January 2012 Archives

Signing Day Coverage

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The college football national holiday known as Signing Day is just hours away.  We will provide wall-to-wall coverage for you on all our social platforms.

578_0623.JPGYour home base for all the breaking news and in-depth information is #USCSigningDay Central.

On Twitter and via text, we will release the class of 2012 members the moment each player officially becomes a Trojan.  To sign up for text alerts, text USCSIGN to 51234.

On the blog, we will post signee profiles featuring highlight film, complete bios and the official signature.  Plus, we'll try to track down some assistant coaches for notes and quotes.

You can also interact with us all day through our Facebook page, which will feature exclusive content.

Finally, the day concludes with Lane Kiffin holding a 4 p.m. press conference, which we will stream LIVE from Heritage Hall on

(Photo of OL Cyrus Hobbi's special message on his letter-of-intent last year)

Wanted: Student Videographers

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The USC football program is looking for student videographers to help with spring football, fall camp and the 2012 season.

While a strong work ethic is required, this is a great opportunity for passionate students to get inside the program.  Experience working with digital video cameras and knowledge of football is recommended, but not required.

The video department is looking for enrolled students to start as soon as possible.  These are paid positions and work-study eligible students are encouraged to apply.

Call (213) 821-1862 or email Eric Espinoza to apply or learn more.

Rich-Linz-CO-SH.jpg(Photo by Jon SooHoo)

Class of 2012: Andrus Peat

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As the letters-of-intent come through the Heritage Hall fax machine, we reveal the OFFICIAL 2012 USC football recruiting class.

Andrus-Peat-Jim-Redman.jpgName: Andrus Peat

Position: OL

Size: 6'7", 310 lbs.

Hometown (HS): Tempe, AZ (Corona Del Sol) Ranking: #6-rated OT (5-Star)

The Story: With Zach Banner also on board, the 2012 class is starting to resemble USC's 2008 recruiting haul, which included offensive line pillars Tyron Smith and Matt Kalil.  Peat, an Under Armour All-American, is a prototypical offensive tackle from Arizona, a state that has been fruitful for the Trojans lately. 

(Photo by Jim Redman

Highlight Reel:

The Official Signature

Class of 2012: Hiva Lutui

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As the letters-of-intent come through the Heritage Hall fax machine, we reveal the OFFICIAL 2012 USC football recruiting class.

Lutui-Hiva-Greg-Powers.jpgName: Hiva Lutui

Position: OL

Size: 6'3", 285 lbs.

Hometown (HS): Euless, TX (Trinity) Ranking: #31-rated OG (3-Star)

The Story: Lutui is a bit of an under the radar prospect nationally compared to his 5-star offensive line classmates, but the Texan's last name carries weight in Heritage Hall.  Hiva's cousin, "Deuce" Lutui, was a member of the 2004 USC national championship team and plays in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals.

(Photo by Greg Powers)

Highlight Reel:

The Official Signature

Class of 2012: Kyle Dodson

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As the letters-of-intent come through the Heritage Hall fax machine, we reveal the OFFICIAL 2012 USC football recruiting class.

Kyle-Dodson.jpgName: Kyle Dodson

Position: OL

Size: 6'6", 310 lbs.

Hometown (HS): Cleveland Heights, OH (Cleveland Heights) Ranking: #16-rated OT (4-Star)

The Story: For the second consecutive year, Lane Kiffin and his staff plucked a top offensive line talent from the state of Ohio.  The U.S. Army All-American is yet another mammoth offensive lineman, which is the trademark of this 2012 USC recruiting class.

(Photo via Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Highlight Reel:

The Official Signature

Baseball Golf Tourney

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House-Cruz.JPGUSC baseball culminated their celebratory weekend with the annual alumni golf tournament, which was rescheduled after the first date was rained out.  To go along with a day on the Dove Canyon Country Club links, the Trojan Baseball Golf Classic featured a ceremony to honor the career of service to Troy by Tom House.

House, who played and coached at USC, will have a locker named after him as the baseball program raises funds for a new locker room and lounge.

"This year's tournament is dedicated to updating Dedeaux Field and to building a 1st class locker room, which will assist aspiring Trojans to continue the major league legacy at USC," said USC head baseball coach Frank Cruz.

Speaking of major league legacy, the stars turned out to support Cruz and the program for the second consecutive season.  USC big league alums Fred Lynn, Jacque Jones, Eric Munson, Geoff Jenkins, Randy Flores (all pictured below) and others teed it up on a beautiful Monday morning.



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The USC Trojans Facebook page has hit 100,000 likes and counting.  We want to thank the Trojan Family for the great social media support.

If you are not already on board, join us at!

We are constantly giving away autographed memorabilia, FREE tickets and unique experiences, so make sure you like us today.

FB Pic 100,000.jpg

Artletics 2012

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Huse_Kara-Leigh.jpgUSC athletics annual art display, the Louis Galen Artletics Exhibition, will open inside Galen Center on February 1 and feature artwork from 15 student-athletes taking classes at the USC Roski School of Fine Arts.  The free exhibit will run through March 12 for event spectators and by appointment. 

Artletics will kick off with a free reception open to the public tomorrow (Wednesday) at 4 p.m.

This is the 7th annual student-athlete artistic showcase.  This year's exhibition will feature the works of Charles Burks (football), Kristine Busa (track and field), Jeffrey Churchman (track and field), Martin Coleman (football), Crispin Collins (track and field), Anna Gustafson (lacrosse), Kara-Leigh Huse (water polo), Patricia Jancso (water polo), Maddison McKibbin (volleyball), Vineta Moca (rowing), Kristen Park (golf), Nick Perry (football), Daphne Thompson (water polo), Anna Wierzbowska (rowing) and Gregory Woodburn (track and field).

(Painting by Kara-Leigh Huse, USC women's water polo)

Here's a look at the artistic talents of USC's world class student-athletes...

Free Hoops

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USC basketball finally got some decent news from an MRI this season.  Women of Troy senior Briana Gilbreath suffered a knee sprain, but no ligament damage in a recent road loss to Colorado.

The star wing will not be in the lineup tonight as the Trojans return home to face UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m.  Admission is FREE to all!

The three-game home stand culminates with games against Washington State (Thursday at 7 p.m.) and Washington (Sunday at 1 p.m.).


Alonso Honored by SCSB

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USC walk-on LB Augusto Alonso was honored with the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Tom Harmon/Jerry Clark Memorial Scholarship at a luncheon today in Toluca Lake.

Alonso, who was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, will pursue his Master's at USC this fall.  The $5,000 scholarship is well deserved for a student-athlete who boasted a 3.93 GPA (tops on the team) as a biomedical engineering major.  

Alonso-SCSB-SH.jpg(Photo by Jon SooHoo)

Season Tickets ON SALE NOW

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USC football season tickets are ON SALE NOW at, our new football ticketing microsite, where you can improve your seats or renew your current location.

Please look out for your renewal email.  If you renew online, you will receive FREE tickets to the Spring Game.

The Trojans have a loaded 6-game Coliseum schedule in 2012 headlined by the showdown with Oregon and a rivalry battle against Notre Dame.  The season kicks off versus Norm Chow's Hawaii and the Pac-12 schedule includes Arizona State, Cal and Colorado.

Click here to purchase or renew your season tickets!

Season Tix On Sale_00165.jpg

Class of 2012: Pio Vatuvei

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As the letters-of-intent come through the Heritage Hall fax machine, we reveal the OFFICIAL 2012 USC football recruiting class.

pio-vatuvei.jpgName: Pio Vatuvei

Position: DL

Size: 6'2", 275 lbs.

Hometown (HS): Patterson, CA (Patterson) Ranking: #11-rated weakside DE (4-Star)

The Story: Vatuvei is a two-sport athlete - football and rugby.  At USC, obviously, he will concentrate on his gridiron talents, where he played defensive line and fullback in high school.  As a junior, he tallied 12.5 sacks.

(Photo via

Highlight Film:

The Official Signature


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The USC Signing Day page has launched on

Click here to view it!!!

The page will feature highlights and bio information of all 2012 Trojan signees.  The site is already populated with video and info on the five players that enrolled early for the spring semester.

Plus, we'll have a live Twitter feed, so you can follow the action as the signatures come through the fax machine.  To get in on the conversation, use the hashtag #USCSigningDay.

We also have an interactive map, which displays the different states Lane Kiffin and his staff have signed recruits from in their two years running the program.

National Signing Day is less than 48 hours away.  Time to find out who will be the next great Trojans...

Good Neighbor

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Former USC QB Matt Cassel filled the hero role by alerting his unaware neighbor that her house was on fire last week.

Cassel-Matt-Chiefs.jpgThe Kansas City Chief and his wife noticed smoke and flames coming from the chimney, so Cassel ran over to the house and got the attention of his neighbor by ringing the doorbell and banging the door.

Click here for the full story.

"I know Matt wouldn't want this kind of attention, but I definitely think he was a hero last night," one witness told KMBC.

"I just ran up to the house and alerted them," said a humble Cassel.  "The real heroes are the firefighters."

Photo Gallery: Baseball Alumni Game

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USC baseball came together Sunday to celebrate the previous season and launch the new campaign with the annual banquet, Old-Timers game and Alumni game.

Here's a look at the Alumni game courtesy of John McGillen...

3-Points: USC 62, Utah 45

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Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor

With a 62-45 blowout victory over new conference foe Utah on Saturday night, the Trojans snapped a nine-game skid spanning 40 days. The win was also the team's first in Pac-12 play this season and first of 2012. 

