluthenthal is not far behind the 1,000-point club with 918 points and should become USC's 26th player with a four-digit point total early in the season. Granville already is USC's all-time leader in assists with 595. He is third on the three-point chart (162), needing 15 to become the school's all-time leader. He is also fourth in steals (175) - needing 34 to top that list - and is 12th in free throw percentage (78.49). With 3,025 minutes, Granville is also in reach of Wayne Carlander's USC record for career minutes played. Clancy is USC's all-time leader in blocks with 147. Bluthenthal is sixth on USC's all-time free throw percentage list (79.90) and is 11th in three-pointers (109). As far as game records are concerned, Granville owns the USC record for assists (15) while Bluthenthal is tied for the mark in rebounds (28). For a season, Granville owns the assists mark (248) and Clancy owns it for blocks (81).
KOSTAS CHARISSIS SUSPENSION REDUCED
Junior center Kostas Charissis, suspended by the NCAA for 15 games in August for a violation of NCAA amateurism rules, had his penalty reduced to three games after the NCAA Division I Board of Directors sustained a motion to lessen the punishment for all players affected, the NCAA announced on Nov. 1. Before he attended USC, Charissis played on a club team in Greece, which included professional players. Even though he played as an amateur, it was an NCAA violation. The NCAA Board sustained the Management Council's policy decision made that the reinstatement condition would be to withhold a student-athlete from a maximum of 20 percent of the number of professional contests played or eight games, whichever is less.
TWO NEW ASSISTANTS
Henry Bibby welcomed two new assistant coaches to his staff to join second-year assistant coach Damon Archibald. Bibby first hired veteran coach Kurtis Townsend, 42, who was previously an assistant coach at Michigan (1999-2001), California (1994-97) and Eastern Kentucky (1998). Bibby then hired Eric Brown, 27, who spent the past three seasons (1999-2001) as an assistant at Northridge, where he helped lead the Matadors to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history last season. Townsend and Brown replace Silvey Dominguez and Dave Miller, both of whom left the team after five-year stints on the Trojan staff.
Despite losing Brian Scalabrine and Jeff Trepagnier to the NBA, USC still has the lion's share of its production back in 2002. Not only do three senior starters return in Brandon Granville, Sam Clancy and David Bluthenthal, but sophomore Desmon Farmer brings 16 starts to the table and junior center Kostas Charissis has 14 starts to his credit. Overall, USC has 66.2% of its scoring back, 56.6% of its rebounding, 76.4% of its three-pointers, 58.9% of its blocks and 66.0% of its steals.
FIRST RANDOM NOTE OF THE YEAR
This year isn't the first time that USC has opened a season against Wyoming. The Trojans beat the Cowboys twice in a row to start the 1957 season. In 1985, USC played its home opener vs. Wyoming, a 67-57 win.
THIRD'S A CHARM (AGAIN)
For the second consecutive year, the Trojans were picked to finish third in the Pacific-10 Conference men's basketball race, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball. UCLA, which received 24 of the 27 possible first-place votes, was tabbed as the favorite for the season (267 points). Stanford (222) was picked second and received one first-place vote. USC (208) was third without receiving any first-place votes. Arizona (200) was fourth and received two first-place votes. California (161) was fifth, followed by Oregon (117), Arizona State (111), Oregon State (95), Washington State (57) and Washington (47).
PAC-10 HALL OF HONOR
The conference announced that it will honor 10 former basketball coaches and student-athletes with their induction into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor during the 2002 Pac-10 Tournament. Trojan All-American Bill Sharman is USC's inductee. The others are Sean Elliott (Arizona), Byron Scott (Arizona State), Pete Newell (California), John Dick (Oregon), Gary Payton (Oregon State), Hank Luisetti (Stanford), John Wooden (UCLA), Bob Houbregs (Washington) and Craig Ehlo (Washington State). Sharman was an eight-time NBA All-Star and played on four NBA championship teams with the Boston Celtics. As a coach, he was the only one to ever have led teams to titles in three professional leagues: the ABL (Cleveland Pipers, 1962), ABA (Utah Stars, 1970) and NBA (Los Angeles Lakers, 1972). As general manager and president of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1970s and 1980s, he helped them to five more NBA titles. As a player, he turned free throw shooting into an art and never shot worse than .800 from the line in any NBA season.
