Women's Basketball
    November 27, 1996

    USC Women's Basketball Opens Season on Road at San Diego State After Final Preseason Game

    LOS ANGELES
    The USC womens basketball team kicks off the 1996-97 season on Sun. (Dec. 1) at San Diego State (1-1) at 4 p.m. Preceding the opener will be the Women of Troy's final exhibition game, a Fri. (Nov. 29) match-up against the Portland Saints at the Lyon Center at 7:30 p.m.

    RANKINGS
    Neither USC nor San Diego State are ranked. USC, however, was ranked No. 23 in the Sporting News preseason poll.

    SERIES
    USC is 24-7 against San Diego State. USC last lost to the Aztecs last season at the Sports Arena, 67-66. USC last won at San Diego State in the 1994-95 season, 76-55. The Women of Troy last lost to the Aztecs as visitors in the 1992-93 season.

    PROBABLE STARTERS:

    USC                     Pos. Ht.  Yr.  PPG.* RPG.*
     3  Erica Jackson       G    5-8  Sr.  4.4   2.8**   
    32  Kristin Clark       G    5-7  So.  2.5   1.2
    50  Michelle Campbell   C    6-5  Sr.  4.7   3.1
    30  Adrain Williams     F/C  6-4  So.  9.6   5.8
    14  Tina Thompson       F    6-3  Sr. 23.1   9.3
    San Diego State         Pos. Ht.  Yr.  PPG   RPG
    22  Sandy Wright        G    5-5  Sr.  4.5   6.5**
     5  Jurate Zukauskaite  G/F  5-11 Sr.  6.5   3.5
    32  Atiya Williams      C    6-4  Jr.  8.0   3.0
    42  Jodi Nowlin-Tres    F    6-0  Sr. 13.0   6.0
    24  Olivia DiCamilli    F    5-11 Jr.  8.5   8.5
    *1995-96 totals; 
    **assists
    

    CONNECTIONS
    USC assistant coaches Brooke Meadows and John Henderson both received their undergraduate degrees from San Diego State. Meadows played 4 years for the Aztecs from 1986-89, once scoring 55 points as a senior. Henderson served as graduate assistant for San Diego States womens team from 1991-92 and had a brief stint with the mens team as well.

    LAST WEEK
    USC opened its preseason schedule with an 85-52 exhibition win over Amager Club (Denmark). USC was led by senior forward Tina Thompsons 27 points and 11 rebounds and senior forward Rashida Jefferys 17 points. Senior center Michelle Campbell also had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

    COACH FRED WILLIAMS
    USC womens basketball coach Fred Williams begins his second year as head coach and is in his 12th season with the program in some capacity. He was named head coach of the Women of Troy following Cheryl Millers resignation in September of 1995. A longtime fixture in the Los Angeles basketball community, Williams was USCs associate head coach under Miller for 2 seasons (1994-95) and spent 8 seasons as an assistant (1984-91). In his first season as head coach, Williamss squad, which featured 6 freshmen and only 1 healthy senior, finished 13-14 overall and 8-10 in the Pacific-10 Conference. As associate head coach during the 1993-94 and 94-95 seasons, Williams helped direct USC to a 44-14 record and 2 NCAA Tournament appearances (including to the Mideast Regional Final in 1994).

    TINA THOMPSON
    A Naismith Player of the Year Top 10 candidate for the 1996-97 season, 6-3 forward Tina Thompson is getting set to lead the Wo-men of Troy back to the NCAA tournament in her senior year. Fresh off of her second consecutive appearance on the Jones Cup team, Thompson, a preseason Dick Vitale College Basketball second-team All-American, has been one of the most dominating post players in the Pac-10 during her 3 years at USC and has developed into one of the top players in the country. She is equally skilled in the paint or on the perimeter and is averaging in double-figures in rebounding for her career. Thompson is the active leading scorer and rebounder in the Pac-10 with 1,595 points and 862 boards to her credit, good for 13th and 11th, respectively, on the all-time lists. She also has recorded 42 career double-doubles. A 1996 AP and Kodak honorable mention All-American, Naismith Best of the Rest selection, All-Pac-10, Kodak All-American District 8 and preseason All-American selection, Thompson led the Women of Troy in scoring (23.1) and rebounding (9.3) for the second consecutive year as a 1995-96 junior forward. The focal point of the USC offense, Thompson led USC in most major categories and ranked high in the Pac-10 standings too. Thompson finished third in the conference in scoring, second in rebounding, second in blocked shots (1.1 per game), ninth in field goal percentage (50.7%) and eighth in free throw percentage (74.2%, second on the team to Erica Mashia). She was also third on the team in 3-pointers on 24-of-76 shooting (31.6%). She scored 20 or more points in 23 games, including in 16 of the last 18. Thompson, who started all but one game in 1995-96, was the teams high scorer in 23 games and the games leading scorer in 15 games. She was the teams leading rebounder in 20 games and the games high rebounder in 12 games. Thompsons junior season was highlighted by a 49-point effort against UCLA, which was second all-time among Pac-10 and USC performers, just 1 point shy of former Trojan standout Cherie Nelsons 50 against California in 1989.

