January 2014 Archives

Super Trojans

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The Trojans will be represented by 19 former players, coaches or staff members on Super Bowl Sunday. 

Along with the more prominent 11 pictured below, the Seahawks' sideline and administration includes Brian Schneider, Carl Smith, Jamie Yanchar, Dave Canales, Nate Carroll, Ben Malcolmson, Matt Capurro and Sandy Gregory who all have Trojan ties.

Whichever team wins, someone is bringing a ring home to Troy.


DeRozan Named All-Star

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Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan was named as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Stars becoming the first Trojan since Gus Williams in 1983 to make the NBA All-Star Game.

"I work extremely hard every off-season to try to be the best player I can be," DeRozan told the Toronto Star. "I don't ever look at myself as having a ceiling . . . I just work my butt off. Just to be part of the all-star game means a lot personally, it's something you dream about."

DeRozan is averaging per game career-highs in points (21.8), rebounds (4.7), assists (3.6), steals (1.2) and three-point shooting (30.8%).  He is in his fourth year in the league after leading the Trojans to a Pac-10 Tournament title.


Photo Galleries: New Heritage Hall

The new Heritage Hall will be open to the public starting Monday, and all fans, students and faculty will be welcome inside the USC Athletics' museum from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The $35 million renovation project turned a 48,000 square foot space into an 80,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility which includes an interactive two-story museum in the lobby as well as offices for USC athletic administrators and coaches, a sports performance center, a broadcast studio, a lounge for Women of Troy student-athletes, a rowing ergometer room and an indoor golf driving area, plus new locker rooms, meeting rooms, equipment room and event space.

And finally, the new Heritage Hall unveiled in two John McGillen photo galleries...

USC Heritage Hall 2014 - Images by John McGillen

USC Heritage Hall Basement - Images by John McGillen

Men's Hoops Heartbreaker

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USC men's basketball fell in overtime for the second consecutive game for the first time in program history.  Last night's defeat at Oregon State came in particularly crushing fashion as the Trojans saw a late four-point lead slip away in regulation before missing a free throw that would have tied the game in the last second of overtime.

Nevertheless, the Trojans have put together three consecutive impressive efforts with a tough test looming Saturday at Oregon (5 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks).  Here are the SnappyTV highlights from last night...

Right Place, Right Time

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

Elite athletes often talk about the concept of the peak, the process of preparing, training and planning so that their ultimate athletic potential is expressed at the perfect moment in their season. As the USC Women's basketball team passes the halfway point in the regular season ranked second in the conference, they are at the right place at the right time to peak when it matters most. 

The peaking process starts with laying a foundation. Amidst much offseason change, the foundation for this team was found in the leadership of its upperclassmen, namely Cassie Harberts. The senior forward entered the season ranked No. 16 on USC's all-time scoring list after leading the Trojans in scoring, rebounding and blocks as a junior. She was the expected to anchor this team after the departure of lone senior Christina Marinacci last year. After finishing 11-20 last season, the Trojans knew they had a long way to go in rebuilding, but Harberts says she was never worried about it.

"To us, it's not really a surprise how much we have accomplished, but to the outside I can see how it might look a little surprising," Harberts says with a laugh. "I'm just so proud of the girls and how we've rebounded from last year. We've really come together and all the pieces are starting to fall in the right place."

With a solid foundation in place, summer workouts signaled the start of a building period. In a physical sense this period means strengthening; high volume and high intensity work to prepare the body for challenges it will face later in the season. But there's a mental aspect to this building period as well, the strengthening not just of muscles but of chemistry as well. 

"The difference is that we all have another year under our belt," the senior captain explains. "It's pretty much the same team back from last year and I think chemistry wise we finally found what works for us. We know what to expect. For the most part everyone's played in the Pac-12, and now we're a year older. It shows."

But the chemistry that has pushed the Women of Troy to be ranked second in the Pac-12 at the midpoint of the season didn't develop overnight. In the preseason, the Trojans went 8-5, losing to tough opponents like Iowa and Oklahoma State as they put their offseason lessons and adjustments into play for the first time. According to Coach Cooper, surviving the bumps in the road in the preseason is exactly what her team needed to prepare for conference and sure enough, as USC began Pac-12 play, the product on the court was far improved. 

Senior Swimmers' Swan Song

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

All eyes may be on Olympic sensation Missy Franklin and the other tough Pac-12 competitors this weekend as the Trojans host both the No. 1 ranked Cal Bears and the No. 4 ranked Stanford Cardinal, but for seniors Kasey Carlson, Stina Gardell and Meghan Hawthorne this weekend means much more than who they are competing against. 

As this weekend marks the seniors' final home meet, the three reminisced on some of their favorite memories. Carlson recalled all the NCAA Championships and all the meets that came down to the wire. Hawthorne jokingly remembered the times she and Carlson spent together as freshmen in the dorms. Gardell thought about all the girls that she does not know if she will ever see again when she moves back to Sweden. All three expressed tremendous relief that they won't have to get up for 5:45 a.m. practices. 

"I just want people to remember me as I will remember them," said Gardell. 

"We've been through it all together," added Hawthorne. 

Though there may be strong sentiments as they complete their final season, the seniors are focused on their goals and the team goals now more than ever. "We're so much more invested this year," declared Hawthorne. "We've learned over the past three years what needs to be done to accomplish our goals. So now it's our time to make a legacy here." 

Wittek to Transfer

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USC junior QB Max Wittek told Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times that he intends to transfer after graduating at the end of this semester.  He will not participate in spring practice leaving the Trojans with three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster - redshirt junior Cody Kessler, redshirt freshman Max Browne and freshman Jalen Greene. 

Click here for the LA Times story.

Wittek, who started two games for the Trojans in his career, was extremely positive about his USC experience despite his decision to leave.  He has not yet decided where he will transfer.

"I've learned a lot since I've been here," Wittek told the LA Times. "I've been through a lot and USC has helped me become the man I am today and there is no better place. The Trojan family is amazing.

"My journey has been a little bit different -- it didn't work out with the traditional picture-perfect ending, but I definitely look back with a lot of positive feelings."

Wittek was in close consultation with head coach Steve Sarkisian on the decision to transfer.  "We thank Max for his contributions to Trojan football and wish him the best in the future," said Sarkisian.


Men's Volleyball: USC vs. Cal Baptist

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USC Men's Volleyball added another win to their impressive 2014 season after defeating Cal Baptist 3-1 Wednesday night in the Galen Center. 

The Trojans started off strong winning the first two games (25-13, 25-22) before dropping the third (21-25) to the Lancers. The dominant fourth game was led by senior Tanner Jansen and ace junior setter Micah Christenson as the Trojans went on to win 25-21. 

The game was full of exciting moments including this potential Sportscenter Not Top Ten moment. Check out the unfortunate domino effect mishap here

For more Men's Volleyball action, check out the SnappyTV highlights below.

Don't Miss Missy

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No. 5 USC women's swimming and diving is hosting No. 1 Cal on Friday at 3 p.m. at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center.  Admission is FREE.  While the top five match-up is scintillating enough, Bears freshman Missy Franklin will be among those competing against the Trojans' 2012 Olympians. 

Franklin was one of the stars of the London Olympics raking in five medals including four golds.  In her first year in Berkeley, the teenage star has already set the NCAA's top 200y free time this year by more than two seconds (1:41.40) as well as the best 500y free (4:34.63) time.

The Trojans will counter with three Olympians of their own in All-American seniors Stina Gardell and Lynette Lim plus sophomore Kasia Wilk.  The Women of Troy are paced by All-American senior Kasey Carlson who is the top-ranked swimmer in the country in the 100y free (47.22) and second in the 100y breast (58.61).


Finish Strong

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The USC football coaching staff is on the road putting the finishing touches on the 2014 recruiting class, which will be made official on Wednesday, February 5. 

Assistant coach Marques Tuiasosopo checked in via Twitter from Florida, a state which has yielded great returns for the Trojans in recent years.  On this team alone, DL Leonard Williams, WR Nelson Agholor, S Leon McQuay III, LB Quinton Powell and RB Buck Allen hail from the Sunshine State.

WR coach Tee Martin and company are jetting around the country recruiting the best talent.
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Let the Coaches Recruit

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Please read this message from the USC Compliance office...

As National Signing Day approaches for numerous sports on campus, we would like to take this opportunity to remind the Trojan Family not to contact any of our prospective student-athletes via social media.  We know Trojan Nation is excited for another great class full of wonderful student-athletes, however it is against NCAA rules for anyone other than our coaches to recruit. 

Please refrain from reaching out via Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platforms to any prospect as it may have ramifications for USC and the prospect (e.g. a prospect's NLI may be deemed null and void if we have a recruiting violation). Help keep USC Athletics free from violations, and on the path to championships!


2014 Early Entrant Video: OL Jordan Austin

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National Signing Day is one week away!  As part of our coverage this season, we will be releasing each player's highlight film with commentary from one of the assistant coaches.

Here is a look at one of the spring enrollees, OL Jordan Austin, with commentary by QB coach Clay Helton:

Winner by TKO

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Former USC defensive lineman Gerald Washington is now 11-0 as a heavyweight boxer after his latest TKO victory.  Washington pummeled Aaron Lyons until the referee stopped the fight in the fifth round.

Click here to watch the stoppage.


2014 Early Entrants: Claude Pelon

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The fifth member of the Class of 2014 officially enrolled at USC this week.  Here is a look at JuCo transfer Claude Pelon:

Claude Pelon_00000_00000.png

Trojan Spotlight: Micah Christenson

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No. 5 USC men's volleyball begins a four-match home stand this week as Cal Baptist (Wednesday at 8 p.m.) and No. 4 BYU (Saturday at 5 p.m.) come to Galen Center.  The Trojans have started the season 4-2 including a win over current No. 1 Loyola-Chicago.

