Women's Basketball Set For Exhibition Opener Tuesday
Nov. 10, 2003
Tuesday, Nov. 11
vs. Love & Basketball (exh.) at 7 p.m. - Lyon Center
Sunday, Nov. 16
vs. EV1 (exh.) at 2 p.m. - Lyon Center
Friday, Nov. 21
at New Mexico at 7 p.m. MT - Albuquerque, N.M.
The USC women's basketball team, under the leadership of seventh-year head coach Chris Gobrecht, kicks off the 2003-04 season this week with two exhibition games. The Women of Troy host Love & Basketball on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m., then face Everyone's Internet (EV1) on Sunday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. Both exhibition games will be played at the Lyon Center.
The Women of Troy open the regular season next week when they travel to face New Mexico on Friday, Nov. 21. The first home match of the season will be against defending national champion Connecticut on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. at the Sports Arena.
Featuring a roster of seven returners and seven newcomers, the Women of Troy will look to draw on both experience and youth this season in search of their first NCAA berth since 1996. Leading the way for the Trojans will be preseason Wooden Award candidate, Wade Trophy Award candidate and preseason All-Pac-10 pick Ebony Hoffman. Hoffman earned her third-straight All-Pac-10 honor last season and was named to the WBCA Region VIII All-America team after leading the team in points (16.3 ppg), rebounds (9.8 rpg), blocks (1.1 bpg) and steals (2.5 spg).
USC is looking to improve on last season's 14-17 overall finish and 8-10 record in the Pac-10 (tied for fifth place).
Women Of Troy Schedule Includes Top Competition
As is typically the case, the Women of Troy will not back down from tough competition this season (last year's schedule was rated the nation's toughest).
USC opens the season on the road when they face New Mexico at 'The Pit' in Albuquerque, N.M., on Nov. 21. The team will then head to the Junkanoo Jam Grand Bahama Tournament on Nov. 28-29, where USC will celebrate Thanksgiving in a four-team tournament featuring Minnesota, Texas A&M and Seton Hall. USC will host four of its five final nonconference games at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, including match-ups with defending national champion Connecticut on Dec. 7, San Diego on Dec. 13, SMU on Dec. 17 and Colorado on Dec. 20, before traveling to Notre Dame on Dec. 22.
The 2004 Pac-10 regular-season schedule will start and end against crosstown rival UCLA on Dec. 28 at the Sports Arena and on Feb. 29 at Pauley Pavilion.
Hoffman Earns Preseason Honors
Three-year starter Ebony Hoffman returns for her final season at USC and has already begun to earn recognition. Hoffman has been named to the first-ever John R. Wooden Women's Award Preseason All-America team. As one of 30 honorees, Hoffman will be in the running for the John R. Wooden Award, which will be presented annually to the most outstanding female collegiate basketball player. She has also been chosen among the list of preseason candidates for the 2003-04 State Farm Wade Trophy and NCAA Division I Player of the Year honors, as well as earning her third-straight All-Pac-10 preseason selection.
New Additions Among Nation's Best
This season, opponents and fans will see an entirely new version of Women of Troy basketball. With great success on the recruiting front last year, Gobrecht and her staff welcome the ninth-ranked incoming recruiting class of 2003 according to USA Today and Mike Flynn's Blue Star Report.
USC will field one of its youngest lineups in program history this season, including the most freshmen (seven) to ever compete on one squad (the Trojans had six freshmen listed on the rosters in 1996 and 1985). In addition to four seniors, two juniors and one sophomore, newcomers Jamie Funn (Los Angeles), Markisha Lea (Riverside, Calif.), Eshaya Murphy (Van Nuys, Calif.), Chloï¿½ Kerr (Bolingbrook, Ill.), Allison Jaskowiak (Chesterfield, Mo.), Katie Henderson (Redmond, Wash.) and Jamie Hagiya (Torrance, Calif.) round out the 2003-04 Women of Troy lineup.
Freshmen Are Born Leaders
All seven freshman were equally successful as preps - especially off the court. Of the seven, five served as student body officers, including three presidents (Jamie Hagiya, Allison Jaskowiak, Markisha Lea), one vice president (Eshaya Murphy) and one treasurer (Chloï¿½ Kerr). Also excelling in the classroom, six of the seven were either prep honor roll students or scholar-athlete award winners.
Head Coach Chris Gobrecht
Chris Gobrecht enters her seventh season at the helm of the USC women's basketball program. Replacing former head coach Fred Williams on May 8, 1997, Gobrecht returned to her alma mater to help guide the Women of Troy back to national prominence. Throughout 24 years of head coaching experience, Gobrecht has amassed a 410-298 (.579) career record with her programs at Cal State Fullerton (six years), Washington (11), Florida State (one) and USC. During her 11-year tenure at Washington, she was twice named Pac-10 Coach of the Year (1987 and 1988). Gobrecht remains the second-winningest coach in conference history with a 179-109 (.622) mark and she ranks among the top 50 active Division I coaches with 410 career victories.
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