USC To Host Defending NCAA Champion North Carolina
Dec. 19, 2005
The USC men's basketball team (7-2) will play North Carolina (6-1) on Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sports Arena. The game will be aired on Fox Sports Net. The Trojans have won seven games in a row, their longest winning streak since the 2001-02 season, when they won nine straight.
SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA -- The defending NCAA champion Tar Heels are currently 6-1, with their lone loss being a 68-64 setback vs. No. 9 Illinois. Freshman Tyler Hansbrough, a 6-9 forward, is leading UNC in scoring through seven games with a 16.0 average. USC is 0-7 all-time vs. UNC, including a 97-65 loss last season in Chapel Hill, NC. The Tar Heels have never played USC at the Sports Arena.
NC A&T CLOSES OUT NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE -- For the first time in school history, the Trojans will be playing the North Carolina A&T Aggies when they visit the Sports Arena on Dec. 23. The Aggies are 0-6 with a game on Dec. 19 at Nebraska, before playing USC. Sophomore Demetrius Guions lead NC A&T in scoring, averaging 16.3 points per game.
THE HOME STRETCH -- The Trojans are 2-0 in a stretch of six straight home games (including two at Staples Center). It is the longest homestand for USC since playing nine consecutive home games from Dec. 5, 1983-Jan. 5, 1984.
COMMITTED TO DEFENSE -- The Trojans held Alcorn State to 32.8 percent shooting on Dec. 18, the sixth time in the last seven games USC has held its opponent to less than 40 percent shooting. For the season, USC's opponents are making 38.8 percent of their shots, which ranks as second best in the conference.
NOT THE RANK AND FILE -- The Trojans have not defeated a ranked opponent since defeating No. 23 California (79-62) on March 14, 2003.
FLOYD WINS 250TH -- USC's head basketball coach Tim Floyd picked up his 250th career NCAA win on Dec. 18 vs. Alcorn State. He is 7-2 in his first nine games for the Trojans and has a career record of 250-132 (.654 winning percenage).
THE 2005-06 TROJANS -- USC returned only four scholarship players from a team that went 12-17 (5-13) last season, but the good news is that all three of the top scorers returned, the first time the Trojans' top three scorers were underclassmen. Leading the way is 2004-05 Pac-10 All-Freshman first-teamer and USC co-MVP Gabe Pruitt, who led the Trojans in scoring with a 12.3 average and set a school record by nailing 45 percent of his three-pointers. Also back is junior Lodrick Stewart, who scored 12.1 points per game and hit 40 percent of his three-pointers. Sophomore Nick Young, 2004-05 USC co-MVP and honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman, was third on the Trojans with 11.1 points per game and is the top returning rebounder with 4.1 his freshman season.
IN TIM WE TRUST --There is great excitement on the campus of USC as the Tim Floyd era for the USC men's basketball program has begun. Hired on Jan. 14, Floyd began his official duties on April 1 and has not slowed down since, recruiting a nationally-ranked incoming class, assembling a strong staff and installing a new system. Floyd brings 17 years of head coaching experience at the collegiate and NBA levels and owns a 250-132 record in his 13 seasons as a college head coach at Idaho (1987-88), New Orleans (1989-94), Iowa State (1995-98) and USC. In eight of his first 12 seasons, Floyd took his team into the postseason (5 NCAA, 3 NIT). Floyd has helped the development of his student-athletes at each stop, as 10 players in his first 12 years made it to the NBA, including three players who did not even play high school ball.
100 YEARS OF HOOPS AT USC -- The Trojans are playing their 100th season of intercollegiate basketball and have a 1,381-994 record. The Trojans had a .500 or better record in 70 of the first 99 seasons.
SMILIN' GABE -- Sophomore guard Gabe Pruitt followed up his first career double-double on Dec. 3 vs. BYU (17 points, 10 rebounds) with a career-high 36 points on Dec. 10 at LMU. Pruitt hit 13 of 19 shots from the floor, including 5 of 10 from three-point range. He became just the 12th Trojan to score at least 36 points in a game. For his efforts, Pruitt was named as the Pac-10 Player of the Week. It was his first selection and the 25th time a USC player has won the honor. He has scored 80 points in USC's last four games, including 23 of 26 from the free throw line (88.5 percent). His free throw percentage of .854 this season is fourth in the Pac-10.
