Jan. 26, 1998|
USC Hosts Washington Schools
LOS ANGELES -The USC men's basketball team (6-11 overall, 2-5 in the Pacific-10 Conference), which has lost its last three games (all on the road), returns home to the Sports Arena to host the Washington Huskies on Thursday (Jan. 29) and the Washington State Cougars on Saturday (Jan. 31) to close out the first half of the Pac-10 schedule. USC has won its last six conference games at home and 10 of its last 11 such encounters. The Trojans, who have been victorious in only two of their last 12 games, have already lost as many times as they did in all of last season (11). This season's squad, which has been hampered by injuries since before the start of practice, has been at full strength for only five games this season. USC head coach Henry Bibby is in his second full year at the helm of the Trojan program. Last season, he led Troy to a 17-11 overall record (12-6 in Pac-10 play _ tie for second) and the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992.
Washington (12-4, 5-2) at USC (6-11, 2-5) on Thursday (Jan. 29). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Sports Arena. The game will not be televised. The contest will be broadcast live on the Trojan Basketball Radio Network on KIEV-AM (870).
Washington State (8-10, 1-6 _ plays at UCLA on Jan. 29) at USC (6-11, 2-5 _ hosts Washington on Jan. 29) on Saturday (Jan. 31). Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Sports Arena. The game will be televised live in the Southern California area by FOX Sports West 2. The contest also will be broadcast live on the Trojan Basketball Radio Network on KEZY-FM (95.9).
On Jan. 21, USC lost to No. 9 UCLA, 101-84, before 12,327 at Pauley Pavilion. The loss was Troy's third in a row and 10th in its last 12 games. The Bruins shot a blistering 65 percent from the field and 56 percent from three-point range. Freshman guard/forward Jeff Trepagnier led the Trojans with 18 points, four rebounds and four steals in 22 minutes off the bench. Three other Trojans, led by senior forward Gary Williams' 15 points (3-of-3 from three-point range), scored in double figures. UCLA forward Kris Johnson led all scorers with 20 points. In the first half, the Bruins shot 72 percent from the field on their way to a 51-29 advantage at the break. UCLA was the fifth Top 10 opponent USC has faced this season (New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona and Stanford are the other four).
Senior forward Gary Williams, who is battling a colon infection, is questionable for the Washington game. The Trojans have had all their players available for only five games this season (at home vs. Oregon and Oregon State and at Stanford, California and UCLA).
USC AT HOME
Dating back to last season, the Trojans are 14-4 in their last 18 games at the Sports Arena and USC is 72-28 (.720) 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 and a seven-game winning streak at the beginning of last season. USC has won its last six Pac-10 games at home and 10 of its last 11 such encounters.
Ten Trojans are averaging at least 16 minutes a game. Eleven different USC players have started at least one game this season and no single player has started all 17 games.
USC head coach Henry Bibby has already employed 11 different starting lineups this season (17 different players have started for USC since the start of last season in 25 different starting lineups).
Despite the rash of injuries that has plagued USC this season, the Trojan bench has remained strong. The Trojans are currently getting 40 percent (508-of-1,283) of their points from their subs. In fact, in four games this season the subs have outscored the starters (at Ohio State, 41-32; at Arizona State, 47-34; at Stanford, 41-21; and at UCLA, 43-41).
LONG DISTANCE OPERATORS
USC currently is shooting .381 from three-point range this season and on pace to break the school-record for three-point field goal percentage (.378 in 1991-92). Led by junior forward Adam Spanich, the Trojans have hit 141-of-370 three-point attempts in their first 17 games. USC has scored 33 percent of its points this season from three-point land (423-of-1,283). Spanich is 49-of-115 from behind the arc (.426), while senior guard Gary Johnson is 29-of-77 (.377). Junior guard Elias Ayuso and senior forward Gary Williams are 27-of-74 (.365) and 13-of-28 (.464) from three-point range, respectively.
The Trojans are shooting just 44 percent from the field this season (eighth in the Pac-10). USC has shot less than 50 percent from the field in its last 13 consecutive games (Troy is 3-10 in those games) and has hit more than half of its shots in only two of 17 games this season (wins at Sacramento State and against UC Santa Barbara at the Sports Arena). When you take away all of their three-point attempts, the Trojans are shooting 47 percent on their two-point attempts.
Since the beginning of last season, the Trojans are 20-0 when leading or tied with 5:00 remaining. On the other hand, USC is 0-11 when trailing with 5:00 left this season.
Since the beginning of last season, the Trojans are 16-4 when they outrebound the opposition and 11-5 in games decided by seven points or less (with four of those close losses coming this season).