TROJANS VS. 2001 TOURNAMENT TEAMS
The Trojans are guaranteed to face only four teams from the 2001 NCAA Tournament, all from the Pac-10: UCLA, Arizona, California and Stanford. There are, however, six potential teams looming in the Preseason NIT bracket that played in the NCAAs last year: Fresno State, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Wake Forest and Syracuse. USC faces a pair of NIT teams from last year, Wyoming and Pepperdine. In fact, those two teams squared off in the first round of the NIT last year with the Waves prevailing.
TROJANS VS. PRESEASON TOP 25 TEAMS
Only a handful of teams in the AP and ESPN/USA Today Preseason Top 25 polls loom ahead for the Trojans. In fact, the only ranked teams on USC's schedule were UCLA and Stanford. Fresno State, a potential second-round opponent in the Preseason NIT is a third. Other potential Top 25 opponents in the NIT bracket are Michigan State, Syracuse and Oklahoma. Arizona, left off of both polls, returned quickly to the rankings however after the first week and should be added to the slate. Wyoming, USC's first opponent, chimed in at No. 35 on the ESPN/USA Today Poll to start the year.
A (BRIEF) LOOK BACK AT LAST YEAR
The new millennium was good to USC basketball. The Trojans reached their first Elite Eight since 1954 and enjoyed their first 20-win season since 1992. They opened in the preseason Top 25 for the first time since the 1978-79 season, reached as high as No. 12 in the polls for the first time since hitting No. 8 in 1992 and had four players (Brian Scalabrine, Jeff Trepagnier, Sam Clancy and Brandon Granville) crack the 1,000-point barrier. USC's 10 home wins to open this year were its most in a row to start a season since 1975. The Trojans, who played the first 12 games of the season without Trepagnier because of injuries and suspensions, still won their first eight games, including a win over No. 18 Utah that propelled USC to a season-best No. 12 in the rankings. USC's first defeat came in a one-point overtime loss to Top-25 Mississippi in the Yahoo! Sports Invitational in Laie, Hawaii. The next game, however, the Trojans made up for the loss by erasing an 18-point halftime deficit against BYU. USC finished the non-conference slate 10-2 and opened the Pac-10 with a pair of home wins against the Washington schools. The Trojans were brought down to earth a bit after falling at UCLA and losing a hard-fought battle at Arizona. But USC then won three in a row, defeating Arizona State on the road and taking care of the Oregon schools at home. The Trojans next travelled to top-ranked Stanford and trailed by three with a minute to go, but fell by six. USC responded to the loss with a convincing 80-66 win at Cal two days later. The momentum slowed at that point as the Trojans lost three of their next four games, falling to UCLA, defeating Arizona State at home before losing consecutively to Arizona at home and Oregon State on the road. The Trojans then found themselves in Eugene where, down by 12 with five minutes to play, they stormed back to force overtime in an eventual win. USC once again played No. 1 Stanford to the final buzzer (losing by two when Granville was unable to get a shot off as time expired) and then completed a season sweep of Cal two days later. USC finished off the regular season with trouncings at Washington and Washington State. It opened the 2001 NCAA Tournament with an 69-54 win over Oklahoma State and followed it with a 74-71 win over Boston College to earn a trip to the Sweet 16. The Trojans then defeated Kentucky, 80-76, setting up their final game of the year vs. Duke in the East Regional Final. USC fell to the Blue Devils, 79-69, losing to the eventual national champions.
A LOOK BACK AT LAST YEAR'S NCAA TOURNAMENT
USC's appearance in the East Regional Final of the 2001 NCAA Tournament against Duke marked the first team Troy had reached the round of eight since 1954. The only other time USC was among the final eight teams was 1940. The No. 6-seed Trojans used wins over No. 11-seed Oklahoma State and No. 3-seed Boston College in Long Island, N.Y., to advance to the Sweet 16. Then, in Philadelphia, USC downed No. 2-seed Kentucky to reach the East Regional Final, where it fell to top-seed and eventual NCAA Champion Duke. Sam Clancy, David Bluthenthal and Brian Scalabrine all earned East Regional All-NCAA Tournament Team honors.