  • USC started fast against the Utes, building a 16-4 lead over the first 10 minutes of play thanks to stingy team defense (gave up just two FGs and forced seven turnovers) and the backcourt duo of Maurice Jones (scored two transition layups to go along with two assists) and Greg Allen (made two deep corner three-point shots off the bench). To conclude the first half, freshman Byron Wesley banked home a shot from beyond the three-point arc at the buzzer to give the Trojans an 18-point advantage, which at the time, was their largest lead during Pac-12 play this season. From there, the Trojans never looked back, leading by double-digits the entire second half. "I'm really happy for my guys," Kevin O'Neill said. "I'm glad this streak is over. I have been through many losing streaks in my life, and they are hard to deal with. And, they are especially hard for young people to deal with."
  • Due to the season-ending MCL tear center Dewayne Dedmon sustained during Thursday night's 74-50 loss to Colorado, junior transfer James Blasczyk was forced into Kevin O'Neill's starting lineup for the first time in his Trojan career on Saturday. While Blasczyk didn't fill up the box score on offense, he held James Washburn, Utah's leading scorer (10.5 points per game) and rebounder (6.3 rebounds per game) in check all night. Washburn finished with an ineffective 10 points, four of which came when the game was already well in hand. "I think he is going to be a really good player," O'Neill said of Blasczyk. "Unfortunately the guy never gets to practice. He's a guy who can do some things, he's agile and he plays hard. He's going to be down the line, once he gets healthy and is able to practice all the time, a really good player."  

  • In only his fourth start of the season, sophomore Garrett Jackson had arguably his best game at USC. From the opening tip to the final buzzer, the native of Portland, OR was active at both ends of the court. Jackson finished the night with a career-high 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field.
And 1...

  • Here's Jackson after the game talking about his career night, the end of a nine-game losing streak and the importance of simplifying things at the offensive end.

Season Tickets On Sale Monday

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USC football season ticket renewals and new season ticket sales begin this coming Monday, January 30.  Look for your personal email invitation from USC Athletics on Monday morning.

Season ticket holders who renew online will receive FREE tickets to the Spring Game.

Bark-McD-Coli-Tunnel-JJM.jpg(Photo by J.J. Moore)

First Pitch

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USC baseball began official practice today as the program builds toward the February 17 home opener against Jacksonville.  Ceremonially, the season gets started Sunday with the awards banquet and Alumni Game. 

After the morning banquet celebrating the 2011 team, the "Old-Timers" will get the action started at 2 p.m. followed by the young alums against the 2012 Trojans at 4 p.m.  Both games will be at Dedeaux Field.

The baseball alumni base has turned out in full force the last two years to support Frank Cruz and his squad.  Sunday's Alumni Game will feature former big leaguers Geoff Jenkins and Randy Flores plus emerging major league talents Grant Green and Ricky Oropesa.

The stars will really come out for the Trojan Baseball Golf Classic on January 30 at Dove Canyon Country Club.  The golf tournament was rained out last fall, so this is the rescheduled date.

Last year's cast included Fred Lynn, Bret Boone, Anthony Munoz and a host of other USC legends.

The Reintroduction

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Steve Johnson will don the cardinal and gold in a team competition for the first time this season since taking the fall off to explore the professional ranks full-time. 

Johnson-backhand-McG.JPGThe senior was supposed to play for USC in the opening two matches last Saturday, but the rain forced the doubleheader to Sunday and Johnson had to board a flight to Hawaii for an individual professional tournament to which he was already committed.  Without him, the No. 1 Trojans posted a pair of 7-0 sweeps.

Johnson will lead the line this weekend at Marks Stadium as USC welcomes UNLV on Saturday for the ITA Kickoff Weekend.  Depending on results, the Trojans will play either South Florida or UNC Wilmington on Sunday.  The winner of the quadrant advances to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, VA, in February.

The three-time defending national champions carry a 21-match win streak into this weekend's competition.

Dedmon's Done

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USC sophomore center Dewayne Dedmon will likely miss the rest of the season with an MCL tear in his left knee suffered during the first half of Thursday night's loss to Colorado.  The injury does not require surgery, so the seven-footer will begin a rest and rehabilitation program immediately.

Dedmon-Injury.jpgHe is the latest casualty in a season marred by critical injuries starting with PG Jio Fontan tearing an ACL in the preseason.  F Aaron Fuller (shoulder), F Evan Smith (shoulder) and C Curtis Washington (shoulder) have also been lost for the season.

Dedmon injured his knee last night when a Colorado player fell on his left leg, which forced the knee to hyperextend.  He also bruised his tibial bone.

The Trojans are down to six scholarship players and only two big men.  They host Utah on Saturday night at 8 p.m. at Galen Center.

Powerful Programs

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As USC athletics continues to encourage student-athletes to build an all-around dynamic resume, the department is offering two seminars this month to educate on matters outside of the courts and fields.

USC-Campus-Night-PC.jpgThe mandatory POWER Program this semester was presented by Aaron Davis, a member of the 1994 National Championship Nebraska football team, who shared his experiences on the subject of personal choices and the repercussions that come with them.  As a former student-athlete, Davis also spoke to the responsibility and accountability that comes with that role on a college campus and nationally.

On January 31, the athletic department is hosting a Career Athletes Workshop, which is mandatory for all juniors and seniors.  "Career Athletes will present on student-athlete transferrable skills, what organizations are looking for in graduates, and how you can differentiate yourself in a professional setting."

Of the roughly 600 student-athletes at USC, a very small percentage will actually play professionally, so the importance of building a successful business prospect to go along with the athletic prowess is a priority of the administration.

3-Points: Colorado 74, USC 50

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The Trojans are still searching for a conference win as the injury bug bites again.

Click here for a game recap and stats.

  • Dedmon-Injured.jpgEarly in the first half, Dewayne Dedmon hyperextended his knee when a Colorado player landed on his leg, which forced the big man out for the rest of the game.  "I'm not really sure what is going on in [my knee]," said Dedmon, who will have an MRI Friday.  The team was stunned by yet another injury to a key player.  "That's my best friend, so it was heartbreaking for me," said center James Blasczyk, who is playing through a ligament injury in his foot which keeps him from practicing.
  • The Buffaloes put the Trojans away with a 20-2 run to start the second half.  "We were totally outmanned," said head coach Kevin O'Neill.  "We kind of lost our bearings as a team.  [The injuries] kind of overcame our guys for the first time this year."  Without Dedmon, USC is down to six scholarship players and used two walk-ons in the rotation tonight.
  • Next up, USC hosts a Utah team with a similar 5-15 record on Saturday night at 8 p.m. at Galen Center.  "We have to keep pushing forward in a positive manner," O'Neill explained to his team after the game.  "If you do this long enough, some times it just goes like this.  We have to prepare and carry ourselves [no matter the result] in a first class manner." 

USC's NFL Fraternity

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Newly hired Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was a graduate assistant on the 1984 and 1985 USC football teams.  He joins Norv Turner (Chargers), Pete Carroll (Seahawks) and Jeff Fisher (Rams) as NFL head coaches with Trojan ties. 

Turner was an assistant coach at Troy from 1976 to 1984.  Carroll won two national championships as the head coach from 2001 to 2009.  Fisher lettered at USC in 1979 and 1980.

Pagano, who was the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator this season, takes over the 2-14 Colts, which are expected to draft Stanford's Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick.



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The Trojan Family has done an amazing job coming together to fund the construction of the John McKay Center, the new student-athlete facility which will open its doors at the end of the summer.  USC alums Patti and Jerry Jamgotchian even sold a racehorse to raise funds for the new building.

The 5-year-old mare named MoreKissesForPatti, which set the track record at Indiana Downs as a 3-year-old, fetched six figures at auction.  The Jamgotchians proudly presented that money to USC athletics and will have an office named in their honor in the McKay Center.


Walk the Walk

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Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor

In the midst of an eight-game losing streak (seven games of which have come during Pac-12 play), you'd be hard-pressed to find a silver lining in the USC men's basketball team's 2011-2012 season. But, as junior guard Daniel Munoz illustrated with his 12-minute performance at Oregon State last Saturday, sometimes the story worth talking about has nothing to do with wins or losses. 

Three years ago, Munoz walked on to the Trojan basketball team with no expectations of ever playing. In his mind, the Coto de Caza native was fulfilling a greater calling.

"I still wanted to be a part of the game of basketball," Munoz recalled. "But when I got to USC, I wasn't sure if that was going to be as a player. I always wanted to be a coach, though, so I thought walking on to the team would give me an opportunity to keep learning the game from some of the best coaches in the country. I saw the growth I had in high school as a player and as a person thanks to my mentor and coach Jody Gardner. And I wanted to have that kind of impact on kids in the future."

While Munoz' three-year experience at USC has been more educational than physical, the former standout from Santa Margarita HS slowly transformed into the kind of player head coach Kevin O'Neill has always admired: smart, disciplined, tireless work ethic and someone who does his talking out on the court.

During his first two years at Troy, Munoz took his lumps as a walk-on, watching as guards Donte Smith, Jio Fontan and Maurice Jones enjoyed the Galen Center spotlight, while he was tasked with going up against them day in and day out during practice. 

"I never really thought about the playing time as part of my role, so there haven't been many struggles," said Munoz. "My job is to make my teammates better every day, regardless of who it is. And I hope I've done that."

This season, the Trojans have been decimated by injuries, most notably to starters Jio Fontan (torn ACL) and Aaron Fuller (shoulder surgery). When O'Neill's short-handed squad went up north to face the Oregon schools last weekend, Munoz' years of selflessness and patience had finally paid off.

In USC's hard-fought 65-62 loss to the Ducks, Munoz, who made three brief appearances in 2010-2011, played 27 minutes at the point guard position and notched his first two career points as a Trojan from the free throw line. Because of his ability to play mistake-free basketball, Munoz was given his first career start two nights later in Corvaillis, OR. While the Trojans were blown out by 19 points against Oregon State, Munoz made the most of his 12 minutes of action, hitting his first career field goal attempt on a three-point shot late in the first half.

"I am still shocked really," said Munoz. "Last weekend was such a dream. I'm speechless. Especially against Oregon State, to get a chance to start in a game and then to hit a three-point shot, I couldn't contain the smile on my face as I came down the court. I can't believe it happened and there is no way to describe it. I never thought a day like that would come."

Although Munoz' addition to the rotation hasn't cured the Trojans' current woes in 2012, his journey to the court is still a remarkable story. It's a reminder that the term walk-on sometimes is nothing more than a label.

