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Haden Announces Retirement

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USC president Max Nikias told the university community this morning that athletic director Pat Haden has announced his retirement, effective June 30. After that time, Nikias said that Haden will remain at USC for a year, guiding the Coliseum renovation.

Click the link to read Nikias' letter to the Trojan Family: Haden_Patrick_Nikias.pdf

"It has been a tremendous honor serving my alma mater, a school I love so much, as well as serving Max Nikias, our coaches and staff and, most importantly, our student-athletes," said Haden.  "I am proud of what has been accomplished here the past six years and knowing that USC Athletics is on an upward trajectory.  I look forward to finishing out this academic year as athletic director and then spending time on the Coliseum project."

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3-Points: USC 80, UCLA 61

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

The USC men's basketball team swept crosstown rival UCLA on Thursday night at home in front of a sold-out crowd to improve to 14-0 at home and 18-5 on the season. The victory marks the first time the Trojans have swept the Bruins since 2010 and just the sixth time in the last 60 years.


Click here for a full recap from the Trojans' sweep of the Bruins.

UCLA FINAL OMG.jpgNever Look Back

Guard Julian Jacobs kicked off the crosstown showdown with a layup off the opening tip, and the Trojans didn't sacrifice the lead for the remaining 39 minutes and 55 seconds. USC jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead, forcing UCLA to call a timeout, and the rowdy Galen Crowd erupted. These runs continued throughout the game as the Trojans only saw their lead dwindle to six midway through the second half. A majority of these runs came from fast-break points created by UCLA turnovers on defense with USC scoring 13 fast-break points to UCLA's zero.

"We have a style we like to play and it starts with the defense," said head coach Andy Enfield. "We try to get deflections, steals, blocked shots and then challenge shots. When you do that, you can get out and score in transition."

"When we're in transition we're one of the most dynamic teams," added Jacobs.

Crosstown Shutdown

"We expect to win every game we play in. Whether we play defense is the determining factor," said Jacobs, who led the Trojans in scoring with 17 points. Well, USC's defense certainly showed up on Thursday night, holding UCLA to 35 percent shooting from the field, which is the 10th time the Trojans have held an opponent to 40 percent or less shooting. In comparison, USC shot 45 percent from the field, including 10 buckets from beyond-the-arc, which is the seventh time this season the Trojans have scored 10 or more three-pointers. The Bruins' 61 points is also a season-low much to the credit of Trojan guards like Jacobs and McLaughlin as well as post players like Nikola Jovanovic.

"When you play UCLA, you try to take their strengths away as best you can," said the head coach. "Down the stretch we were able to rebound the ball."

Guard Your Yard

The Trojans are off to their best start at home in program history with 14 consecutive wins at the Galen Center this season. On Thursday, USC played in front of a sell-out crowd that players like Jacobs noted was the first time they had ever seen a crowd that big in the Galen Center. Students were lined up starting two-and-a-half hours before tip-off, and the Trojans certainly did not disappoint as they dominated the crosstown showdown with ease.

"The Galen Center is just a terrific atmosphere for college basketball when it's like this. It's loud and the fans feel like they're on top of you," said Enfield. "To have the students of USC embrace our team and to be enthusiastic and come support, it means a lot. It creates an atmosphere and a home court advantage that some other teams have around the country."

Click here for tickets to the remaining home games!

Check out all the highlights from the Trojans' sweep over the Bruins in front of a rowdy crowd at the Galen Center...


The Final Score

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The real results of National Signing Day will not be seen until the players hit the field this fall and the years to come, but that does not stop the recruiting services from judging the classes now.

After reeling in 20 of the nation's top talents, Clay Helton's first recruiting class as head coach is considered to be the best in the Pac-12, according to ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. And nationally, the newest Trojans had the highest average star rating per player, according to Scout.com.

Click here to revisit our Signing Day page.

Thirteen prep players in USC's signing class are listed among the ESPN 300, including six in the top 100. Fifteen were All-American first teamers and 12 were named All-State first team.


Photo Gallery: Signing Day Dinner

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Hundreds turned out to salute the newest Trojans at the annual National Signing Day dinner in the Kennedy Founders' Room inside the Galen Center. Here are Pierson Clair's photos:


Trojans Live - USC Signing Day 2016

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

Trojans Live
was back for the first time in 2016 on Wednesday night for a USC Signing Day special, after head coach Clay Helton wrapped up a successful first class. The lineup featured five-star recruits like Long Beach Poly DB Jack Jones and some of the early enrollees who are already on campus. It's a big week for USC athletics as the Trojans also host crosstown rival UCLA at the Galen Center on Thursday.