While head coach Bill Ferguson expected his young team to be inconsistent early on, junior setter Micah Christenson has kept the ship steady and brought the best out of the underclassmen.  He is "hands down the best setter in the country," according to Ferguson, whose statement is backed up by Christenson's starting spot on the U.S. Men's National Team. 

Here is more on Christenson in a new Trojan Spotlight:

Photo Galleries: Tennis Kicks Off 2014

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Both USC men's and women's tennis emerged victorious in the first two dual matches of the spring season as part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.  No. 4 Men's tennis swept Santa Clara and Wichita State, while the No. 6 Women of Troy blanked North Texas and Saint Mary's.

Next up: Women's tennis hosts Pepperdine on Thursday at 3 p.m.  The men's team will be at Marks Stadium this weekend for the Pac-12/SEC Showdown featuring dual matches with fellow national powers Georgia (Saturday at 1 p.m.) and Florida (Sunday at 1 p.m.).

Here are a pair of John McGillen photo galleries from last weekend, one for each team:

USC W TENNIS ITA KICK OFF - Images by John McGillen

USC MEN'S TENNIS ITA KICK OFF - Images by John McGillen

Meet Rico Hoey

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

_MCG4513.jpgName: Rico Hoey

Class: Freshman

Size: 5-foot-10

Age: 18

High School: Rancho Cucamonga

Game: Hoey is a really exciting young player for the Trojans who exhibits tremendous talent and potential. On the one hand, he's a big hitter who drives the ball down fairways but he also has fantastic command of his short game. Look for the freshman to continue to impress throughout his time here at 'SC. 

Prep Career: Hoey had quite the resume before attending USC as he competed as a top junior player winning the 2013 CIF Southern Section Boys' Golf individual title as well as four league titles. He was the No. 14 overall recruit for the class of 2012 as he also reached the match-play portion of the 2013 U.S. Amateur tournament. He wrapped up 2012 by winning the 2012 Callaway Junior World Championship and the 2012 Junior America's Cup and finishing seventh at the 2012 California State Open. 

2013 Season: Hoey has made an immediate impact as a freshman as he was the Trojans' top golfer during the fall slate. He led the Trojans with a 70.91 stroke average and even had four rounds in the 60s. He wrapped up the fall schedule by winning his first collegiate tournament, the Gifford Collegiate, by posting an 8-under for the weekend. The freshman is expected to be a leader this spring as the Trojans schedule kicks into high gear.

To Quote Hoey: "I love it so far, the team is great. I love the environment and just going to 'SC is fantastic. I chose 'SC because of the spirit of the school and I felt like I could really improve my game here."

Playing for First

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USC women's basketball's hot streak got kicked up another notch on Friday as the Women of Troy went into Berkeley and knocked off No. 19 California to move into solo second in the Pac-12 standings.  The win also positions the Trojans for a shot at the top league spot tonight as they travel to No. 4 Stanford (ESPN2 at 6 p.m. PT).

Ariya Crook keyed USC's latest victory scoring a career-high 34 points.  The Trojans overcame an 11-point deficit to move to 14-6 overall and 7-1 in the Pac-12. 

3-Points: Stanford 79, USC 71

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USC drops an overtime battle to Stanford after a last minute comeback to force the extra session.  Byron Wesley led all scorers with 18 points.

Click here for the recap and box score.

Fight to the Finish

In a back and forth game, the Trojans came up short on the scoreboard, but the effort, including a 5-0 run in the final 34 seconds of regulation, was encouraging to head coach Andy Enfield.  "We played very hard today, and had a chance to win.  As a coach, that's all you can ask for," he said.  "Unfortunately, Stanford made some tough shots in overtime to beat us."  Chasson Randle, who is the leading scorer in Pac-12 play, was held to 10 points in regulation, but he was the difference maker in overtime scoring seven points.  As a team, the Cardinal made 4/5 field goals and 8/10 free throws in OT. 

Energetic But Cold

USC's defense kept the Trojans in the game, but the perimeter scorers were never able to get into a consistent offensive rhythm.  Byron Wesley made 6/15 shots uncharacteristically missing an assortment of his patented leaners in the paint.  Pe'Shon Howard, who had seven steals, and J.T. Terrell, who led the team with eight rebounds, combined to make just 2/10 from three-point range.  "Some of those are shots that we usually make or should make a higher percentage of," said Enfield.  "They played smart and took good shots, but you just have to make some of those." 

Positive Home Stand

After starting Pac-12 play with five blowout losses, the Trojans responded this week by beating Cal and pushing Stanford to overtime.  Howard credited the home crowd for changing the momentum of the conference season, but the road does not get any easier with a trip to the Oregon schools due up next.  "We have to prepare for the road where it is just us," the senior point guard said.  Enfield was also buoyed by the home stand but knows the task only gets tougher from here.  "This is the Pac-12," he said. "You need to win on the road in this league in order to have a good record, and we need to go try to do that."

Here are the USC highlights from an intense battle at Galen Center...

State of Troy: January 2014

Each month, we interview USC Athletic Director Pat Haden to get his take on the hot topics around Heritage Hall.

Haden on the new Heritage Hall...

1525436_10153793207945105_645231402_n.jpgI grew up in this building.  It opened my sophomore year in 1972.  Back then, it was state-of-the-art, but it has not been for a decade.  Our senior associate athletic director Mark Jackson, who led the renovation project, did a phenomenal job.  Unlike the John McKay Center, Heritage Hall is a public space.  We welcome our fans, students and faculty to come by and visit.  It is a real celebration of 125 years of unparalleled athletic history. 

Haden on the latest plans for the Coliseum...

First and foremost, in the next couple of weeks, many of our fans, season ticket holders and athletic support group members will receive a comprehensive survey asking them what they want from the Coliseum renovation.  We want you to tell us what you want.  Do not let us decide for you.  From that information, we will sit down with the architects and design a concept around your feedback.  Then, we will see what that costs and come up with a development plan to marry the support with the cost of what you want.  We will have to raise those dollars and then start construction, so it will likely be at least another year before shovels are in the ground.  With that said, we will continue to make positive changes to the stadium for this upcoming season as we did last year, improving concessions, restrooms and overall cleanliness.

Haden on Andy Enfield's rebuilding job...

_MCG6538.jpgEveryone wants to see our men's basketball program be successful, but it is not going to happen overnight.  When we made the coaching change, our focus was on building a program.  We have had positive flashes this season, like this week's impressive win over California, but we have had some poor moments as well.  There is no doubt in my mind that our basketball program is in good hands under Andy Enfield.  Los Angeles is a fertile recruiting base that has been supplying our competitors with top talent, and we are focused on convincing those kids to stay at home and come to our great university. 

Click here to see USC play Stanford on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Haden on Cynthia Cooper-Dyke's positive start to Pac-12 play...

Cynthia and her staff have done a fantastic job, and the women are responding to her system. Her style of play is really a lot like Andy's.  They are scoring a lot of points, 109 the other day against Oregon, and playing entertaining basketball.  I am surprised we are not ranked after a 6-1 start in conference, but we will be if we can have a successful weekend against Cal and Stanford.  Cynthia's energy is infectious.  She is so much fun to watch during the games, and she still thinks she can go out there and play at a very high level.  And, she probably could.

Haden on Steve Sarkisian's coaching staff...

It is a young group, and quite frankly, this has become a young man's game.  The amount of hours these guys put into the job requires a ton of energy and enthusiasm.  They relate to young people well, and I have heard that directly from our players.  They have also assimilated into the Trojan Family instantly.  They had heard about USC from the other places they worked, and they believe in the power of this university, and are already great ambassadors for the department.

(Photos by Brett Padelford and John McGillen)

Time to Compete

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

_MCG5133.jpgIt's been just over a month since the USC football team played its final game of the 2013 season, but the team is already back at it in the weight room preparing for a new year. While the product is displayed on the field in the fall, the offseason is where the foundation for championships is built.

Ivan Lewis, the new head strength and conditioning coach for the Trojans, knows this well and is eager to get to work laying the foundation for the upcoming season. This week marked the beginning of official offseason workouts and the first opportunity for the new coach to start training his team. 

"It's awesome to be back," says Lewis. "It's a dream job for sure especially having been here before and knowing the tradition of Trojan football and Trojan athletics. It's unbelievable and it's a huge honor to be back. I'm excited to be here every day. I think it's truly the best place to be."

The past five seasons, Lewis worked with Steve Sarkisian as the head strength and conditioning coach at the University of Washington. Before that, he worked for three seasons at USC, coaching with Sarkisian under Pete Carroll. Lewis has a wide range of experience, coaching at the high school level, at multiple colleges and working for the San Diego Chargers for two seasons. The strength coach has a strong relationship with Sarkisian which is important considering Lewis and his training staff are the only coaches actually able work with the players in the offseason. Lewis says he and Sark have great communication that allows the team's development to be seamless throughout the year.

"This is going to be our ninth season together," explains Lewis. "Coach Sark is the best out there. He is extremely sharp. He has high expectations for what he wants accomplished and every day we do everything we can to help our guys identify and meet those expectations."

The expectation for a strength coach is to get the team ready. This process of preparation includes everything from injury prevention to nutrition to mental toughness in all areas of life. Lewis approaches his role as strength and conditioning coach with three major tenets that balance his athletes' training to better prepare them for their season and allow them to succeed on and off the field. 

"First and foremost, our job is to keep our athletes healthy so they can play the game of football. Second is to get them stronger and conditioned for the game of football and the different positions they play. We create workouts for each position individually so they are getting better at the skills they need for the sport," Lewis explains. "The third piece is to keep developing their mindset. It is mental toughness which is driven through competition and believing in yourself. The only way you believe in yourself is through competing and working hard and finding success in everything that you do. We talk about competing in everything. We compete in school, we compete in our social life, and we compete in football."