"When you are on the team, you are on the team," said Munoz. "I've never looked at it like I'm a walk-on. My goal is to continue to get better, to continue making the people around me better players and more accountable and selfless as teammates. There is nothing better than giving yourself up for the good of the team."

State of USC Swimming

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Dave Salo has a lot on his plate in 2012.  The men's and women's swimming head coach has two talented squads capable of competing for conference and national championships, but he also knows his top competitors have an eye on London 2012.

Salo has been here before though.  In his six years as head coach, he has trained Olympic champions Rebecca Soni and Ous Mellouli.  Now, he is building winners at Troy like hopefuls Katinka Hosszu and Kasey Carlson and numerous others outside the program.

Here is Salo on the big picture plan for USC swimming in a golden 2012...

Learning Curve

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USC men's basketball returns home this weekend to welcome Colorado (Thursday 7:30 p.m.) and Utah (Saturday 8 p.m.) to Galen Center for the first time. 

Dedmon-Rim-TCU-PC.jpgThe Trojans are still searching for their first Pac-12 win in a season that has become more about building the foundation for future successes than reaping immediate dividends.  No player embodies that change in philosophy more than sophomore center Dewayne Dedmon.

While the seven-footer came in with NBA lottery pick hype, the truth is that he needs to grow into his potential.  The Daily Trojan's Joey Kaufman expanded on Dedmon's learning curve.

"I want him to be an NBA player," O'Neill told the Daily Trojan. "He wants to be an NBA player. The whole problem was everyone, including him, thought it might be this year and it's not. He's getting some valuable lessons on being a first-year player."

With Aaron Fuller out for the season, Dedmon will get the opportunity to receive more post touches and improve his offensive arsenal.  Thanks to his natural size and raw athleticism, he is more advanced as a defensive presence, but he needs to work on staying out of foul trouble.

On the most recent road trip, Dedmon posted a career-high 18 points to go with 7 rebounds in the loss to Oregon. 

The first 1,000 fans to arrive at USC vs. Colorado Thursday night will receive a FREE backpack.

Match Races

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No. 3 USC swimming and diving will host No. 2 Cal (Friday at 2 p.m.) and No. 6 Stanford (Saturday at Noon) at McDonald's Swim Stadium this weekend.  While the Trojans will focus on team goals, the individual match-ups in the 200y IM and 400y IM are worth watching as we look ahead to Pac-12s, NCAAs and the Olympics.

The Women of Troy are led by 2011 National Swimmer of the Year Katinka Hosszu who is the school record holder in both the 200y IM (1:52.71) and the 400y IM (3:58.86).  She also won the gold medal in the 400m IM at the World Championships in 2009 and took bronze that same year in the 200m IM.

Hosszu will face steep competition in both races this weekend from Cal's Caitlin Leverenz and Stanford's Maya Dirado.  The trio account for the NCAA's top three ranked swimmers in the 400y IM and three of the top four in the 200y IM.

2011 Pac-12 400y IM podium: 1. Hosszu (center), 2. Dirado (left), 3. Leverenz (right)
Hosszu-Leverenz-Dirado.jpg(Photo by Pac-12 Conference)

Offseason Workouts

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We are not allowed to cover voluntary offseason football workouts due to NCAA rules.  However, the beat writers are able to attend, so we'll keep an eye out for any good stories that come out of the spring sessions.

Barkley-Presser-Funny-SH.jpgAfter last night's workout on Cromwell Field, QB Matt Barkley spoke with  Most interestingly, he said, "I feel like I'm where I need to be.  [I'm] where I should be.  I feel like I had no other choice really."

The junior is enjoying his spring class workload including a social media course, an area at which Barkley is already proficient.  He drew laughs from the national media earlier this week when he tweeted, "Looks like we both do" in response to Oregon head coach Chip Kelly announcing he was staying in Eugene to handle some "unfinished business."

As National Signing Day draws closer, Barkley (photo by Jon SooHoo) is also heavily involved in recruiting the country's elite talent to join him this fall.  "I try to stay as involved as I can because it is my team and it's guys I am going to be playing with," he told Kate Rooney of 

Community Champions

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In the 2010-11 school year, USC student-athletes performed more than 3,000 hours of community outreach.  Already in 2011-12, they have logged 1,600 hours and counting serving others.

To honor the team that puts in the most work, the athletic department created the annual Service Champions Award, which was won by women's basketball from 2008 to 2010.  Last year though, baseball took home the 3rd annual trophy by completing over 540 hours as a team, which breaks down to 15 hours per student-athlete.

Congratulations to Frank Cruz and his squad for leading the way! 

Baseball season begins February 17.

USC in Rio

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The Trojan Family is setting up camp on the beautiful beaches of Rio de Janeiro.  After the men's basketball team made a trip this past summer, the university has followed suit.

USC will be opening up an office there and gave Mayor Eduardo Paes a Trojan basketball jersey.

Paes (right) with Ernest J. Wilson III, Dean of the Annenberg School

Miner Bobbleheads

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Since many of you requested them, Harold Miner bobbleheads are available for purchase ($20 apiece) through  We have a very limited stock so order quickly.

Click here to purchase!

You are only allowed two bobbleheads per order.


Super Exception

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USC will not have an active player in the Super Bowl for only the fourth time in 46 contests.  However, the Trojans are represented on the Giants roster by CB Terrell Thomas (injured reserve). 

Two members of New York's medical staff have USC ties as well.  Former longtime Trojans athletic trainer Byron Hansen is the Giants rehabilitation coordinator, while USC's team neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Apuzzo serves as a consultant for the NFC champions.

Plus, the NFL broke out a funny new commercial this past weekend for the conference championship games, which features Trojans' Ryan Kalil (Panthers) and Matt Cassel (Chiefs).


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Jake Olson never fails to amaze. 

The famed USC superfan, who lost both his eyes to cancer, is now taking on the game of golf.  Even more, he has a masterful swing and the positive attitude to match.

Check out the latest incredible twist to Olson's inspiring story in the video below and remember to visit his website by clicking here.

Junior Song Girls

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The USC Junior Song Girl Clinic is an annual men's basketball tradition, which you can have your daughter take part in this year. 

Click here to learn more and sign up!

The next generation of Song Girls will perform at halftime of the USC vs. Stanford game on Sunday, February 12.  The clinic will run from 2 pm to 3:30 p.m. before the game.

Song-Girls-SooHoo.jpg(Photo by Jon SooHoo)

Double Bagel

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Freshman No. 1 singles Zoe Scandalis did not seem to have any difficulty adjusting to the collegiate spotlight as she dispatched her UC Irvine opponent (6-0, 6-0) in No. 16 USC women's tennis' dual match opening sweep. 

Scandalis (pictured) is one of three freshmen plugged right into Richard Gallien's lineup.  No. 3 singles Sabrina Santamaria (6-0, 6-3) and No. 5 singles Gabriella DeSimone (6-1, 6-1) were nearly as dominant in their freshmen dual match debuts.

The freshmen trio will be tested this weekend at the ITA Kick-off Weekend in Tempe, AZ.



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Former USC All-American striker Amy Rodriguez netted a record-tying five goals in 30 minutes for the U.S. women's soccer national team in an Olympic qualifying win over the Dominican Republic this past weekend.

Rodriguez scored all five goals after coming on as a second half substitute.  Here's a dramatic video presentation of her scoring outburst...

Coach of the Year

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USC football head coach Lane Kiffin was named "Coach of the Year" by the LA Sports Awards, which will be given to him on March 15 at L.A. Live.

Kiffin guided the Trojans to a 10-2 record in his second season despite a young roster and NCAA sanctions. 

Click here for the full release:
lane (2).pdf

Kiffin beat out such local luminaries as Phil Jackson, Mike Scioscia and champion Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena to be trumps in Los Angeles in 2011.

Kiff-Prac-FistPump-McG.JPG (Photo by John McGillen)

Kalil's Hardware

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USC junior LT Matt Kalil collected his well deserved Morris Trophy (Pac-12's top offensive lineman) at a ceremony earlier this week.

Kalil was the third consecutive Trojan offensive lineman (Tyron Smith and Charles Brown) to win the award, which is voted on by the conference's defensive linemen.  


Two Ways to Win

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USC women's basketball moved to 5-1 in the Pac-12 last night with a 92-73 win over Oregon just days after beating UCLA in Westwood 47-43.  If you do the math, the Women of Troy came up a bucket short of doubling their scoring total from one game to the next, but grabbed victories in both contests regardless.

Michael Cooper will take wins in all shapes and sizes, but the mulch-faceted approach should bode well for the Trojans come tourney time when they will face unfamiliar foes with varying styles.

In the win over the Bruins, the Trojans staunch defense held UCLA to 30% shooting and forced 14 turnovers.  Against the Ducks at Galen, USC buried 40% from the field and an impressive 18/21 from the free throw line.

Senior guard Briana Gilbreath was the standout performer Thursday night coming up a rebound shy of a triple-double (18 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds).


Fuller Out for Season

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Men's basketball forward Aaron Fuller will miss the remainder of the season as he undergoes left shoulder surgery for a torn labrum. 

The Iowa transfer is the team's leading rebounder (5.9 rpg) and second in scoring (10.6 ppg).  Click here for more.

Without him, Kevin O'Neill is down to six scholarship players at his disposal.  In last night's three-point loss at Oregon, walk-on guards Eric Strangis and Daniel Munoz were incorporated into the eight-man rotation.

While the loss to the Ducks leaves the Trojans still winless in Pac-12 play, sophomore center Dewayne Dedmon posted a career-high 18 points.


Tennis Blog

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USC men's and women's tennis open the 2012 home calendar with matches this weekend.  The No. 16 ranked Women of Troy welcome No. 57 UC Irvine to Marks Stadium today at 1:30 p.m., while the three-time defending national champion men's team play back-to-back dual matches Saturday against Loyola Marymount and UC Santa Barbara.

We will cover both squads on the blog all season, but for an inside look at the journey, check out the new USC Tennis blog.

They posted a great pic of NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson relaxing with fellow senior Daniel Nguyen this week.


