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USC REPORT

Galloway improves, but more work ahead

December 17, 2006|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

A month after losing a battle with Daniel Hackett for starting point guard, Kevin Galloway finds himself scrapping for minutes off the bench.

The freshman is averaging only 13.3 minutes a game even though most of his other statistics compare favorably with Hackett's. Galloway is making 50% of his shots to Hackett's 39.4% and Galloway has twice as many assists (20) as turnovers (10). Hackett has 32 assists and 27 turnovers while averaging 27.1 minutes.

Galloway scored a career-high 13 points on four-of-five shooting Thursday against Bethune-Cookman. He called the performance his best of the season but not the best he had to give because he had trouble maintaining his defensive stance. He also had five assists and two turnovers in a season-high 19 minutes.

After playing only seven minutes combined against Kansas and George Washington in the Trojans' previous two games, Galloway acknowledged that his diminished role "just kind of makes you work harder. When you get out there you want to take that time preciously and convert on everything you need to convert on."

Coach Tim Floyd said he was pleased with Galloway's recent progress but wanted to see him sustain the effort in practice.

"He's just got to practice harder and longer and better to where we see it every day in practice," Floyd said. "But he's a lot better player than he was a month ago."

*

Forward Kyle Austin, another freshman fighting for playing time, isn't ready to concede that he will automatically take a redshirt next season after his breakout performance last weekend against George Washington.

"I'd definitely be comfortable with it, but I'm not going to go in with the attitude that I'm going to redshirt next year," said Austin, whose strong defense against the Colonials prompted Floyd to keep him on the floor for all but one minute of the second half.

"I'm going to still come in and be able to play some minutes and help the team win. If [Floyd] needs me to redshirt, I'll redshirt."

Floyd had said Austin might be a redshirt during the 2007-08 season, allowing him to target areas for improvement. Austin, 6 feet 7 and 195 pounds, has great length as a defender but has made only four of 15 shots.

Austin played 10 minutes against Bethune-Cookman and is averaging 10.6 minutes in the seven games he has appeared.

TODAY

vs. Charleston Southern, 2 p.m.

Site -- Galen Center.

Radio -- 710.

Records -- USC 7-2, Charleston Southern 5-4.

Update -- Charleston Southern is the first of USC's four opponents in the Las Vegas Classic, which the Trojans open with a pair of home games before heading to Las Vegas next week. Junior guard Chris Moore averages 14.3 points for Charleston Southern, which is 0-4 on the road. A victory over the Buccaneers would give the Trojans their first seven-game home winning streak since the 2001-2002 season. Junior swingman Nick Young needs 19 points to become the 31st Trojan to score 1,000 in his career.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

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