For Lewis, coaching is about developing relationships. He believes one of the most important aspects of his job is to be consistent, providing every player (whether the starting quarterback or the walk-on kicker) with the same training, same encouragement, and same challenge every day. In the end, he explains, his goal is to better prepare his team for life, both as football players and as men. 

"A huge part of my philosophy is developing trust and giving them the whys. When the guys understand how it translates from the weight room or conditioning to what we are doing on the football field, that's the key. Inevitably, I'm all about training these guys for the game of football and developing them as men. Not every guy goes and plays in the NFL, so it's about competing in life. It's manhood training, learning lessons from football and from your strength training that will eventually make you succeed in higher levels of life."

At the beginning of each season, Lewis assesses the team's needs, prepares training plans, and sits down with Sarkisian to plan the upcoming year. Coming into this offseason, his job was a little different as he had to develop relationships with an entirely new group of athletes before getting to work on the specifics. With the first week of offseason training under his belt, Lewis is confident he has a team that's ready to compete. 

"This team is full of really, really good football players and I think this team is full of really good kids. I think that they are very excited and eager to do really well and to compete. We've got a lot of dominant personalities that make my job easy," says Lewis. "They really want to workout. They really see the benefit of doing everything, doing all the little things, to be the best football players they can be."

Throughout the next few months, before even spring ball begins, the USC football team will be with Lewis. Workouts at 5 A.M. and conditioning drills between classes will train and prepare their bodies for the uptempo football that is to come. For most, college football season is still seven months away, but for Lewis and the Trojans, the work begins now. 

"I can't wait for the first game, to hear the fight song, and to come walking out of the Coli," Lewis says with a smile. "It feels like being back home. I cannot wait for that moment. I cannot wait to work with these guys and watch them develop and I'm really excited to watch them compete. I truly believe we have some extremely athletic kids and some excited kids to be here. I'm excited to watch what they can do."

Vote Enfield for Charity

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USC men's basketball head coach Andy Enfield is competing to raise $100,000 for Coaches vs. Cancer, and he needs your votes to help him win the Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge.  The charity provides critical mission outreach, while raising funds to support ACS's lifesaving research, education, advocacy and service.

Click here to vote now!!!

Enfield is competing against 47 other top coaches, so please support your coach and a great cause.


A Legend Returns

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Barbara Hallquist DeGroot, the first woman to receive a full athletic scholarship to USC, is joining the women's tennis coaching staff as a volunteer assistant.  DeGroot won the national collegiate singles title in both 1976 and 1977 as well as four team national championships en route to an ITA Hall of Fame career.

"I am overjoyed to welcome home a wonderful friend as well as a Trojan great in Barbara Hallquist DeGroot," USC athletic director Pat Haden said. "She really is a cornerstone of the foundation of women's athletics here at USC. She is also a pioneer. As USC's first female scholarship athlete, Barbara paved the way for the 25 national championships that our women's teams have won. It is so exciting to have her back to help lead our women's tennis program."

Click here for the full story.

DeGroot enjoyed a successful professional career as well reaching a career best No. 30 world ranking, and making the 1980 U.S. Open quarterfinals.  Most recently, she was the women's tennis coach at Cate School in Carpinteria, Calif..

Back in the day...

Join the Football Video Team

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The USC Athletics Video Department is now hiring current USC students who are driven, enthusiastic, possess a great work ethic, and have a passion for Trojan football.  These are paid positions in which you will gain experience shooting and editing USC football practices and games.

If you are interested, click here to email Eric Espinoza.

Previous camera and/or editing experience is a plus but not required.  Come join the team and get a first hand look inside the football program.

Espinoza-Video-NYT.jpg(Photo by Stuart Palley/NY Times)

DeRozan's Career Night

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While his alma mater was beating Cal, USC men's basketball alum DeMar DeRozan was setting a new career-high scoring 40 points to lead first place Toronto to another victory.  DeRozan's night was capped by his signature high-flying display.

Lizette's Favorite Team

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There is no greater ambassador for USC women's golf than Lizette Salas.  She represented her Trojan pride in a new LPGA commercial.

Trojan Family Weekend Change

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2014 Trojan Family Weekend will now take place November 13-16 starting with the Thursday night football game against Cal at the Coliseum. 

USC has won 10 straight over Cal.

Million Dollar Arm

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Have you seen a preview for the new Disney movie Million Dollar Arm?  The baseball flick features Jon Hamm, Dedeaux Field and a cameo by Rey Maualuga.

Only at USC...

Miracle Man

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Adam Spanich will never have his name hanging in the Galen Center rafters like Paul Westphal and Harold Miner, but he has a USC legacy of his own providing the most memorable buzzer-beater in Trojans' history.  If you have never seen the play, Spanich once scored six points in the final 2.8 seconds to flip a five-point deficit at Oregon into the most shocking USC victory.

Click here to watch the YouTube clip.

Spanich was sitting courtside last night to watch the Trojans defeat the Bears.

Photo Galleries: Enfield on the Board

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USC men's basketball head coach Andy Enfield collected the first Pac-12 win of his tenure guiding the Trojans past Cal at Galen Center last night.  USC was led by freshman Nikola Jovanovic who posted a career-high 23 points.

Here are the John McGillen photo galleries:

USC v CAL 2014 1st - Images by John McGillen

USC v CAL 2014 2nd - Images by John McGillen

3-Points: USC 77, Cal 69

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The Trojans are on the board in Pac-12 play as they upset the Bears who were previously undefeated in conference.

Click here for the recap and box score.

Starts with One

After a brutal 0-5 start to the conference schedule, the Trojans faced a daunting task in 5-0 Cal tonight, but USC was up for the challenge.  "We had a very frustrating couple of weeks," said head coach Andy Enfield.  "I'm very proud of our players because they kept practicing extremely hard.  They've been very enthusiastic, had great attitudes, and they came out and played like that tonight."  USC shot 51.9% and held Cal to 39.3% from the field.  The Trojans led from start to finish and made 16/22 free throws to preserve the victory.  "They deserved to win this game because of how they prepared the last few days," said Enfield.  "They are staying together as a team.  They like each other, and they play for each other.  I am very impressed with that."

The New Nik

Freshman Nikola Jovanovic did a decent Nikola Vucevic impression tonight scoring a career-high 23 points on 8/10 shooting and 7/7 free throws.  "To beat a team like Cal, you need players to have big games.  You need players to step up," said Enfield.  Byron Wesley has been forced to carry the scoring load all season, but he was pleased to share some of the burden with Jovanovic. "Nikola is really talented," said Wesley.  "Down the line, he can be a really great player.  I've been impressed with his work ethic.  He's been in the gym working after practice and before practice, and I think it showed."

Keeping It Clean

Turnovers have been the Trojans' Achilles' heel, but tonight, they flipped the box score by dishing out 18 assists to only 11 turnovers.  "We've had some games where those numbers have been reversed, and we've struggled," said Enfield.  "We did a great job of sharing the basketball and making better decisions."  Julian Jacobs was the "key to the game," according to Enfield, who made a lineup change to bring the freshman off the bench.  Jacobs finished with 4 assists and 0 turnovers.  Meanwhile, starting PG Pe'Shon Howard posted a season-high 10 assists running the show.  "Pe'Shon brings a lot of veteran, savvy play to the point," said Wesley.  "Pe'Shon has been in these situations before.  Pe'Shon just brings a lot of confidence to our team."

Here are the SnappyTV highlights of USC's impressive win:

Crosstown Showdown Prize Pack

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Creative Solutions is offering a mega prize pack for Trojan fans in anticipation of the USC vs. UCLA Crosstown Showdown in men's basketball on February 8 at Galen Center.

Click here to enter now!!!

The sweepstakes winner will receive two VIP tickets, a courtside game ball presentation, two tickets to the Founders' Club pregame dinner, one night at Terranea resort and a complimentary dinner for two.


Trojans Live - Spring 2

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Trojans Live featured men's basketball head coach Andy Enfield, women's basketball head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, baseball stars Kevin Swick and Bob Wheatley, hoops freshman Julian Jacobs and new head of strength and conditioning Ivan Lewis on the set last night.

The next show will be Thursday, February 6, at 6 p.m. PT as we break down National Signing Day with Steve Sarkisian and other special guests.  Here is last night's Trojans Live...

Drum Major Unveiled

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In the coming weeks, the new Heritage Hall will be opened to the public, but this week, the staff was able to move into their new home.  The lobby features an interactive museum celebrating the rich history of USC Athletics, and the centerpiece is a statue immortalizing the iconic Drum Major.

Click here for your invitation the Heritage Hall grand re-opening Hall of Fame gala.

Here is a video of the statue unveiling:

2014 Early Entrant Video: OL Toa Lobendahn

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National Signing Day is two weeks from today!  As part of our coverage this season, we will be releasing each player's highlight film with commentary from one of the assistant coaches.

Steve Sarkisian has already announced the spring signees including OL Toa Lobendahn who is highlighted below with commentary from Clay Helton.

Swann Song

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Upon his induction into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, legendary USC wide receiver Lynn Swann sat down with Pac-12 Networks host Rick Neuheisel for a look back at his Trojan career and more.

USC to the NWSL

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USC women's soccer's top goal scorer Elizabeth Eddy was drafted by Sky Blue FC of the National Women's Soccer League.  She was selected 33rd overall by the Philadelphia club.

Click here for the full story.

Eddy will become the third active Trojan in the NWSL joining national champions Amy Rodriguez and Ashley Nick. 

Eddy scored 16 goals in her USC career, including 6 this season.