Shrine Game

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Seniors Marc Tyler and DaJohn Harris will represent the Trojans at the East-West Shrine Game Saturday in Florida (1 p.m. kickoff on NFL Network).

As with any pre-draft all-star game, the week of practice leading up to the contest is the real chance to shine in front of scouts and NFL coaches.  Both Tyler and Harris took full advantage and received raved reviews.

Wes Bunting, Director of College Scouting for the National Football Post, listed both among the week's winners.

Bunting on Tyler: "[He] continues to impress me.  He sets up blocks well [and] has a strong build.  [He] can run through tackles and get to the edge."

Bunting on Juicy: "DT DaJohn Harris [is] explosive [and] powerful.  When [he] plays low, [he is] tough [to] block."


League Leaders

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USC football has had more players drafted in the NFL in the last five years and 10 years than any other program in the nation.  Once they get in the league, Trojans have started more games than any other school's alums in the last five years and third most in the last decade.

Over the last 20 years, USC boasts the fourth most draftees and 10th most NFL starts.

All this data comes from an annual DRAFTMETRICS study.  Click here to see the full report.

Road Weary But Battle Tested

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Forgive the Women of Troy if they need directions to the Galen Center tonight, they have not spent much time at home this season. 

Vaioletama-Fresno-PC.jpgThe 2011-12 USC women's basketball team has played just four home games, which is tied with Villanova for the fewest among major conference programs.  Going back to last year's WNIT run, the Trojans have played 16 of their last 20 away from Galen.

And it has not been an easy road...

The Women of Troy have played the most challenging schedule in the Pac-12 and the third most daunting non-conference slate in the country, according to

So, while USC's 9-6 record may not appear gaudy, the Women of Troy have walked through the storm together and the forecast is for sunnier skies ahead.  Michael Cooper's team has won four consecutive games, sits in sole possession of second place in the conference standings and finally gets some home cooking this weekend against Oregon (tonight at 7 p.m.) and Oregon State (Saturday at 2 p.m.).

Court Dedication

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Written by Farren Benjamin, USC athletics blog contributor

The USC men's tennis team partnered up with students at 32nd Street School to celebrate the Harper for Kids foundation, which renovated an old parking lot and provided brand new tennis courts for the school.

Tennis-Dedication.JPGTim Harper, president and co-founder of Harper for Kids, along with head coach Peter Smith spent the morning teaching the students the lessons of John Wooden's "Pyramid of Success" and the building blocks to life.

"We just want to motivate the kids to be hard workers in the classroom and in every aspect of their lives," said Harper.  "These tennis courts not only provide the kids with some physical activity but also teaches them about the importance of teamwork and working with each other." 

Members of the men's tennis team, led by Senior Daniel Nguyen, taught students the basic forehand and backhand strokes of tennis and played an inaugural game of doubles with some of the students and faculty members.


(Photos by Farren Benjamin)

Schrader Passes

From the USC Sports Information Department...

Popular long-time sportswriter Loel Schrader, who was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007, passed away early today from complications with pneumonia.  Services are pending.

Schrader-Loel.jpgHe covered college football since 1947 as a well-decorated sportswriter, columnist and sports editor in the Knight-Ridder chain, including many years at the Long Beach Press-Telegram.  He had a particular affinity for USC football, having covered the Trojans since the John McKay era in the 1960s.  In 2006, he co-authored "Fight On!  The Colorful Story of USC Football," a definitive history of the Trojan football program. 

Although he was retired in recent years, up through this past football season he still followed the Trojans as a contributor to various USC publications and websites.

Loel was well loved and much admired by Trojans everywhere.  He will be missed.  Condolences go out to the Schrader family.

USC Sports Properties

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Fox Sports Media Group and Home Team Sports will manage USC athletics' marketing and media rights with Dan Shell presiding over the partnership as vice president and general manager of USC Sports Properties.

Coliseum-Kumho.jpgShell will manage the group responsible for selling venue signage, radio, internet, and corporate sponsorship at all athletic facilities and all other property sales rights.

"I am extremely excited about our new partnership with FOX and Home Team Sports," said USC Charles Griffin Cale Director of Athletics Chair Pat Haden.  "We believe that USC Sports Properties will deliver in value and service for both our current and prospective clients better than any other collegiate sports property in the country.  Dan Shell is a great choice to lead this team and work with my staff to take our multimedia and sponsorship efforts to the next level. Dan shares our common vision and has a great understanding of our culture here at USC. We are in great hands and all of our clients will be as well."

Click here for more.

Stafon Johnson Case

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USC and Stafon Johnson have settled a lawsuit brought by the former running back in 2011 relating to his weightlifting injury in 2009.

Here's a joint statement from Johnson and the university:

"The University of Southern California and former student-athlete Stafon Johnson wish to jointly announce that Mr. Johnson has resolved his lawsuit against the university arising out of his September 28, 2009 weight room injury. The parties have agreed that the terms and details will be confidential."

Click here for the full story from the Los Angeles Times.

Johnson is still pursuing an NFL career.  He was signed as an undrafted free agent out of USC by the Titans and recently landed on the Washington Redskins practice squad.


High Socks

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The first 1,000 fans who enter Galen Center for Thursday's USC women's basketball game against Oregon (7 p.m. tip) will receive FREE USC tube socks.

Socks-WBB.JPGRock your high socks like Coach Cooper!


Heisman Front Runner

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Matt Barkley finished 6th in the 2011 Heisman Trophy voting.  The quarterback started last season as a borderline candidate at best, but passed for a Pac-12 record 39 touchdowns to streak into the discussion in the final weeks.

Going into 2012, Barkley will start the race from the front of the pack. listed the USC senior quarterback as the preseason favorite.

"Barkley returns for his senior year as the front runner for the 2012 Heisman. He's got perhaps the best receiving corps in the history of college football catching his passes, so you know his numbers will be stellar. However, he must beat the expectations game or voters could eventually turn on him like they did Andrew Luck."

Can #Barkley4Heisman be stopped in 2012???

Mustain Doc

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Mitch Mustain's football career never lacked in drama. 

From his storied rise as Gatorade National Player of the Year to his Arkansas debut as a true freshman against USC on ESPN and then his lone shot as a Trojan starter in a crushing loss to Notre Dame, Mustain was always an interesting character in college football.  Now, he is taking one more shot at quarterbacking in the Arena League, which means putting off a career in the armed forces.

His life and decision are being chronicled in a new documentary, "The Identity Theft of Mitch Mustain."

The Identity Theft of Mitch Mustain - Teaser from Incognito Mosquito Flicks on Vimeo.

Moment of the Year

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The LA Sports Awards are coming up March 15 and fan voting is open now. 

Here are the nominees for "USC Top Moments 2011":

  1. Men's Tennis Three-Peat
  2. Football Routs UCLA 50-0 to Cap 10-2 Season
  3. Men's Water Polo Wins Fourth Consecutive National Title
Thumbnail image for LA_Sports2011.jpg

Don't Mock

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USC boasts more NFL first round picks (75) than any other school and that number could increase by two this April. 

Perry-Sack-UCLA-PC.jpgLT Matt Kalil is all but assured of a spot in the first round and could go as high as No. 2 overall, but the surprise mover is Nick Perry who is getting attention as both a 4-3 defensive end and a 3-4 outside linebacker.

In Sports Illustrated's latest mock draft, Perry is targeted at No. 20 overall by the Tennessee Titans, which already start Trojans DT Jurrell Casey.  Kalil is picked 3rd by the Vikings in the same hypothetical draft.

Perry, who played exclusively with his hand in the ground at defensive end for USC, was recently described as "the best potential 3-4 OLB prospect in the draft" by Wes Bunting, the director of college scouting for the National Football Post.

Tough to Corral

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When the USC women's basketball season began, Ashley Corral's main role was as an outside gunner, but when Jacki Gemelos went down to a season-ending knee injury, the Women of Troy's all-time three-point maker took over the play making responsibilities. 

Corral is thriving as the central focus of the offense.  In non-conference play, she averaged 12.5 points per game and 3.2 assists per contest, but the senior has bumped up both numbers in Pac-12 play to 15.0 ppg and 4.8 apg.

In the Trojans most recent conference win over UCLA, which bumped their conference record to 4-1, Corral nearly posted a triple-double (10 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds), while passing Cheryl Miller for sixth place on the USC career assist list.

Here's Corral on moving up the record books in a crosstown rivalry win...

Preaching Patience

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USC men's basketball is struggling to find wins in the Pac-12 with a banged up, inexperienced roster.  While head coach Kevin O'Neill searches for immediate answers, the program is set up for 2012-13 with depth and increased scoring.
Jill Painter of the Daily News believes in Keviin O'Neill's long term plan with the likes of J.T. Terrell and Ari Stewart coming in next season.

The OC Register's Michael Lev seconds the notion that O'Neill deserves a break for inheriting difficult circumstances at Troy.


Perfect Start

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USC men's volleyball has yet to drop a set in three matches this season, including sweeps of No. 5 Long Beach State and No. 11 Cal State Northridge.

The Trojans moved up to No. 5 in the latest AVCA poll with a pair of showdowns at No. 1 BYU this Friday and Saturday in Provo, UT. 

Here's a look at the win over LBSU courtesy of Pierson Clair...

Spring Game Tix

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Tickets for the USC football Spring Game are available for purchase at

Click here to purchase!!!

The Spring Game is April 14 at 1:30 p.m.  Tickets are $10 apiece. 

Children (12 and under) and USC students are in FREE.  Season ticket holders who renew or purchase online will have Spring Game tickets included in their package.

Miner's Speech

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According to our readers, the television broadcast of Sunday night's USC/UCLA men's basketball game did not include Harold Miner's complete speech before his retired No. 23 jersey was unveiled.

In case you could not make it to the game, here is Miner's moment...

Last Man Standing

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Who is the last active USC alum in the NFL playoffs???

With Clay Matthews and Brian Cushing knocked out this past weekend, it may take a few guesses before you get to the name of Chilo Rachal, but the 49ers offensive lineman is still rolling towards Super Bowl XLVI.

