Cassie Harberts Repeats On All-Pac-12 Team
March 4, 2014
USC senior Cassie Harberts will go down in history as one of the best to play basketball for the Women of Troy. Ranked in the top-10 all-time in several categories, Harberts will complete her USC career having played and started the most games in program history. And as she sets up to lead the Trojans into battle at this week's Pac-12 Tournament, Harberts has also hauled in another set of honors on the All-Pac-12 Team. A two-time selection to the team, Harberts has four other younger Trojans following in her footsteps on the Pac-12 honor roll for the 2013-14 season. Junior Ariya Crook has landed All-Pac-12 Team Honorable Mention, while sophomore Brianna Barrett and junior Alexyz Vaioletama have earned Pac-12 All-Defensive Team Honorable Mention, and Courtney Jaco has picked up All-Freshman Team Honorable Mention.
Senior forward Cassie Harberts is the centerpiece of the USC team and has established herself as one of USC's top players all-time in grabbing her second straight selection on the All-Pac-12 Team. She matched Cheryl Miller and two others with a program-record 128 appearances last week. Miller started all 128 of those games, but Harberts can beat her out with a start in Thursday's Pac-12 Tournament opener. Harberts entered her senior season ranked No. 16 all-time in scoring with 1,293 career points, having scored her 1,000th point as a junior. Now with 1,779 total points, she has overtaken USC head coach and Trojan great Cynthia Cooper, former teammate and current pro Briana Gilbreath, and Sparks standout Ebony Hoffman to now rank as USC's No. 8 all-time leading scorer -- 18 points away from the No. 7 spot. And with 893 career rebounds, she already ranks at No. 8 all-time in USC's history books. From the stripe, Harberts has taken over Lisa Leslie to now rank No. 4 all-time with 549 free throws made.
As a freshman, Harberts tallied a 31-point game, which was the most points scored by a Trojan freshman since 1981. On Jan. 19, 2013, she tallied her second career 30-point game in leading the Trojans to a 109-85 victory over Oregon -- making the Women of Troy the first team, male or female, ever to score in triple digits at the Galen Center. Harberts also picked up the Pac-12 Player of the Week selection following the win. During her USC career to date Harberts has earned 2011 Pac-10 All-Tournament Team and 2011 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team honors, 2012 All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention, and 2013 All-Pac-12 Team and a pair of Pac-12 Player of the Week awards to go along with her consistent academic accolades. With nine double-doubles this season to date, she has recorded 26 in her career, and in her junior season she became USC's all-time record holder for free throws made (207) and attempted (298) in a single season. This past summer, Harberts won a gold medal as a member of the USA's World University Games team. She's since picked up national acclaim with selection to the Wooden Award Preseason Top-30 and Naismith Award Early Watch List. Harberts also was a nominee for the WBCA, NBCA and Allstate Good Works Team. Harberts leads the Trojans in scoring (16.2 ppg), rebounding (7.5 rpg), blocks (0.8 bpg) and free throws made (122) to date, and has scored in double figures in the past 13 straight games.
USC's second leading scorer is junior guard Ariya Crook, who tallied a 34-point game earlier this season -- the most scored by a Trojan since 2002 -- in a big upset of ranked Cal. Crook secured herself another round of All-Pac-12 Team Honorable Mention this year, following up last year's honors as a sophomore, with her significant contributions to the Trojan cause this season. With 15.8 points and 2.3 assists per game, she has started all 26 games in which she has appeared. She has already matched her previous best mark of 55 threes nailed in a single season as she looks toward the Pac-12 Tournament with her Trojan teammates. She's hit double figures in 22 games, and was selected to the Cancun Challenge All-Tournament Team earlier this season.
Showing their defensive savvy for the Trojans this season are Pac-12 All-Defensive Team Honorable Mention recipients Brianna Barrett and Alexyz Vaioletama. This is the second straight selection for sophomore Barrett, whose pesky defense has become her trademark. She's second on the team in steals with 1.4 per game, but has claimed 1.6 per game during Pac-12 play. She's appeared in every game and has moved into the starting lineup for USC in the past seven games and set a new career high with 10 rebounds pulled in earlier this season. Junior Vaioletama has secured her Pac-12 accolades as USC's steals leader (1.9 per game) and leader on the defensive glass with 4.8 defensive rebounds per game. She has almost doubled her stats from last season in now standing as USC's third leading scorer (8.5 ppg) and second leading rebounder (7.2 rpg). Vaioletama has recorded the first double-doubles of her career this season, and has pulled in double-digit rebounds in four games to date.
In her first season as a Trojan, freshman Courtney Jaco has made a name for herself in her consistency and reliability in the backcourt. On the list with Pac-12 All-Freshman Honorable Mention, Jaco has appeared in every game this season and has shot 36 percent from beyond the arc in nailing 22 threes for the Trojans to date. With a .442 percent effort from the floor as a whole, she averages 3.8 points per game. In Pac-12 action, she has served up 4.4 points and just under 1.0 steals and assists per game. Jaco carries on a now-eight-year tradition of USC freshmen earning all-conference honors.