Taj vs. Nick

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Former USC men's basketball teammates Taj Gibson and Nick Young dueled last night on the NBA hardwood for the Bulls and Lakers.  Young got the better of the box score with 31 points, but Gibson beat the buzzer in OT for the dramatic win.

Photo Galleries: WBB Drops 109

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USC women's basketball is on fire.  The Women of Troy swept Oregon State and Oregon this weekend in a pair of routs culminating in a 109-point scoring outburst against the Ducks.

The Women of Troy hit the century mark at Galen Center for the first time ever.  And, the Trojans posted their highest scoring game since 1982.

Click here for the recap and highlights.

Senior captain Cassie Harberts earned Pac-12 Player of the Week for her stat-stuffing performances.  She finished with 22 points in the win over the Beavers to move into the program's all-time top 10 in scoring, and followed that with 30 points and a career-high 7 assists on Sunday.

The Trojans are hitting on all cylinders as the biggest road trip of the season looms this upcoming weekend.  USC, 6-1 in Pac-12 play, travels to No. 16 California (Friday at 6 p.m.) and No. 4 Stanford (Monday at 6 p.m.) for a shot at conference supremacy. 

Here are the John McGillen photos of the record-setting performance against Oregon:

USC v OU - Images by John McGillen

Well Represented

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The Stanford-USC rivalry was all over Century Link Field on Sunday.  As Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh looked on from opposing sidelines, Cardinal great Richard Sherman tapped the game-clinching interception into former USC LB Malcolm Smith's waiting arms. 

The Trojan secured the pick and a Super Bowl berth for the USC-Hawks after Jack Del Rio's defense earned the Broncos a trip to New York by shutting down Tom Brady.  Backup OL Winston Justice will also represent USC for Denver as will LB Michael Morgan for Seattle.

With three more active Trojans making the Super Bowl, the all-time count will reach 107.  There have only been five Super Bowls that did not include a USC alum, and this will not be one of them.


Wilson Completes Staff

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USC head coach Steve Sarkisian has officially named former Georgia assistant Chris Wilson the new defensive line coach.  The latest addition completes Sarkisian's inaugural full-time coaching staff at Troy.

"I'm extremely excited to join Coach Sarkisian's staff and to have the opportunity to be at a university with the tradition of USC," said Wilson, who has also coached at Oklahoma, Colorado and Mississippi State.  "I believe we can be as good as any team in the country."

Click here for more.

Wilson, who was a two-time captain as a linebacker for the Oklahoma Sooners, took over a Georgia defensive line in 2013 decimated by NFL defections and graduation.  The rebuilt unit finished 28th nationally in sacks.

"We are thrilled to add Chris Wilson to our coaching staff," said Sarkisian.  "He is one of the premier defensive line coaches in the country and he is also a great recruiter."


Highlighting the Classroom

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With all grades reported, USC student-athletes boasted another stellar semester in the fall combining on a 2.86 term GPA with 288 student-athletes posting a GPA over 3.0. 

Ten of the 21 teams had a term GPA over 3.0 led by women's golf (3.40), women's cross country (3.38), and women's swimming and diving (3.24).  On the men's side, volleyball and swimming and diving had the highest GPAs in the fall at 3.02.

Men's basketball and women's cross country showed the greatest improvement in comparison to Fall 2012, while baseball and women's volleyball improved the most from Spring 2013 to Fall 2013. 

In terms of exemplary scholar-athletes, 102 student-athletes made the Dean's List, including 12 with 4.0 GPAs.  The 288 student-athletes at 3.0 or better is the second largest total for a semester since Spring 2009. 

Women's golf has built a championship team on and off the course.

Love and Basketball

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

"Good things come to those who wait," says Alexyz Vaioletama, summarizing the story of her ongoing USC career.  After two years of playing for the Trojans, the junior has finally found her stride with the assistance of new head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, who has brought passion, intensity, and love back into the game of basketball for the Women of Troy. 

Vaioletama's love of basketball stretches almost as far back as her birth. The game is in her blood as both of her parents played in college, her cousin played in the NBA, and her younger brother is now a freshman playing basketball at Mater Dei. In her time with the Monarchs, she was a McDonald's All-American, ranked as the nation's No. 6 forward by ESPNU, averaged 10.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game as a senior, and won back-to-back state championships. Hoping to build on her high school success, she set her sights on USC. 

"It was different when I got here," says the forward. "The talent is so different from high school when you play in the Pac-12. Here there are people who are faster than you, stronger than you, taller than you. You have to get used to that."

Starting in the first three games of her career, Vaioletama quickly began leaving her mark as a freshman. She played in 28 games throughout the season averaging 4.5 points and 5.1 rebounds. But there was still work to be done. Her sophomore season she continued to improve but failed to see a major breakthrough on the court. She averaged just 4.8 points and 4.6 rebounds playing in 30 games. Then, at the conclusion of the 2012 season, the Women of Troy experienced a coaching change setting in motion what would become Vaioletama's successful junior campaign. 

"When Coach Michael Cooper left we were really sad because that's all we knew, he was like a father figure to us," explains the junior captain. "Then Cynthia Cooper came around. We knew her past, we knew she was intense, and we knew how quickly she had turned other programs around. We took that to our advantage. It was bittersweet but we were happy to have another Cooper coming in to help us, not only for the upcoming season but to improve our game individually and as a unit."

Starting from scratch with a new coach wasn't easy and both the team and Coach Cooper had to adjust and spend time learning each other's style of play. But Cooper, the Trojan legend, brought a new level of intensity and commitment, something the team quickly embraced. 

"It's definitely been a clean slate. People have bought into what 'SC is all about, what the Trojan Family is all about, what 'Fight On' really means," says Vaioletama. "Cynthia bleeds Cardinal and Gold. There's something about her that makes you want to go harder. Even though you're tired and fatigued, something about her tells you to force yourself through it. We are more passionate than we were before as far as practice, games, and life in general. She brings a kind of energy that we've never received before. That 'Fight On' kind of attitude."

That attitude and that atmosphere have triggered massive change on the court for Vaioletama in her junior season. With a month and a half left to play, she has already scored more points in 17 games than in either of her last two seasons. She's the team's third leading scorer averaging 9.5 points per game and the team's top rebounder with 7.9 rebounds per game. She also has a total of 31 steals and 12 blocks. Cooper-Dyke's coaching philosophy coupled with patience and hard work have allowed Vaioletama to come into her own and become the basketball player she was always capable of being.

"I think overall from freshman year to now the difference has been confidence," Vaioletama said. "I lacked confidence when I got here. Not because I was intimated, but just from that uncertainty in not knowing who I was playing with and not knowing the level of intensity I should be bringing to practice and games."

Men and Women Ranked 14

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After the fall semester, USC is ranked No. 14 in both the Capital One Cup standings for men and women. 

Click here for the complete standings.

The men earned 20 points thanks in large part to water polo winning a sixth consecutive national championship.  The Women of Troy's 15 points were led by volleyball which made it to the NCAA Regional Final finishing No. 6 in the final AVCA Coaches' Poll.


Rooting for Seattle and Denver

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In terms of active Trojans, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are the Super Bowl of choice for USC. 

The NFC's No. 1 seed features linebackers Malcolm Smith and Michael Morgan, and of course, a USC-heavy coaching staff led by Pete Carroll.  The AFC's top seed features Winston Justice as a reserve lineman for Peyton Manning, and legendary LB Jack Del Rio is the defensive coordinator.

Smith made 9 tackles in last week's playoff victory, while Morgan is featuring mostly on special teams.  The Seahawks also have former USC TE Anthony McCoy on injured reserve.

The 49ers have Brandon Carswell and the Patriots have Armond Armstead on injured reserve, but no active players on San Francisco or New England list USC as their alma mater. 

A Trojan has appeared in all but 5 of the 47 Super Bowls (there have been 104 USC representatives overall).  It is up to the Seahawks and/or Broncos to add to that heritage.

Smith (left) and Morgan (right) are expected to suit up for the NFC Championship Game.

Stevens Academic Center Spotlight: Jenna Puterbaugh

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

USC athletes are more than just champions on the field, court, diamond, and pool, they're champions in the classroom as well. Each week we will get to know one of these scholarly Trojans a little better in our scholar-athlete spotlight.

Name: Jenna Puterbaugh
Year: Senior
Sport: Track and Field (Sprinter)
Major: Psychology

Sarah Bergstrom (SB): Why did you decide to come to USC?

Jenna Puterbaugh (JP): Originally I was just going to follow wherever a scholarship took me. I really didn't want to have to pay for school so that was my goal. I was looking at smaller schools before, but then I ran at a meet and met the USC coach and it just hit me. I don't know what it was but I called my coach (who had run track here) and I asked what it would take for me to get a scholarship to USC. That Monday's practice was way harder, but I knew it was what I signed up for. It was such a God thing, USC ended up calling and everything worked out. It was perfect. 

SB: What has it been like to run track for USC?

JP: It's been kind of crazy because we've had some changes while I've been here. But it's been awesome, I can't complain at all. I've gotten to train with some really legendary people. Now I feel like it's all come to a head and we are really reaching our peak. We have so much talent on this team and we've kind of changed the dynamic this year. I'm excited to see what this season's like. 

SB: What is different about this season for you?

JP: From the beginning, in the offseason, the coaches did an awesome job of establishing a foundation for us. Our preseason workouts were literally the hardest things I've ever done in my life, things that I never would have thought I was capable of. But that really bonded us as a team because none of us thought we could do it and none of us could have done it without each other. We are all able to recognize each other as teammates now. In track that can be a hard thing because it's so individual at times. We have such a strong chemistry now. Also, there are really high standards and we're excited about that. It's challenging us and bringing out the best in us.