Rachal is a backup on Jim Harbaugh's team, but he was pressed into first team duty when an injury temporarily knocked out the Niners starting center against the Saints in last Saturday's instant classic.

He was a 2nd round pick in 2008 after an All-Pac-10 season at USC as a junior in 2007.


3-Points: UCLA 66, USC 47

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The Trojans fall to 5-13 overall and 0-5 in Pac-12 play.

Click here for the game recap and stats.

  • Miner-Speech.jpgUSC freshman guard Alexis Moore summed it up with some strong words.  "Honestly, we embarrassed ourselves.  We did a disservice to the university in our effort and how hard we played."  While Kevin O'Neill was not as harsh with his assessment of the game, he bemoaned another meager offensive showing.  The Trojans' shooting struggles continue to tell the tale as USC made just 36% from the field and 43% from the free throw line. 
  • UCLA won the game inside (30 points in the paint) and on the glass (+25 rebounding advantage) thanks to a deep and talented front court led by Mater Dei twins Travis and David Wear.  "They really took the game to us from the get go," O'Neill said.  "They've got some weapons on the front line that are tough to deal with."  The Wear twins combined for 32 points and 15 rebounds. 
  • The night really belonged to Harold Miner, USC's all-time leading scorer, who had his No. 23 jersey retired in the Galen Center rafters.  The Inglewood native was surprised by his Trojan teammates and coaches at a halftime ceremony before delivering a heartfelt speech about his treasured days at Troy.  "If he is not the best, he is one of the best that ever played here," O'Neill said about Miner, who visited the team at practice this week.  "He is a first class individual in every way.  It's an honor to have him back here."

Westwood Win

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USC women's basketball won its fourth consecutive game today by toppling UCLA in Westwood 47-43 behind a near triple-double from senior guard Ashley Corral (10 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists).

Click here for the game recap and stats.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak to the rival Bruins and marked the first victory at UCLA for the Women of Troy under Michael Cooper.


Finding Her Groove

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Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor

Two months ago, if you had told USC junior forward Christina Marinacci that she'd be playing the best basketball of her Trojan career, the Santa Ana native likely wouldn't have believed you. 

Following her impressive sophomore campaign (8.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game), Marinacci (pictured right by Daily Trojan) was dealt quite a blow before USC even took the court this season.

"I started out the season missing the first three weeks or so due to some sort of breathing problem," Marinacci said. "It was something along the lines of exercise-induced asthma, but there was no exact diagnosis. There were points where I started to get worried, thinking maybe this was worse than I thought it would be. No one knew anything for sure, and I wasn't told anything."

After three weeks of intensive medical tests, Marinacci was finally cleared to play, and she hasn't looked back since. While the Trojans trudged their way through a brutal non-conference schedule with a 5-5 record, the 6-foot-1 forward quickly asserted herself on the glass, leading the team on the boards in three of her first eight games. 

"When the tests turned out fine, I got thrown back out there right away," said Marinacci. "It took me a few games to get in rhythm, but now my confidence level is back and my feel for the game is there. I am just out there playing free."

Although typically known as a dominant rebounder, after senior guard Jacki Gemelos suffered a season-ending knee injury against Texas A&M on Dec.18, Marinacci has picked up the slack at the offensive end for Michael Cooper's squad. In her last five games, the former McDonald's High School All-American has averaged 12.6 points, including a career-high 23 in a 74-54 win over Cal last month. During that five-game span, the Trojans are also 4-1.

"Playing so many top teams in the preseason, whether it be Texas A&M, Georgia or Notre Dame, really helped with my confidence," said Marinacci, who will be a major factor in the Women of Troy's crosstown rivalry battle in Westwood Saturday.. "Because, by the time Pac-12 play started, I realized that along with our early matchup with Stanford, we had already played some of the great teams across the country. I had seen it all and hung with some of the best players at our level."

While Marinacci's numbers won't jump off a stat sheet (7.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game), the junior is more than content with her role on the team. It's a team she believes has the potential to do great things come March. 
Marinacci 1.jpg

"I think we are going to be that team in the tournament that sneaks up on people when they least expect it," said Marinacci. "I think we definitely have the type of team that can make a deep run. And for me, I am just thrilled to be playing for this team. I may have had 23 points the other night, but I am not the go-to player. My job is getting those offensive rebounds and extra looks for Ashley [Corral] and Briana [Gilbreath], playing good defense and just shutting down their best post player. I am a big role player, and I love it."

Although it's safe to say Marinacci (pictured right by is playing the finest basketball of her collegiate career, the junior says her early season health scare illustrated the importance of finding other outlets outside of basketball. While she still has more than a year remaining in cardinal and gold, Marinacci already has her sights set on the next chapter of her life.

"I would love to one day be a sideline reporter for ESPN," said Marinacci, who is majoring in communications. "I have worked with KXSC 1560-AM, USC's student-run radio station, both on the talk show side and covering the sidelines during Trojan football games. I've loved every minute of it and hope to do more on-camera work with ATVN this semester. I just can't wait for what my future has in store after my playing days are over."

Aerial Display

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Jesse Williams is the best high jumper in the world.  The USC alum proved it by taking gold at the World Championships last year and he'll put his title on the line at the London Olympics this summer.

In the meantime, Williams is having some fun showing off his hops on a basketball court.  At a recent Oregon game, he participated in a dunk contest with former Ducks three-sport athlete Jordan Kent.

Managers Needed

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The USC football program needs student managers for the upcoming 2012 season.  Here's why students should sign up:

Do you love USC Football? Have you dreamed about being part of a championship team? The USC Athletic Department is looking for Student Managers for the upcoming season.

2011 USC FB Student Managers.jpgBeing a Student Manager is the experience of a lifetime for any USC football fan. You will be given the chance to work directly with players and coaches as they prepare for the highly anticipated 2012 season. There is no way to get closer to the program than this!

Aside from working at practice, managers experience home and away games in a unique perspective - that is, on the field during pregame warm-ups, and on the USC sideline during the game. In addition, managers travel and stay with the team for away games and postseason play.

If you are currently a USC student of any age and are interested in becoming a USC Football Student Manager, please contact Head Managers Wilson Palmer and Sean Bell for more information.


Magical Miner

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Harold Miner closed his USC career with three consecutive wins over UCLA, so the Trojans can pay no greater tribute to the Los Angeles native than winning the crosstown rivalry Sunday night as his jersey moves to the Galen Center rafters for good.

Amidst bobbleheads and videos in his honor, Miner will take in a game at USC's glistening new arena for the first time this weekend.  While Galen trumps the Sports Arena, No. 23 inspired the Trojan Family enough to rock the old place from 1990-92. 

If you don't know much about the Trojans all-time leading scorer, click here for a great story by the OC Register's Mark Whicker.

The 1993 NBA Slam Dunk champion had some pretty cool highlights in college as well.  Here's a killer crossover and elevated finish over the Bruins...

Meet Fisher in St. Louis

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Congratulations to former USC cornerback Jeff Fisher who became the St. Louis Rams head coach today!

Fisher was the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans head coach from 1994-2010 and led the franchise to Super Bowl XXXIV.

Fisher-USC-SI.jpg(Sports Illustrated)

Spring Dates

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The 2012 USC Football Spring Game is set for Saturday, April 14, at 1:30 p.m at the Coliseum.  Tickets are included FREE with the online purchase or renewal of season tickets.

Spring game tickets ($10 apiece) will also be made available to the public next week on  Kids (12 and under) and USC students are in FREE.

Spring practice begins March 6.  Fifteen practices will be spread over the month leading up to the annual exhibition game.

Football practice will be moved to the afternoon this semester.  However, due to ongoing NCAA sanctions, the sessions remain CLOSED to the public. 

Coli-PRACTICEPAN-McG.jpg(Photo by John McGillen)

Coliseum Term Sheet

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As USC moves closer to taking control of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, its historic football home since 1923, both parties involved released copies of the term sheet for a modified lease in the interest of public transparency.

This is not a finished lease.  Instead, it is a proposal of terms that will be voted on at a later date.

"It's not a done deal because we still have to negotiate a lease, but assuming this works out, USC would take over the obligation to make the improvements to the venue that will enable future generations to enjoy the facility," said Tom Sayles, USC's senior vice president for university relations.

Click here for the full story from the Los Angeles Times.

Under the proposed terms, USC would make significant improvements totaling more than $50 million to the stadium.  Plus, the university promises to open the doors to community events at least eight days per year, which is more than double the previous annual number.  

USC also plans to renovate the stadium seats, locker rooms and concourses.

coliseum ariel cal04 2.jpg

Just a Pup

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On Sunday, Clay Matthews will enter Lambeau Field as the biggest star in the building, but once upon a time, he was just a USC walk-on with a famous last name.

Here's a video from the 2006 archives as future NFL All-Pro Ryan Kalil checks out the All-American wall with a well shorn Matthews...

DK's Pledge

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Defensive end Devon Kennard tweeted out this article from when he was in 8th grade and declared that he would be a Trojan someday.

Kennard's dream has come true.  After switching positions three times in his three seasons at USC, Kennard will be counted on in his senior year to replace Nick Perry's playmaking from the rush end spot next season.


Houck Retires

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Legendary offensive line coach Hudson Houck announced his retirement from football this week after 29 years of NFL coaching plus seven decorated seasons at USC.

Houck was a member of the Trojans' 1962 national championship team and lettered at center in 1963, but he really built his reputation on the sidelines. 

Houck-Foster-USC.jpgFrom 1976 to 1982, he coached USC offensive linemen to three Rose Bowls and the 1978 national championship.  During that span, he was credited with cultivating NFL Hall of Fame talents Anthony Munoz and Bruce Matthews; plus college football hall of famers Marvin Powell and Brad Budde (the 1979 Lombardi Award winner); and All-Americans Pat Howell, Keith Van Horne, Roy Foster (pictured with Houck), Don Mosebar and Tony Slaton.