USC VERSUS RANKED TEAMS
USC's game at UCLA (Jan. 21) was its 13th against a ranked foe since December of 1996. The Trojans are 2-11 versus ranked teams during that span. In the wins, USC shocked then-No. 6 (and eventual NCAA champion) Arizona, 75-62, on Jan. 16, 1997, and defeated then-No. 16 Stanford, 84-81, on Feb. 6, 1997. Both games were at the Sports Arena. The losses to ranked teams last season were to North Carolina (No. 14 _ 99-84 in the first round of the Harris Teeter Pepsi Challenge in Charlotte, N.C.), Stanford (No. 21 _ 85-70 at Maples Pavilion), Cincinnati (No. 7 _ 100-81 at the Sports Arena), Arizona (No. 11 _ 101-77 at the McKale Center), UCLA (No. 17 _ 82-60 at Pauley Pavilion) and Illinois (No. 19 _ 90-77 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte, N.C.), and this season, USC lost to New Mexico (No. 10 _ 98-76 at the NABC Classic in Albuquerque, N.M.), Kansas (No. 2 _ 74-69 at the Sports Arena), Arizona (No. 5 _ 91-72 at the McKale Center), Stanford (No. 7 _ 99-62 at Maples Pavilion) and UCLA (No. 9 - 101-84 at Pauley Pavilion).
NEWS & NOTES
Street & Smith's 1997-98 Basketball Annual lists the Trojans as one of the 64 teams in the 1998 NCAA Tournament ... According to recruiting expert Bob Gibbons, USC has the second-best 1997 fall recruiting class in the Pac-10 (to Arizona) and ranks among the Top 10 nationally ... In the Nov. 1 issue of Basketball Times, USC has the No. 2 recruiting class in the country (based on early commitments as of Sept. 13) ... Recruiting expert Bob Gibbons has ranked USC's recruiting class at No. 9 nationally and said: "This is the best class they've had in awhile . . . maybe ever."
USC's season-opener against New Mexico at the NABC Classic in Albuquerque, N.M. on Nov. 11, represented the earliest start of a basketball season in the history of both teams. The previous earliest regular-season game in Trojan history was on Nov. 16, 1994, when USC hosted New Mexico State in the first-round of the Pre-season NIT. Last season, the Trojans opened the regular season almost three weeks later on Nov. 30, 1996. In fact, USC played five games this season prior to the date of last season's opener and went 4-1 in those contests.
No. 15 Claude Green (6-3, 185, senior, guard, Dunbar High, Washington D.C.) has joined the Trojan team for the second semester. He played one minute against Stanford. Green played two previous seasons at USC. As a freshman in 1993-94, he played in 21 games and averaged 3.7 points per game for the Trojans. As a sophomore in 1994-95, Green played in 24 games (started once) and averaged 4.8 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. As a 1993 senior at Dunbar High in Washington D.C., he averaged 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals per game. Green came to USC as part of the heralded 1993 recruiting class that included guard Stais Boseman, forward Jaha Wilson and center Avondre Jones.
Henry Bibby, a coach with 15 years of college and professional experience and the only player to ever play for an NCAA, NBA and CBA championship team, is in his second full season as the head coach of the USC men's basketball program. He did not waste any time in moving Troy in the right direction. The 1996-97 campaign saw the Trojans finish second in the Pacific-10 Conference and make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992. USC's 17-11 overall record (12-6 in the Pac-10) last season represented one of the biggest turnarounds in the nation. The previous year, the Trojans went 11-19 and finished ninth in the conference. The seven-game improvement is the third-biggest turnaround in USC history and the seven spot increase in the standings matches a school best. In addition, Bibby's 17-11 mark in 1996-97 is the best by a Trojan coach in his first full year since Forrest Twogood went 21-6 in his debut season in 1951. Bibby was named USC's head coach on March 15, 1996. Bibby joined the Trojan program in May of 1995 as an assistant coach. He was named USC's interim head coach on Feb. 7, 1996, replacing Charlie Parker. Bibby came to USC after coaching a club team in Venezuela in 1995. He was a head coach for eight seasons in the Continental Basketball Association. His teams made it into the CBA playoffs six times and posted a 223-213 regular season record, making him only the fourth CBA coach to post 200 wins. His 1989 Tulsa Fast Breakers squad won the CBA title and he was named CBA Coach of the Year. He also spent three summers (1986-88) head coaching in the United States Basketball League and was the 1986 USBL Coach of the Year while leading the Springfield Fame. In 1987, he was a scout with the NBA's Washington Bullets. He was an assistant at Arizona State for three years (1983-85). Bibby was the starting point guard on three NCAA title teams (1970-72) at UCLA, earning consensus All-American honors while serving as the team's captain as a senior in 1972. The Bruins went 87-3 during his varsity collegiate career. He then played nine years in the National Basketball Association, averaging 8.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists during his career. He was with the New York Knicks (1973-75), New Orleans Jazz (1975-76), Philadelphia 76ers (1977-80) and San Diego Clippers (1981). In his entire NBA career, Bibby played in 675 games, scored 5,775 points, handed out 2,259 assists and pulled down 1,581 rebounds. In Bibby's rookie year of 1973, his New York Knicks won the NBA title. He made two other appearances in the NBA Finals, in 1977 and 1980 with the Philadelphia 76ers. Immediately following his NBA days, Bibby was a player and assistant coach for the 1982 Lancaster Lightning, which won the CBA title. Bibby was a prep All-American at Person-Albion High in Franklinton, N.C. His brother, Jim, was a pitcher in the major leagues.
