Men's Hoops Looks To Rebound Against Stanford
Jan. 25, 2002
The USC men's basketball team (14-4 overall, 6-2 in the Pac-10 for a first-place tie with Oregon), which reached the Elite Eight in 2001 for the first time ever in the NCAA Tournament's current format, will look to rebound from a gut-wrenching last-second overtime loss to California on Thursday (Jan. 24) when it hosts Stanford (12-4, 5-2) on Saturday (Jan. 26) at 3 p.m. The Trojans looked to be on their way to a 7-1 start in the Pac-10 for a full share of first, but Shantay Legans' three-pointer with the clock winding down in overtime kept USC tied with the Ducks. 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.
USC is No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll (Jan. 21) and No. 23 in the AP Poll (Jan. 21). Stanford is No. 14 in ESPN/USA Today and 17 in AP.
USC (14-4, 6-2) vs. Stanford (12-4, 5-2) on Saturday (Jan. 26) at 3 p.m. The game will be televised live by ABC and will be broadcast live on KMPC-AM 1540. Stanford, under 16th-year coach Mike Montgomery, is led by junior forward Casey Jacobsen, who leads the team in scoring at 19.7 and is shooting .409 from three-point range (36-of-88). Junior center Curtis Borchardt is averaging a double-double at 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds while junior guard Julius Barnes is third in scoring on the squad at 11.3. Stanford defeated UCLA on Thursday, 86-76. Julius Barnes scored 23 points and Jacobsen had 20 to lead Stanford.
For the second time this year, USC got beat by a last-second three-point shot, this one from Shantay Legans in overtime, as California came back to defeat the Trojans, 92-91, on Thursday. Sam Clancy had his fourth consecutive double-double (26 points and 11 rebounds) and David Bluthenthal had a season-high 20 points, which included six three-pointers, but it wasn't enough to stop a hot-shooting Bear team. Cal, led by Brian Wethers' 24 points and Joe Shipp's 20 points, trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half, by nine with less than six minutes to play, by six points with 1:44 left and were down 79-76 with eight seconds left. That's when Wethers connected on a three-pointer with two Trojans in his face to send the game into overtime. In OT, the Trojans led 91-87, with 37 seconds left. A Legans layup cut the lead to two with 27 ticks left. Cal then got the ball back with 14 seconds left when Granville turned the ball over on a double-team. Dribbling about six feet outside of the three-point arc with five seconds left, Legans took an open jumper that went down with three seconds remaining. USC was not able to get up a shot as time expired. The first half was close the whole way with neither team leading by more than five points. Cal actually led 40-36 with 1:48 to go before halftime. USC got to within 40-39 with a second left, but took the lead into halftime when Bluthenthal connected on a halfcourt shot at the buzzer. Cal, however, got the better of USC in the end with two buzzer-beating threes. The Bears made 15-of-28 three-pointers, setting a school record for threes and tying the USC opponent record (Stanford, 1998).
LAST GAME NOTES
Brandon Granville has now made 24 consecutive free throws after making 10-of-10 against Cal ... Kostas Charissis' 10 rebounds were a career-high ... David Bluthenthal's six three-pointers tied a career-high, set last year against Kentucky in the Sweet 16 ... USC is now 5-8 vs. CAL in OT and is 1-1 this season in OT. USC is now 49-41 all time in OT, 30-37 in conference play, 41-37 in single overtime and 22-21 at home ... USC's 91 points were the most given up by Cal this year ... Granville's 19 points moved him into 11th on USC's career scoring chart and he is also now just two steals away from the Trojan career record in that category with 207. The record is 208 (Stais Boseman) ... Bluthenthal moved from 20th to 17th on the USC career scoring chart. He now has 1,132 ... USC's senior stalwarts Granville, Bluthenthal and Sam Clancy each played all 45 minutes of the game. It marked career-highs for Clancy and Bluthenthal, but it was the third time Granville has done it (the last being against Arizona State on Jan. 20, 2000). Granville now has played 3,599 career minutes at USC, the second most ever at USC ... Clancy is now 10th on USC's career rebounding chart with 703 ... The loss was USC's first at home this year and its first after eight wins in a row dating back to last year ... Sam Clancy has now scored at least 20 points in three straight games. He did it four straight times during one stretch last year.
