Trojans Host South Carolina At The Galen Center In Season Opener
Nov. 14, 2006
The USC men's basketball team (0-0) opens the season vs. South Carolina (1-0) on Nov. 16 in the Galen Center at 7:30 p.m. The game will be the first official USC men's basketball game in the spectacular new arena. A special tribute ceremony honoring Ryan Francis will be held at halftime, featuring a video of the Trojans' fallen guard, and comments from head coach Tim Floyd and Ryan's mother, Paulette.
SCOUTING SOUTH CAROLINA -- Two-time defending NIT champion South Carolina returns two starters and five lettermen from a team that went 23-15 during the 2005-06 season. They have added seven newcomers, including three transfers that are eligible for action this season. USC is 0-1 lifetime against South Carolina, losing 65-58 to the Gamecocks during the 1977-78 season. South Carolina won their first game on Nov. 10 vs. South Carolina State, 55-52. They will face UC Irvine on Nov. 14, before being the Trojans' first opponent at the Galen Center.
TROJANS IN HOME OPENERS -- USC lost their first game of the season last year to Cal State Northridge, 81-76, in overtime at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. USC trailed by 10 at the half and as many as 14, before mounting a late comeback which saw them tie the game at 70-70 on a drunk by freshman RouSean Cromwell. However, in the overtime period, the Matadores outscored USC 11-6. USC is 69-31 in season openers. USC had won 10 straight home openers.
SAINT MARY'S ON DECK -- USC will face Saint Mary's on Saturday, Nov. 12 in a noon start at Galen Center. The Gaels are 2-1 on the season, defeating Seattle Pacific 71-60, falling to San Diego State 74-73 and then defeating Murray State 62-44 in the Shamrock Invitational they hosted in Moraga, Calif. Sophomores Ian O'Leary and Diamon Simpson and senior Brett Collins are all averaging more than 10 points in the early going.
THE 2006-07 TROJANS -- USC returns four starters from a team that went 17-13 and finished sixth in the Pac-10 in 2005-06 with an 8-10 mark in conference games in Tim Floyd's first season as the head coach. Not a bad first-year turnaround of a team that had gone 12-17 the previous season and finished last in the conference. Things would really be looking up for the Trojans if not for the tragic shooting death of freshman point guard Ryan Francis last May and for junior All-Pac-10 guard Gabe Pruitt being academically ineligible for the first semester. All-Pac-10 swingman Nick Young, however, does return to lead the Trojans. Last season he was one of three players in the Pac-10 to rank in the top 10 in the conference in both scoring and rebounds (17.3 ppg. 6.6 rpg) and is the leading returning scorer. Also back are senior guard Lodrick Stewart, who is the top returning career scorer in the Pac-10 and senior center Abdoulaye N'diaye, who had 47 blocks and averaged 4.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in his first year at USC. The Trojans have brought in a strong recruiting class which features seven freshmen and is expected to give the Trojans the depth that they lacked a year ago.
IN TIM WE TRUST -- The arrival of head coach Tim Floyd brought great excitement to the USC campus and with good reason. Floyd has an impressive track record in the collegiate ranks along with his NBA experience. He brings 18 years of head coaching experience at the collegiate and NBA levels and owns a 260-143 record in his 13 seasons as a college head coach at Idaho (1987-88), New Orleans (1989-94), Iowa State (1995-98) and USC (2005-06). Eight of his first 13 seasons, Floyd has taken 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 13 years have made it to the NBA, including three players that did not even play high school ball.
RADIO BROADCAST TO MOVE -- The USC-Saint Mary's game on Nov. 18 will be broadcast on the Trojan radio network on KLAA 830 AM, instead of the usual ESPN Radio 710 AM due to a conflict with USC football pregame coverage.
SWINGMAN YOUNG OPENING EYES -- USC's and the Pac-10's top returning scorer is junior guard/forward Nick Young. Young averaged 17.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last season, one of only three Pac10 players to rank in the top 10 in both categories. Young was voted the 2005-06 USC team MVP and as a freshman, shared MVP honors with Gabe Pruitt.