SB: How has it been running for a new coach? What have you learned from Caryl Smith Gilbert?

JP: I told her in the beginning of the semester that I'd be in her office a lot because I'm trying to squeeze three years into one. (laughs) I'm the kind of person who works really well with coaches who are in my face, and that's her. She's not mean, she just tells everything straight. She's going to tell you what you're capable of and what you need to do to get there. Everything she teaches us is bigger than track. That is so impactful to me because I've already learned so much in both track and life in such a short time. 

SB: You've struggled with injuries in the past couple of seasons, does this season have some special meaning or feel like a clean slate?

JP: It's super exciting. Last year I was feeling pretty defeated. Every year I've encountered some sort of injury. I was trying to be everything for the team that I could be which ultimately injured me and meant that I hurt my team. But I've learned from it. Learned my limits and learned to take responsibility for that. This year is different. 

Happy at Home

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USC women's basketball has a great opportunity to continue its hot start in the Pac-12 with Oregon State (Friday at 6 p.m.) and Oregon (Sunday at 2 p.m.) coming to Galen Center this weekend.  The Women of Troy are 4-1 in conference, while the Beavers are 2-2 with both wins over the Ducks who are 0-4. 

Next week, USC will travel to No. 15 Cal and No. 4 Stanford, but Cassie Harberts and company are thinking about this season one game at a time.

Top 5 Volley

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No. 5 USC men's volleyball will put its perfect record on the line against fellow undefeated No. 3 Pepperdine at Galen Center tonight at 7 p.m. PT.

Click here to watch the live stream.

Click here for tickets.

The Trojans have already claimed two top 10 scalps this season in Loyola-Chicago and UC Irvine.  While the attacking options are young, the outside hitters are flourishing with U.S. Men's National Team setter Micah Christenson (pictured) at the controls.


Byron in the Box Score

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Junior wing Byron Wesley has been asked to do just about everything for the men's basketball team, and he has answered the bell this season.  He is the only major conference player in the nation averaging at least 17 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists per game, according to Pac-12 Networks' J.B. Long.

More specifically, Wesley is averaging 17.5 ppg and 7.7 rpg to lead the Trojans.  He is seventh in the conference in scoring and 10th in rebounding.

He will need to continue to lift his team this week as the Trojans travel to Utah (tonight on Pac-12 Networks at 7 p.m. PT) and Colorado (Saturday on Fox Sports 1 at 11 a.m. PT).  USC has started 0-3 in the Pac-12 after a strong 9-4 record in the non-conference.

Photo by John McGillen

Meet Lucas Yoder

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

Name: Lucas Yoder

Position: Outside Hitter

Class: Freshman

Size: 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds

Age: 17

High School: San Clemente

Game: Yoder will be an immediate threat for the men's volleyball team as he brings experience as well as a quick arm, great blocking skills and tremendous natural ability. Head coach Bill Ferguson compared the freshman to former USC All-American Tri Bourne when Yoder first signed with the Trojans. Look for him to make an impact at the net with his strong attacking mindset. 

Prep Career: Yoder boasts impressive high school experience as he competed for the elite 949 volleyball club where he won a gold medal at the 2013 USA Junior National Championships and was MVP of the 18 Open Gold Division All-Tournament team. He was also a member of the 2012 USA Youth National Training team, the 2011 USA Future Select A2 team and the 2010 USA Future Select team. Yoder is also no stranger to the Trojan Family as he is one of six Yoders to play volleyball at USC. 

2014 Season: Yoder may be young, but he's playing like a veteran on the court for the Trojans. In his first-ever collegiate match against No. 7 ranked Loyola, the freshman had a match-best 16 kills and only had two hitting errors on 23 swings. He also contributed five digs and three blocks with a .609 hitting percentage. That performance earned him AVCA Division I-II National Player of the Week, MPSF Player of the Week and Off the Block National Freshman of the Week honors.  

To Quote Yoder: "Our team expectation is to obviously win a national championship. What goes along with that is the process of coming out every day and practicing hard, taking it game by game and trying to really focus on battling each team."

Salas on Morning Drive

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USC women's golf alum Lizette Salas, the top Trojan on the LPGA Tour, told her remarkable life story on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive".  Salas is ranked No. 20 in the world, which would be an impressive feat for anyone, but considering her humble beginnings, she is a true inspiration.

Pac-12 Tourney Pre-Sale

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The Pac-12 is running a special pre-sale today from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. PT for single-session tickets to the men's basketball conference tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (March 12-15). 

Click here to act now!

For the second consecutive year, Las Vegas will host the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament featuring all 12 teams vying for one automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  All-Tournament passes are also available, but single session tickets will not go on sale again until late February.

USC last won the conference tournament in 2009.

2014 Early Entrant Video: QB Jalen Greene

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National Signing Day is three weeks from today!  As part of our coverage this season, we will be releasing each player's highlight film with commentary from one of the assistant coaches.

This week, Steve Sarkisian announced the four high school early entrants: OLB/DE Don Hill, OL Jordan Austin, OL Toa Lobendahn and QB Jalen Greene.  Here is Greene's highlight reel with commentary from receivers' coach Tee Martin:

Paddle Out for Walters

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USC women's water polo All-American Kaleigh Gilchrist, who is also a competitive surfer, shot and edited a touching video of the "Paddle Out" to celebrate the life of men's water polo freshman Jon Walters.

Jon's Paddle Out from Kg on Vimeo.

Photo Gallery: MVB Wins Thriller

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No. 5 USC men's volleyball came back to beat No. 7 UC Irvine, the two-time defending national champions, in a five-set classic last night at Galen Center.  The Trojans are off to a perfect 3-0 start thanks in large part to the freshman class including Lucas Yoder, who had a career-best 21 kills, and Andy Benesh, who had a career-high 15 kills hitting .789.

USC will face another stiff home test on Thursday night against No. 3 Pepperdine at 7 p.m. 

Here are the photos from last night's victory courtesy of John McGillen:

USC V UCI - Images by John McGillen

Johnson and Farah Fall Down Under

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USC men's tennis alums Steve Johnson and Robert Farah battled the oppressive heat and impressive opponents at the Australian Open, the first major of the year, but they both lost matches in the final set.

Johnson made the singles main draw losing to France's Adrian Mannarino in a five-set classic.  He has a habit of playing five-set matches in majors going the distance in four of his last five at the sport's biggest tournaments.

In the doubles draw, Robert Farah and his partner Juan Sebastian Cabal lost in the maximum three sets to No. 12 Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot.  Farah and Cabal were riding momentum into the tournament having beaten Roger Federer and Nicolas Mahut in Brisbane earlier this month.

Temperatures have been over 100-degrees all week.

Heritage Hall Re-Opening Gala

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As we get set to unveil the new Heritage Hall, you are invited to the grand re-opening on February 1 as we welcome back all the USC Athletic Hall of Fame members. 

A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes tours of Heritage Hall, which has been closed for the past year while undergoing a $35-million renovation, and the adjacent John McKay Center.  Dinner begins at 7 p.m. on the field of the McKay Center's Tutor Pavilion, followed by a program with speakers including USC athletic director Pat Haden and several USC Athletic Hall of Famers.

Call 213-740-4155 to secure one of the limited reservations.  The event is priced at $250 per person.

Click here for more.

Heritage Hall, which houses USC's athletic department, opened in 1971 at a cost of $2.8 million and was originally 48,000 square feet.  It now will be 80,000 square feet.  As part of the renovation, Heritage Hall's two-story Heisman Lobby will be transformed into a state-of-the-art museum space featuring interactive displays.

In addition to offices for USC athletic administrators and coaches, there also will be a sports performance center, a broadcast studio, a lounge for Women of Troy student-athletes, a rowing ergometer room and an indoor golf driving area, plus new locker rooms, meeting rooms and equipment room and event space.

Construction update from December. New photos coming soon!

Dedmon to Philly

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Former USC men's basketball player Dewayne Dedmon has signed a 10-day contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.  Dedmon, who is averaging 15.2 points and a league-high 13.5 rebounds in the NBDL, made his NBA debut with the Golden State Warriors earlier this season.

Click here for more.


Litmus Test

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No. 5 USC men's volleyball is off to a fast start in 2014 with wins over Loyola-Chicago and UC San Diego, but the Trojans will find out more about their young team this week against No. 7 UC Irvine and No. 3 Pepperdine. 

Click here for a preview.

USC hosts Irvine tonight at 7 p.m. at Galen Center.  The match will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.  Pepperdine comes into Galen Center on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Here is a video preview of tonight's match as well as a recap of the win over UC San Diego, which was led by Alex Slaught's career-high 14 kills...

Photo Gallery: Ernie Hix Tribute

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USC men's volleyball paid tribute to legendary head coach Ernie Hix at the annual preseason banquet.  Dan Avila was in attendance to bring you photos from the event.

Seniors Looking to Impress

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USC senior OLB Devon Kennard and OT Kevin Graf are participating in this week's East-West Shrine Game, and S Demetrius Wright will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.  The Shrine Game is Saturday in Florida (1 p.m. PT on NFL Network), while the Collegiate Bowl is the same day at the StubHub Center in Carson (3 p.m. PT on ESPN2).

Kennard and Graf have started practice at the Shrine Game.  Here is a sampling of their experience:

2013 Women's Volley Awards

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USC women's volleyball wrapped up the 2013 season and paid one last tribute to the senior class at the annual awards banquet.  All-American libero Natalie Hagglund was named the Team MVP.

Click here for all the award winners.

The Women of Troy went 29-6 this season finishing third in the Pac-12 and falling to Washington in a classic NCAA regional title match.