SAM GOES FOR FIVE STRAIGHT DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Sam Clancy already has 10 double-doubles in 18 games and 28 for his career (tops among active Pac-10 players). For the first time in his career, he has strung together four consecutive double-doubles and will go for his fifth in a row against Stanford on Jan. 26. He failed to get four in a row earlier this year, falling four points short at Bradley. The last Trojan to get four in a row was David Bluthenthal, who turned the trick last year in December. The last Trojan before that to get four in a row was Brandon Granville as a sophomore in 2000. The last USC player to string five in a row was forward Jaha Wilson, who did it twice in 1995 (including five in a row to end the season). Five different Trojans have at least one double-double. Clancy has 10 while Granville has three, Bluthenthal has two and Errick Craven and Desmon Farmer have one each.
SAM I AM: 2001 vs. 2002
There were some questions before the season asking how Sam Clancy would produce without three-year frontcourt mate Brian Scalabrine to take some of the inside load off. Well, comparing the first 18 games in 2001 to the first 18 games in 2002, it appears Clancy is doing just fine. He is averaging slightly less points (18.2 compared to 19.1) than last year, but is well ahead in rebounding, snagging 9.4 boards per game compared to 7.0 at this point last year. His 2002 field goals and attempts per game, 6.9 and 13.8, respectively, are very close to his 2001 averages of 7.3 and 13.3. His steals are way up (39 this year compared to 18 last year) but his blocks are down (28 this year compared to 47 last year). He is isn't as hot from the field, .502 this year while going .548 last year.
Two Trojans are averaging double-doubles in the last four games: Sam Clancy (23.8 ppg, 11.5 rpg) and David Bluthenthal (13.5 ppg and 10.0 rpg). In the span, Clancy has made 31-of-44 free throw attempts (.705), considerably better than his season mark of .575. Bluthenthal is 11-of-21 on threes in the last four games while Brandon Granville is 26-of-27 from the foul line (.963).
FOR THE RECORD
Two of USC's four losses have come thanks to three-point heaves in the waning moments of games. The Trojans were beat by a banked three-pointer by Pepperdine's Craig Lewis on Dec. 6 and lost to Cal when Shantay Legans made a three-pointer from more than 25 feet away right before the buzzer in overtime. That was actually the second buzzer beater for Cal on the night. Brian Wethers sent the game into overtime with a three-pointer in the face of two Trojans right before the end of regulation.
A PLETHORA OF POINT PRODUCTION
Bad alliteration, good note. Part of USC's success this season has been the ability of many different players to contribute offensively. Nine different players have scored in double digits this season and five different Trojans have led USC in scoring in a game this season. Sam Clancy has led USC in scoring eight times, David Bluthenthal has done it three times and tied for team-high honors once, Errick Craven has done it twice and tied twice, Brandon Granville has done it three times and Desmon Farmer tied once. The others who have scored in double figures at least once this year are Robert Hutchinson, Rory O'Neil, Gennaro Busterna and Jerry Dupree.
ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING (AND SO HAVE THE TROJANS)
Because of scheduling quirks, venue changes and general fate, USC's two games against California and Stanford at the Sports Arena this week are the Trojans' only two games on their traditional homecourt in a two-month stretch. Prior to this weekend, USC hadn't played in the Sports Arena since a Dec. 16 game against Miami (Ohio). Following this weekend, USC plays at Oregon State (Jan. 31) and Oregon (Jan. 2) before playing at UCLA (Feb. 6). The Trojans won't resume play at the Sports Arena until Feb. 14 against Arizona State.
THE NOTE WITH HAROLD MINER AND ERRICK CRAVEN IN THE SAME SENTENCE
When USC freshman guard Errick Craven scored 29 points at Washington State on Dec. 29 in Pullman, he became the first frosh at Troy to score that many in a game in more than a decade. The last Trojan freshman to do it was Harold Miner, who tallied 29 points, also against the Cougars, on March 3, 1990, at the Sports Arena.
HE'S A WELL-ROUNDED MAN
Okay. So who predicted that halfway through the season, Sam Clancy would lead USC in steals? Points and rebounds? Sure. Blocks? Expected. But steals? The senior forward not only leads USC in points (18.2), rebounds (9.4) and blocks (1.6), but is averaging a team-best 2.2 steals per game. He has 39 so far this year. Coming into the season, he had 78 for his career, averaging 0.96 per outing.