TROJANS TOPS IN RETURNING PRODUCTION -- The Trojans lead the Pac-10 in returning production with 83.7 percent of their scoring and 86.5 percent of their rebounding from the 2005-06 season returning (includes Pruitt's numbers). USC also leads with 96 percent of their blocked shot producers returning. The Trojans return the conference's top two scorers from last season (Young - 17.3 and Pruitt 16.9) and the fourth-leading rebounder in Young (6.6). Senior Lodrick Stewart is the top active career scorer in the Pac-10 with 956 points.
THE SECOND CENTURY OF HOOPS AT USC -- The Trojans are beginning their second century of intercollegiate basketball and have a 1,391-1,005 record. The Trojans have had a .500 or better record in 71 of the first 100 seasons.
2005-06 SEASON IN REVIEW -- The Trojans entered the season coming off a last place Pac-10 finish and with their two of their top three turning scorers being sophomores, but quickly gelled as a team and made great strides. After losing their first two games of the season, USC ran off a nine-game winning streak, their longest since the 2001-02 season, including a 74-59 win over the defending NCAA Champion North Carolina Tar Heels. Freshman forward RouSean Cromwell went down with a foot injury after that game which hindered USC's rebounding success the rest of the season. USC had a 15-6 record after a home upset win over Arizona on Feb.2, but slumped down the stretch, dropping seven of their final nine games. All-Pac-10 guard Gabe Pruitt suffered a knee injury during that stretch and missed five games of action. One of the wins at the end of the season while Pruitt was out was a 71-68 victory over eventual NCAA runner-up UCLA. The Trojans lost to California 82-67 in the first-round of the Pac-10 Tournament to end their season.
THE SCHEDULE -- The Trojans are scheduled to play five games against teams entering the season ranked in the AP top 10 (Kansas-1, UCLA-2, Arizona-2) and may face six opponents garnering top 25 votes in the preseason: Kansas, UCLA, Arizona, Washington, Wichita St. and George Washington. According to the Sagarin preseason ratings, USC would play 12 games against opponents ranked in the top 50.
PAC-10 PRESEASON RANKINGS -- The Trojans were picked to finish in sixth place in the Pac-10 conference this season, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 men's basketball. UCLA was picked to win the conference with 335 votes, followed by Arizona (280), Washington (236), Oregon (193), California (177), USC (160), Stanford (127), Oregon State (75), Arizona State (69) and Washington State (54). Last season, USC was a preseason No. 8 pick and they finished sixth.
INJURY UPDATES -- Freshman forward Kasey Cunningham is recovering from left knee surgery (ACL).
20 Kyle Austin (Fr.) Ht. - 6-7 Wt. - 195 Pasadena, Calif. (Pasadena HS) Averaged 21 points and seven rebounds in leading Pasadena High to a 25-4 record as a senior Was named Pacific League MVP as a senior and shared the honors as a junior; 2-time Star News Player of the Year Named to the Press-Enterprise Division1-A first team and was a Long Beach Press Telegram 2006 Best in the West third-team selection
41 Jeremy Barr (So.) Ht. - 6-9 Wt. - 264 New Providence, Bahamas (Houston Westbury Christian) Averaged 3.1 points and 1.5 points as a Trojan freshman; Made three starts and appeared in 23 games Had a career-high 9 points on Nov. 25 vs. E. Washington and had a career-best 5 rebounds on Nov. 30 vs. UC Riverside Averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds while leading his high school to a 100-19 record and three TAPPS state titles Rated by RivalsHoops as the 28th-best high school power forward as a senior...came to America from the Bahamas in 2002
42 RouSean Cromwell (So.)Ht - 6-11 Wt. - 217 Memphis, Tenn. (IMG Academy, Fla) Appeared in 15 games as a freshman, averaging 4.2 points and 4.5 rebounds; 9 pts. vs. Cal Poly Pomona in exhibition win 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 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 RivalsHoops as a senior