QUICK STARTS -- The Trojans' 7-2 start is their best nine-game start since also beginning 7-2 during the 2001-02 season. The 2001-02 Trojans began the season 13-2.
LET ME ASSIST YOU... -- USC had a season-high 22 assists in the game on Dec. 16 vs. WMU. Six different players had at least two assists, led by Gabe Pruitt's six.
THE REBOUND BATTLE -- USC was outrebounded 89-75 in the first two games (0-2), including 45-25 vs. Oral Roberts on Nov. 23. In the seven-game winning streak, USC has outrebounded its opponents by a total of 250-234.
SWAT TEAM -- USC leads the Pac-10 with an average of 5.00 blocks per game. Leading the way for the Trojans is RouSean Cromwell with 16, second-best in the Pac-10. Abdoulaye N'diaye is third in the conference with 15 blocks. N'diaye (2) and Cromwell (3) combined for five blocks in the 57-56 win at Alaska-Anchorage on Nov. 26, including a game-saving swat by Cromwell with 6.0 seconds left in the game. Last season, Rory O'Neil led USC with 27 blocks in 29 games.
HOLDING `EM DOWN -- USC has held the opposition to 61.8 points per game this season, fourth best in the Pac-10. The Trojans' opponents averaged 78.3 points last season. Only in the game on Nov. 20 vs. Cal State Northridge (an 81-76 loss in overtime), has an opponent scored more than last season's average.
THE SCHEDULE -- The Trojans will play 12 of their 29 games against opponents that began the season ranked in the top 45 of the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll: No. 9 Arizona (2), No. 13 Stanford (2), No. 18 UCLA (2), No. 28 Washington (2), No. 36 North Carolina (1), tied for No. 44 California (2) and Oral Roberts (1). The Trojans will play 16 home games and 13 games on the road or at neutral sites. Nine of USC's first 13 games will be at home. Note: the home games on Dec. 29 vs. California and Dec. 31 vs. Stanford will be played at Staples Center.
PAC-10 PRESEASON RANKINGS -- The Trojans were picked to finish in eighth place in the Pac-10 Conference this season, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball. Arizona was picked to win the conference with 325 votes, followed by Stanford (294), UCLA (263), Washington (238), California (212), Oregon (183), Oregon State (132), USC (87), Washington State (86) and Arizona State (50).
INJURY UPDATES -- G Dwayne Shackleford missed last game with a swollen left knee. He is listed as day-to-day.
TROJANS AT THE SPORTS ARENA -- The Trojans are 4-1 at home this season, winning their last four games after dropping their home opener for the first time since the 1995 season. USC has had a .500 or better record at home in each of the last seven seasons (starting with the 1998-99 season) for a combined home record of 65-33 (.663).
TROY'S YOUNG GUN -- Sophomore swingman Nick Young scored a career-high 25 points on Nov. 25 vs. Eastern Washington and led USC in scoring in each of the first three games. Through nine games, Young is leading the Trojans with 16.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He has made 59 of 113 shots (.522 percent), 5 of 10 from three-point range (.500) and is 26 of 31 from the free throw line (.839). Young has scored in double figures in all nine of the Trojans' games, the most consecutive games reaching double figures in his career. He has had his first two career double-doubles this season, Nov. 20 vs. CSUN and Dec. 10 at LMU.
WELL, SINCE IT'S FREE... -- USC made 82.8 percent of their free throws (24-for-29) in the game on Dec. 3 vs. BYU. It was the Trojans' best day at the line since hitting 87.0 percent of their shots from the charity stripe on March 6, 2003 vs. Washington. USC is hitting 67.6 percent of their free throws this season, after hitting 59.8 percent last season. USC has not hit better than 70 percent in free throws since the 2000-01 season (70.6 percent).