19TH RANDOM NOTE AND COUNTING
USC entered the Cal game leading the Pac-10 with 64.1 field goal attempts per game, due mainly to a shooting slump and excellent offensive rebounding. Against the Bears, however, USC posted its fewest field goal attempts of the Pac-10 season with 59 as the Trojans nearly shot .500 (.492).
Well, actually, no he's not. Freshman All-American candidate Errick Craven is one of USC's most modest players, but his play definitely calls out for attention. Athletic and seemingly always energetic, Craven has started the last 15 games and appears to be a fixture in the Trojan lineup. Overall, he is USC's fourth-leading scorer (11.8) and is also third in rebounds (4.4) and steals (30). His 29 points at Washington State on Dec. 29 was the most for a USC freshman since Harold Miner scored the same amount against the same team on March 3, 1990. Craven is also on pace to score the most points for a freshman since Miner had 578 in 1990. The next most since then is Cameron Murray's 239 in 1995.
SAM CLANCY AMONG WOODEN AWARD MID-SEASON CANDIDATES
\USC senior forward Sam Clancy has been named among 30 mid-season candidates for the 2001-2002 Wooden Award All-American Team. The pool started at 50, with teammate David Bluthenthal among the original list. But it was whittled down to 30 last week, without Bluthenthal. 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.
TROJANS ADD GREGG GUENTHER JR. TO ROSTER
Henry Bibby has added USC tight end Gregg Guenther Jr. to the basketball roster. A 6-foot-8, 250-pound redshirt freshman forward, Guenther's first practice with the team was on Dec. 31. He came to USC in the Fall of 2000 and played briefly in the Trojans' football opener against Penn Sate, but then suffered a herniated disk in his back and had surgery, which sidelined him for the rest of his freshman season. He spent most of the 2001 football season recovering from the surgery. He returned late in the 2001 season, but did not see any action. Guenther was an All-City basketball player at Taft and an All-League MVP as a 1999-00 senior, averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds per game at center. He was a three-year starting center at Crespi from 1996-97 to 1998-99 prior to transferring to Taft.
USC AT THE FORUM
USC had played all of 10 games ever at the Forum in Inglewood coming into this year, but had to play there four times this year, finishing a combined 3-1. The Trojans played Pepperdine there on Dec. 6 when they lost on a last-second three-point shot in the Fab 4 Tournament. USC then had to use the Forum as its homecourt for its first three Pac-10 home games against Washington State, Washington and UCLA because figure skaters competing for spots on the U.S. Olympic team were using the Sports Arena, USC's traditional home court, as a practice facility for the Championships. (The event was held at Staples Center.) USC swept the three games and are now 9-5 all time at the Inglewood facility. Before this year, USC last played at the Forum in 1996, losing to California, 63-60, on Jan. 11. The Trojans also beat UNLV there that season, winning 82-72 on Dec. 10, 1995. (The game against Cal was later forfeited by the Bears, but is not being considered a win for this note). Prior to that, USC played Arizona in back-to-back years, losing 83-74 in 1994 and 81-73 in 1993. The Trojans played a pair of games at the Forum in the 1989 Pac-10 Conference Tournament. USC, seeded 10th, upset Arizona State, 94-82, in the opening round and lost to No. 2-seeded Stanford, 66-61. Before that. USC played Oregon there in 1986, winning 75-60. The Trojans downed Washington State there in 1984, 57-56 and also beat Arizona there that year, 71-61. In the 1977 season, USC downed Denver, 106-65.
LESS THAN 70
When USC held seven consecutive opponents to less than 70 points this season, it did so for the first time since the 1986-87 season, when that team also held its opponents to 69 or less seven times in a row. Including this season, the Trojans have accomplished this feat seven times since 1960. That year, the Trojans held 13 consecutive opponents to less than 70 points during one stretch, going 10-3 in the run.
After juggling the starting lineup seven out of the first eight games, USC Coach Henry Bibby has started the same five-some for the last 11 games in a row. The unit of David Bluthenthal, Sam Clancy, Kostas Charissis, Errick Craven and Brandon Granville have gone 9-2 since starting together, though Charissis usually only plays about 10 minutes per game (though he played 30 minutes against Cal). Ten different players have started at least once this season (11 different players started at least once last year). Charissis was the 10th different starter this year when he started at Long Beach State.
