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USC REPORT

Bench Yields a Captain

January 15, 2002

USC men's basketball Coach Henry Bibby has spent most of the season riding his seniors for leadership.

On Monday, Bibby turned to a junior on the bench, appointing reserve Robert Hutchinson as team captain, a title usually bestowed to a senior earlier in the season.

Hutchinson has played in USC's 15 games, starting one, and is averaging 2.4 points and 13.1 minutes. He has 24 assists and eight steals.

In USC's 81-67 victory at Loyola Marymount on Dec. 22, Hutchinson sparked the Trojans with a career-high 10 points in a career-best 26 minutes.

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USC's seven-week absence from the Associated Press poll ended Monday when the Trojans were ranked No. 18.

"We didn't make too much of it," USC senior Sam Clancy said of the Trojans being ranked for the first time since Nov. 19.

"We've just got to keep winning and can't worry about the rankings because we know if we drop one we're probably out. We've got to bring it every day because teams are going to be shooting for us."

Five Pacific 10 Conference teams were ranked for the first time since Feb. 13, 1995, with USC behind No. 9 UCLA, which the Trojans beat last week, and No. 15 Arizona, which the Trojans play Thursday, but ahead of No. 19 Stanford and No. 23 Oregon.

The coaches' poll was released Sunday and, despite leading the conference with a 5-0 record, the Trojans (13-2) were the fifth-ranked Pac-10 team, tied with Georgia at No. 23.

UCLA was ranked 11th, Stanford 16th, Arizona 18th and Oregon 22nd.

"We're in first place and the lowest-ranked," Clancy said. "There's still no respect. But until we beat the Arizonas and the Stanfords and the UCLAs [again], there probably won't be any."

Senior point guard Brandon Granville had two steals in USC's victory over UCLA last week, giving him 203 for his career, one behind Jeff Trepagnier for second place on the all-time Trojan list. Stais Boseman leads with 208. Granville is USC's career leader in assists (677) and three-pointers (194).

Paul Gutierrez

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