    ADRAIN WILLIAMS
    A 6-4 center/forward, Adrain Williams was 1 of 2 freshmen to start for most of the 1995-96 season (along with roommate and teammate Erica Mashia) and the sophomore figures to be in the starting lineup again in 1996-97. An athletic player, she is quick and agile for her size, a good rebounder, can get out on the break or pull up for a jumper. A frontcourt starter in 20 of 27 games as a freshman in 1995-96, Williams averaged 9.6 points per game (third on the team) and was second in rebounding (5.8). She led the team in scoring once (she had 13 points at Long Beach State to tie Tina Thompson) and was the teams leading rebounder in 6. With 12 points and 6 boards against San Diego State, Williams began a streak of 7 consecutive double-figure scoring games (she had 15 in her season), which ended against Kansas, where she managed only 7 points and 7 rebounds. She recorded her first career double-double in only the fifth game of her Trojan career: a 12-point, 10-rebound performance against Boise State. Williams shined in USCs first-ever win at Long Beach State with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals in only 21 minutes. Against Arizonas double-teaming interior defense, Williams scored a career-best 19 points (going 7-of-11 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the foul line) and grabbed 7 rebounds in just 20 minutes. She was the teams second-leading scorer against third-ranked Stanford (on Feb. 9), with 16 points (she hit a solid 6-of-12 from the floor) and she grabbed 6 rebounds.

    MICHELLE CAMPBELL
    One of the top shot blockers in the Pac-10, 6-5 center Michelle Campbell is going to be a big factor in the fortunes of the Women of Troy in 1996-97. She put in another summer in which she worked hard on her game and USC will rely on her for inside scoring support as well as strong defense in the post. A reserve last season, she will likely return to the starting lineup for her senior year. One of only 2 fifth-year seniors on the team (Rashida Jeffery is the other), Campbell is second on the Pac-10s active career leader board in blocked shots (103) entering her senior season. Campbell was a key reserve off the bench in 1995-96 as a junior and she flourished in that spot. Starting only 6 games, she averaged 4.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in just 13.4 minutes. She finished second on the team in blocked shots with 23 and her 0.9 per game average was third in the Pac-10. Campbell scored a team-high 18 points against Kansas aggressive post players (she was 6-of-10 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the line) to tie her career best (first set against Washington State on Feb. 10, 1995) and pulled down 6 rebounds (including 4 offensive). She scored in double figures twice last season, the other time coming in a 10-point outing against Long Beach State.

    ERICA JACKSON
    Coach Williams is looking for a solid leadership figure as well as a veteran guard in 1996-97 and has both in 5-8 senior Erica Jackson. With 50 career starts to her credit, Jackson is set to start for her third consecutive year. She will likely play point guard, but, as she did for much of last season, she is able to slide over and play the 2-guard as well. Jackson started all but 1 game as a junior in 1995-96, sharing the backcourt with Mashia. She finished second on the team in assists per game with 2.8 and also averaged 4.4 points per game. For the third consecutive season, she raised her scoring average as well as her rebounding (2.1). She scored a season-high 12 points against Boise State, making 5 field goals in the win. She came up big against then-seventh-ranked Virginia when she scored 10 points including 2 key 3-pointers for her first double-figure scoring output of the season. She also added 3 assists and 3 boards. Jackson put together a solid game against Kansas, as she finished with 9 points (she hit 4-of-8 shots), 5 assists and 3 boards. .

    RASHIDA JEFFERY
    Counted on for important minutes inside the key, 6-2 senior forward/center Rashida Jeffery will play a valuable role for the Women of Troy in 1996-97 as the top post player off the bench. Restricted by chronic knee problems, Jeffery is still one of the most athletic players in the conference and routinely plays at the rim, making her one of the most fierce rebounders in the Pac-10. USCs most productive frontcourt player off the bench as a junior in 1995-96, Jeffery averaged 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds (third best on the team) in only 15.2 minutes per game. She scored in double-figures 4 times (the Women of Troy were 4-0 in those games): a career-high 20 at California, 15 vs. Arizona State, 12 at Oregon (along with 11 boards for her first double-double of the season) and 11 versus California. She came off the bench against then-seventh-ranked Virginia to score 9 points and grab a team-high 9 boards. She was unstoppable at California and finished with a career night. She hit 8-of-12 shots from the floor and nailed all 4 foul shots to finish with a career-best 20 points. She also added 9 rebounds (tied for a game-high) and 3 assists.