THROUGH EIGHT GAMES OF THE PAC-10
Sam Clancy leads USC in scoring in conference games (21.1), followed by Brandon Granville (15.1), David Bluthenthal (13.9), Errick Craven (13.1) and Desmon Farmer (9.3). Clancy also leads in rebounds (9.1) while Bluthenthal is at 8.5. Clancy is shooting a team-best .538 from the field in league contests and Bluthenthal is shooting a team-high .545 on three-pointers (18-of-33). USC is outscoring teams, 84.6 to 75.6 and outrebounding teams 38.2 to 35.6.
HOW USC RANKS STATISTICALLY IN THE PAC-10
USC is first in offensive rebounds (14.6), second in steals (8.7), turnover margin (+4.3) and overall rebounds (39.6), fourth in blocks (4.2) and fourth in scoring defense (68.1). Sam Clancy is fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring (18.2), second in rebounding (9.4) and steals (2.2), tied for fifth in blocks (1.6) and first in offensive rebounds (3.4). David Bluthenthal is seventh in the league in rebounding (7.7). Brandon Granville is third in assists (5.2) and is fifth in steals(1.8). Granville is also second in assist/turnover ratio (2.2).
ANOTHER TOP 10
Sam Clancy's 30 points at Arizona give him 30 or more points for the third time of his career, becoming one of only 10 Trojans ever to do it at least three times.
PLENTY OF 'D'
USC has held 16 of its first 18 opponents to below 50.0% shooting and 11 to 40.7% or below. USC kept four to less than 32.0% shooting overall. In fact, Fresno State's 28.1% shooting was the worst for a USC opponent since the Trojans held Loyola Marymount to 23.7% on Dec. 11, 1999. Wyoming and Fresno State shot less than 18.0% in the second half of both games while Bradley shot only 20.0% in the first half. On the season, USC has limited opponents to a combined .402 from the field.
CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARDS
USC outrebounded Rhode Island on Dec. 4 by 20, 47-27. It was the Trojans' biggest rebounding margin since enjoying a 58-37 edge in a win against Oregon on Feb. 27, 1997. On the year, USC is outrebounding the opposition by an average of 40.8 to 36.9.
DERRICK CRAVEN BACK
Freshman guard Derrick Craven, out since Nov. 19, suited up for the first time in about six weeks at Washington on Dec. 27 and played in his first game vs. Washington State at the Forum on Jan. 4. He saw two minutes of action at the end of the game, going scoreless. He went scoreless in three minutes against Washington. He had been recovering from a stress fracture in his right leg. He did not see any action in USC's first two games before the injury announcement, but played in both exhibition games.
Shooting .545 at Washington, .548 at Washington State and .561 against Washington State at the Forum, USC made more than half their shots in three straight games for the first time since the last game of the 1998 season and the first two games of the 1999 season. USC also did it three times in a row in the second, third and fourth games of the 1998 season. The previous time before that was 1994.
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 eighth with 1,373 points while Granville is 11th with 1,262 points. If both play a full season, they should be firmly entrenched in USC's Top 10. Bluthenthal joined the four-digit club at San Diego and now has 1,132 points, 17th most ever at USC. Granville already is USC's all-time leader in assists (688) and three-pointers (199). He is also second in steals (207) - needing two more to top that list. With 3,599 minutes, Granville is also in reach of Wayne Carlander's USC record for career minutes played (3,978). As it stands, he's second on the all-time USC minutes list. Clancy is USC's all-time leader in blocks with 175 and is 10th in rebounds (703). Bluthenthal is sixth in three-pointers (141) and his 100 steals make him 10th ever at USC. His 655 rebounds are the 12th most ever at USC. 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).
USC'S (NOW SNAPPED) NINE-GAME WIN STREAK
USC's nine-game win streak, snapped at Arizona, was its longest in-season win streak since winning nine in a row in 1992 and longest of any kind since winning 10 in a row with the final two games of 2000 and the first eight of 2001. The last time USC won more than nine in a row during one season was in 1971 when that team opened 16-0.