DEFENSE IMPRESSES VS. UCR -- The Trojans held UC Riverside to 33.3 percent shooting and 48 points on Nov. 30. The points allowed were the fewest by a USC team since holding Oregon State to 45 in a 79-45 win on March 2, 2002. No player for UC Riverside reached double figures in points, the first time USC held an opponent without a double-digit scorer since Dec. 29, 1999 in an 85-44 win vs. Northwestern.
FRESHMAN FRANCIS MAKING AN IMPACT -- Freshman Ryan Francis was second on the team with six rebounds and dished out eight assists in the game vs. Eastern Washington on Nov. 25. The eight assists were the most by a Trojan since Gabe Pruitt also had eight on Dec. 11, 2004 vs. San Diego. In his first nine collegiate games, Francis is averaging 6.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.9 steals. In Sunday's win vs. ASU, Francis had 11 points (4-for-7) with four steals, one assist and no turnovers.
THEY SHARED A DOUBLE-DOUBLE -- Sophomore Nick Young (18 points, 10 rebounds) and freshman RouSean Cromwell (17 points, 12 rebounds) both registered their first career double-doubles (points-rebounds) on Nov. 20 vs. CS Northridge. Last season, USC had only one game where two players had double-figures in points and rebounds in the same game and that was the last game of the season, when Jeff McMillan (20 points/12 rebounds) and Rory O'Neil (12 points/10 rebounds) accomplished the feat.
YOUNG LED TROJANS AT GREAT ALASKA SHOOTOUT -- Sophomore Nick Young led the Trojans with 50 points and 20 rebounds in USC's three games at the Great Alaska Shootout to earn selection to the all-tournament team. He also was voted Player of the Game in both Trojan victories, including the win vs. Eastern Washington on Nov. 25 when he tallied a career-high 25 points. The Trojans held the opposition to 58.3 points per game, tied with Oral Roberts for best in the tournament.
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT -- RouSean Cromwell's 17 points and 12 rebounds in 35 minutes off the bench in his Trojan debut on Nov. 20 was quite impressive. No USC freshman had grabbed more rebounds in a game during their first season since Sam Clancy had 14 rebounds on Feb. 6, 1999. Cromwell had a total of three points and four rebounds in the two exhibition games.
2004-05 SEASON IN REVIEW -- The Trojans entered the 2004-05 season with great expectations, as the team featured six experienced seniors, two exciting freshman recruits and a very talented sophomore, but they failed to find their identity and meet those expectations. The Trojans ended up the season 12-17, including a 10th-place finish and a 5-13 mark in the Pac-10. Coach Henry Bibby was relieved of his duties on Dec. 6 and assistant coach Jim Saia was elevated to interim head coach for the season. On Jan. 14, it was announced that Tim Floyd would become the Trojans' new head coach beginning April 1 and he joined USC as a Trojan assistant until the season was over, so he could begin recruiting.
SWAN SONG FOR THE SPORTS ARENA -- The USC Trojans will be playing their last season at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, their basketball home since 1959. The 16,161-seat arena has housed many great Trojan moments and teams, including the 24-2 1971 team and the 2001 team that reached the Elite 8. Along the way, the Sports Arena showcased the action of Trojan greats like John Block, Mack Calvin, Dennis 'Mo' Layton, Paul Westphal, Gus Williams, Cliff Robinson, Harold Miner, Brian Scalabrine, Sam Clancy and Robert Pack.
THE GALEN CENTER: A BASKETBALL MECCA IN THE MAKING -- The state-of-the-art Galen Center, which will be the new home to USC's men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams, is scheduled to open in late summer of 2006. The Galen Center will include a 255,000-square-foot arena with 10,258 seats and a 45,000-square-foot pavilion that includes four practice courts and offices. Among the many amenities that the new center will offer are an Athletic Department Hall of Fame, an athletic merchandise store and a glass wall on the north end which will provide a beautiful view of the Los Angeles skyline.