Houck moved on to the professional ranks in 1983 where he worked for the Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and two terms with the Dallas Cowboys.  He is believed to have coached more Pro Bowl offensive linemen than anyone else in NFL history.

"I've had a great time, been part of a lot of winning teams and I've enjoyed a lot of wonderful relationships," Houck told ESPN.

Taking the Bate

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Volleyball Magazine is the latest publication to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of USC women's volleyball trio Alex Jupiter, Kendall Bateman and Natalie Hagglund. 

Jupiter was named the National Player of the Year as well as a First Team All-American joining Bateman and Hagglund.  The Women of Troy placed three members on Volleyball Magazine's All-American team for only the second time ever (1977).

The Trojans were ranked No. 1 in the nation before falling to Illinois in the national semifinals.

Also, senior setter Kendall Bateman (pictured by Pierson Clair) announced that she will be joining the inaugural USC women's sand volleyball team for her final semester at Troy.  Competition begins on the beach in the middle of March.


State of Troy: January 2012

Each month, we bring you a Q&A with USC athletic director Pat Haden to keep you up to date on the latest happenings around Heritage Hall.

Barkley-Presser-Applause-PC.jpgQ.) What does it say about the power of USC that star athletes like Matt Barkley, T.J. McDonald and men's tennis champion Steve Johnson decided to return for their senior years?

They are all the best at what they do in college athletics, so it is phenomenal for our school and our fans that they are coming back.  As for what drew them back, it is the allure of USC.  It is finishing what you started.  And, it is an understanding that this college experience is just a breath in your life that goes by fast.  They will have plenty of time to go into the professional ranks, but this point in time in their lives is so special that they want to finish it.

Q.) Would you be interested in playing a USC football game in China?

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is a proponent of this idea and I understand why.  I would have some logistical concerns particularly with the travel and the schedule.  USC has a big following in the Pacific Rim, so it would be fantastic to reach out to that alumni base.  Can it be done?  Yes, but we need to discuss the things around it.

Q.) How can the NCAA improve the punishment procedure?

We need much greater transparency.  We need a clearer explanation as to why certain penalties are handed down to one school and not to another.  If we had penalty guidelines, it would let universities understand what is at stake for them and lead to more consistency. 

Jupiter-Zona-PC.jpgQ.) What impressed you most about women's volleyball Honda Award winner Alex Jupiter?

One of the measures of great athletes is being able to perform at a high level even though your opponent knows that you are the go-to player.  Everybody knew that Alex Jupiter was our star, but she was still able to carry us down the stretch and into the tournament when we needed her the most.  She has had a remarkable career at USC.

Q.) What are you most looking forward to in the spring semester?

After an exciting football season, a great run in women's volleyball and another men's water polo national championship in the fall, the spring semester should be even more fun with 15 sports in action.  Men's tennis is trying to win a fourth consecutive national championship.  Women's tennis is nationally ranked with two talented young freshmen in Zoe Scandalis and Sabrina Santamaria.  Track and field boasts 29 national championships and we could be really good again this season.  There is always something going on this time of year around campus.  I am going to a lot of events, but I am loving it.  It is the fun part of the job.

(Photos by Pierson Clair)

Welcome Home

Florida safety Josh Shaw has transferred to USC for the spring semester to compete for a spot in an already loaded secondary.  The Palmdale native is headed back to Southern California where he was an Under Armour All-American as a high school star.

Shaw appeared in 10 games for the Gators as a redshirt freshman this past season.  The 6'2" 195-pound defensive back made 22 tackles in 2011.


Baby Jordan

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USC men's basketball will honor Harold Miner at Sunday's 6 p.m. game against UCLA by retiring his No. 23 jersey during a halftime ceremony.  The Trojans all-time leading scorer, who was once dubbed "Baby Jordan," will make his first appearance at Galen Center.

To celebrate the occasion, we are also giving out 1,000 Harold Miner bobbleheads to students and 1,000 more to lucky fans wearing USC apparel.


"Study Your TAS Off"

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Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor

Tuesday night marked a joyous occasion inside Heritage Hall's Varsity Lounge as more than 200 Trojan student-athletes came together to celebrate their collective accomplishments during the past academic year. 

Put on by the Trojan Athletic Senate, the aptly named "Study Your TAS Off" event honored USC's 341 student-athletes who had at least a 3.0 cumulative or 3.0 term GPA from either the spring 2011 or fall 2011 semesters.

To celebrate the occasion, the student-athletes were treated to an ice cream social and rewarded with $15 restaurant gift cards through the Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund (SAOF). 

AD Pat Haden, a former Rhodes Scholar, made an appearance at the event and was overjoyed by the large turnout.

"This is absolutely incredible and staggering to me," Haden said. "This proves that not only are these kids some of the world's greatest athletes, but they are also some of the world's greatest scholars. And at an institution like USC, that is not an easy feat. It's incredibly uplifting and makes my job so wonderful."

Degree of Difficulty

Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor

Upon entering USC in the fall of 2006, former Trojan running back C.J. Gable had little trouble acclimating to life on the football field. 

During his freshman season at Troy, Gable (pictured right by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) started five games (including the season opener at Arkansas), rushed for 434 yards on 111 carries, ranked 15th nationally in kick return average (27 yards per attempt) and scored four touchdowns.

Outside the white lines, however, life did not start out so easy for Gable at USC.

"I had my fair share of struggles at USC that first year, between juggling football and school work," Gable recalled. "In high school, I could just finish my work in class and never had to bring it home. When I got to college the experience was completely different. You were expected to sit through these long lectures and then complete the homework on your own without any guidance.  And because of it, I was getting C's, D's and F's on all of my work. I was overwhelmed."

With the reality of ineligibility a distinct possibility for Gable, the prideful tailback went to Student-Athlete Academic Services (SAAS) and asked for some much-needed help with his studies.

"I'm the type of person that doesn't really like to ask for help, because I like to believe I can do everything on my own," said Gable. "It's a pride thing. But early on it became apparent that I needed to buckle down and find someone who could help."

Gable would receive that help in the form of SAAS learning specialist Dr. Denise Kwok and other peer tutors. For the next three years, rain or shine, practice or no practice, Gable went in for tutoring every day with the goal of earning his undergraduate degree.

"I went to tutoring every day and it was terrible at first," said Gable. "I hated it, because no one likes people telling them what to do. I didn't want to go down there and be bossed around by people who didn't know me. But at some point in the process it just sort of clicked for me. I think deep down I realized that these people actually really cared about me, not just as a football player but as a person." 

In May 2010, after four long years of hard work, Gable (pictured right Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) finally received the news from Dr. Kwok, that he says "changed his life forever." He was finally going to graduate from USC with a B.A. in sociology, making him the first person in his family to graduate from a university.

"When Denise [Kwok] told me I was finally going to graduate, I was crying and so was she," said Gable. "It was the biggest thing to ever happen in my life, bigger than getting into USC or going to the NFL. She is the main reason why I graduated from USC. She always made sure that I stayed on top of my work and always pushed me to want more from myself."

Now more than a year removed from his days at USC, Gable isn't shy when expressing what it feels like to know he earned his college degree. While the former Trojan running back (1,549 rushing yards during his USC career) had cups of coffee with the New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos last summer, he wouldn't be opposed to a life outside of football.

"Obviously the goal for me is still to play professional football," said Gable. "Although I anticipate hearing from NFL teams after the season is over, there are other things I'd love to do at some point. I don't think I would have said that as a freshman. But, whether it be working with the Boys and Girls Club of America or as a counselor at a juvenile correctional center, I think anything where I could work with kids would be a tremendous opportunity."

Into the Fire

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No. 6 USC men's volleyball gets the home season officially underway with a pair of tough match-ups against No. 5 Long Beach State on Thursday and No. 11 Cal State Northridge Friday at Galen Center.

The Trojans are 1-0 after sweeping Cal Baptist in Riverside last week.

Here is head coach Bill Ferguson with our own Dave Dulberg previewing the season ahead...

Dads and Daughters

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We are celebrating dads and daughters at the USC women's basketball game against Oregon State on Saturday, January 21, by offering a $20 package, which includes two tickets, two concession vouchers, a Women of Troy backpack, a commemorative photo and more.

Click here for tickets!!

Please enjoy a great day with your daughter and cheer on the Women of Troy!


USC's NCAA Strategy

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While many USC fans are targeting a return to bowl contention in 2012 as a chance to move past the NCAA postseason sanctions of the last two years, others still feel the sting of wrongdoing at the hands of collegiate athletics' governing body.

Haden-Ca-PC.jpgAthletic director Pat Haden has heard from every side and responded to the criticism in the Orange County Register

On not suing the NCAA:  "We've investigated litigation. We spent a lot of time considering that.  People just assume you're sitting on your hands. I'm not an idiot. We're not idiots. We have investigated every opportunity. There is no alternative for us at this point under the bylaws that every university signs up for as a member of the NCAA."

On the inequity of the Ohio State ruling: "There is no due process.  Our fan base is upset with what happened at Ohio State, and they're probably going to be upset with what comes down at North Carolina or Miami.  We're going to hear it again."

On not continuing the fight:  "There comes a point in time when you must move on. Even that phrase I get a lot of push-back on. But I'm just doing what I think is right for USC and our team and our athletic department."

#6 with a Bullet

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USC ended the 2012 season ranked No. 6 in the final AP poll, which is the Trojans' highest finish since 2008 (No. 3).

The program's arrow is pointing up though with prognosticators picking USC as an early favorite for the national championship next season.  On SportsCenter this morning, Matt Millen ranked the Trojans as the No. 1 team in the nation heading into the college football offseason.  ESPN's Robert Smith slotted USC at No. 2.

BCS-Logo.jpgAlso in the news, BCS officials are expected to meet today regarding college football's postseason system with the possibility of a plus-one model going into effect as early as 2014.  Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and athletic director Pat Haden have both been quoted as open to the possibility of creating a football Final Four.

Click here for more.

"Everything you can imagine will be discussed," BCS executive director Bill Hancock said. "Everything from format, who plays who, to where they play, to the business aspect of it ... it's all going to be on the table."