THE TROJANS VS. RANKED TEAMS
USC is 1-1 against ranked teams in 2002, defeating then-No. 11 UCLA on Jan. 10 and losing to then-No. 15 Arizona on Jan. 17. The Trojans were 3-6 against ranked teams in 2001. They beat No. 18 Utah in the Wooden Classic and lost to 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. In the NCAA Tournament, USC beat No. 7 Boston College and No. 9 Kentucky before losing to No. 1 Duke. 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. USC was 2-5 against ranked teams in 2000 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.
USC held its first 15 opponents to below 80 points for the first time since 1982, when that team did it 16 times to open the season. There's also the 1963 squad that held its first 19 opponents to less than 80 points ... USC held its first five opponents to 65 or less points for the first time since the 1967-68 season. That season, Bob Boyd's Trojans held their opponents to 65 or fewer points in their first six games, which was good enough for a 5-1 start. That team finished 18-8 ... USC's 18 second-half points against Miami were its fewest in a half since scoring 16 against Cal in the first half of a 73-43 loss on Feb. 12, 1998 at the Sports Arena ... Errick Craven's 5-of-5 three-point showing against Rhode Island tied the USC record for the most three-pointers made without a miss. The only other Trojan to do it was Brad Winslow, who did it at California in 1987 ... The Trojans' 59 points in the win over Miami (Ohio) on Dec. 16 was their lowest winning total since defeating Washington, 53-46, in Seattle in 1994 ... USC opponents have shot 20% or less in a half three times ... USC's 53 rebounds at Fresno State was its most in more than two seasons. The last time USC had that many was in the 1999 season finale, when the Trojans grabbed 53 boards in a losing effort at Wyoming on March 10, 1999, in the first round of the NIT. The last time USC had more than 53 was earlier in that season when the Trojans had 57 rebounds in a win over Loyola Marymount on Dec. 9, 1998.
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.
USC AT THE SPORTS ARENA
Dating back to 1996-97, the Trojans are 52-20 (.722) in their last 72 games at the Sports Arena and USC is 110-44 (.714) 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 12 home wins last year were its most since winning 12 in 1993. USC's 10-game home win streak to open the 2001 season was its biggest home win streak to start a season since 1975. The Trojans have currently won five in a row at the Sports Arena.
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.
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 five teams from the 2001 NCAA Tournament and four are from the Pac-10: UCLA, Arizona, California and Stanford. The other is Fresno State. USC has faced two NIT teams in 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 preseason ranked teams on USC's schedule are UCLA, Stanford and Fresno State. 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.
* Clancy is USC's all-time leading shot-blocker (175). He has started 88 of his 99 games at USC. He is eighth on USC's career scoring chart with 1,373 career points and was the 25th Trojan ever to reach the millennium milestone. He is also the Pac-10's active leader in double-doubles (28). He is one of only 10 Trojans ever to score at least 30 points in a game at least three times.
* Clancy leads USC in scoring (18.2), rebounding (9.4), steals (2.2) and blocks (1.6).
* In eight Pac-10 games, Clancy leads USC in scoring (21.1) and rebounding (9.1).
* He had his 10th double-double of the season and fourth in a row against California with 26 points and 11 rebounds. He played a career-high 45 minutes in the game against Cal.The game before at Arizona State, he had 20 points and 12 rebounds. That followed 30 points and 11 boards (including a career-high nine offensive) at Arizona and 19 points and 12 rebounds against UCLA.
* He opened the Pac-10 with 25 points, five rebounds and three steals at Washington and 18 points and nine rebounds at Washington State. He then had 14 points and seven boards vs. Washington State in the rematch and 17 points and five steals in the Husky rematch.
* He has scored at least 20 points a team-high six times.
* He recorded his sixth double-double at LMU with 19 points and 14 rebounds and had his fifth double-double at San Diego with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
* Clancy scored a game-high 25 points to go with 14 rebounds against Pepperdine for his fourth double-double of the season.
* He opened the 2002 season with three consecutive double-doubles: 22 points and 12 rebounds against Wyoming, 13 points and 12 rebounds against Fresno State and 18 points and 11 rebounds against UC Santa Barbara. He has 21 for his career. He scored only six points at Bradley, but did get 10 rebounds, giving him five double-digit rebound efforts in a row (the last game of the streak).
* 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.
* Clancy earned 2001 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 posted career highs of 31 points twice, once in the season-opener vs. Bradley and again at UCLA (to go with 13 rebounds).
