December 10, 1996
USC To Face Colorado State, Utah in UCI Tournament
LOS ANGELES -- The USC women's basketball team (2-1) competes in its second consecutive tournament on Fri. and Sat. (Dec. 13-14) in the UC Irvine Tournament. USC opens against Colorado State (6-1) on Fri. and will play Utah (4-1) on Sat. Both games are at the Bren Events Center at 5 p.m.
RANKINGS -- USC, Colorado State and Utah are not ranked (as of Dec. 9 for AP, Dec. 2 for USA Today/CNN). USC received 4 votes in the AP poll (t39th) and 22 in the USA Today/CNN poll (36th). Colorado State received 7 in the AP poll (36th) and 27 votes in the USA Today/CNN poll (t-33rd). Utah received 1 vote in the USA Today/CNN poll (t52nd).
SERIES -- This will be the first meeting between USC and Colorado State. USC is 3-1 against Utah, last defeating the Utes in 1991 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 63-52. USC's only loss to Utah came in the first meeting in 1978, 68-62.
Probable Starters: USC Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG. RPG. 3 Erica Jackson G 5-8 Sr. 6.0 2.7* 32 Kristin Clark G 5-7 So. 7.7 4.3 50 Michelle Campbell C 6-5 Sr. 5.5 8.0 30 Adrain Williams F/C 6-4 So. 5.7 5.0 14 Tina Thompson F 6-3 Sr. 24.0 8.7 Colorado State Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 25 Becky Hammon G 5-6 So. 20.0 5.0* 12 Sara Farmer G 5-7 Jr. 5.1 3.9 50 Zenarae Pieters C 6-2 Jr. 7.0 6.7 32 Shannon Randles F 6-2 So. 9.2 10.2 33 Katie Cronin F 6-0 So. 16.3 5.0 Utah Pos. Ht. Yr. PPG RPG 10 Alli Bills G 5-7 Jr. 8.0 5.5* 33 Julie Krommenhoek G 5-9 Jr. 17.8 3.4 35 Laura Ross C 6-2 Jr. 8.2 4.4 24 Lisa Thueson F 5-10 Sr. 10.6 4.2 41 Hilary King-Noel F 6-0 Sr. 9.6 6.4 *assists
Last Week -- USC took second place in the Dial Soap Classic at Louisiana Tech, defeating Western Illinois, 80-42, in the first round on Fri (12/6) before falling to the No. 3 Lady Techsters on Sat. (12/7), 66-47, in the title game. Senior forward Tina Thompson scored 25 points in the final and had 22 points, a career-high 6 blocks and 4 assists in the opening round. True freshman forward Tiffany Washington posted a double-double in the second game of her career against Western Illinois with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. USC had an easy time of it against Western Illinois, leading 43-16 at the half and by more than 30 for most of the second half. Conversely, the Women of Troy had their hands full against Louisiana Tech, trailing 28-17 at the half and falling down by as much as 27 in the second half. USC, however, posted a late 14-0 run to give the Lady Techsters a scare, but it was too late to cause much damage.
Coach Fred Williams -- USC women's 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 Miller's resignation in September of 1995. A longtime fixture in the Los Angeles basketball community, Williams was USC's 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, Williams's 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 has opened her senior season averaging 24 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3 blocks per game, scoring more than 20 points in each contest. She was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week ending Dec. 8. It is her third such honor in her career with one each coming as a sophomore and junior. She began this season with a 25-point, 11-rebound effort against San Diego State (12/1). She posted a 22-point, 6-block game against Western Illinois (12/6) in the first round of the Dial Soap Classic at Louisiana Tech and came back with a game-high 25 points (including 2 3-pointers) in the title game against the Lady Techsters (12/7). Three games into the season, she leads USC in scoring, blocked shots and 3-pointers and is second in rebounding. She began the season fresh off of her second consecutive appearance on the Jones Cup team, and was a preseason Dick Vitale College Basketball second-team All-American selection. She has been one of the most dominating post players in the Pac-10 during her 3-plus years at USC and has developed into one of the top players in the country. She is equally skilled in the paint and 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 1,667 points and 888 boards to her credit, good for 9th and 8th, respectively, on the all-time lists. She also has recorded 43 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. Thompson's 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 Nelson's 50 against California in 1989.
Adrian Williams -- A 6-4 sophomore forward, Adrain Williams is in her second consecutive season starting for the Women of Troy. 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. She is second in blocked shots (5) on the team and fifth in scoring, posting a season-high 11 points and 4 steals against Western Illinois (12/6). In USC's opener vs. San Diego State (12/1), she grabbed 5 rebounds and blocked 2 shots in only 24 minutes. 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 team's 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.
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 is again a starter and is third on USC in rebounding at 8.0 per game. She had a season-high 7 points against Western Illinois (12/6) and a season-high 9 rebounds against Louisiana Tech (12/7). One of only 2 fifth-year seniors on the team (Rashida Jeffery is the other), Campbell was second on the Pac-10's active career leader board in blocked shots entering her senior season and now has 106. 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).
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 entering this season, Jackson is a starter for her third consecutive year. Jackson scored 9 points and dished out 6 assists in USC's opener vs. San Diego State (12/1) and had 7 points and 5 rebounds against Louisiana Tech (12/7). Jackson leads USC in assists and has opened the season red hot at the free throw line, making 9 of her first 10 attempts. She is set at 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.
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. Jeffery got a chance to start in USC's opener and came up big, grabbing a career-high 17 rebounds in 31 minutes to go along with 10 points against San Diego State (12/1). Restricted by chronic knee problems, Jeffery, who missed the Louisiana Tech game due to a knee sprain, 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. USC's 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.
Kristin Clark -- A feisty guard with a do-all attitude, sophomore Kristin Clark (identical twin of USC guard Kim Clark) figured to serve mainly as a backup guard in 1996-97, but has moved into the starting role as a result of Erica Mashia's hip injury. Clark looked sharp in USC's 2 exhibition games and continued her solid play into the regular season as the team's third-leading scorer. She opened the season with a career-high 12 points and 6 rebounds against San Diego State (12/1) and followed that up with 6 points and a game-high 5 assists vs. Western Illinois (12/6). 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 and started 3 games.
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. Parriott opened the season with 8 points and 3 steals off the bench against San Diego State (12/1) and had 6 points and 4 rebounds vs. Western Illinois (12/6). Playing in all but 1 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.
Kim Clark -- After missing most of last season with a right shoulder injury, Kim Clark (identical twin of USC guard Kristin Clark) is expected to add outside shooting depth to USC's 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 a lower back injury has kept 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 scored 6 goals this year and had 3 assists.
Erica Mashia -- A Pac-10 All-Freshman team selection as a freshman guard in 1995-96, Erica Mashia was slated as USC's 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 are seeing 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. Miller played 10 minutes in USC's opener, scoring 3 points and followed that by scoring a combined 10 points in USC's 2 games in the Dial Soap Classic (Dec 6-7). Washington posted a double-double in only her second game, scoring 12 points and getting 11 rebounds against Western Illinois (12/6). She is averaging 4.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in 10 minutes per game. Coach 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 f