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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT | Scouting Report

Southeast Regional

March 14, 1997|GEORGE DOHRMANN

USC (17-10) vs. Illinois (21-9), Noon, Charlotte, N.C.

* About USC: The offense is most productive when the defense is creating fastbreak opportunities, and Rodrick Rhodes and Stais Boseman are able to get in the lane. But with Illinois likely to sit in a tight zone, USC's outside shooters--Elias Ayuso and Danny Walker--will need to convert so the Trojans can take advantage of 6-foot-11 David Crouse in the middle. "Their big guy inside is something we have respect for," Illinois Coach Lon Kruger said. "Inside and out, they complement each other well." USC tends to get away from the inside game and let Boseman and Rhodes freelance but is most effective when Crouse is also involved. The Trojans will probably go 11 deep and try, as they have all season, to wear down an opponent for the final push. Boseman will push and hold Illinois guard Kiwane Garris in an effort to frustrate him.

* About Illinois: The Illini offense starts and stops with Garris, but tries to make up for a lack of size by pressing full court most of the game. "They're not very big, but they do a lot of pressing, trapping and try and play up-tempo," USC Coach Henry Bibby said. "A lot of their offense comes through the press." The three-point shot is Illinois' great equalizer and Garris, Kevin Turner and Matt Heldman all fire away. When Garris was checked by Chad Austin in Illinois' regular-season final, Turner made up for it by making five of eight three-point shots. USC will probably play man to man or an extended zone that will push Illinois back, meaning the play of forward Chris Gandy is pivotal. When he gets some points inside, it creates drives to the basket for Garris.

* Keys to the game: USC hasn't had trouble breaking a press this season, and if it continues that trend, it will not only create opportunities on offense but also force Illinois into a half-court game that doesn't suit its personnel. Garris gets players into foul trouble with his penetration, and if he does the same to Boseman he could have a huge game. Illinois does not have a player who can match Rhodes, so if USC's outside shooters are on and Crouse is scoring, Illinois may have to extend its zone, leaving lanes open for Rhodes to drive. Crouse must have a big game, at least a bigger one than Gandy.

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USC: THE STARTERS

No. 20: Elias Ayuso

No. 5: Gary Johnson

No. 35: Stais Boseman

No. 41: David Crouse

No. 3: Gary Williams

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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS: THE STARTERS

No. 22: Kiwane Garris

No. 33: Kevin Turner

No. 21: Matt Heldman

No. 32: Jerry Gee

No. 45: Chris Gandy

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ROSTER/STATISTICS / USC

*--*

No. Player Pts. FG% FT% Reb. Ast. 35 Boseman 16.2 .336 .699 4.1 3.6 12 Rhodes 13.8 .448 .693 4.8 4.0 24 Wilson 10.5 .540 .647 6.1 1.2 20 Ayuso 9.2 .426 .781 2.0 0.9 41 Crouse 9.1 .532 .805 5.5 0.9 3 Williams 7.9 .442 .767 4.1 1.0 21 Turner 5.1 .472 .667 3.1 0.6 33 Walker 4.8 .469 .733 1.1 1.4 10 Sims 4.4 .336 .667 1.9 1.3 5 Johnson 3.5 .313 .727 1.7 1.5 4 White 2.0 .405 .546 1.8 0.2 44 Shoukry 0.1 .000 .500 0.8 0.1

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ROSTER/STATISTICS / UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

*--*

No. Player Pts. FG% FT% Reb. Ast. 22 Garris 19.2 .400 .830 3.6 5.4 45 Gandy 10.6 .496 .731 5.8 0.5 21 Heldman 10.1 .452 .776 3.5 2.0 33 Turner 10.0 .409 .800 2.3 2.1 25 Notree 8.3 .417 .744 3.7 1.4 32 Gee 6.3 .539 .579 3.9 0.7 34 Johnson 5.3 .529 .700 4.0 2.0 00 Chukwudebe 2.5 .444 .545 2.2 0.1 5 Abdullah 1.3 .256 .533 0.2 1.0 42 Caldwell 0.6 .400 .625 0.6 0.1 31 Freeman 0.5 .308 .000 0.4 0.3 10 Udoiwod 0.4 .333 .000 0.4 0.0 12 Reichardt 0.0 .000 .000 1.0 0.0

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STATISTICAL COMPARISON

*--*

USC Ill. Field goal Pct. .443 .438 Three-point Pct. .349 .377 Free throw Pct. .701 .742 Rebounds 37.4 34.1 Assists 14.9 16.1 Points for 79.7 76.5 Points against 75.8 68.2

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