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College Basketball | USC REPORT

Beating Bruins Could Be Start of Something Big

January 12, 2002|Paul Gutierrez

USC had the day off Friday, but that didn't mean the Trojans were resting on their laurels after beating No. 11 UCLA, 81-77, on Thursday.

The 13-2 Trojans, who are 5-0 in Pacific 10 Conference play and clamoring for a return to the national rankings, were already looking forward to next Thursday's game at No. 20 Arizona.

"This isn't the biggest win of the season," USC forward Sam Clancy said of beating the Bruins. "We've still got some big games."

The senior said there's no chance the Trojans would go flat after such a draining victory, especially not with a week between games.

"I don't think so, not with our team," Clancy said. "We know where we are and what's at stake.

"Being 5-0 means nothing. We've still got a long ways to go.... [The break between games] gives us time to [recuperate] from such an emotional game."

Besides, USC has not won at Arizona since 1985.

*

As the clock ran down and the horn sounded to end Thursday night's game at the Forum, Trojan guard Desmon Farmer and his old-school headband were in mid-flight, heading toward the basket. The sophomore had the ball in his outstretched left hand, his right hand tucked behind his head with his elbow sticking out.

Farmer said he had no name for his impromptu move.

"I just did it for the flashiness," he said. "I wish I could have finished it [with a basket] but the time ran out so I just flipped the ball up."

*

Senior point guard Brandon Granville, who took two blows to the head and experienced blurred vision against the Bruins, was fine Friday, according to trainer Thomas Mallete.

Granville, who went to the bench with 9:09 left, then returned to the court with 1:49 to play, made five of six free throws down the stretch.

*

Adding fuel to the fire: As the UCLA pep band played the school fight song and the Bruin players took the court for pregame warmups, USC football Coach Pete Carroll toted the Victory Bell to midcourt. Over the din of the Bruin faithful, Carroll addressed the partisan USC crowd before tolling the bell to observe the Trojans' 27-0 victory over UCLA at the Coliseum in November.

Paul Gutierrez

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