Momentum Building

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A day after Hayes Pullard announced his return to school, USC DB Josh Shaw has decided to follow suit and return for his senior season.  Shaw was a valuable and versatile piece of the Trojans' defense in 2013 collecting four interceptions playing safety and cornerback.


Mark Your Calendars

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USC will celebrate Homecoming Weekend around the October 18 game vs. Colorado.  And, Trojan Family Weekend is set for September 27 against Oregon State.

Click here for tickets.

Football Schedule 2014_00068.jpg

The Biggest Recruit

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On the same day Steve Sarkisian announced four new additions to the Trojans, the head coach also got some positive news from LB Hayes Pullard, who tweeted that he will be returning for his senior season.  Pullard led the team in tackles two of the past three seasons.

Davis Changes Course

Bo Davis, who accepted the USC defensive line coaching position on January 7, told Steve Sarkisian today that because of family reasons, he has reconsidered his decision, and is instead accepting a similar position at Alabama.

"We wish Bo and his family the best of luck.  He is a good coach," said Sarkisian.  "We will move forward and find a great coach for our defensive line."

2014 Early Entrants: Toa Lobendahn

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USC Football got a jump start on its 2014 recruiting class with some spring enrollees. Here are our profiles...

Toa Lobendahn_00000.png

2014 Early Entrants: Don Hill

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USC Football got a jump start on its 2014 recruiting class with some spring enrollees. Here are our profiles...

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2014 Early Entrants: Jordan Austin

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USC Football got a jump start on its 2014 recruiting class with some spring enrollees. Here are our profiles...

Jordan Austin_00000.png

2014 Early Entrants: Jalen Greene

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USC Football got a jump start on its 2014 recruiting class with some spring enrollees. Here are our profiles...

Jalen Greene_00000.png

Desert Split

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USC women's basketball maintained its Pac-12 momentum by forcing No. 23 Arizona State to overtime before losing, and then bouncing back on Sunday to defeat Arizona in Tucson.  The Women of Troy are now 4-1 in conference play with Oregon State (Friday at 6 p.m.) and Oregon (Sunday at 2 p.m.) coming to Galen Center this week.

The Trojans played the entire weekend without leading scorer Ariya Crook, but Alexyz Vaioletama is turning into a star player.  Vaioletama played 42 minutes versus the Sun Devils scoring 21 points with 10 rebounds, and drained a three to send it to overtime.  She also led the Women of Troy with 16 points against Arizona.

Here are X and senior Cassie Harberts recapping the trip:

Photo Gallery: USC Hoops vs. No. 1 Arizona

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USC men's basketball put up a good fight last night in front of a great crowd at Galen Center, but No. 1 Arizona emerged victorious and remains undefeated.

Here are the John McGillen photos:

USC UA 1ST - Images by John McGillen

USC UA 2ND - Images by John McGillen

3-Points: Arizona 73, USC 53

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The Trojans played their best game of the Pac-12 season, but No. 1 Arizona was too good.

Click here for the recap and box score.

Put a Scare Into Them

The Trojans were blown out by UCLA and Arizona State to start the Pac-12 schedule, so the prognosis was not good coming in against the No. 1 team in the country.  However, USC hung around for most of the game and played inspired basketball particularly in the first half.  "I thought we played very hard tonight," said head coach Andy Enfield.  "I am really proud of our team's effort.  I thought Arizona wore us down a little bit in the second half.  They come in waves, and they are athletic."  The Wildcats were slowed by the Trojans' zone early as Enfield wanted to force Arizona to "beat us from the outside and protect the lane", but eventually, T.J. McConnell and Nick Johnson combined to make eight threes.  Nevertheless, the night provided optimism for future success.  "If we can give this type of energy and effort, I think we'll be fine," Enfield said.

Enter Luis

Enfield made a couple of changes to his rotation tonight, including inserting Strahinja "Luis" Gavrilovic who delivered a career-high 10 points and 4 rebounds.  "Off the bench, he's probably the hardest playing guy on our team," said Enfield about Luis.  "If he keeps giving us energy and that leadership, he will play a lot more minutes."  Gavrilovic forced his way into the lineup by practicing extremely hard.  "I just used my chance," he said about getting 19 minutes tonight.  "I tried to play very aggressive, just gave my best, and tried to help this team win." 

Feeling the Pressure

The Trojans were down just three at halftime having turned the ball over only six times, which broke a recent negative trend.  In the second half, the Wildcats locked down and forced 12 USC turnovers holding the Trojans to only 22 points.  "I thought we turned the ball over too many times," said Enfield.  "Our guards have to do a much better job of executing and making the right play at the right time. Eighteen turnovers are too much." As a bright spot, freshman Julian Jacobs, who has been turnover prone, dished out four assists to only two turnovers playing a lot more as the point guard.  "Julian keeps getting better," said Enfield.  "I thought he played a much better floor game tonight."

And 1...

Big Game Atmosphere

The student section was full, and the crowd was lively tonight providing the best atmosphere of the season.  The star-studded audience included USC great Matt Leinart and Nick Young as well as Arizona alums Luke Walton and Jordan Hill.  "It's a lot of fun to play in this type of atmosphere," said Enfield.  "Hopefully, as we keep getting better and better, we'll have more crowds like this.  I am thankful for the fans that came out to support us."

Here are tonight's SnappyTV highlights...

Stepping Up to the Plate

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In the recently completed fall semester, USC student-athletes totaled 2,747 community service hours.  No sport reached out to the community more than baseball which racked up a record-setting 507 hours averaging 12.1 hours per student-athlete.

Despite not playing a meaningful game, the baseball team had a meaningful semester leading five different projects.

"These events are a great opportunity to be able to give back with the team," said sophomore OF Vahn Bozoian, who recently visited a VA hospital.   "Being a good sport and an all-around good person is something that these veterans show us how to do, both on and off the field."

Click here for more on Bozoian and USC baseball.

While baseball is leading the charge, several programs made an impact in the community this fall.  Men's and women's track and field combined to do 512 hours, while women's lacrosse and women's soccer committed more than 260 hours each.

Baseball also pitched in at the 2013 Community Bowl.

Scholarship and Memorial for Walters

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A memorial service for USC men's water polo freshman Jon Walters has been scheduled for January 18 at Mariners Church of Irvine at 11 a.m.  The family has requested that all water polo players in attendance wear their club or college team shirts.

In addition, USC has setup a Jon Walters Memorial Scholarship per the families' wishes. 

Please send contributions:

c/o Ron Orr
USC Heritage Hall
3501 Watt Way
Los Angeles, CA


King of the Atlantic

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As the NBA season nears its midway point, the Toronto Raptors are the surprise of the Eastern Conference thanks in large part to DeMar DeRozan.  The Trojan is averaging a career-high 21.2 points per game which ranks 13th in the NBA.

While the Raptors were supposed to be in rebuilding mode, DeRozan has led the franchise to a 17-17 mark which places them No. 4 in the Eastern Conference.  They are also one of the hottest teams in the league winning 10 of the last 14.

DeRozan is one of a handful of Trojans thriving in the NBA this season.  Nick Young is the Lakers' leading scorer at 16.4 points per game, while Nikola Vucevic is the Orlando Magic's top rebounder (11.0 per contest).  Also, Taj Gibson is the Bulls best rim protector at 1.4 blocks per game.

DeRozan will be in Los Angeles on February 7 against the Clippers, while Gibson will play Young and the Lakers at STAPLES on February 9.  Vucevic is next in town March 23 to square off against the Lakers.


Jimokes Wanted

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The USC football student managers are looking for a fresh set of recruits for the 2014 season.  "The Jimokes" play an integral role in the program assisting the team at practices, workouts and game days.

Click here if you are interested!

Student managers must have a strong work ethic and passion for the game.  If you are a current student who wants to experience Trojan football from the inside and on the field, this is your chance.


3-Points: ASU 79, USC 60

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The Trojans lose at home for the first time this season.

Click here for the recap and box score.


Wesley-UCLA14-McG.jpgWhen the Trojans lose games, similar patterns tend to emerge.  They start slow, commit turnovers, and shoot poorly from three-point range and the free throw line.  Tonight, all four weaknesses were exposed, although it was not for lack of effort.  "We're a streaky shooting team," said head coach Andy Enfield about his team's 36.1% shooting from the field.  "They played hard the whole game, but we were not making shots and it hurt us.  It wasn't their night from a shooting perspective, but they played hard."  USC committed 16 turnovers leading to 21 points for ASU.  The Trojans made just 3/17 from distance and 13/25 from the line.  "Certain people tend to rush when they are at the free throw line," Byron Wesley explained the free throw struggles.  "I think the key is just taking time."

Byron on the Boards

Wesley was once again a bright spot scoring 20 points and pulling down a career-high 14 rebounds.  He had never had more than 11 rebounds in a game before tonight, but explained that he was just getting the bounce of the ball early which padded his numbers.  Despite his individual brilliance, Wesley is frustrated with the 0-2 start to Pac-12 play.  "It's just tough losing.  It's a team game," he said.  "Me as well as my teammates, we all need to pick it up and start playing better."

Bear Down

The Trojans have no time to lick their wounds with the undefeated No. 1 Arizona Wildcats coming to Galen Center on Sunday at 6 p.m.  "The crazy thing is I've actually felt like we've been practicing the best we've practiced all year this past couple of weeks," said Wesley.  "We're still confident. We're not scared of them.  We're looking forward to it."  Despite back-to-back blowout losses, Enfield is the picture of confidence and refuses to get down on his team.  "We're staying very positive with this group," he said.  "I love coaching them.  We're going to stay together as a team and compete.  That's what we are going to do Sunday against a very, very good Arizona team."

Shake It Off

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The start of Pac-12 play could not have gone any worse for USC men's basketball.  The Trojans suffered a 34-point defeat to rival UCLA.