    KRISTIN CLARK
    A feisty guard with a do-all attitude, sophomore Kristin Clark figured to serve mainly as a backup guard in 1996-97, but will likely step up into the starting role as a result of Mashias injury. A solid ball-handler, the 5-7 Clark is equally deft at penetrating and dishing or pulling up for a 3-pointer. She is also valuable defensively as she is one of the quickest players on the team. Playing in all 27 games as a freshman, Clark came on at the end of the 1995-96 season and became a valuable contributor for the USC backcourt. Coming off the bench in place of Jackson to pair with Mashia in the backcourt later in the season, she split time at both guard spots. Clark, who started 3 games (at Oklahoma State and against San Diego State and Arizona), averaged 2.5 points and 1.2 rebounds and finished with 33 assists. She had her most complete game of the season against seventh-ranked Virginia, when she came off the bench to score a career-high 10 points (including 2 treys). She also added 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals.

    JODI PARRIOTT
    A versatile forward, 6-2 sophomore Jodi Parriott is expected to see her role increase in 1996-97 as she provides coach Williams with options at both the 3 and 4 positions. An oft-used reserve in 1995-96, Parriott can add scoring from the inside or outside and should see her minutes increase this year. Playing in all but one game, all off the bench, as a 1995-96 freshman forward, Parriott averaged 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds in an average of 9.6 minutes per outing. Parriott scored a career-high 11 points (5-of-7 from the floor) against Washington State (Jan. 7) in just 11 minutes. Coming off the bench against Arizona, Parriott had 6 points, 3 rebounds and a career-high 4 assists.

    KIM CLARK
    After missing most of last season with a right shoulder injury, Kim Clark is expected to add outside shooting depth to USCs perimeter game in 1996-97. The 5-7 redshirt freshman, an aggressive player with an eye for loose balls, will also contribute as a defensive stopper. She is slated to back up at the 2 position, though the same injury that forced her out last year may keep her out of early action this season. She is one of 2 2-sport athletes on the Women of Troy (freshman Antoinette Polk is the other) and was a starting midfielder on the USC soccer team. Clark played in USCs first 5 games as well as an exhibition game in 1995-96 before her shoulder injury sidelined her for the remainder of the season.

    ERICA MASHIA
    A Pac-10 All-Freshman team selection as a freshman guard in 1995-96, Erica Mashia was slated as USCs starting shooting guard this season. However, after finishing second on the team in scoring as a freshman and setting school season free throw and 3-point percentage records, Mashia reaggravated a hip injury suffered last season (in the preseason) and will likely be forced to redshirt.

    FANTASTIC FRESHMEN
    Williams added 4 freshmen to his roster this season, including 2 who will likely get opportunities right away. Guard Kiyoko Miller (5-8), from Valley Christian High (Brea, Calif.), comes to USC as a USA Today All-USA Honorable Mention and Southern Section Div. IV Co-Player of the Year. Forward Tiffany Washington (6-2), from Bishop Montgomery High (Torrance, Calif.), was the Southern Section Division III Player of the Year. Both will compete for time at their respective positions. Williams also welcomes Antoinette Polk, a 5-10 guard who is currently playing with the volleyball team. The Sacramento Player of the Year, Polk, from El Camino High (Sacramento, Calif.), is an excellent athlete with great speed, quickness and leaping abilities. Also new is walk-on freshman Robyn Lewis, a 5-7 guard from Gahr High (Cerritos, Calif.), who earned All-San Gabriel Valley League honors as a senior last year.

    SCHEDULE
    The Women of Troy are set to face 2 teams currently in the AP Top 25: Stanford and Western Kentucky. USC also faces a possible match-up against Louisiana Tech in the Dial Soap Classic hosted by the Lady Techsters. All teams are currently in the top 12.

    SAN DIEGO STATE
    The Aztecs, coached by seventh-year coach Beth Burns, return their top 2 scorers and rebounders from last season in 6-0 senior forward Jodi Nowlin-Tres and 5-11 junior forward Olivia DiCamilli. Also back for San Diego State is 5-11 senior forward La-Taya Woods and 6-4 senior center Atiya Williams. Starting 5-6 senior point guard Sandy Wright is also back. She was second in assists and third in steals in the Western Athletic Conference last season.

    POLLS
    USC was ranked No. 23 in the Sporting News preseason poll. The Women of Troy received 5 votes in the current AP poll, tied for 37th. In last weeks USA Today/CNN poll, USC received 34 votes, putting USC at No. 31.

    PAC-10 PRESEASON COACHES POLL

      
     1. Stanford
     2. Oregon
     3. USC,
     4. Arizona
     5. UCLA
     6. Washington
     7. Washington State
     8. California
     9. Oregon State
    10. Arizona State
    

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