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SC BASKETBALL: HE WON'T MISS KANSAS ANYMORE.

Byline: Scott Wolf Daily News Staff Writer

USC forward Brian Scalabrine admits that if he could have picked any school in the country to play basketball for, it would have been Kansas.

``My true dream was to play for Kansas,'' Scalabrine said. ``But I'll get to play against Kansas instead.''

The 10th-ranked Jayhawks, who host the Trojans on Saturday night, gave Scalabrine just a cursory glance while he was junior college, after he had mailed them some tapes of his games.

``They called me back as a courtesy call,'' Scalabrine said. ``Nothing else.''

Kansas is probably regretting its decision today. With depth problems along the front line, and the loss of junior forward Lester Earl, who is out 10 days after having arthroscopic surgery on his knee, Scalabrine might look good in blue and red.

So will Scalabrine have revenge on his mind Saturday night, when USC plays at Allen Fieldhouse?

``I just want to win,'' he said.

How big a game is it? Scalabrine was asked if he thought USC's trip to Kansas was a chance for the Trojans to gain national prestige and earn respect from basketball observers across the country.

``If you guys think so, I think so too,'' he said.

Bibby speaks: USC coach Henry Bibby said Monday he didn't know anything about Kansas, because he was only concerned about Loyola Marymount, a team the Trojans defeated 79-43 Wednesday night.

But Thursday, he was ready to focus on the Jayhawks.

``It will be a good test for us,'' Bibby said. ``Kansas is coming off a tough loss, so their intensity level will be up.''

Setting the tempo: Bibby feels the key to the Kansas game will be controlling the pace against the Jayhawks.

``We've got to set the tempo right away,'' Bibby said. ``We can't wait until the second half. We'll have problems if we don't come out ready to play. I hope we can go into Kansas and set the tempo early and go after them.''

Wilder's back: Guard Quincy Wilder has practiced all week after going AWOL last week. Wilder considered leaving the team because he was unhappy over playing time. He played eight minutes against Loyola Marymount, and had two points and three rebounds.

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Photo

Photo: BRIAN SCALABRINE

Always dreamed of playing for Kansas, but says he'll settle for playing against the Jayhawks instead.
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 11, 1998
Words:393
Previous Article:KINGS NOTEBOOK: KINGS LACK THE MIDAS TOUCH : ROBITAILLE, MURRAY LEAD ANEMIC OFFENSE.
Next Article:SC FOOTBALL: YOUNG LOSES OUT IN HAWAII.


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