TROJANS NAB FOUR PREP STANDOUTS -- The Trojans inked prep standouts Kasey Cunningham (Albuquerque, N.M.), Kevin Galloway (Sacramento, Calif.), Taj Gibson (Tarzana, Calif.) and Dwight Lewis (Katy, Tex.) to national letters of intent, it was announced by Trojan head coach Tim Floyd on Nov. 17. Cunningham, a 6-7 forward, is widely regarded as the top high school player in the state of New Mexico, where he avereged 17.9 points and 13.6 rebounds as a junior at Cibola High. Galloway, a 6-6 swingman, enters his senior season rated as one of the top guards in the state of California, coming off his junior season in which he was named the Sacramento Bee Player of the Year. He scored 11.9 points a game as a junior at Charter High and dished out a state-high 10.7 assists per game. Gibson, a 6-9 forward, averaged 21 points, 15 rebounds and nearly 10 blocks a game as a junior at Stoneridge Prep in Tarzana, Calif. He is ranked 28th nationaly by HoopMasters.com and 32nd by Rivals.com. Lewis, a 6-5 swingman from Metairie, La., averaged 27.5 points and 9.7 rebounds a game last seaosn as a junior at Archbishop rummel High, earning fourth-team Parade All-American honors. Due to the hurricane damage in Louisiana earlier this year, Lewis is attending James Taylor High in Katy, Tex.
41 Jeremy Barr (Fr.) Ht. - 6-8 Wt. - 265 New Providence, Bahamas (Houston Westbury Christian) Averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds while leading his high school to three TAPPS state titles Was named first-team all-state and led Westbury Christian to a 100-19 record in his three seasons Rated by RivalsHoops as the 28th-best high school power forward...came to America from the Bahamas in 2002 Scored five of USC's first nine points as they built a 9-1 lead vs. EWU on Nov. 25...finished with nine points and two boards Had eight points and a career-high five rebounds in 19 minutes on Nov. 30 vs. UC Riverside
42 RouSean Cromwell (Fr.)Ht - 6-1 Wt. - 215 Memphis, Tenn. (IMG Academy, Fla) Averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds a game in 2005 while earning all-district honors as a senior at IMG Academy Ranked the 14th-best center and 31st-best power forward in the country by RivalHoops Honored with the Mr. Inspirational award at the National Basketball Players Association camp held in Richmond Made quite a splash in Trojan debut with 17 points and 12 rebounds vs. CS Northridge on Nov. 20. It was the most rebounds by a USC freshman in a game since Sam Clancy had 14 on Feb. 6, 1999...second on USC with 51 rebounds Had 6 points, 6 rebounds & 3 blocks in 57-56 win vs. UAA on Nov. 26...had a career-high 4 blocks on Nov. 30 vs. UCR
44 Reed Doucette (Jr.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 215 Lodi, Calif. (Lodi HS) Enters his third season on the Trojan squad Appeared in eight games for USC last season and scored six points...made all three shots he took Walked on as a freshman for the 2003-04 season and did not see any action The former high school valedictorian is a mechanical engineering major with a business minor at USC
12 Ryan Francis (Fr.) Ht. - 5-11 Wt. - 180 Baton Rouge, La. (Glen Oaks HS) Averaged 22 points, five assists and three steals per game as a senior at Glen Oaks HS...led them to a perfect 36-0 record and the state 4-A title...Named 2005 Louisiana Class 4-A Player of the Year and was MVP in the state title game Had 12 points, four assists and five rebounds on Nov. 20 vs. CSUN...had five assists and key steal on Nov. 26 at UAA Had four points, six rebounds and eight assists on Nov. 25 vs. EWU...most assists by a Trojan since 12/11/04 (Gabe Pruitt) Had six points, five assists and one turnover on Nov. 30 vs. UC Riverside; Scored 11 points and had 4 steals on Dec. 18 Made 9 of 10 free throws, including 5 out of 6 in the final 4:12 in 74-68 win vs. BYU on Dec. 3
40 Greg Gaudino (Sr.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 195 La Canada, Calif. (La Canada HS) Earned a scholarship for his senior year, after being a walk-on the last two seasons Played in 10 games for USC last season and scored five points...also grabbed five rebounds Played varsity basketball and volleyball at La Canada HS Had three rebounds, two blocks and two points in two minutes of action vs. Alcorn State on Dec. 18