Guards Katin Reinhardt and Elijah Stewart dropped by The Lab to discuss the surging Trojans and the thrill of playing in front of a potentially sold out Galen Center.

Click here to listen to Reinhardt and Stewart as they prepare for the crosstown rivalry match-up at home.

Next up, Jack Jones, one of the most highly-touted recruits from Signing Day, joined the show to discuss his decision-making process, including his announcement with Snoop Dogg.

Click here to listen to Jack Jones' full interview on his decision to join the Trojan Family.

Seven signees are already enrolled at USC to get a head start on learning the playbook. WR Michael Pittman Jr. and DL Liam Jimmons stopped by after attending the recruiting dinner next door at the Galen Center to discuss their decision to graduate high school early.

To hear more from Jimmons and Pittman Jr., click here to listen to their thoughts on USC's 2016 class.

Finally, DL Oluwole Betiku rounded out the slew of new Trojans, joining the show to talk about his long journey to become a Trojan and his Nigerian roots.

Check it out here...

2016 National Signing Day: Clay Helton Presser

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"If you want to be the best, you have to sign the best," said head coach Clay Helton after finishing National Signing Day with 13 ESPN Top 300 recruits (six Top 100) in the 2016 USC football class. The Trojans finished with the top Pac-12 recruiting class according to ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247Sports.com, and the average star rating of the Trojans' 20 signees was top five nationally according to most outlets, including first place by Scout.com.

Click here to get to know the entire Class of 2016 roster.

To see the 2016 class in action, click here for USC football season ticket info.

Here is Helton addressing the media after an impressive first National Signing Day as the USC head coach...

Class of 2016: DB Jack Jones

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It's National Signing Day, and we're excited to officially announce USC's talented class of 2016! Presenting the newest members of the Trojan Family...

Just like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Iman "Biggie" Marshall, Jack Jones is an elite athlete out of Long Beach Poly with a name, "Jack Jack", to match his game. The Scout.com All-American played cornerback and wide receiver in high school. He had 23 tackles, an interception and 4 deflections on defense in 2015, plus 42 receptions for 837 yards (19.9 avg) with 11 TDs on offense.

To see the 2016 class in action, click here for USC football season ticket info.


Class of 2016: DL Josh Fatu

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It's National Signing Day, and we're excited to officially announce USC's talented class of 2016! Presenting the newest members of the Trojan Family...

Josh Fatu adds some beef to the USC defensive line. The junior college transfer made 2015 JC Athletic Bureau All-California Region III first team and was a unanimous pick for the All-Southern California Football Association National Division Central League first team as a sophomore defensive tackle at Long Beach City College. He had 52 tackles, including 14 for losses (with 9.5 sacks), 2 fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and a deflection in 2015 as Long Beach CC went 10-2, won the Southern California Bowl and advanced to the SoCal Regional Championship.

To see the 2016 class in action,click here for USC football season ticket info.


Class of 2016: ATH Keyshawn Young

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It's National Signing Day, and we're excited to officially announce USC's talented class of 2016! Presenting the newest members of the Trojan Family...

Versatile Miami athlete Keyshawn Young is full of potential on offense, defense and special teams for the Trojans this upcoming season. A three-way player and track athlete, Young made 2015 Prep Star All-American and All-State Class 8A honorable mention as a wide receiver and defensive back at Miami (Fla.) Senior High. He had three punt returns for touchdowns as a 2014 junior.  He had 2,069 rushing and receiving yards with 30 TDs (16 rushing, 14 receiving) during his 2013 sophomore and 2014 junior seasons.

To see the 2016 class in action, click here for USC football season ticket info.


Class of 2016: WR Velus Jones Jr.

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It's National Signing Day, and we're excited to officially announce USC's talented class of 2016! Presenting the newest members of the Trojan Family...

The USC coaching staff landed an exceptional wide receiver class this recruiting season, including Velus Jones Jr. Pulled out of the football frenzied state of Alabama, Jones made 2015 Prep Star All-Southeast Region, USA Today All-Alabama first team, AL.com Super All-State first team, Alabama Sportswriters Association All-State Class 6A first team and All-Coastal Alabama first team as a senior at Saraland (Ala.) High. He had 48 receptions for 945 yards (19.7 avg) with 10 TDs in 2015, plus 172 rushing yards with 2 TDs and 2 touchdowns on special teams.

To see the 2016 class in action, click here for USC football season ticket info.