SCALABRINE AND TREPAGNIER GO TO THE NBA
Among the components that will need to be replaced from last year's squad are forward/center Brian Scalabrine and guard Jeff Trepagnier. Scalabrine, USC's sixth-leading scorer ever, and Trepagnier, the Trojans' 15th-top scorer in school history, were both drafted in the second round of the NBA draft. Scalabrine, USC's second-leading scorer last year (14.7), went 35th to the New Jersey Nets and Trepagnier went 36th to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Also gone from last year's team was top reserve Jarvis Turner, who signed a contract to play overseas. USC is also without graduated guard Tyler Murphy as well as center Luke Minor (academics) and Nate Hair (left team).
Henry Bibby, a coach with 19 years of college and professional experience and the only player to ever play for an NCAA, NBA and CBA championship team, is in his sixth full season in 2001-2002 as the head coach of the USC men's basketball program. This past year he guided the Trojans to their first ever NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance under the tournament's current format and led USC to its fourth winning season and third postseason berth (two NCAA, one NIT) under his watch ... With the Trojans on the rise, Bibby was rewarded with a three-year contract extension on Aug. 4, 2000, which will take him through the 2004-2005 season ... In 2001, Bibby led USC to perhaps its greatest season ever. In their second NCAA Tournament appearance under Bibby, the No. 6-seeded Trojans reached the East Regional Final before losing to Duke. USC's three NCAA Tournament wins (against No. 11 seed Oklahoma State, No. 2 seed Boston College and No. 3 seed Kentucky) were its most ever in one tourney and the Trojans' final record of 24-10 matched the most wins ever in one season at USC. The Trojans finished 11-7 in the Pac-10 (tied for fourth place) ... The Trojans' landmark team that Bibby guided featured a pair of NBA draft picks in forward/center Brian Scalabrine and guard Jeff Trepagnier. The pair was taken back-to-back in the second round of the 2001 draft, Scalabrine going to New Jersey with the 35th pick while Trepagnier went 36th to Cleveland. They were the second and third Trojans taken in the NBA draft since Bibby has been at USC (the first was Rodrick Rhodes in 1997) ... In his five years as head coach, Bibby has been instrumental in player development and has guided seven players to a combined nine All-Pac-10 honors and four players to All-Pac-10 Freshman honors. Two Trojans (Rhodes and Scalabrine) have also earned the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year award and another (Elias Ayuso) earned Pac-10 All-Newcomer first team notice. Six of USC's top 25 scorers of all time have played under Bibby.
Senior * forward * 6-foot-7 * 240 pounds
* Sam Clancy, an All-American, Wooden and Naismith Award candidate in 2002, is one of the Pac-10's top offensive and defensive threats and is equally adept from the post, the wing or the top of the key. A major shot-blocking and rebounding presence in the paint, Clancy is in his fourth year as a starting forward.
* Sam Clancy is USC's all-time leading shot-blocker (147). He has started 71 of his 81 games at USC. He is 22nd on USC's career scoring chart with 1,046 career points and was the 25th Trojan ever to reach the millennium milestone.
* Clancy earned 2001 Pacific-10 Conference, Sporting News Pac-10, NABC District 15 and USBWA District 9 first-team honors as a junior forward, leading USC in scoring (17.3), rebounding (7.5), field goal percentage (.501) and blocked shots (81).
* He set a school season record for rejections (81) last year.
* His 588 points on the season were the fifth-most in school history and his 255 rebounds were the 14th most ever at USC
* He had a team-high nine double-doubles on the season and scored at least 20 points a team-high 11 times.
* Clancy earned East Regional All-NCAA Tournament Team honors as he led USC in scoring (18.0), rebounding (10.8) and blocks (4.0) in the Trojans' four NCAA Tournament games. He had 22 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks against Oklahoma State, 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks vs. Boston College, 17 points and seven rebounds vs. Kentucky and 19 points and 11 boards vs. Duke .
* He posted career highs of 31 points twice, once in the season-opener vs. Bradley and again at UCLA (to go with 13 rebounds).
* Clancy had a career-high seven blocks vs. Cal on March 3 to go with 16 points and seven boards.
* Clancy was named Pac-10 Player of the Week 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.