11 Adam Goldston (Fr.) Ht. - 5-10 Wt. - 185 Beverly Hills, Calif. (Montclair Prep) Joins his brother Ryan as walk-ons on the Trojan team this season Helped lead Montclair Prep to a 25-8 record his senior season...played AAU ball for Pump `N' Run He and his brother become USC's third set of twins in the last three seasons, joining Derrick and Errick Craven (2002- 05) and Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart (2003-04) Is a business major at USC and would like to someday work in the entertainment industry
13 Ryan Goldston (Fr.) Ht. - 5-10 Wt. - 165 Beverly Hills, Calif. (Montclair Prep) Joins his brother Adam as walk-ons on the Trojan team this season Helped lead Montclair Prep to a 25-8 record his senior season...was third on the team with 22 three-pointers made He and his brother become USC's third set of twins in the last three seasons, joining Derrick and Errick Craven (2002- 05) and Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart (2003-04)...Played AAU ball for Pump `N' Run
21 Abdoulaye N'diaye (Jr.) Ht. - 6-11 Wt. - 230 Dakar, Senegal (College of Southern Idaho) Averaged 9.2 points and 5.9 rebounds as a sophomore at the College of Southern Idaho last season Helped lead CSI to a 3rd-place finish at the National JC tournament...tops on CSI with 92 blocks, 2nd with 202 rebounds Was ranked the No. 1 junior college center in 2005 by HoopScoop Scored eight points (4-for-6) and had three blocks on Nov. 25 vs. Eastern Washington...also scored a career-high eight points on Dec. 10 at LMU and added two blocked shots; was 2-for-2 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the line on Dec. 16 Had four points, four rebounds and two blocks in 57-56 win at Alaska-Anchorage on Nov. 26 Had a career-high nine points (4-for-5) and nine rebounds on Dec. 18 vs. Alcorn State
25 Sead Odzic (Fr.) Ht. - 6-3 Wt. - 180 Skokie, Ill. (Niles West HS) Averaged 20 points, five rebounds and four assists as a senior at Niles West HS (Ill.) Shot better than 40 percent for his career from beyond the three-point stripe Named a three-time All- Central-Suburban South League first team selection and was an all-state selection Born in Yugoslavia and came to the US at the age of 4...speaks English and Serbian Was 2-for-3 from 3-point range and finished with seven points on Dec. 3 vs. BYU; Third on USC with six 3-pointers made
10 Chris Penrose (Jr.) Ht. - 6-0 Wt. - 160 San Diego, Calif. (Francis Parker HS) Third season in the Trojans program...began as a freshman walk-on for the 2003-04 season, but saw no action Appeared in 11 games for USC last year and scored eight points...made both free throws he took and two three-pointers Received the Trojan Spirit award last year, after being so nominated by the coaching staff Named a team captain last season, the only non-senior to be selected as a captain Was 1-for-3 with two rebounds in three minutes of action vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 30
34 Gabe Pruitt (So.) Ht. - 6-4 Wt. - 170 Los Angeles, Calif. (Westchester HS) Earned USC co-MVP honors and led the team in scoring as a freshman, averaging 12.3 points per game Led USC in points (356), average, three-point percentage (.450-a school record), assists (92), and steals (56) Was a first-team selection to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team Scored in double-digits in 20 of 29 games, including a season-best 23 points twice Finished among the top 10 all-time among USC freshmen in points, average, field goals, field goal percentage, three- pointers, three-point percentage, free throw percentage, assists and steals Scored 13 points on 4-for-8 shooting (2-for-3 in 3-pointers) and had five rebounds on Nov. 25 vs. Eastern Washington Led USC with 17 points on Nov. 26 vs. Alaska-Anchorage...is 35-for-41 from the free throw line this season (.854) Had his first career double-double on Dec. 3 vs. BYU when he scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds Poured in a career-high 36 points on Dec. 10 at LMU to win Pac-10 Player of the Week...12th Trojan to score 36 or more