43 Kasey Cunningham (Fr.)Ht. - 6-7 Wt. - 220 Albuquerque, N.M. (Cibola HS) Averaged 22.0 points and 15.0 rebounds with six blocks per game as a senior at Cibola High Led team to a 13-1 record before suffering a season-ending left knee injury...had ACL surgery, missed the rest of the season Began season widely regarded as the top player in New Mexico; Named to the LBPT Best in the West second team
44 Reed Doucette (Jr.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 212 Lodi, Calif. (Lodi HS) Enters his fourth season on the Trojan squad; Appeared in four games last season and had one rebound in seven minutes Appeared in eight games for USC as a sophomore and scored six points...made all three shots he took The former high school valedictorian is a mechanical engineering major with a business minor at USC
13 Kevin Galloway (Fr.) Ht. - 6-7 Wt. - 200 Sacramento, Calif. (Sacramento HS) Averaged 17.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as a senior; Led Sacramento High to a 29-6 reocrd Registered 10 double-doubles in points and rebounds and scored a season best of 34 points as a senior Named to 2006 LBPT Best in the West first team; Rated the 88th-best prospect as a senior by Scout.com
22 Taj Gibson (Fr.) Ht. - 6-9 Wt. - 210 Brooklyn, N.Y. (Calvary Christian HS, Calif.) Played last season at Calvary Christian High in San Fernando, Calif. which played an abbreviated schedule As a sophomore and junior at Stoneridge Prep in Tarzana, Calif., averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and 7 blocks per game Rated the 7th-best power forward and 32nd overall by RivalsHoops; USA Today ranked him as the 33rd best prospect Led USC with 11 points in the exhibition win vs. Cal Poly Pomona
30 Terence Green (So.) Ht. - 5-10 Wt. - 176 Aliso Viejo, Calif. (Irvine Valley College) Transfered to USC for the spring semester last season and practiced as a walk-on, but was ineligible for competition Played high school ball at Aliso Niguel High; Helped lead the team to a 28-4 record his senior year Was second-team all-CIF, All-Sea View League (3 years) and third-team All-Orange County
11 Daniel Hackett (Fr.) Ht. - 6-5 Wt. - 205 Downey, Calif. (St. John Bosco HS) Originally a 2007 recruit, he graduated early by finishing his high school work this summer and enrolled at USC a year early Averaged just over 20 points a game at St. John Bosco; Ranked the 6th-best 2007 prospect in California by Rivals.com Was on the Division 2A All-CIF team in 2004 and 2005; Named a first-team selection to the 2005-06 LBPT Dream Team Scored 12 points and had five rebounds in the Cardinal & Gold scrimmage game
15 Dwight Lewis (Fr.) Ht. - 6-5 Wt. - 200 Metairie, La. (James Taylor HS, Tex.) Played his senior season at James Taylor High in Katy, Tex. after being uprooted from Louisiana by hurricane Katrina Scored 21 points per game as a senior in helping lead his team to a 17-10 record; Named first team All-Region As a junior at Archbishop Rummel High in Metairie, La., he averaged 27.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game Was a fourth-team selection to the 2004-05 Parade All-American team
21 Abdoulaye N'diaye (Sr.) Ht. - 6-11 Wt. - 220 Dakar, Senegal (College of Southern Idaho) Played in all 30 games (24 starts) for USC last season, averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game Scored a career-high 13 points and grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds on Feb. 25, 2006 vs. Oregon State Had 47 blocks as a USC junior and his 1.57 blocks per game average ranked third among Pac-10 players Averaged 9.2 points and 5.9 rebounds as a sophomore at CSI; Led CSI to a 3rd-place finish at the National JUCO Tourney Ranked the No. 1 junior college center in 2005 by HoopScoop; Scored 17 and had 14 rebounds in Cardinal & Gold game
25 Sead Odzic (So.) Ht. - 6-3 Wt. - 192 Skokie, Ill. (Niles West HS) Appeared in all 30 games for USC as a freshman, making 5 starts and averaging 3.2 points and 1.2 rebounds per game Finished fourth on USC with 22 three-pointers made; Scored a career-high 9 points on Feb. 4, 2006 vs. Arizona State 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.