USC has only been invited to the BCS Championship Game twice under the current format.  However, if there had been a plus-one in place, the Trojans could have made the playoffs every year from 2002-2008.

Banner Boys

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USC men's water polo has dressed up Heritage Hall with yet another national championship banner commemorating the record-setting 4-peat.

USC Athletics' photo Heritage Hall is dressed up with a new banner.  USC men's water polo 4-peat:
USC Athletics on WhoSay

Coming and Going

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Corona High School DE DeVante Wilson, who was originally part of the Trojans' 2011 recruiting class, has enrolled at USC for the spring semester after sitting out the fall season to rehab torn ligaments in his knee.

Devante-Wilson.jpgHe was a 2010 Prep Star All-American, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West and All-Big VIII League first team selection as a senior defensive lineman at Corona.  He had 59 tackles with 9.5 sacks in 2010.

Click here for Wilson's 2011 prospect profile and highlight video.

Over the weekend, freshman RB Amir Carlisle announced his intention to transfer to Notre Dame. 

Click here for the Los Angeles Times story on Carlisle.

Tennis at Hoops

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USC men's and women's tennis smacked some tennis balls into the stands at last night's men's basketball game. 

Three-time national champion and reigning NCAA No. 1 Steve Johnson (far left) is back at Troy to pursue a 4-peat after his semester sojourn as a USTA professional.


NFL Wild Card Weekend

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Several Trojans are still in the Super Bowl derby...

Heisman Worthy

Brian Cushing, LB, Texans - Team leading 8 tackles

Cushing Celebrates.jpgIn the Houston Texans first playoff game as a franchise, Cushing led a powerful defensive performance that limited the Cincinnati Bengals to 76 yards rushing and forced three turnovers.  Cushing and the Texans head to Baltimore for a Divisional Round clash with the Ravens (Sunday on CBS at 10 a.m.).

The Rest

Rey Maualuga, LB, Bengals - 3 tackles

Frostee Rucker, DE, Bengals - 2 tackles

Shaun Cody, DT, Texans - 3 tackles

Sedrick Ellis, DT, Saints - 1 tackle

Lawrence Jackson, DE, Lions - 2 tackles

Sam Baker, OL, Falcons - Came in as an extra offensive lineman in heavy packages

Troy Polamalu , S, Steelers - 4 tackles

Still Alive (and Active)

Houston Texans (Cushing and Cody)

Green Bay Packers (Clay Matthews)

New Orleans Saints (Ellis)

San Francisco 49ers (Chilo Rachal)

3-Points: Arizona 57, USC 46

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The Trojans fall to 0-4 in Pac-12 play as Arizona gets an afternoon win at Galen Center.

Click here for the stats and recap.

  • USC shot a season low 29.3% from the field, including 1/15 from three-point range.  "That's not going to beat anybody, anywhere, anytime," head coach Kevin O'Neill said about his team's shooting statistics.  "We're just not making shots and we haven't been for most of the year."  Greg Allen was given extended minutes as O'Neill searched for an answer.  "We're just looking for someone to make a shot.  That would be the nicest thing in the world."  
  • Aaron Fuller did not play in the second half after suffering another shoulder injury.  Without him, the Wildcats capitalized in the paint behind Jesse Perry's 20 points and Solomon Hill's double-double (11 points and 10 rebounds).  "He hasn't been right all year," O'Neill said both of Fuller's shoulders are in pain.  Sophomore C Dewayne Dedmon has found a measure of consistency in league play with 8, 10, 8 and 11 points in the four games.  "He's getting a feel for the game," O'Neill said.  "Everyone thought he was going to be a lottery pick this year, but he's not."
  • Kevin O'Neill announced that the team will do extra individual work this semester in an attempt to improve a young roster piece by piece.  "These guys are going to end up having a lot of success," the head coach referred to his team which could return intact next season.  "It's probably more based toward next year.  They are just in roles that they can't handle right now.  They're a little overwhelmed."

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  • USC will host UCLA next Sunday night in the first men's basketball edition of the crosstown rivalry this season.  The game is at 6 p.m. and fans in attendance will receive a Harold Miner bobblehead.

Here is freshman Byron Wesley on the team's frustration and his excitement to face the Bruins...

Trojans Ready for Playoffs

As the NFL gets set for Wild Card Weekend, former USC assistant coach Kirby Wilson will not be able to man his post as Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach due to severe burns that he suffered from a house fire last night.  The Trojan Family wishes him a speedy recovery.

Here's a look at the Trojans who are in action this weekend:

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texas at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on NBC


Cush-Bleeding.jpgLB Rey Maualuga - No. 58 will make his postseason debut after finishing the regular season second on the team in tackles (88).

DE Frostee Rucker - Watch for him coming off the edge as he finished the year with 4 sacks.

S Taylor Mays - Listed as doubtful with a hamstring injury.

LB Keith Rivers - He's been on IR all season.


LB Brian Cushing - He was voted the team's defensive MVP after leading the squad in tackles (114).

DT Shaun Cody - A consistent force on the nose coming off his best campaign as a pro.

QB Matt Leinart - Out with a broken collarbone.

Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints at 5 p.m. Saturday on NBC


DE Lawrence Jackson - Tallied 4.5 sacks in 11 games.


DT Sedrick Ellis - No. 98 is in search of his second ring.

OT Charles Brown - Injured reserve.

Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Giants at 10 a.m. Sunday on Fox


LT Sam Baker - He is expected to back up at left tackle.


CB Terrell Thomas - Injured reserve.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos at 1:30 p.m. Sunday on CBS


S Troy Polamalu - The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year.


No Trojans

Schedule Breakdowns

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By now you have broken down USC's 2012 schedule umpteen times and made initial predictions and projections, but how is the rest of the Pac-12 going to shape up?

ESPN Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller breaks down every team's schedule in and out of conference.

With the conference schedule rotation, the luck of the draw can play a major factor in how the standings shake out.  For example, Utah was fortunate to dodge No. 4 Stanford and No. 6 Oregon this past season and will avoid the Cardinal and Ducks again in 2012.

In the non-conference slate, the Pac-12 will continue its reputation of taking on all comers including No. 1 LSU (Washington), No. 3 Oklahoma State (Arizona), No. 9 Wisconsin (Oregon State) and Ohio State (Cal).  However, the Oregon Ducks, which have battled LSU and Boise State in recent years, should maintain a lofty preseason ranking after starting the season with Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech.

The Oregon vs. USC showdown at the Coliseum could be the Pac-12 game of the year.
Orgeron-Ducks-PG.jpg(Photo by Patrick Gee)

Barkley 4.0

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As Matt Barkley enters his fourth and final year as a starter, head coach Lane Kiffin wants to continue to push his quarterback by expanding his responsibilities in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage.

"Anytime that the quarterback can become an extension of you as a play-caller, and he can do the things you want him to do without you having to (tell him), you're going to be better," Kiffin told the OC register. "Anytime you can get to that level with someone, you're going to be better. We're going to try to give him more stuff to challenge him and make us better."

Click here for the full story by Michael Lev.

Kiffin also explained that Barkley was ready to make more calls at the line of scrimmage last year, but the youth on the offensive line precluded the quarterback from making sophisticated audibles.  The Trojans will return four starters on the offensive line next season.

Barkley-Prac-Point-McG.JPG(Photo by John McGillen)

3-Points: ASU 62, USC 53

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The Trojans remain winless in Pac-12 play as undermanned Arizona State emerges victorious from Galen Center for the first time.

Click here for the game recap, stats and photos.

  • USC attempted 19 more shots than ASU, but the Trojans' typically stingy defense allowed the Sun Devils enough space to make 61% from the field and 7/13 from three.  "We didn't play with the force we needed to tonight," head coach Kevin O'Neill said.  "The thing we have been confident about is our ability to defend and rebound, but that kind of vacated us tonight." 
  • ASU head coach Herb Sendek suspended three players from his rotation, including leading scorer Keala King, but the remaining Sun Devils picked up the slack led by Carrick Felix (22 points and 4 blocks) and Trent Lockett (19 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists).  "They suspend a couple guys and ban together and just play their best game of the year," O'Neill praised the Sun Devils.  "Their guys stepped up and played great basketball."
  • Arizona is coming to Galen Center on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and then UCLA is next, so the Trojans don't have time to lick their wounds.  Has their confidence suffered in this stretch of seven losses in eight games?  "I really don't know the answer to that," Dewayne Dedmon said.  "We need to bring intensity into Sunday's game and a must-win attitude."
And 1...

  • Dedmon was a factor on the offensive glass (5 offensive rebounds), especially in the second half, but he injured his left leg on a putback and removed himself from the game.  He said that the leg "locked up" on him.   
Here is the complete Dewayne Dedmon interview...

Galen Center App

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The USC GameDay App has been updated to include Galen Center for both iPhones and Androids.  If you have already downloaded the FREE app, all you need to do is update it and select basketball from the home page.

Click here to download the app for iPhone.

Click here to download the app for Android.

The app provides game day information for both football and Galen Center sports.  You can see the view from your seats, find the best spots for food, get live stats and info plus many more features.


USC Coaches Clinic

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The ninth annual USC Football/Nike Coach of the Year Southern California Coaches Clinic returns to Troy on February 24 and 25 led by head coach Lane Kiffin and his acclaimed coaching staff plus guest speakers Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State and Mark Dantonio of Michigan State.

Kiffin-Smile-practice.jpgClick here for more info!

The clinic offers expertise for all levels of football coaching plus fans are welcome to join the party and get inside access into the game and the program that they love.

Click here to register at!!!

The Trojans are fresh off a 10-2 season, so take this opportunity to learn how Coach Kiffin and his staff built a winner from offseason strength and conditioning to practice routine to game day glory.

Draft Prep

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The 2012 NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 26.  The NFL Combine starts February 22.

From now until then, USC football prospects will be grinding away pushing their bodies to the limits in an attempt to impress scouts and future employers.

RB Marc Tyler will get to showcase his wares at the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Florida, on January 21.  Plus, WR Brandon Carswell can flash some skills at the AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at Home Depot Center on the same day, according to Gary Klein.

