Honorable Vaughn

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ralph vaughn.jpgUSC hoops alum Ralph Vaughn will be one of 12 men inducted into the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Hall of Honor next month.

Click here for the full release.

The late Vaughn was a three-year starter at Troy (1938-40), leading the team in scoring and earning all-conference honors in all three seasons. He was a member of USC's first-ever NCAA Tournament squad and helped lead the Trojans to the national semis.

After a successful career at USC, which earned him USC Athletics Hall of Fame honors, Vaughn played in the National Basketball League for seven years.

Vaughn and the 11 other inductees (including Utah alum Andre Miller and UW alum Quincy Pondexter) will be honored during a ceremony ahead of the 2017 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas next month.

Bring on the Bruins

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Crosstown Cup points are on the line this weekend as USC women's tennis hosts the UCLA Bruins.

No. 22 USC, boasting a 3-1 record this season, will take on No. 20 UCLA in a non-conference match at Marks Stadium.

Click here for the full preview!

Junior Gabby Smith (pictured) rides a nine-match win streak into tomorrow's rivalry crash. Her consistency has earned her a spot as the No. 25 singles player in the nation -- the highest ranking of any Trojan. UCLA's highest ranked player, meanwhile, is No. 3 Ena Shibahara, who's won five straight.

USC currently trails in the Crosstown Cup, 45-35, but can earn five points with a win on Saturday.

The match begins tomorrow at noon and will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.


Upset SCity

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USC men's volleyball shut down the No. 6 Stanford Cardinal for a three-set sweep at Galen Center last night.

Click here for the full recap!

Senior leader Lucas Yoder stepped up with 15 kills, helping the Trojans hit .286 to Stanford's .089. Sophomore Woody Cook posted 10 kills and five digs as USC managed a 25-19, 25-20, 25-23 victory.

The win avenged USC's 3-0 loss at Stanford last month and marked the Trojans' first three-set win of the season. They now stand at 4-9 on the year, with a 3-7 mark in conference play.

USC, which now has three wins over Top 10 opponents this season, is gearing up to take on No. 9 Pepperdine tomorrow at 7 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets!

#FightOnForever: Mike Walden

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Mike Walden, a noted local radio and television sportscaster who was the play-by-play broadcast voice of USC football and men's basketball from 1966 to 1972 and then called UCLA sports for parts of 18 years, died on Sunday (Feb. 12) in Tarzana, Calif., from complications of a stroke. He was 89.

Click here for the complete obituary.

There will be a celebration of life for Walden on March 18 at 11 a.m. at Braemar Country Club (4001 Reseda Blvd., Tarzana 91356).

Walden, who was known for his distinctive broadcasting style and his even more distinctive wardrobe, handled the USC announcing duties when the Trojan footballers appeared in 5 Rose Bowls and won a pair of national championships (1967 and 1972) and the 1971 hoopsters posted a 24-2 record.

Click here for one of Walden's most famous calls.

A member of the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame (1994), Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame (2003) and USC Athletic Hall of Fame (2009), Walden began his broadcasting career in his hometown of Springfield, Ill., then after 2 years of service in the Air Force he did the play-by-play of his alma mater, Illinois. Next, he moved to Milwaukee to call Wisconsin, Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Braves games and then worked for CBS Radio in Chicago before coming to the West Coast to announce Trojan athletics.

He also was a broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1970 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972.

After his USC stint, Walden (pictured with fellow USC football broadcasters Tom Kelly and Pete Arbogast) moved across town and did UCLA sports play-by-play for portions of the next 18 years (1973-90), becoming the first person in history to serve as the broadcast voice of both universities.


Playing Hardball

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USC baseball begins its 2017 season this weekend, and the Trojans are ready to return to their roots of fundamental hardball under fifth-year head coach Dan Hubbs.

In the offseason, USC lost a program-record 12 players to the MLB Draft, leaving the roster short on star power, so Hubbs is pushing his young team to employ the game plan that got the Trojans back on the map in the first place. During the buildup to this season, the team has focused on being defensively sound, executing pitch location, and being aggressive and efficient on the base paths.

Click here for the season outlook.

USC will begin the season with four consecutive home games, hosting Coppin State on Friday (6 p.m.), Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) before a Tuesday matchup with Long Beach State (6 p.m.) at Dedeaux Field. Junior right-hander Mitch Hart will get the ball as the Trojans' opening night starter. Please follow @USC_Baseball on Twitter for updates on weather-related schedule changes.