10 Chris Penrose (Sr.) Ht. - 6-0 Wt. - 172 San Diego, Calif. (Francis Parker HS) Fourth season in the Trojans program...began as a freshman walk-on for the 2003-04 season, but saw no action Played in three games last season and scored two points in seven minutes: has a career-best of three points twice Appeared in 11 games for USC in 2004-05 and scored eight points...made both free throws he took and two three-pointers Named a team captain as a sophomoe and enters his third season as a captain (along with N'diaye this season)
34 Gabe Pruitt (Jr.) Ht. - 6-4 Wt. - 170 Los Angeles, Calif. (Westchester HS) Academically ineligible for the first semester; Started 25 games last season and averaged 16.9 points Named to the 2005-06 All-Pac 10 first team and to the NABC District 15 first team Scored a career-high 36 points on Dec. 10, 2005 at LMU which helped him earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honor Scored 30 or more three times, the ninth Trojan to accomplish that in a single season and first since 1992 (Harold Miner) Earned USC co-MVP honors and led the team in scoring as a freshman, averaging 12.3 points per game Was a first-team selection to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team Nailed seven three-pointers on Feb. 27, 2005 at Stanford to tie for the second most three-pointers in a game by a Trojan Averaged 22 points per game as a senior at Westchester HS (Calif), earning Parade All-America honors
3 Lodrick Stewart (Sr.) Ht. - 6-4 Wt. - 210 Seattle, Wash. (Rainier Beach HS) Enters this season as the active career points leader in the Pac-10 with 956; Averaged 12.3 last year in 30 games, 25 starts Made 50 of 126 three-pointers last season (39.7 percent) to rank sixth in the Pac-10 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 USC plays on Dec. 4 Scored a career-high 27 points on Dec. 11, 2004 at San Diego in a 87-75 win...made five of 11 three-pointers in that game
2 Ryan Wetherell (Fr.) Ht. - 5-10 Wt. - 165 Calgary, Canada (Sir Winston Churchill HS) Played three years of varsity at Sir Winston Churchill High; Was starting point guard and team MVP as a senior Averged 30 points and eight assists as a senior; Helped lead his Junior Trojans club team to the provincial championship three straight years, earning MVP honors each season (2004-06) Had nine points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal to help lead the Gold team to victory in the Cardinal & Gold game
23 Keith Wilkinson (So.) Ht. - 6-10 Wt. - 220 Mission Viejo, Calif. (Capistrano Valley HS) Appeared in 19 games as a freshman, averaging 1.1 points and 1.4 rebounds Had bests of 5 points on Jan. 7 at Arizona and 9 rebounds on Feb. 2 vs. Arizona 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
1 Nick Young (Jr.) Ht. - 6-6 Wt. - 200 Los Angeles, Calif. (Cleveland HS) Enters this season as the top returning scorer in the Pac-10; Was the 2005-06 USC team MVP Averaged 17.3 points and 6.6 rebounds last year, one of three players in the Pac-10 to rank in the top 10 in both categories Named to the 2005-06 All-Pac-10 first team and to the NABC District 15 first team; Scored double figures in 29 of 30 games Scored a career-high 33 points on Feb. 25, 2006 vs. Oregon St.; Had 32 points vs. WSU on Jan. 14, 2006 Earned USC co-MVP honors his freshman season as he scored 11.1 points per game Finished among the Trojan freshman all-time top 10 in points, average, field goals, three-pointers and free throws made Averaged 27.2 points and 10.8 rebounds as a senior at Cleveland High in Reseda, Calif....tabbed by HoopScoop as the seventh-best player in the country...scored 56 points in one game and had 23 rebounds in another