* After the 2001 season, Clancy declared for the NBA draft, but did not sign with an agent, allowing him the option to return to school. Before he removed his name from the draft list, he participated in a three-day NBA Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago, where he was the leading scorer (42 points) and rebounder (28).
* (J.A. Adande of the Los Angeles Times): '(Sam) can score inside or deftly pass to (former teammate Brian) Scalabrine from the high post. He makes the 18-foot jump shot from the baseline or beyond the free throw line. He snatches rebounds at rim level and blocks shots inside or on the perimeter.'
* (Joe Juliano of the Philadelphia Inquirer): 'Sam Clancy resembles a tight end on the basketball court. At 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds, he's not someone who's easy to hide.'
* (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.'
Senior * forward * 6-foot-7 * 220 pounds
* David Bluthenthal, among 50 Preseason Wooden Award candidates, returns for his third year as a starting small forward in 2002 and is one of the top all-around threats in the Pac-10. One of the league's premier three-point shooters, he's also an aggressive rebounder who led the Trojans in that category as a sophomore.
* Bluthenthal has started 61 of his 84 games at USC. He is 11th on USC's career three-point chart (109) and sixth on Troy's career free throw percentage list (.799). He also shares the Trojan record for most rebounds in a game (28).
* Bluthenthal was USC's second-leading rebounder (6.8) and third-leading scorer (13.5) as a junior in 2001. He led the Trojans in three-point percentage (65-of-159, .409) and total three-pointers and was second on the team in steals (50).
* His 65 three-pointers was the sixth-most ever in a season at USC.
* He earned East Regional All-NCAA Tournament Team honors by averaging 16.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in the postseason. After going scoreless in the tourney opener against Oklahoma State, Bluthenthal came back to score 20 points vs. Boston College, 27 points vs. Kentucky (including 5-of-6 free throws in the final 30 seconds) and had 17 points and 13 rebounds vs. Duke.
* Bluthenthal, named to the 2001 Jewish Sports Review All-America first team, tied a career- and season-high with 29 points at Oregon. He also had five three-pointers and set a career high with five steals.
* He led USC in rebounding (or tied for team-high honors) 15 times last year.
* He had four consecutive double-doubles against Utah, Cal State Northridge, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine.
* Bluthenthal earned his second career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor after the doubles vs. UCSB and CSUN.
* Including a streak of 33 free throws in a row continued from his sophomore year, Bluthenthal set USC and Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws at 41. Bluthenthal also owned the Pac-10 record for consecutive in-league free throws at 42. Both Pac-10 marks, however, were broken by Stanford's Ryan Mendez ... Bluthenthal was named to the 2001 U.S. team for the World Maccabiah Games, but did not play.
* Bluthenthal blossomed as a 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. His 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.
* 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.'
* (Todd Harmonson, of the Orange County Register): 'He has become USC's most dependable starter and made the transformation from the player no one knew to the one no one dares to ignore.'
Senior * guard * 5-foot-9 * 175 pounds
* Brandon Granville is USC's all-time leader in assists (the Pac-10's active leader, 10th in league history) and is starting at point guard for the Trojans for his fourth season in 2002. One of the most effective playmakers in Pac-10 history, Granville is also one of USC's all-time three-point threats and one of two 1,000-point scorers on the team.
* Granville is USC's first four-year starting point guard since Jacque Hill (1980-83). He has started 89 of his 92 games at USC. He is first on USC's career chart in assists (595), third in three-pointers (162), fourth in steals (175) and 12th in free throw percentage (.785). He has 1,030 career points, 23rd most ever at USC. He was the 24th player in school history to eclipse 1,000 points. He is one of only four Trojans ever to have at least 150 career three-pointers.
* Granville, in his third season as the Trojans' starting point guard in 2001, led the Pac-10 in assists (6.1) for the second consecutive year and finished as USC fourth-leading scorer (12.4).
* Granville's 207 assists were the second-most ever in a season at USC, behind only his school season record of 248 set as a sophomore.
* His NCAA Tournament highlights included 14 points, four steals and five assists against Oklahoma State and nine points and six assists versus Boston College. He also had eight assists vs. Kentucky and seven against Duke.
* Granville's 64 three-pointers on the season were the seventh-most in school history.