Click here for tickets.

Here is the first episode of "The Road" which previews the upcoming season:

Play 4 Kay

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Tomorrow night when USC women's basketball kicks off its final home stand of the season, the team will host Play 4 Kay night to raise awareness for breast cancer.

The Play 4 Kay initiative was created 11 years ago as part of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, honoring the late NC State women's basketball coach.

The Trojans will wear pink during Friday's game and the first 500 fans in attendance will receive a special Play 4 Kay long sleeve shirt to help support the cause. Fans can also donate to the cause by clicking here.

On Play 4 Kay night, USC hosts Washington State with hopes to even the season series. At 13-12 on the year, the Trojans could use the momentum heading into next month's Pac-12 Tournament.

Tip-off is at 6 p.m. on Friday evening at the Galen Center. Click here to purchase tickets!

Mindfulness Grant for USC

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USC Athletics has been awarded a $25,000 grant through the NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant Program to develop and evaluate a mindfulness training program that will enhance student-athlete mental health.

NCAA Research.jpegUSC is one of five research teams awarded an NCAA grant this year as part of a program aimed at funding projects that will bring tangible benefits to college athletes, specifically in the area of psychosocial well-being and mental health.

The other grant recipients are Rowan University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Western Kentucky University and Sonoma State University.  They will produce work that includes career development, promoting resiliency, and mental health support for injured student-athletes.  A total of $100,000 is being awarded this year.

This is the fourth year of the NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant Program. These five research teams will present their findings in January at the 2018 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis.

USC's grant proposal, authored by researchers Dr. Robin M. Scholefield and Dr. Dylan M. Firsick, noted that "the severity and number of mental health symptoms are increasing on college campuses. Many student-athletes report overwhelming distress as time demands and performance pressure contribute to this group being 'at risk' for psychological and academic difficulties. Time-limited, evidenced-based interventions for coping and distress tolerance are greatly needed."

USC's study will seek to implement a five-session, mindfulness-based training program with three primary goals: improve mindfulness skills, increase overall well-being, and reduce anxiety within student-athletes.  Results will be formatted into a training program handbook for implementation among NCAA member institutions.

A panel that reviewed the 63 proposals and selected the grant awardees was composed of athletics administrators, mental health practitioners, current student-athletes and scholars representing all three NCAA divisions. 

Exceptional Talent

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NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock released his top five prospects at every position for the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft, putting Adoree' Jackson on top of the list for "special exceptions." While Jackson won the Jim Thorpe Award, Mayock still sees him as a "raw" talent at corner who could develop into a shutdown guy, but he knows that he can contribute immediately in the return game.

Click here to watch Mayock's full assessment of Jackson.

Jackson will showcase his skills and athleticism at the NFL Combine (March 3-6) in Indianapolis alongside seven of his USC teammates. He could potentially work out for scouts again at USC Pro Day on March 22.


Trojan of the Week: Shaqquan Aaron

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The Trojan Family voted USC men's basketball redshirt sophomore Shaqquan Aaron the Jersey Mike's Player of the Week after he scored 21 points in 23 minutes in the win over Oregon State. Aaron has picked up his play of late, emerging as the hero of the UCLA victory, and then putting together a similar performance in the blowout of the Beavers.

Aaron will hope to reprise his role as the Bruin killer this Saturday night (7 p.m.) at Pauley Pavilion.


Show Your Stuff

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Today, eight Trojans were officially invited to the 2017 NFL Combine, tied for the most participants of any school in the conference.

OT Zach Banner, RB Justin Davis, CB Adoree' Jackson, OG Damien Mama, WR Darreus Rogers, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, NT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu and OT Chad Wheeler will represent USC at the Combine, which takes place from Feb. 28 to March 6 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

At the Combine, these Trojans will participate in scouting events such as the 40-yard dash, the bench press, the vertical and broad jump, the 3 cone drill and the shuttle run, as well as a number of position-specific drills.

USC's eight invitees are one more than last year and are tied with Utah for the most in the Pac-12 this year. Of the seven Trojans at the Combine last year, four were drafted (Su'a Cravens, Cody Kessler, Max Tuerk, Kevon Seymour). Seymour turned heads by running a 4.39 40 -- tied for the eighth fastest time of any player.

The 2017 NFL Combine will be broadcast live on NFL Network. Follow @USC_Athletics on Twitter to get all the latest news about the Trojans as they prepare for the next step of their careers.

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