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Monday, December 4, 2006

USC’s Stewart has shot at mark

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It will take some work, but Lodrick Stewart realistically could finish his career as USC's all-time three-point shooter.

"It's my goal. I'm going to make sure I do that," said Stewart, the Trojans' left-handed bomber who has cashed 167 threes, the fifth-best mark in school history. He's 51 treys from tying school-record-holder Brandon Granville, who made 218 from 1999 to 2002.

"I worked on my outside shooting last summer, but I also worked on stuff to make myself a complete player. I don't want to be known as a three-point specialist, but an all-around player. I put the ball on the floor more this year," Stewart added.

Stewart had hit just six of 22 threes heading into Saturday's home game against Loyola Marymount - a game in which he cashed six of nine threes for 21 points in the 67-50 victory.

"He's always been a shooter," said KU junior Rodrick Stewart, Lodrick's identical twin who started his career at USC before transferring to KU during the first semester of his sophomore season. "He said this year he's being more all-around, putting the ball on the floor. He loves playing defense. He brings that energy to the court."

Lodrick, who ranks 28th on USC's all-time scoring list with 1,044 points, isn't USC's only talented player.

"Nick Young is a great player," Rodrick Stewart said of the 6-foot-6 junior from Los Angeles, who is the Trojans' leading scorer at 16.5 points a game off 53.5 percent shooting. "I think being realistic, they can win the Pac-10, but there are a lot of good teams in the Pac-10."

The Trojans, who dropped their opener to South Carolina, 80-74, in overtime, have rattled off five straight victories over St. Mary's, The Citadel, Long Beach State, Mississippi Valley State and Loyola Marymount. All six games have been at home.

USC's coach is Tim Floyd, who is 22-14 in two seasons at the Pac-10 school. Floyd has a 3-9 career record against KU - 3-8 mark at Iowa State and 0-1 at New Orleans. He's 0-4 in Allen Fieldhouse.

"Coach Floyd is the best thing that ever happened to me," Lodrick Stewart said of the man who took over for Henry Bibby last season. "He came in and said, 'You need to do this, this and this. If not, I'll find somebody else.' I said, 'Don't worry, I'll do everything you ask.' He helped me get through things like missing my brother. It's my last year. I want to go out with a bang. Hopefully I'll go out as one of the strongest players in the country."

¢ A first: KU coach Bill Self says he's never coached a game in which twin brothers played against each other.

"No. No. Especially when they look so much alike," Self said. "I don't know Lod. I'm sure he looks forward to playing here. Rod was good against Florida. He played well the other night (against Dartmouth). Hopefully, he's on an incline moving forward."

Rodrick Stewart didn't play in Saturday's loss at DePaul.

¢ Back at it: The Jayhawks, who saw a 14-point second-half lead disappear Saturday in a 64-57 loss at DePaul, say it's good they'll be able to get back on the court so quickly after a bitter defeat.

"It's good to go back home and re-focus for USC. It will be good to play before our fans," sophomore guard Mario Chalmers said.

¢ This, that: KU averages 78 points per game and is giving up 59. KU is outrebounding foes 40.6 to 31.8 and has forced 24 more turnovers than its opponents. ... Freshman Darrell Arthur leads the way with a 15.1 scoring average. He also paces the team with 18 blocked shots and is second on the squad with 6.4 rebounds per contest. ... Julian Wright is next on the team with a 12.8 scoring average. He leads KU in rebounding with 8.6 per outing. ... Mario Chalmers leads the team with 14 three-point field goals made to go along with his 10.8 scoring average. ... Junior Russell Robinson leads KU in assists with 41 and steals with 16. He is tied with freshman Sherron Collins with a 7.3 scoring average. Junior Darnell Jackson is a top inside reserve, scoring 7.4 points per contest.

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