* He scored a season-high 22 points at Arizona State, going 4-of-6 on three-pointers and making 8-of-8 from the foul line. He matched the effort vs. Cal, scoring 22 points, making four three-pointers and going 6-of-6 from the charity stripe
* As a sophomore in 2000, Granville dished out more assists than any USC guard in school history (and the third most ever in the Pac-10) when he had 248 en route to 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).
* (Former teammate Brian Scalabrine): 'Everything happens for us when Brandon is in control of the basketball. And we're out of sync without him. In this league, everything begins, offensively and defensively, with your point guard.'
Sophomore * guard * 6-foot-4 * 225 pounds
* Desmon Farmer is a 2002 sophomore with a great scoring touch and a fiery defensive presence who will challenge for starting time.
* Farmer started 16 of 32 games as a 2001 freshman guard last year, most of his starts coming in place of Jeff Trepagnier, who was out for the first half of last season.
* Farmer averaged 6.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game. He started in 15 of his first 16 games, averaging 9.1 points through the first half of the season. When Trepagnier returned, Farmer became a key reserve off the bench.
* He scored a career-high 24 points and had three assists in USC's Pac-10 opener vs. Washington State.
* He provided a major spark off the bench vs. No. 1 Stanford at the Sports Arena, scoring seven points in 17 minutes and making all three of his shots.
* He also provided a lift as a reserve against Cal at home, scoring nine points and getting five rebounds in 21 minutes.
* He had 21 points and a career-best nine rebounds against CSUN. He scored 14 points in 26 minutes vs. then-No. 8 Arizona at home and 14 points and seven rebounds vs. Loyola Marymount.
Junior * center * 6-foot-11 * 250 pounds
* Kostas Charissis, a native of Greece, is a 2002 junior who will look to have an increased role on this year's squad ... His full first name is Konstantinos ... Originally suspended for the Trojans' first 15 regular-season games this season for a violation of NCAA amateurism rules, it has since been reduced to three games. The original suspension stems from the fact that before he attended USC, Charissis played on a club team in Greece which included professional players. Even though he played as an amateur, this is an NCAA violation.
* Charissis played in 18 games as a sophomore reserve center in 2001. He averaged 1.2 points and 1.2 rebounds in 4.7 minutes per game
* He made his first start of the season vs. Washington. He scored four points in a season-high 12 minutes ... He had four points vs. Long Beach State and Oregon State ... He scored two points and had two rebounds in three minutes in USC's opener vs. Bradley.
* 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.
* He had by far his most productive game of his career as a freshman 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).
(RS) Junior * guard * 6-foot-1 * 195 pounds
* Hutchinson played in every game as a reserve point guard as a 2001 sophomore, averaging 1.2 points in 7.4 minutes per game.
* He became a hero, however, with his play against Boston College in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Filling in for Brandon Granville, who had fouled out, Hutchinson stepped in admirably, making 5-of-6 free throws in the final 77 seconds to go with two rebounds and a key assist, helping seal the win. He then played 12 minutes vs. Kentucky in the Sweet 16 and six minutes vs. Duke.
* He started his first game at Northwestern, but went scoreless in 14 minutes. He then started against Washington and scored two points in 19 minutes.
* Hutchinson had six points vs. then-No. 8 Arizona at home.
Senior * guard * 6-foot-3 * 205 pounds
* Gennaro Busterna is a senior who has a soft perimeter touch and will be looked on to provide offense off the bench in 2002.
* Busterna came to USC as a JUCO transfer as a 2001 junior guard, but saw limited action off the bench
* Busterna played in eight games, but only averaged 1.9 minutes per contest and missed all seven of his field goal attempts
* Sidelined much of the season by a toe injury, Busterna began suiting up in the Washington State game, but did not make his debut until playing four minutes off the bench at Arizona, going scoreless ... He played one minute at Arizona State and three minutes against Oregon State ... He got in late against UCLA at the Sports Arena, but missed both of his three-point attempts.
* Busterna spent the previous 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.
Freshman * guard * 6-foot-2 * 170 pounds
* Errick Craven, a freshman guard in 2002 and identical twin brother of fellow Trojan freshman Derrick Craven, is an athletic addition to the team whose intensity on defense and growing offensive skills should be a boon for the Trojans.