For now, the Trojans are in training like Tyler and Marshall Jones pictured below.


The All-Timer

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USC baseball legend Rod Dedeaux passed away six years ago today, which prompted this tweet from Hall of Fame skipper and close friend Tommy Lasorda, "I miss Rod Dedeaux so much."

Lasorda also posted this photo of Rod and his wife Helen with Tommy and Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel watching USC at the Rose Bowl.


Hoops on KLAA

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USC men's basketball begins a three-game home stand tonight at Galen Center against Arizona State at 7:30 p.m.  The game will not be televised, but you can listen to the contest on AM 830 KLAA.

The Trojans lost a pair of close games in the Bay Area to begin Pac-12 play, but they'll look to right the ship against the Sun Devils tonight before monster match-ups versus Arizona (Sunday at 2:30 p.m.) and UCLA (January 15).

RS sophomore F Evan Smith (shoulder) is likely out for the season, Kevin O'Neill told the LA Times.

Special Dates Announced

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To go along with the release of the 2012 USC football schedule, here are the dates for Family Weekend and Homecoming, so you can make your reservations.

Trojan Family Weekend -- October 20 vs. Colorado

Homecoming and Reunion Weekend -- November 10 vs. Arizona State

coliseum ariel cal04 2.jpg

Future Opponents

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In case you missed it, the complete 2012 USC football schedule came out today.

Click here to view it!

DSC_0237.JPGIf you want to look into the future, the Trojans have four non-conference opponents inked plus the annual Notre Dame rivalry. 

In 2013, USC will travel to Hawaii, which means the Trojans can play 13 regular season games, so they will also take on the Irish in South Bend, and Boston College and Utah State at the Coliseum.  USC will finish off the home-and-home series with BC in a 2014 trip to Chestnut Hill.

Looking well into the distance, Texas has signed up for a home-and-home.  The Longhorns will come to the Coliseum in 2017 and the Trojans will trip to Austin in 2018.

In the Pac-12, USC will not play Oregon or Washington in 2013 or 2014 unless the schools meet up in the conference championship game.  Instead, the Trojans will renew their battles with Washington State and Oregon State, which they have not played since 2010.

USC and BC last met in the 2009 Emerald Bowl.
USC-BC-Getty.jpg(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Tennis is Tops

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After men's water polo held serve with a fourth consecutive national championship this fall, men's tennis will now begin its quest for a matching four-peat as the No. 1 team in the nation this spring. 

Tennis-Nguyen-Kiss.JPGWith the return of NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson to go along with No. 12 Ray Sarmiento and No. 16 Daniel Nguyen, the Trojans feature three top 20 players who have proven themselves at the highest level.

Click here for the full story.

The Women of Troy will begin the 2012 season ranked No. 16 in the country led by true freshmen phenoms No. 18 Sabrina Santamaria and No. 19 Zoe Scandalis.  Plus, USC women's tennis boasts the ITA National Indoor Doubles Champions Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian.

Click here for the full story.

Men's tennis season gets underway January 13, while the women begin January 28.

2012 USC Football Schedule

For the first time since 2009, the USC football season can end in postseason glory, but the Trojans will have to work through a daunting 12-game regular season slate before a possible Pac-12 Championship and/or bowl game. 

USC will host showdowns against Oregon, Notre Dame, Cal, Colorado and Arizona State after a non-conference opener versus Norm Chow's Hawaii.  The Trojans will travel to New Jersey to take on Syracuse and then Stanford, Utah, Washington, Arizona and UCLA.

Coli-Utah-McG.jpgClick here for new season tickets!

The team's road mettle will be tested early in the campaign with four trips in five games after the Coliseum opener, including a Thursday night affair in Utah on October 4.  The always tricky Pac-12 road opener will be a revenge game in Palo Alto against a Stanford team which has won three straight over the Trojans. 

As opposed to last season, USC should avoid the winter freeze.  The Trojans will not leave Los Angeles in the month of November when they welcome Rose Bowl champions Oregon  and a Thanksgiving weekend rivalry contest against Notre Dame.

Due to the Pac-12 schedule rotation, USC will not play Northwest foes Washington State or Oregon State unless they meet in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday, November 30. 

Game times and television plans for the 2012 USC schedule will be determined at a later date.

2012 Full Schedule

Sept. 1 - Hawaii
Sept. 8 - @Syracuse (East Rutherford, N.J.)
Sept. 15 - @Stanford
Sept. 22 - California
Oct. 4 (Th.) - @Utah
Oct. 13 - @Washington
Oct. 20 - Colorado
Oct. 27 - @Arizona
Nov. 3 - Oregon
Nov. 10 - Arizona State
Nov. 17 - @UCLA
Nov. 24 - Notre Dame 

Garvey Transfers

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Baseball freshman Ryan Garvey will transfer away from USC to Riverside Community College before ever playing a game for the Trojans due to being overwhelmed by the academic workload.

Click here for the full story.

"I passed all my classes, I'm eligible, it was great, but I was studying from 9:30 to 6 every day and I was more worried about school than baseball, and my thing was to go there to play baseball," said Ryan, who is the son of former major league all-star Steve Garvey. "I love 'SC, it was one of my dream schools from the beginning, but my main goal is to be a professional baseball player and I felt I was more focused on school than sports."

Ryan-Garvey-Palm-Desert.jpg(Photo by Wade Byars/The Desert Sun)

Men's Volley Outlook

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USC men's volleyball was ranked No. 1 in the nation wire-to-wire in the 2011 regular season before bowing out in the Final Four.  The 2012 Trojans will start the season below the radar with hopes of ending it in the same promised land.

Ferguson-Bench.jpgClick here for the complete season preview.

Bill Ferguson's team is led by senior preseason All-American Tony Ciarelli,  who was second in kills behind National Player of the Year Murphy Troy last season.  Co-captain Steven Shandrick and sophomore libero Henry Cassiday are the other two returning starters.

"Despite what it might appear, we would like to think of it as more of a case of reloading than rebuilding this year," said Ferguson, the 2011 MPSF Coach of the Year after winning National Coach of the Year notice in 2009. "We have every reason to believe we can be among the teams playing in the Galen Center in early May."

The Galen Center will host the Final Four in early May.

Ciarelli was second on the team with 36 aces in 2011.
Ciarelli-Serve-UCLA-PC.jpg(Photos by Pierson Clair)

The Rich Get Richer

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USC men's tennis begins its quest towards a four-peat this month with three-time national champions Steve Johnson, the reigning NCAA singles champion, and Daniel Nguyen inked into the starting lineup alongside sensational sophomores Ray Sarmiento and Emilio Gomez.

Roberto_Quiroz.jpgHead coach Peter Smith signed a pair of freshmen, Roberto Quiroz (pictured) and Jordi Vives, to reinforce the depth on the roster and breed competition throughout the squad.

Click here for the full story.

"Roberto and Jordi complete our team not only for the 2012 season but the future of our program," Smith said. "They are two great people that we expect to have an immediate and lasting impression on our team. They have both proven that they can be great players in singles and doubles."

Quiroz is Gomez's cousin and they both grew up in Guayaquil, Ecuador.  Vives is from Barcelona, Spain, and trained at the highly respected Federacion Catalana de Tenis under Alberto Costa.

Patterson to Undergo Brain Surgery

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USC All-American and Philadelphia Eagles DT Mike Patterson will undergo offseason brain surgery to fix a tangling of blood vessels and arteries, known as an AVM, which caused him to have a seizure during training camp.

"I still have one more doctor to check out, but I'm going to get something done," said Patterson, who played in 15 games this season. "We'll see. I'm not nervous at all about it. I felt like, for me personally, it's not as big a deal as it seems to be to other people. It's a quick procedure and I'll be back."

The rehab could take anywhere from one to six months.   Click here for the full story.

"I have nothing to worry about, as long as I get it taken care of so I can come back out and play," he said.

NFL Week 17

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The final week of the regular season provided an opportunity for some young Trojans to shine.

Heisman Worthy

Jurrell Casey, DT, Titans - 6 tackles and 1.5 sacks

Casey-Helmetless-Titans.jpgThe rookie completed a strong first season in style with a dominating performance in a win over the Houston Texans.  Casey tallied a sack and a half for 11.5 yards lost.  He proved to be one of the most durable rookies in the league playing in all 16 games recording 52 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

All-American Caliber

Troy Polamalu, S, Steelers - 2 tackles, 3 passes defended and an interception

Carson Palmer, QB, Raiders - 28/43 for 417 yards and 2 TD/1 INT for a 102.6 rating

Rey Maualuga, LB, Bengals - Team-leading 9 tackles en route to his first ever playoff appearance

Kyle Moore, DE, Bills - Season-high two tackles

Patrick Turner, WR, Jets - 1st career TD catch (10 yards)

Turner-Dolphins.jpg(Photo by Joe Rimkus Jr./Miami Herald)

Never Too Early

| 1 Comment
The Trojans finished the 2011 regular season ranked No. 5 in the AP poll with a team that returns 17 starters in 2012, so the hype machine is getting an early start.

On yesterday's College Gameday, Kirk Herbstreit predicted that USC would be slotted at No. 1 or No. 2 in the preseason polls next August. posted the Trojans at No. 3 right behind the current BCS title game participants LSU and Alabama.

And,'s Andy Staples thinks USC will regain its claim as the power of the Pac-12 in 2012.

Lane Kiffin went 5-for-5 in bowl game predictions yesterday.

Kiffin at the Rose Bowl

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Head coach Lane Kiffin joined the ESPN College GameDay crew live at the Rose Bowl this morning to make picks on the New Year's Day (+1) bowl games.

As he always does, Kiffin made some bold calls, including going against Pac-12 one-loss power Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl versus Oklahoma State.  However, he does think Oregon will win its first bowl game of the Chip Kelly era in Pasadena against Wisconsin.


Happy New Year!

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Fight On in 2012!!!

USC Athletics' photo Happy New Year to the Trojan Family!

Time to Fight On to 2012...
USC Athletics on WhoSay