30 Collin Robinson (Fr.) Ht. - 6-0 Wt. - 170 West Covina, Calif. (Diamond Bar HS) Averaged 25.9 points his senior season at Diamond Bar HS (Calif.)...made 103 of 255 three-point attempts (40 percent) Scored 802 points as a senior, breaking the school record previously held by NBA star Keith Van Horn Was a 2005 All-CIF Division 1-AA Southern Section first team selection...scored 42 points in a playoff win vs. Peninsula Played 10 minutes on Nov. 30 vs. UC Riverside and scored two points, grabbed two rebounds and dished out one assist Had three points, two rebounds and one assist in eight minutes of action on Dec. 18 vs. Alcorn State
15 Dwayne Shackleford (Sr.)Ht. - 5-10 Wt. - 185 Washington, DC (Allegany College, MD) Averaged 5.2 points as a junior after transferring to USC from Allegany College in Maryland Had his time limited due to injuries as a junior, suffering a lateral meniscus tear in his knee on the first day of practice His .778 free throw percentage (14 of 18) was tops on the team and earned him the Joe Barbato Award as the team's best player from the charity stripe Averaged 21.4 points for Allegany College as a sophomore in 2004, earning NJCAA Division 1 All-America honors Played 20 minutes vs. ORU on Nov. 23 and led the team with three assists...had four points and two rebounds
3 Lodrick Stewart (Jr.) Ht. - 6-4 Wt. - 220 Seattle, Wash. (Rainier Beach HS) Finished second on the team with a 12.1 points per game average as a sophomore Had 70 three-pointers to lead USC in 2004-05 and rank as the sixth-most ever made in a single season by a Trojan His twin brother Rodrick played at USC as a freshman and transferred to Kansas where he is eligible to play this season Scored 27 points on Dec. 11, 2004 at San Diego in USC's 87-75 win...made five of 11 three-pointers in that game Made his first six shots and 9 of 10 overall for a season-high 23 points on Nov. 30 vs. UC Riverside Led USC in assists with four on Dec. 3 vs. BYU...also had 12 points and five rebounds Scored 16 points and had five rebounds and three assists on Dec. 16 vs. WMU Led USC with 16 points, including 2-for-2 from three-point range, on Dec. 18 vs. Alcorn State
23 Keith Wilkinson (Fr.) Ht. - 6-9 Wt. - 215 Mission Viejo, Calif. (Capistrano Valley HS) Averaged 16 points and eight rebounds a game for Capistrano Valley HS (Calif.) during his senior season Led his team in rebounding (230) and three-point baskets (55)...was second on the team in points (471) and blocks (37) Scored 20 points per game in leading Capistrano Valley to the CIF Div. IIAA semi-finals, where they lost 57-54 to eventual champion Dominguez His father, Jerry, played four years in the NFL for the Rams and Browns Had his first two career points and grabbed three rebounds on Nov. 30 vs. UC Riverside
1 Nick Young (So.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 200 Los Angeles, Calif. (Cleveland HS) Earned USC co-MVP honors his freshman season as he scored 11.1 points per game Was third on the team in scoring, field goals made (123), three-point baskets (28) and second in free throws made (47) Finished among the Trojan freshman all-time top 10 in points, average, field goals, three-pointers and free throws made Had his first career double-double and led USC in scoring on Nov. 20 vs. CSUN (18 points/10 rebounds), but got in foul trouble in the first half and fouled out at the end of regulation in the Trojans' overtime loss Scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds on Nov. 25 vs. Eastern Washington Had 12 points and eight rebounds on Nov. 26 at UAA...named to the Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team Had 21 points on Nov. 30 vs. UC Riverside and has reached double figures in scoring in all nine games this season Recorded his second double-double of the season and of his career on Dec. 10 at LMU (13 points, 10 rebounds) Had 19 points, eight rebounds and two assists on Dec. 16 vs. WMU