BREAKDOWN: Daniel Hackett, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound junior guard, is a versatile player with great court awareness and leadership skills. Originally a recruit for the 2007-08 season, Hackett completed his high school work in the summer of 2006 and was granted entrance to USC by the NCAA clearinghouse a year early. Helped lead the Under-20 Italian team to a bronze medal at the European Basketball Championships in 2007 and was selected to the preliminary roster on the Italian national team.
2007-08: Battled through injuries to average 8.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 29 games (26 starts). His .823 free throw percentage ranked fifth among Pac-10 players and his career percentage of .807 from the charity stripe is currently the third best in USC history. Began the season on the shelf with a broken jaw suffered in practice in late September which required his jaw to be wired shut for six weeks. Came back with vengeance to earn SportingNew.com Player of the Week of Nov. 12-18 as he average 21.5 points, 6.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds while making 71.4 percent of his shots in his first two games at The Citadel and at South Carolina. On Nov. 15 at The Citadel he scored a then-career-best 21 points on 9-for-12 shooting. He followed that up with an even better game at South Carolina on Nov. 17, scoring 22 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists. It was his first career triple-double and believed to be the first in USC history. Had 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and sent the game into overtime by making one of two free throws on Dec. 4 vs. Memphis at Madison Square Garden. Had a game-high 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting in win vs. Cal Poly on Dec. 22. Had a career-high 26 points on Jan. 26 at Oregon in a 95-86 overtime win, despite battling cramps late in the game. Was injured in a fall while chasing a loose ball on Jan. 31 vs. Arizona two minutes into the game. He was ultimately diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower back. He played in parts of the next three games before before being sidlined for nearly three weeks. He began core strengthening exercises on Feb. 12 and returned to action on Feb. 28 at Arizona to help USC avenge the loss at home when he got hurt, scoring five points in 24 minutes. After the injury he averaged 4.5 points and 2.0 assists, while he averaged 11.1 points and 4.0 assists prior to the injury. He had his most complete game following the injury in the Trojans' NCAA Tournament loss to Kansas State, scoring nine points, grabbing six rebounds and handing out two assists.
2006-07: Hackett stepped into a tough position for the Trojans, earning the starting point guard job at the beginning of the season, filling the void left with the tragic shooting of Ryan Francis in May of 2006 and the academic ineligibility of Gabe Pruitt for the first semester. Scored 13 points and converted two key three-point plays down the stretch in USC's season opening loss to South Carolina. Scored a season-high 18 points, all in the second half, to key USC's comeback win vs. George Washington on Dec. 9 as the Trojans overcame a 20-point deficit in the second half. Was 11-for-11 from the free throw line against GW, the most makes without a miss from the charity stripe by a Trojan since Brandon Granville also was 11-for-11 on Jan. 19, 2002. Had a season-high seven assists in the game vs. Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 14 and matched that total on Dec. 19 vs. Longwood. Scored 14 points, hitting 3-for-4 from the field and all eight free throws on Dec. 22 vs. Kansas State at the Las Vegas Classic. Began the season wearing No. 11, switched to No. 25 on Jan. 13 the day Bill Sharman's number (No. 11) was retired, then the next game (Jan. 18) switched to No. 13 as Paul Westphal's number (No. 25) was retired. Scored six straight points down the stretch, including the decisive layup with 17 seconds left in the 76-73 win at Cal on Jan. 27. Second to Gabe Pruitt in assists for the Trojans with 103, fifth most ever by a Trojan freshman. Appeared in all 37 games, making 16 starts. Started the first 12 games, then again on Jan. 18 vs. Arizona and March 3 at Washington State. Started vs. Texas in the NCAA second-round game on March 18 and scored a career-high 20 points and the NCAA game vs. North Carolina, scoring five points and dishing out three assists.
HIGH SCHOOL: Hackett played high school basketball at St. John Bosco. Was a first-team selection on the Division 2A All-CIF team in 2004 and 2005. Named to the Press-Telegram Dream Team as a first-team selection. Averaged just better than 20 points a game. Averaged a triple-double in the final three regular season games and during St. John Bosco's two playoff games. His high school coach Chris Madigan said this about Hackett, "...he sees the game two steps ahead of everybody else. His court awareness is amazing." Was ranked the sixth-best 2007 prospect in California by Rivals.com. Helped lead the Southern California All-Stars to the Reebok Big Time Tournament championship in Las Vegas last summer and to an undefeated season. Was named MVP of the tournament. Also played at the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp and finished as the second-leading scorer at the camp (13 ppg). Was a 2003 member of the CIF All-Academic Team.
PERSONAL: Hackett was born on Dec. 19, 1987. Grew up in Italy where his father Rudy (USC strength and conditioning coach) was a player and coach. His family moved back to the United States three years ago. Speaks Italian fluently. Is an undeclared major at USC.