However, Andy Enfield and his team understand that despite the ignominious nature of the loss, it only counts as one.  USC can even up its conference record tonight against Arizona State (Galen Center at 7 p.m. PT).

Click here for the game preview.

The Trojans have responded well to losses this season sporting a 3-1 record after defeats.  Notably, USC looked overmatched against Villanova and Wake Forest in the Bahamas, but bounced back to beat Xavier, which has not lost a game since.  And, after being upset at Long Beach State, the Trojans went to Dayton as heavy underdogs and stole a huge road win in overtime thanks to Pe'Shon Howard's buzzer-beater.

Howard (pictured) will be at the center of the action tonight.  He is USC's third leading scorer at 10.2 points per game, but he has not registered a single point in back-to-back contests limiting himself to two shot attempts per game. 

The Trojans' starting point guard will be matched up with ASU PG Jahii Carson, who is fifth in the Pac-12 at 18.7 points per game.  To beat the Sun Devils, USC must limit the future NBA first round pick and force his teammates to make shots.

Click here for tickets to tonight's game.

USC is 9-5 overall and 7-0 at home.  The game will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks.


Tweets for Walters

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Since the announcement of his death last night, USC men's water polo freshman Jon Walters has been the subject of heartfelt condolences from the Trojan Family and the Pac-12 community.

Here is a sampling...

USC Mourns Walters

USC men's water polo and the Trojan Family was rocked today by the death of freshman Jon Walters. We send our deepest condolences out to his family and friends. 

USC head water polo coach Jovan Vavic: "Jon was a great Trojan, and an outstanding young man from a wonderful family. He and his family were loved by all of us on the USC water polo team. I am deeply saddened, and I speak for our team in saying that this is a terrible loss of a friend and teammate. Our prayers go out to Jon's family in hopes that they find comfort." 

Click here for the full story from the OC Register (subscription only). 

As a first-year freshman 2-meter man, Jon Walters was a key contributor on USC's 2013 NCAA championship men's water polo team that won a sixth consecutive NCAA title in December. He scored 17 goals on the year, including two in the NCAA semifinal game and another two in the MPSF championship game, despite missing the middle part of the season with an elbow injury. He was from Newport Beach and attended Mater Dei High School, where he was an All-American and the 2012 CIF Player of the Year. 


2014 USC Football Schedule

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The 2014 USC Football schedule has been released, and new season tickets are ON SALE NOW as well as renewals.

If you are a returning season ticket holder, please check your email for your personalized invitation to renew.  If you want to purchase new season tickets, click here for information or call 213-740-GOSC.

In 2014, USC will host six games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum including the regular season-ending rivalry game with Notre Dame on November 29.  The Trojans will open the home schedule with Fresno State (August 30) followed by Pac-12 foes Oregon State (September 27), Arizona State (October 4), Colorado (October 18) and California (Thursday, November 13).

USC will face a tough early road test at Stanford (September 6) plus trips to Boston College (September 13), Arizona (October 11), Utah (October 25), Washington State (November 1) and UCLA (November 22). 

All game times and broadcast networks will be determined at a later date.  Homecoming and Trojan Family Weekend games have not been announced yet either.

Mark your calendars and #TURNUPSC!
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Tribute to Ernie Hix

Hix 15B.jpgErnie Hix is regarded as the father of USC men's volleyball.  He took the program from its infancy and grew it into national champions in 1977 and 1980.

For that and all the lives he touched along the way, Hix will be honored at Saturday's men's volleyball preseason banquet in the Galen Center Founders' Room.  More than 200 former players, coaches and fans are expected to show up for a tribute to Hix, and you are invited as well.

Click here to RSVP or pay $50 at the door.  The event begins with a 5 p.m. reception followed by 6 p.m. dinner and program. 

"Ernie Hix laid the foundation and fostered the development of the team throughout the 70s and 80s," said All-American Bob Yoder.  Along with Yoder, Hix coached Trojan All-Americans Celso Kalache, Tim Hovland, Dusty Dvorak, Pat Powers, Steve Timmons and Bill Stetson.

Click here for more on Hix and the event.

Along with the tribute to Hix, the 2014 men's volleyball team will be introduced.  USC is currently ranked No. 5 nationally, and the Trojans open the home schedule Friday night at 7 p.m. PT vs. UC San Diego.

USC defeated Loyola-Chicago to start the season on the road before having the match at Lewis cancelled due to inclement weather in the area.

Trojans Live - Spring 1

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The spring season of Trojans Live on KFWB News Talk 980 started last night at The Lab restaurant next to Galen Center as we welcomed new head coach Steve Sarkisian, men's basketball leading scorer Byron Wesley and 13-time water polo national champion head coach Jovan Vavic.  Plus, women's basketball guards Brianna Barrett and Ariya Crook joined the live show as well as men's basketball play-by-play voice Chris Fisher. 

The next live show is Tuesday, January 21, at 6 p.m. at The Lab.

Nothing New

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Like its brother program, USC women's water polo is familiar with life on top of the polls. The Women of Troy ended 2013 as the national champions, and they will begin 2014 as MPSF favorites predicted to finish first in the nation's best conference.

Click here for the complete release.

The Trojans narrowly topped Stanford in the preseason poll after beating the Cardinal in triple sudden-death in the NCAA Title Match last spring.  USC returns MPSF Player of the Year Monica Vavic as well as All-Americans Flora Bolonyai (goalie), Kaleigh Gilchrist, Madeline Rosenthal and Kelly Mendoza.

The season starts February 8.  The Women of Troy will host the MPSF Championship (April 25-27) and the NCAA Tournament (May 9-11) at the brand new Uytengsu Aquatics Center.


X Is Out

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Redshirt junior TE Xavier Grimble announced that he is forgoing his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft.  Grimble is the fifth Trojan junior to declare early following S Dion Bailey, WR Marqise Lee, C Marcus Martin and DL George Uko.

"I've been at 'SC for four years and have had a pretty productive career," Grimble told Gary Klein of The Los Angeles Times in a phone interview Tuesday night. "I'm healthy and just want to move on and give it a shot.... I feel like it was kind of my time."

Click here for the full story in the LA Times.

Grimble missed a chunk of the 2013 season due to injury, so he finished with only 25 catches and 2 touchdowns.  For his career, he caught 69 balls including 5 TDs.

Grimble also told Klein that he is close to finishing his degree and "loved" being a Trojan.  He called USC "a great, powerful place" at which he "was coached by amazing coaches and played with some amazing players." 


Bo Knows

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USC head coach Steve Sarkisian officially hired Bo Davis as the Trojans' new defensive line coach.  Davis comes to Troy from Texas, but he spent much of his coaching career working under Nick Saban at Alabama, LSU and the Miami Dolphins.

"It is great to welcome Bo to USC," said Sarkisian, who with the hiring has now completed his full-time assistant coaching staff.  "He is one of the outstanding defensive line coaches in the country and makes for a great addition to our coaching staff."

Click here for the full story.

Davis, who played his college ball at LSU, won national championships with the Tigers as a strength coach and the Crimson Tide as the defensive line coach.  Most recently, he was coaching defensive tackles at Texas.


The First Family of USC Volley

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The latest Yoder to don the Cardinal and Gold appears to be a special one.  Freshman Lucas Yoder made such an impressive debut for USC men's volleyball that he was named the AVCA Division I-II National Player of the Week, MPSF Player of the Week and Off The Block National Freshman of the Week.

Click here for the full story.

On the road at No. 7 Loyola-Chicago, Yoder had a match-best 16 kills while hitting .609 to help the No. 11-ranked Trojans open their 2014 season with a 3-1 win. He had only 2 hitting errors on 23 swings.

Six Yoders have now graced Trojan rosters over the years: joining Lucas are cousin, Jack, a first-year freshman setter on the Trojans, Jack's brother, Paul, a junior libero at USC, their uncle, Bob, (a 1977 All-American who led USC to an NCAA title that year and then in 1988 as Troy's head coach), Lucas' late father, Dave (he played on 3 NCAA Final Four teams in the mid-1980s), and their cousin, Erin (a member of a pair of recent Women of Troy NCAA Final Four squads).

The First Family (clockwise from upper left): Lucas, Paul, Jack, Bob, Dave and Erin Yoder.

Sark on the Evolution of Football

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New USC head coach Steve Sarkisian was in "The Herd" with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio this morning talking about the evolution of college football, the BCS Title Game and more.

Click here to listen.

Sarkisian will be on "Trojans Live" tonight at 6 p.m. PT on KFWB News Talk 980.  He will be LIVE on set at The Lab as well, so come down to see the coach in person.


Fighting On

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Former USC football player Gerald Washington is now a heavyweight boxer sporting a perfect 10-0 record as a professional.  The rising star is in action next on January 24, and the fight will be broadcast by Fox Sports 1.

The defensive lineman has some serious punching power, which he put on full display during this knockout of Travis Fulton.

Closing Time

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USC women's basketball was down by seven with 4:20 to go in the game before closing the show on a 17-2 run to storm past Utah 55-47.  The Women of Troy have won five consecutive games, starting Pac-12 play 3-0 with a 10-5 overall record.

Click here for the recap.

National Player of the Year candidate Cassie Harberts posted a double-double (16 points and 11 rebounds), while Brianna Barrett led the team with a career-high 17 points.  The Trojans made 26/33 free throws to key the victory.

Here is the Pac-12 Networks recap:

2013 NFL Wild Card Weekend

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Heisman Worthy

Ryan Kalil, C, Panthers - Named NFL All-Pro First Team

Ryan-Kalil.jpgAfter captaining Carolina to the No. 2 seed in the NFC, Ryan Kalil was named the best center in the NFL for 2013.  The 2006 All-American guided the Panthers from worst-to-first in the NFC South.  After a bye this past weekend, Carolina will host San Francisco on Sunday. 

