THIS SEASON: David Bluthenthal, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound senior who is among 50 Preseason Wooden Award candidates, returns for his third year as a starting small forward in 2002 and is one of the top all-around threats in the Pac-10. One of the league's premier three-point shooters, he's also an aggressive rebounder who led the Trojans in that category as a sophomore.
CAREER: Bluthenthal has started 61 of his 84 games at USC. He is 11th on USC's career three-point chart (109) and sixth on Troy's career free throw percentage list (.799). He also shares the Trojan record for most rebounds in a game (28).
SAID BIBBY: "There's no better shooter or post-up player or rebounder than David Bluthenthal. I'd like to see him get a little quicker and handle the ball a little more. He took some steps forward defensively last year, but I'd like to see him continue to improve in that area as well."
2000-2001: Bluthenthal was USC's second-leading rebounder (6.8) and third-leading scorer (13.5) as a junior in 2001. He led the Trojans in three-point percentage (65-of-159, .409) and total three-pointers and was second on the team in steals (50) ... His 65 three-pointers was the sixth-most ever in a season at USC ... He earned East Regional All-NCAA Tournament Team honors by averaging 16.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in the postseason. After going scoreless in the tourney opener against Oklahoma State, Bluthenthal came back to score 20 points vs. Boston College, 27 points vs. Kentucky (including 5-of-6 free throws in the final 30 seconds) and had 17 points and 13 rebounds vs. Duke ... Bluthenthal, named to the 2001 Jewish Sports Review All-America first team, tied a career- and season-high with 29 points at Oregon. He also had five three-pointers and set a career high with five steals ... He led USC in rebounding (or tied for team-high honors) 15 times last year ... He had four consecutive double-doubles against Utah, Cal State Northridge, UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine ... Bluthenthal earned his second career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor after the doubles vs. UCSB and CSUN ... He missed both exhibition games while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery but returned to play in fine fashion, scoring 23 points and grabbing 13 rebounds against Bradley in the season opener ... Including a streak of 33 free throws in a row continued from his sophomore year, Bluthenthal set USC and Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws at 41. Bluthenthal also owned the Pac-10 record for consecutive in-league free throws at 42. Both Pac-10 marks, however, were broken by Stanford's Ryan Mendez ... Bluthenthal also was named to the 2001 U.S. team for the World Maccabiah Games, but did not play.
1999-2000: Bluthenthal blossomed as a 1999-2000 sophomore, starting 29 of 30 games at small forward en route to 2000 All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors ... He averaged a USC-best 8.3 rebounds per game (third in the Pac-10 and the best USC mark since 1995) and his 250 rebounds were the 14th-most ever by a Trojan ... He was the team's fourth-leading scorer, averaging 13.9 points per game, and he also finished as the squad's top free throw shooter, canning 74-of-88 foul shots (.841, fifth best in the Pac-10 and fifth best in USC history) ... Bluthenthal was the Pac-10's top rebounder in conference games, finishing with a 9.9 clip, the best ever by a Trojan in the Pac-10 ... He was also the Trojans' third-leading scorer in conference games at 15.3, finishing one rebound short of averaging a double-double in Pac-10 games ... In addition, he led the Pac-10 in free throw percentage in conference games at .890 (65-of-73), becoming the first Pac-10 player ever to lead the league in both free throw percentage and rebounds in Pac-10 games ... Bluthenthal's season was highlighted by a monster performance against Arizona State at the Sports Arena when he tied a USC record (set by Cliff Robinson) with 28 rebounds (the third highest total ever in the Pac-10) to go with 18 points ... He followed that up with a career-high 26 points and seven rebounds against Arizona to earn his first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor ... Bluthenthal finished with eight double-doubles on the season, including three in a row against Arizona State, Oregon State and Oregon ... He scored in double figures 21 times and averaged 18.0 points and 9.6 rebounds in his last seven outings ... He also played every minute of a game five times ... He scored 19 points and had 15 rebounds in a loss at UCLA, had 24 points and 10 rebounds in a home loss to Oregon, made 9-of-10 field goal attempts against Northwestern and had a 10-of-10 showing from the foul line at Arizona State.
1998-99: Bluthenthal earned a role as an oft-used reserve as a 1999 freshman, playing 7.6 minutes in 20 games, all off the bench ... He averaged 2.1 points and 1.8 rebounds and made 15-of-30 field goal attempts (50.0%) ... He also had six blocks and five steals ... He scored a season-high seven points and had five rebounds against Arkansas State and scored six points and had a season-high six rebounds, two blocks and two steals against American ... He scored four points against both California and Stanford on the road ... Bluthenthal also played in the 1999 Maccabiah Games in Mexico, helping the U.S. squad to the gold medal.
HIGH SCHOOL: Bluthenthal averaged 21.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game as a senior at Westchester (Calif.) High, playing with fellow Trojan senior Brandon Granville ... He led the Comets to a 30-3 record and their first-ever City Section 4-A title and Division I state championship ... Following the 1998 season, Bluthenthal was honored with the John R. Wooden Award (which goes to seven Los Angeles area prep players) and was named the City 4-A Player of the Year ... He also earned several other honors, including USA Today All-USA honorable mention, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team, All-City 4-A first team and Los Angeles Times South Bay/Westside All-Star Team (for the second year in a row).
In the spring of 1998, Bluthenthal played in the Eddie Jones All-Star Classic for the West squad, which faced off against the East and fellow Trojan freshman Sam Clancy.
Bluthenthal averaged 27 points and 11 rebounds in 1997 as a junior at Venice (Calif.) High and was selected to the Los Angeles Times' South Bay/Westside All-Star Team and the Student Sports' All-State Underclass Team ... He was also a Street & Smith 1997 High Honorable Mention selection ... In the summer of 1997, Bluthenthal was a member of the United States' team at the Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv, Israel.
SIDELIGHTS: Bluthenthal was born on July 18, 1980 ... He is a sociology major ... Bluthenthal's great, great, great grandfather was Isaias Hellman, one of the three major donors of the land where USC sits in Los Angeles ... He was nicknamed Tasmanian Devil by his father when he was young.
DAVID BLUTHENTHAL ON: His sidetrips during a stay in Israel for the Maccabiah Games: "We each had a group, and every group had their own armed guard. We went to the Golan Heights and you could hear the bombs going off."
What a fan told his dad, Ralph, following Bluthenthal's Dennis Rodman-esque 28 rebounds vs. Arizona State last year: "He said he was expecting to see a big guy with green hair and they saw me instead."
His mother, Suzanne, who died of cancer when he was a freshman in high school: "She was a nurse and was used to taking care of people and the nicest person in the world. She knew how much I wanted to do well in basketball. I think of her a lot. I dedicate every game to her. I know she knows what i am doing."
OTHERS ON BLUTHENTHAL: (Todd Harmonson, of the Orange County Register): "He has become USC's most dependable starter and made the transformation from the player no one knew to the one no one dares to ignore."
(USC Coach Henry Bibby): "David is very serious about the game of basketball. He'll stay in the gym forever. By working so hard, he's become two players in one. He is one of our best post players and best perimeter players."