# 3 _ GARY WILLIAMS
Senior _ forward _ 6-foot-7 _ 235 pounds
Currently averaging 9.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game and shooting 13-of-28 (.464) from three-point range.
Questionable for the Washington game (colon infection).
At UCLA, he scored 15 points (6-of-8 from the field, 3-of-3 from three-point range).
Against Oregon, Gary notched his first double-double of his USC career with 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.
In the home-opener against UC Santa Barbara, he finished with a game-high 19 points, six rebounds and two steals.
Against Loyola Marymount, Gary poured in a career-high 23 points and also hit a career-high three three-pointers to go along with eight rebounds and three assists.
Last season, Williams (a starter in 21 games) generally played out of position at power forward due to the personnel on the 1996-97 team. This season, Gary will play at his natural position of small forward where he can better utilize his skills on the perimeter (he even played a handful of minutes at point guard at Ohio State).
After transferring from Riverside (Calif.) Community College, Williams was a mainstay along Troy's frontline in 1996-97 as a junior. He averaged 7.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest and also shot 76% from the foul line (third on the team).
Gary earned an All-Pac-10 All-Newcomer Honorable Mention selection last season.
# 4 _ ANTHONY WHITE
Senior _ forward/center _ 6-foot-8 _ 215 pounds
Currently averaging 5.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
At UCLA, Anthony scored eight points to go along with two rebounds and two steals.
Started for the first time this season at California and finished with five points and six rebounds.
Against Oregon, he finished with eight points, four rebounds and two blocked shots and hit the winning basket with 32 seconds remaining to break a 59-59 tie.
At Arizona State, Anthony scored 12 points and pulled down nine rebounds, both career highs.
Played for the first time this season in USC's game against Tennessee and finished with four points and four rebounds.
He broke a bone in his right foot on Oct. 13 and missed USC's first nine games of the season.
Last season, White played in 19 games as a junior and started twice (vs. Ohio State and at Stanford).
He did not start the 1996-97 campaign smoothly either. Anthony sat out the fall semester (the first six games of the season) while earning enough units to meet NCAA degree progress requirements. While sitting out those six games, he lost a lot of the momentum he picked up after an outstanding showing in pre-season practice.
He was a junior college All-American in 1995-96 at Los Angeles City College (averaged 24.6 points and 13.8 rebounds as a sophomore) and also played previously at Hutchinson (Kan.) College in 1994-95 (averaged 11.2 points and 7.8 rebounds).
# 10 _ KEVIN AUGUSTINE
Freshman _ guard _ 6-foot _ 180 pounds
Currently averaging 4.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
Has been hampered by tendinitis in the rotator cuff in his right shoulder.
At UCLA, Kevin finished with five points, six rebounds and five assists.
At Stanford, he scored a season-high 12 points off the bench and made 5-of-7 shots.
Against Oregon, Kevin scored eight points before making the key play in the game, blocking a three-point attempt by Duck guard Terik Brown with two seconds left and USC leading 62-59.
At Arizona State, he scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting and had three assists.
Against Tennessee, Kevin started for the first time in his career and finished with eight points, five rebounds and seven assists.
Kevin, who was held out of the Ohio State game due to pain in his shoulder, returned to action against No. 2 Kansas and had four assists and two points in 17 minutes of action.
He did not play at Loyola Marymount due to an illness.
At Sacramento State, Kevin played just 16 minutes off the bench, but managed a game-high eight assists to go along with three rebounds and two points.
In the season-opener at New Mexico, Kevin finished with five points and three steals in 24 minutes of action off the bench.
# 12 _ JEFF TREPAGNIER
Freshman _ guard/forward _ 6-foot-4 _ 175 pounds
Currently averaging 5.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
At UCLA, Jeff scored a career-high 18 points to go along with four rebounds and four steals.