* 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 * guard * 5-foot-9 * 175 pounds
* Brandon Granville is USC's all-time leader in assists (the Pac-10's active leader, fifth in league history) and three-pointers and is starting at point guard for the Trojans for his fourth season in 2002.
* Granville is USC's first four-year starting point guard since Jacque Hill (1980-83). He has started 106 of his 110 games at USC. He is first on USC's career chart in assists (688) and three-pointers (199) and is second in steals (207). He has 1,262 career points, good for 11th most ever at USC. He was the 24th player in school history to eclipse 1,000 points.
* He is being considered for the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, given to the nation's most outstanding senior six-feet or under, selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
* He is second on the team in scoring (12.9), is first in assists (5.2) and second in steals (1.8). He has a team-best 37 three-pointers. He is averaging 15.1 points in Pac-10 play and has currently made 24 consecutive free throws. Granville is 42-of-46 (.913) from the free throw line in Pac-10 play.
* He had 21 points at Arizona State, including an 11-of-11 showing at the foul line, tying the mark for the second most makes without a miss at USC (David Crouse, 1997). He had 19 points vs. Cal, playing 45 minutes for the third time in his career.
* He had back-to-back double-doubles (second and third of the year) against Washington State (15 points, 12 assists) and Washington (17 points, 10 assists) in the two games at the Forum. He than had 18 points against UCLA.
* Granville scored a career-high 27 points (20 in the first half) at Washington, making 9-of-15 shots and 4-of-6 treys. He also had four steals.
* Granville had a huge game at Long Beach State. He posted a then-career-high of 25 points to go with a career-high six three-pointers. He also passed Harold Miner for first place on USC's career three-point chart that night.
* He had his first double-double of the season with 10 assists and 12 points vs. UCSB. Granville scored 13 points vs. Pepperdine and 12 vs. Miami (Ohio).
* In the 2002 opener, he had 11 points, five assists and three steals in 31 minutes. At Fresno State, he had eight points, seven assists and six rebounds.
* Last season, Granville 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 last year were the second-most ever in a season at USC, behind only his school season record of 248 set as a sophomore.
* His 2001 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.
* He scored a season-high 22 points twice last year, at Arizona State and vs. Cal.
* 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.'
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 75 of his 102 games at USC. He is sixth on USC's career three-point chart (141). He also shares the Trojan record for most rebounds in a game (28). He has 1,132 career points, 17th most ever at USC. He is also 12th in rebounds at USC with 655.
* Bluthenthal has started 14 of 18 games. He is third on the team in scoring (11.9) and second in rebounding (7.7). He is second on USC in rebounding in Pac-10 games (8.5).
* Had a season-high 20 points against Cal, including a career-high-tying six three-pointers. One of the six was a beyond-halfcourt heave right before halftime. He played a career-high 45 minutes in the game.
* He had his second double-double of the season with 16 points and 18 rebounds in 40 minutes against UCLA.
* Bluthenthal became the 26th player ever at USC to score at least 1,000 points when he scored 12 points at San Diego. He added 12 rebounds at San Diego for his first double-double of the season. He followed it up with 13 points and five boards at LMU, going 3-of-5 on three-pointers.
* He started the Pac-10 with 14 points and nine boards at Washington and nine points, six boards and a career-high six assists at Washington State. He followed it up with game highs of 16 points and eight rebounds vs. Washington State at the Forum and a game-high 18 points vs. Washington at the Forum.
* Bluthenthal broke out of an early shooting slump against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 26. Midway through the second half, he was still 0-for-10 on treys for the season, but got hot quickly and made five three-pointers in the final 12 minutes and finished with a game-high 19 points. He followed it up with 14 points and eight rebounds at Bradley. He had nine points off the bench against Rhode Island, scored eight against Pepperdine, six at Long Beach State and 10 against Miami (Ohio).
* 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).
* He earned 2001 East Regional All-NCAA Tournament Team honors by averaging 16.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in the postseason.
* 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 and 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.
* What a fan told his dad, Ralph, following Bluthenthal's Dennis Rodman-esque 28 rebounds vs. Arizona State in 2000: '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.'
Freshman * guard * 6-foot-2 * 190 pounds
* Errick Craven, a freshman All-American candidate at 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 have been a boon for the Trojans.
* He is USC's fourth-leading scorer (11.8) and third-leading rebounder (4.4) in only 26.5 minutes per game.