* Craven prepped at Bishop Montgomery High in Torrance, Calif., where he averaged 19.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.6 steals and shot 53.0% from the field as a 2001 senior while leading the Knights to both their second consecutive California and CIF Southern Section Division III titles.
* He was a 2001 Street & Smith's preseason All-American honorable mention selection and was named South Bay Daily Breeze Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
* He was the first player to win the Daily Breeze's Player of the Year in consecutive years since the Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce did it in 1994-95.
* He shared 2001 CIF Division III Player of the Year and Del Rey League MVP honors with his brother Derrick for the second consecutive year
* He was named the No. 10 best prep shooting guard in the country by ESPN.com.
Freshman * guard * 6-foot-2 * 170 pounds
* Derrick Craven, a freshman guard in 2002 and identical twin brother of fellow Trojan freshman Errick Craven, is an athletic addition to the team with a strong defensive work ethic. He is expected to push for time off of the bench.
* Craven prepped at Bishop Montgomery High in Torrance, Calif., where he averaged 16.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.9 steals while shooting 56.0% from the field as a 2001 senior while leading the Knights to both their second consecutive California and CIF Southern Section Division III titles.
* He was a 2001 Street & Smith's preseason All-American honorable mention selection, a Daily Breeze All-Area first team pick and shared CIF Division III Player of the Year and Del Rey League MVP honors with his brother Errick for the second consecutive year.
Freshman * center * 6-foot-11 * 220 pounds
* Rory O'Neil, a freshman center in 2002, figures to add immediate help to USC's frontcourt. A talented big man, O'Neil comes to Troy with a solid scoring touch and a good feel for the game.
* O'Neil was a Street & Smith's preseason All-American high honorable mention selection, a Student Sports Senior All-American fourth teamer and All-CIF Division III first team pick as a 2001 senior at Burroughs High in Ridgecrest, Calif.
* He averaged 25.1 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game last year.
* He was the 2001 Desert Sky League 200 Player of the Year and was named the sixth-best prep center in the country by ESPN.com.
(RS) Sophomore * forward * 6-foot-11 * 220 pounds
* Jerry Dupree, a sophomore forward, is in his first year with the Trojans after a year off from basketball when he was concentrating on academics at San Bernardino College. An extremely athletic player, Dupree figures to challenge for starting time at small forward.
* Dupree played in 25 games, all as a reserve, as a 2000 freshman at College of Southern Idaho ... He averaged 7.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 13.2 minutes per game ... He shot .538 from the field (78-of-145) and was .647 from the foul line (22-of-34) ... He had a season-high of 16 points.
* Dupree prepped at Valley View High in Moreno Valley, Calif., where he averaged 17.5 point, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a senior in 1999 ... He earned All-CIF Southern Section Division 1-AA second team and All-San Bernardino County and All-Sunbelt League first team honors as a senior.
Freshman * forward * 6-foot-8 * 220 pounds
* Nick Curtis, a freshman forward in 2002, comes to USC as a strong rebounder who will lend solid frontcourt depth to the Trojans.
* Curtis earned 2001 Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team, All-CIF Division I-AAA first team and Los Angeles Times All-Ventura and All-Pacific View League MVP honors while leading Oxnard to a 25-4 record as a senior in 2001.
* He is Oxnard High's career record holder for points (1,215), rebounds (1,003) and blocks (244).
* A three-year starter, Curtis averaged 19.9 points, 14.8 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game as a senior. He shot 68.0% from the field and 79.0% from the free throw line.
* There are four walk-ons on this year's squad. Anthony Saadey from Canfield, Ohio, and Eze Burts, from Los Angeles, return as redshirt freshmen. Saadey, was an All-Academic selection in the Metro Atlantic Conference as a senior and was elected to the MAC All-Star game. Burts was a Del Rey League first teamer at St. Bernard High in Los Angeles and also competed on the track team. Burts and Saadey are joined by freshmen Peter McCaslin and Joe Buck. McCaslin prepped at Chadwick High, where he earned All-CIF honors as a sophomore, junior and senior. He holds his school record for points with 2770 points. Buck comes to USC from Redondo Union High in Redondo Beach, Calif.
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
TODAY | 5:00pm PTLive
TODAY | 7:00pm PTLive
TOMORROW | 6:00pm PTLive