At California, he came off the bench to score 12 points (4-of-4 from the field, including two spectacular dunks) and also had three rebounds and two steals in only 15 minutes of action.
At Long Beach State, Jeff finished with six points and three rebounds in 20 minutes of action.
Against No. 2 Kansas, he came off the bench to add six points and seven rebounds.
Against UNLV, he played one of his best games, contributing 11 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.
At Sacramento State, Jeff put on an impressive performance that included seven points, six rebounds, five assists and a steal.
In the season-opener at New Mexico, Jeff had an explosive fourth quarter (the game was played under experimental rules) by scoring nine points, including two thunderous dunks.
Described by USC head coach Henry Bibby as the "steal" of Troy's highly-rated 1996-97 recruiting class, Jeff is an amazingly gifted athlete who hustles all over the court and is already considered among the best leapers in the Pac-10.
# 13 _ ADAM SPANICH
Junior _ forward _ 6-foot-7 _ 212 pounds
Currently averaging 13.2 points per game (first on the team) and is 49-of-115 from three-point range.
Adam, who has started just three games this season, could end his Trojan career as the most prolific bench scorer in school history.
He currently ranks at No. 12 on USC's all-time three-pointers made in a season chart (49) and at No. 15 on the three-pointers made in a career list (49).
At California, Adam finished with 16 points and was 4-of-7 from long range.
At Stanford, he started and scored 11 points, making 3-of-5 three-pointers.
Against Oregon, Adam started for the first time this season and scored a team-high 15 points, including three three-pointers.
At Long Beach State, he led USC with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting and sank his first five three-point attempts.
At Ohio State, he recorded the first double-double of his USC career with 21 points (including five three-pointers) and 10 rebounds in only 23 minutes of action.
At San Diego State, he poured in a season-high 27 points (8-of-13 from the field, 7-of-11 on three-pointers _ his fifth consecutive game in double figures) in 27 minutes off the bench.
Against Loyola Marymount, he hit a 19-foot jumper with 24 seconds left to break a tie and lead USC to a 92-88 victory. Adam finished with 13 points and four rebounds.
At Sacramento State, he led all scorers with 18 points (4-of-7 from three-point range) and also had six rebounds.
# 20 _ ELIAS AYUSO
Junior _ guard _ 6-foot-2 _ 195 pounds
Currently averaging 8.6 points per game and is third on the team in three-pointers made (27).
In only 44 games as a Trojan, Elias already ranks at No. 10 on USC's all-time career three-pointer list with 76.
At Arizona, was back in the starting lineup and scored a season-high 20 points and was 6-of-9 on three-pointers.
Missed the Tennessee game with a sprained ankle (the only game he has missed in his Trojan career).
Against No. 2 Kansas, he led all scorers with 19 points (5-of-10 from three-point range) and also had two steals, but was sidelined with 3:42 to go with a sprained left ankle.
At Ohio State, Elias came off the bench to score 17 points (including three three-pointers) and make three steals. Against UNLV, he had eight points and four assists.
Against UC Santa Barbara, Elias scored 18 points (including three three-pointers) and passed out a career-high five assists.
Against Loyola Marymount, he scored 14 points and had a career-high five steals.
Last year, Ayuso provided a tremendous boost to USC as a sophomore after transferring from New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, N.M. He was named to the Pacific-10 Conference All-Newcomer first team. Elias shot .398 (49-of-123) from behind the three-point line. He averaged 8.9 points per game and his three-point percentage ranked him at No. 10 in the Pac-10.
Ayuso's real first name is Elias, but he also goes by the names "Larry," a moniker he gave himself as a youngster living in the Bronx, or "L-Train." Ayuso was born in Puerto Rico, where his nickname is "el rifle" (which means the rifle and is pronounced REEF-lay), but grew up in New York City and then moved to Roswell, N.M. Incredibly, he first played organized basketball in the fall of 1993.
# 21 _ JARVIS TURNER
Sophomore _ center/forward _ 6-foot-8 _ 230 pounds
Currently averaging 12.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
At UCLA, he scored 12 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds and three steals.
At California, Jarvis returned to the starting lineup and scored 17 points (14 in the first half). He also had a team-high seven rebounds.
At Stanford, scored 15 points off the bench and also had two blocks.
Against Oregon State, he came off the bench to chip in with six points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Jarvis, who had missed the previous six games after fracturing a bone in his left hand in the first half against UNLV on Dec. 2, returned to action against Oregon and finished with four points and four rebounds in 12 minutes of action.