* Craven has started the last 15 games and had his best game of the season at Washington State. He posted career highs in points (29), steals (six) and minutes (36) to go with six rebounds. The game before he had 12 points and four rebounds at Washington. He had 17 points against Washington at the Forum to go with four steals.
* Played his first 40-minute game at Arizona State, scoring 12 points and getting a pair of steals.
* Had 13 points and two steals against UCLA, including seven consecutive points in the game's final minutes.
* He had 12 points and eight boards at LMU. The game before at San Diego, he scored 13 points, including a 4-of-6 three-point performance.
* Craven posted his first double-double vs. Pepperdine, scoring 12 points and getting 10 rebounds. He had six points and five boards against Miami (Ohio).
* In his second start, Craven had a huge game against Rhode Island, scoring 20 points and blocking three shots. He was 5-of-5 from three-point range, tying the USC record for most threes made in a game without a miss.
* Made his first collegiate start at Bradley, scoring 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting and grabbing seven rebounds in 35 minutes.
* Scored nine points against UCSB and had eight rebounds (four offensive) to go with three assists and two steals. He scored his first points as a Trojan at Fresno State, making 2-of-5 field goals to go with two rebounds and a block. He played seven minutes off the bench against Wyoming, missing his only shot.
* 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.
Sophomore * guard * 6-foot-4 * 225 pounds
* Desmon Farmer is a 2002 sophomore with a great scoring touch and a fiery defensive presence who looks to start this year.
* After not playing a minute at Bradley, Farmer has come on ever since. On the year, he has started five times and is averaging 9.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game.
* He is averaging 11.3 points in his last six games.
* Farmer had 15 points and seven rebounds in both Washington games at the Forum. He also had 15 points at LMU. At San Diego he had 12 points and three assists and made a clutch shot late in overtime to extend USC's lead to three points, giving USC a little insurance on defense. He had 13 points at Arizona, making three treys.
* Has been a key off the bench during the Pac-10 schedule, contributing 9.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. He has scored in double figures eight times on the season.
* Against Rhode Island, he posted his first career double-double with 20 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. His four three-pointers were also a career best. He scored 13 points and played all 40 minutes against Pepperdine.
* Starting at shooting guard against Wyoming, Farmer had 10 points and five rebounds. He also started at Fresno State, but scored only two points in 16 minutes. He had seven points off the bench against UCSB.
* 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 last year. 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 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 was reduced to three games and he is now eligible to play. 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 has played in 14 games, starting the last 11.
* Had his best game in two years against Cal on Jan. 24. He had a career-high 10 rebounds and scored eight points on a career-high four field goals and was one point off his career best set at Arizona in 2000. He also had three assists and tied a career-high with two blocks. He played 30 minutes, the most since his freshman season.
* At Long Beach State, he scored six points and grabbed three rebounds in 17 minutes. It was the third-most points of his career. He blocked two shots against Miami. He had three rebounds and two assists at San Diego and had four rebounds at LMU and vs. Washington State.
* He is averaging 2.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game. He is averaging 3.9 rebounds per game in the Pac-10.
* He had six rebounds at Arizona State, had five boards vs. Washington and had four points early in the game against UCLA. Charissis played in his first game of the season at Bradley, getting three rebounds in seven minutes, but missed his only two shots. He also went scoreless in three minutes vs. Rhode Island. He did not play vs. Pepperdine.
* 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 only start of last season vs. Washington. He scored four points in a season-high 12 minutes.
* 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 has played in 17 of 18 games, starting once. On the season, he has 33 assists and only 15 turnovers, averaging 2.6 points in 13.7 minutes per game.
* USC's games at San Diego and Loyola Marymount proved to be Hutchinson's most productive at Troy. He has averaged 8.0 points in 25.0 minutes those games. At LMU, he had a career-high 10 points in a career-high 26 minutes. He played 24 minutes at San Diego, 19 of which came in the second half and overtime. He finished with six points. He followed it up with a career-high five assists in 24 minutes at Washington.
* Had a career-high seven assists at Arizona.
* He made his third career start against Rhode Island, grabbing a career-high five rebounds and tying a career-high with three assists in 19 minutes. He played 17 minutes at Long Beach State, scoring three points. He played 11 minutes against Miami (Ohio), scoring four points.
