Nov. 19, 1997
USC Men's Basketball Team Signs Two Prep Standouts
LOS ANGELES -- The USC men's basketball team has signed four standout players _ forward Sam Clancy from St. Edwards High in Lakewood, Ohio, forward David Bluthenthal from Westchester (Calif.) High, and guard Quincy Wilder and forward Brian Scalabrine, who are both from Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash. _ to letters of intent, USC head coach Henry Bibby announced today.
"We had a great recruiting year," Bibby said. "I think we are in the Top 10 in the country in recruiting. We worked really hard to get to the position we are in so that we can nail down some of the top players in the country. They are all top basketball players as well as good students, so I could not be any more pleased about signing them." Clancy, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound power forward, averaged 11.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game last season as a junior at St. Edwards High. He shot 57 percent from the field while leading the Eagles to a 24-2 mark in 1997.
According to Dave Krider of USA Today, Clancy is a Top 20 All-American. Street & Smith's 1997 College Basketball Annual lists him as a fourth-team All-American and an All-Metro (Cleveland) pick. He has been rated highly by several college basketball recruiting outlets, including Prepstars (No. 12), Bob Gibbons (No. 19), The Sporting News (No. 40) and Clark Francis (No. 43). Recruiting USA rates Clancy as the No. 8 power forward in the country, while ESPN SportsZone ranks him as the No. 12 prospect at his position and the No. 52 player overall. Prior to last season, he was rated among the Top 30 High School Juniors in Dick Vitale's College Basketball 1996-97 Preview.
"Sam Clancy is a tenacious rebounder with a football players' body," Bibby said. "He's a bigger version of (former Trojan forward) Jaha Wilson. He will score points for us and loves to rebound the basketball." Clancy is the son of Sam Clancy Sr., who played football and basketball at Pittsburgh (1976-80) before moving on to a career in the NFL as a defensive end with the Seattle Seahawks (1982-83), Cleveland Browns (1985-88) and Indianapolis Colts (1989-93). The elder Clancy was the defensive line coach for the Barcelona Dragons of the World League of American Football from 1995 to 1997.
Last season, he was part of the Dragons team that won the 1997 World Bowl. Bluthenthal, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward, averaged 27 points and 11 rebounds last season as a junior at Venice (Calif.) High and was selected to the Los Angeles Times' South Bay/Westside All-Star Team. Bluthenthal, who is currently attending Westchester High, was recently named to the Long Beach Press Telegram's prestigious Best in the West first team and has a national overall rating of No. 101. He is also a Street & Smith's 1997 High Honorable Mention selection. Bluthenthal is rated as a Top 100 prospect by recruiting analyst Brick Oettinger. He played this past summer in Israel as a member of the United States' Maccabiah Games team.
"David Bluthenthal can play the 3 or 4 position, can shoot the ball from the outside and can go inside and bang," Bibby said. "It's important for us to keep the best players in California here. That's really a priority for us."
Wilder, a 6-foot-3 guard, averaged 23 points per game last season as a freshman at Highline Community College and was selected as the MVP of the 1997 Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges conference tournament, where the Thunderbirds earned their first-ever NWAACC title. He was considered by many to be the state of Washington's best prep player in 1996 while attending Decatur High in Federal Way. In Athlon Sports' 1996-97 College Basketball Annual, Wilder was rated as the No. 52 prospect in the nation.
"Quincy Wilder is a very, very athletic player," Bibby said. "He's somebody I really wanted two years ago. Quincy is extremely versatile. He can play the 1, 2 or 3 position, get to the basket and go by people."
Scalabrine, a 6-foot-9 forward/center, is redshirting this season at Highline Community College and will have three years of eligibility at USC. Last season as a freshman, he helped lead Highline to a 31-1 overall record and the state championship. Scalabrine played his prep basketball at Enumclaw (Wash.) High.
"Brian Scalabrine can go inside and outside, shoot the three-pointer and run the floor," Bibby said. "He's a fundamentally sound player who is going to help us tremendously."NAME POS. HT. 1998-99 CLASS HOMETOWN (CURRENT SCHOOL)
David Bluthenthal F 6-7 Fr. Los Angeles, CA (Westchester High) Sam Clancy F 6-7 Fr. Fairview, OH (St. Edwards High) Brian Scalabrine F 6-9 So. Enumclaw, WA (Highline Community College) Quincy Wilder G 6-3 Jr. Tacoma, WA (Highline Community College)