Before his injury, Jarvis had a good game going against UNLV, scoring six points in the first eight minutes of the contest.
At San Diego State, he scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
In the home-opener against UC Santa Barbara, Jarvis finished with 15 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Against Loyola Marymount, he scored a career-high 19 points and also had six rebounds, three steals and two assists.
In the season-opener at New Mexico, he scored 18 points and also had five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Last season, Jarvis averaged 5.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game as a true freshman. For his efforts, he earned an All-Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention selection.
# 22 _ SHANNON SWILLIS
Freshman _ forward _ 6-foot-6 _ 225 pounds
Currently USC's leading rebounder (6.4 boards per game).
He also has a team-high 28 blocked shots this season (1.6 per game) and is second on the team in minutes played (402).
At Arizona, he had nine points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.
Against Tennessee, Shannon finished with a career-high 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. He did all of that in 35 minutes of action, but did so without committing a foul or turnover.
At Long Beach State, he scored 10 points to go along with eight rebounds and six blocked shots.
Against No. 2 Kansas, Shannon finished with seven points and six rebounds in only 17 minutes of action.
At Ohio State, he made the first start as a Trojan and responded with eight boards, three assists, two points and two blocks.
Against UNLV, Shannon yanked down a career-high 15 rebounds, the most by a Trojan since Jaha Wilson (15) in 1996.
Against UC Santa Barbara, Shannon continued his excellent work on the glass, pulling down 10 rebounds.
Swillis was one of USC's three freshmen who were expected to play key roles last season. However, he broke a bone in his right foot before the start of the campaign. He returned to practice in mid-January, but did not play and was redshirted.
# 24 _ KEN SIMS
Senior _ guard/forward _ 6-foot-5 _ 200 pounds
Currently averaging 3.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game and is shooting 12-of-33 from three-point range (.364).
At Arizona State, Ken scored 10 points off the bench.
He started at small forward against UNLV and responded with 10 points and 12 rebounds, recording the first double-double of his USC career and the first by a Trojan this season.
At Sacramento State, Ken scored six points and grabbed four rebounds.
In the season-opener at New Mexico, he was 3-of-4 from the field and finished with eight points, five rebounds and two assists.
He played in 25 games last season as a junior after transferring to USC from New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, N.M., averaging 4.4 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest.
# 25 _ GARY JOHNSON
Senior _ guard _ 6-foot _ 175 pounds
Currently averaging 12.5 points (second on the team), 4.4 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. In Pac-10 games, he is averaging 14.0 points per game (first on the team).
Leads the Pac-10 with 2.41 steals per game.
At California, he led the Trojans with 18 points and hit four three-pointers.
Against Oregon State, he scored a team-high 19 points, including three three-pointers and also had five assists and three rebounds.
Played the full 40 minutes and scored a career-high 30 points at Arizona, going 9-for-16 from the floor, 4-for-9 on three-pointers and 8-of-9 from the free throw line, while adding eight assists. Arizona head coach Lute Olson said of Johnson after that game, "He was the best player on the court tonight, without a doubt."
At Ohio State, Gary scored 16 points, sinking four three-pointers, and also chipped in with four assists and three rebounds.
Against UNLV, he scored 18 points and also had five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Against UC Santa Barbara, he scored 13 points, had eight assists and made a career-high six steals.
Against Loyola Marymount, Gary was one of the key players of the game, hitting four clutch free throws in the final 64 seconds. He finished with 15 points and eight assists to go along with four steals (one of which sealed the victory in the closing seconds).
Johnson also goes by the nickname "To-To" (pronounced TOO-too), which he has had practically from birth.
# 31 _ BEHZAD SOUFERIAN
Senior _ guard _ 6-foot-2 _ 170 pounds
Souferian scored a season-high five points at Arizona.
At Arizona State, Behzad hit a three-pointer with 5.3 seconds left to cut the Sun Devil lead down to 82-81.
He is 9-of-18 from three-point range in his Trojan career.
# 44 _ GREG LAKEY
Freshman _ forward/center _ 6-foot-8 _ 200 pounds
Currently averaging 4.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
He has started 12 games this season as a true freshman.
At Long Beach State, Greg finished with seven points, five rebounds and three steals.
Playing against No. 2 Kansas' powerful frontcourt (which included All-American Raef LaFrentz), Greg nearly posted a double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down nine rebounds. He also had three steals and a blocked shot.
At Ohio State, Greg scored nine points and also pulled down three rebounds and made two steals.
At Sacramento State, he played an all-around strong game, finishing with six points, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
In the season-opener at New Mexico, he scored eight points and pulled down three rebounds off the bench in 24 minutes of action.