* Hutchinson scored his first four points of the season at Bradley, making his only shot and canning both free throw attempts. He added two assists and a steal. He also had two assists against UCSB.
* 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 2001 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.
Senior * guard * 6-foot-3 * 205 pounds
* Gennaro Busterna is a senior who has a soft perimeter touch and could be looked on to provide offense off the bench in 2002.
* Busterna made his scoring debut as a Trojan at Arizona on Jan. 17, scoring 10 points. He made 2-of-5 three-pointers and made 4-of-5 foul shots. He also had two steals in his six minutes.
* Busterna has seen a combined 20 minutes in 10 games this season, and is 2-11 from the field.
* He came to USC as a JUCO transfer as a 2001 junior guard, but saw limited action off the bench
* Busterna played in eight games last year, 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.
(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 has started three of 18 games for the Trojans, averaging 3.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per game.
* Dupree had eight points at Washington State and six points at Arizona.
* He started at small forward in his Trojan debut against Wyoming, scoring 13 points in 37 minutes and added seven rebounds, three blocks and a handful of highlight dunks reminiscent of the graduated Jeff Trepagnier. He also started at Fresno State, scoring 12 points. He started his third game vs. UCSB, but went scoreless in only four minutes. He came off the bench at Bradley, scoring eight points in 20 minutes.
* 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 * 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 has started three of 18 games, averaging 3.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game. His 12 blocks are second best on the team.
* He tied a season-high with 11 points and three steals vs. Washington State at the Forum. He had five points at San Diego and six at Washington State.
* Made his first collegiate start against UCSB, scoring eight points and blocking two shots in 23 minutes. He was 4-of-7 from the floor. He made his second start at Bradley, blocking four shots to go with eight rebounds and four points in 20 minutes. He had six points and three rebounds vs. Rhode Island and eight points at Long Beach State.
* He played 23 minutes off the bench at Fresno State, including all 20 minutes of the second half, and scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds. He was 5-of-8 from the field.
* He played six minutes as a reserve against Wyoming, going 1-for-2 from the field. His one basket catapulted USC to a 17-0 run that turned a seven-point deficit into a 10-point lead.
* 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.
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 has started three of his 14 games, averaging 1.4 points and 1.0 rebounds in 6.2 minutes per game.
* He had five points and five rebounds against Rhode Island.
* In his first game as a Trojan, Curtis made USC's first basket of the 2002 season and finished with six points in 11 minutes, going 3-of-4 from the field against Wyoming. He went scoreless in six minutes at Fresno State. At Bradley, he came off the bench to grab four rebounds in eight minutes.
* 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.
Freshman * guard * 6-foot-2 * 190 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.
* He played 11 minutes off the bench at Arizona, scoring his first two points to go with three assists. He did not play at Arizona State.
* Derrick Craven had been out since Nov. 19, recovering from a stress fracture in his right leg, but returned to active duty at Washington. He did not play until seeing action in the final two minutes of the game against Washington State at the Forum. He did not score in that game, or in three minutes against Washington. He did not see action in USC's first two games before being ruled out with his injury.
* 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.
GREGG GUENTHER JR.
RS Freshman * forward * 6-foot-8 * 250 pounds
* Henry Bibby has added USC tight end Gregg Guenther Jr. to the basketball roster. A 6-foot-8, 250-pound redshirt freshman forward, Guenther's first practice with the team was on Dec. 31. He came to USC in the Fall of 2000 and played briefly in the Trojans' football opener against Penn Sate, but then suffered a herniated disk in his back and had surgery, which sidelined him for the rest of his freshman season. He spent most of the 2001 football season recovering from the surgery. He returned late in the 2001 season, but did not see any action. Guenther was an All-City basketball player at Taft and an All-League MVP as a 1999-00 senior, averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds per game at center. He was a three-year starting center at Crespi from 1996-97 to 1998-99 prior to transferring to Taft.
* In his first active game with the team, Guenther Jr. played the final two minutes against Washington State at the Forum. He also played three minutes at the end of the Washington game. His No. 13 uniform not ready yet, he borrowed No. 30 for both games and had a combined three rebounds.
* 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 saw his first action as a Trojan at Bradley, playing in the final minute of the game, going scoreless. He 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 2,770 points. Buck comes to USC from Redondo Union High in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Fri 8/17 | 5:00pm PTLive