All-American Caliber

Shareece Wright, CB, Chargers - 5 tackles (3 solo) and his first career postseason INT in an upset victory over the Bengals

Rey Maualuga, LB, Bengals - 15 tackles (12 solo) including one for loss

Nick Perry, OLB, Packers - 5 tackles (4 solo) including 2 TFLs (1 sack)

Tyron Smith, OT, Cowboys - Named 2nd Team All-Pro

DT Jurrell Casey, DT, Titans - Named 2nd Team All-Pro after Pro Bowl snub

3-Points: UCLA 107, USC 73

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The Trojans get blown out in their Pac-12 opener at Pauley Pavilion.

Click here for the recap and box score.

Welcome to the Pac

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 2.42.07 PM.pngIn the first Pac-12 game of the season, the Trojans suffered the second worst loss in the history of the Crosstown Rivalry which left new head coach Andy Enfield shaking his head.  "What positives? None," Enfield succinctly summed it up. "It wasn't too fun."  UCLA blitzed USC from the opening tip leading by 22 at the half.  "We just didn't come out ready to play," said junior Byron Wesley, who led the team with 21 points and 9 rebounds.  "The first five minutes really set the tone for us as far as the whole game was considered.  We just dug ourselves into too deep of a hole early on.  It is not acceptable."  Nevertheless, Enfield and the Trojans see the big picture with 17 more conference games to go.  "It's a long year," said Wesley.  "We've been in this position before.  It's just the first game.  We just have to have a short term memory and get ready to lock in for Thursday."

Turnovers and Missed Free Throws

Offensively, the two stats that stuck out the most were turnovers and missed free throws.  The Trojans could not get a handle on the ball committing 17 turnovers, including 13 in the first half.  "We made some really unusually turnovers for us," said Enfield. "UCLA's ability to shoot the ball rattled us a little bit in the first half.  We started to press and not perform like we have been."  USC did a good job getting to the free throw line, but the Trojans made only 16/30 from the stripe. 

Guard Play

The Trojans' advantage was in the front court, so UCLA made it a perimeter game.  "The simple explanation was that our guards played poorly.  Pretty simple.  Their guards played great and ours played poorly," Enfield said. "We thought they were really good on film, and they were even better in person."  In particular, sophomore Kyle Anderson controlled the action for UCLA scoring 23 points with 12 rebounds and 5 assists.  Wesley called the 6-foot-8 guard "a match-up problem" to which the Trojans never found a solution.

Lock Down D

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After an inconsistent non-conference season, USC women's basketball is starting to develop an identity under new head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke.  The Women of Troy mirrored their tenacious and energetic head coach by following the win at UCLA with an upset of No. 12 Colorado at Galen Center Friday night.

The Trojans held the Buffaloes to 28% shooting and forced 16 turnovers.  They closed the 55-45 win by not allowing a Colorado basket in the final 4:54.

Now 2-0 in Pac-12 play, USC hosts Utah at 4 p.m. PT on Sunday.  Here are the highlights from the victory over Colorado:

Lee Turning Pro

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All-American WR Marqise Lee has announced via Twitter that he is entering the NFL Draft after three remarkable seasons at USC.  He leaves Troy as the program's only Biletnikoff Award winner.

"The Fun Part"

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Under new head coach Andy Enfield, USC men's basketball navigated a treacherous non-conference schedule to emerge 9-4 with a solid NCAA resume.  The Trojans have an RPI Top 25 win over Xavier and a quality road win at Dayton.

While the Trojans have surprised to this point, they will really have to step their game up to survive the Pac-12 gauntlet.  The conference is loaded this season with three RPI Top 10 teams including undefeated Arizona and Oregon. 

USC opens Pac-12 play at UCLA (RPI No. 46) after beating the Bruins in Pauley Pavilion last season.  The Trojans then return home to face Arizona State (Thursday, January 9 at 7 p.m.) before welcoming No. 1 Arizona (Sunday, January 12 at 6 p.m.).

"This is the fun part," said Enfield.  "That's about as tough a schedule as it gets. We need to keep improving and also be more specific with game planning."

On Sunday, Enfield will match wits with Steve Alford for the first time as both new coaches get indoctrinated into the Crosstown Rivalry.  Here is a game preview featuring Enfield, Byron Wesley and Julian Jacobs...

Top 5 Tennis

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Once again this season, Marks Stadium will be home to some of the best collegiate tennis in the country.  To open the spring, USC men's tennis is ranked No. 4, while the Women of Troy are No. 5.

Click here for the complete story.

Individually, senior Ray Sarmiento leads the men's team as the No. 10 player in the country.  On the women's side, Sabrina Santamaria checks in at No. 13 nationally in singles and will again partner with Kaitlyn Christian as the defending NCAA Doubles Champions.

Dual match season begins January 24-26 as the men and women host the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

Two-time national champion Ray Sarmiento is the highest ranked Trojan.

Setting the Season

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In Micah Christenson, USC men's volleyball knows it has the best setter in the country, which is a pretty good place to start the 2014 campaign.

Christenson-Set-Lewis-PC.jpg"Micah is the best setter not only in college but in North America," said head coach Bill Ferguson. "He runs our team so well, and he is also an exceptional blocker and server."

The U.S. Men's National Team starting setter simply did not have enough veteran talent to work with last season resulting in a 6-18 rebuilding year after back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances.  Having taken their lumps, the young Trojans are now ready to grow up around Christenson (pictured) and rise back to the top of the conference.

"The best thing about this year is that it is not last year. We had lots of growing pains last season," said Ferguson.  "This team has more all-around skill and cohesion than any group I've had here. I believe we'll take a large step toward being back in the national conversation."

Click here for the complete season preview.

Around Christenson, the Trojans will rely on senior libero Henry Cassiday, junior middle blocker Robert Feathers and senior opposite hitter Tanner Jansen.  Plus, the roster gets a boost as Maddison McKibbin, the team's "best all-around skill player", returns after losing the previous season to injury.

Along with the core veteran talent, USC will need young names to emerge as the season progresses.  Ferguson expects last season's bruises to turn into hardened resolve as the Trojans make a postseason run in 2014. 

"This is a very similar team to the 2012 team," said Ferguson, who led that group to the NCAA Title Match.  "We're better at blocking and serving than in 2012 and we have more balance and depth. I don't know how we'll start off, but I believe we'll finish strong."

The Trojans open the season this weekend on the road at Loyola-Chicago and Lewis before returning to Los Angeles for the Galen Center opener vs. UC San Diego on January 10 at 7 p.m. PT.  USC will host UC Irvine on January 14, UCLA on February 9 and Stanford on March 9 among other key home dates.

Perfect Ending to 2013

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In the final Trojan contest of 2013, USC women's basketball defeated UCLA in Pauley Pavilion.  The Women of Troy are now 8-5 overall and 1-0 in Pac-12 play with No. 12 Colorado (Friday at 8 p.m.) and Utah (Sunday at 4 p.m.) coming to Galen Center this week.

Here are the highlights from the victory over UCLA featuring the post-game locker room speech from head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke:

Trojans Represent at Rose Bowl

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No school has played in or won more Rose Bowls than USC, so the Trojans were a missing piece on the field yesterday at the 100th Rose Bowl game.  Nevertheless, J.K. McKay, who stood in for his late father John McKay, and Lynn Swann represented USC in an honorary fashion.

John McKay was named the Rose Bowl Coach of the Century, while Swann was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.  In the Pierson Clair photos below, J.K. McKay is pictured with Rose Bowl Player of the Century Archie Griffin (top), while Swann is alongside another Buckeye, OT Orlando Pace, a Hall of Fame classmate (bottom).

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Pro Bowl Quartet

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Steelers S Troy Polamalu, Browns TE Jordan Cameron, Cowboys OT Tyron Smith and Panthers C Ryan Kalil will represent USC at the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl. 

Click here for the complete Pro Bowl rosters.

Polamalu is headed to the Pro Bowl for the eighth time in his future Hall of Fame career, while Kalil was selected for the fourth time.  Cameron and Smith are all-stars for the first time in their professional careers.


Uko Makes It Three

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Junior DE George Uko announced via Twitter that he is joining Dion Bailey and Marcus Martin on the early train to the NFL.  Uko is coming off a solid season during which he was second on the team with 5 sacks and racked up 36 tackles. 

Playing the Odds

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For the first time in program history, USC men's water polo has two players among the three finalists for the Cutino Award, known as the Heisman Trophy of the sport.  Senior Nikola Vavic and junior Kostas Genidounias are up for the prestigious honor after leading the Trojans to a sixth consecutive national championship.

Click here for the full story.

This will be the 10th consecutive season that USC has been represented among the annual three male finalists named for the Cutino Award.  Legendary goalie Joel Dennerley is the last Trojan to win the Cutino Award following his senior season in 2011.

Vavic (pictured) was a Cutino finalist last season, and became the program's all-time leading scorer as a senior.  Genidounias scored in every game this season and could break Vavic's record next year.


Roth on Sark's New Hires

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As Steve Sarkisian puts the finishing touches on his coaching staff, Pac-12 Networks analyst Yogi Roth weighs in on two of the biggest additions, defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and tight ends coach Marques Tuaisosopo.

Trojan Family Loses Two

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Over the holidays, the Trojan Family lost two valued members in Betty Boyd, the wife of legendary men's basketball head coach Bob Boyd, and Wilbur "Moose" Thompson, a 1948 Olympic gold medalist in the shot put.

Click here for Boyd's obituary.

Click here for Thompson's obituary.

Boyd, 84, passed away on December 30, while Thompson died on Christmas Day at the age of 92.