Spring Show

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Trojans Put On A Spring Show

2017 USC Spring Game Preview

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2017 USC Spring Game on Saturday

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at Noon PT on Pac-12 Network

USC-FOOTBALL-SPRING-BALL-040617-MCGILLEN-5290lr.JPGTrojans to Watch: Second-Year Wide Receivers

USC is forced to replace a lot of production at the receiver position after the departures of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Darreus Rogers, Isaac Whitney and De'Quan Hampton, who will all be in attendance on Saturday to collect their Rose Bowl rings. While the Trojans still have Rose Bowl hero Deontay Burnett and versatile veteran Jalen Greene, a new crop of pass catchers will be on full display, including sophomore Michael Pittman Jr. (pictured) and redshirt freshmen Tyler Vaughns, Velus Jones Jr., and Josh Imatorbhebhe. The exciting quartet has shown tremendous improvement over the five weeks of spring football, building chemistry with QB Sam Darnold. The Spring Game provides a nice showcase for the young receivers to put their talents on full display.

3 Keys

Last Men Standing

The USC roster has been ravaged by injuries this spring, so head coach Clay Helton explained that Saturday's exhibition will look more like a practice than a game. The Trojans simply don't have enough bodies to divide into two teams and go at it. However, there are several competitive portions on the schedule, providing the healthy players a chance to make an impression on their coaches and the fans. Keep an eye on several position battles as young Trojans like DL Marlon Tuipulotu, ILB John Houston Jr., CB Jack Jones, RB Vavae Malepeai, DB Jamel Cook, TE Cary Angeline, OL Roy Hemsley and others are making a strong push for playing time.

The Interludes

The crowd will be treated to three in-game ceremonies, headlined by the return of the NFL-bound seniors and juniors from last season's Rose Bowl champions. Along with a first look at the rosy rings, the Trojan Family will also be introduced to the 2017 recruiting class, which was ranked in the national top five. Plus, the record-setting USC men's basketball team will be saluted on the field. Finally, fans will get a chance to line up for autographs after the game as all Trojans will be signing at tables.

Just a Taste

This is your last chance to enjoy Trojan football for several months, so don't miss out. The new season kicks off on Saturday, September 2, when USC hosts Western Michigan. The 2017 home schedule is loaded with big games, including Texas, Stanford, Utah and UCLA. Click here for ticket information. The Trojans have high hopes for this season with the return of Rose Bowl MVP Sam Darnold, rushing leader Ronald Jones II, leading tackler Cam Smith, sack leader Rasheem Green and much more.



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all-mpsf mvb.jpgUSC men's volleyball senior Lucas Yoder earned a spot on the 2017 All-MPSF First Team, while senior captain Andy Benesh landed on the All-MPSF Second Team, the conference announced today.

Click here for the full release!

Yoder earned first team honors for leading not only the conference, but the nation in kills this season (4.80 per set). He also led the conference and ranked second in the nation in points (5.17 per set) this regular season. This is the third year that Yoder has received an MPSF award, after being named the MPSF Freshman of the Year and a second teamer in 2014 and earning honorable mention in 2016. Yoder is one of four members of this year's first team to have earned three MPSF awards in his career.

Benesh also picks up his third MPSF honor, after earning All-MPSF honorable mention in 2014 and 2015. The middle blocker ranks sixth in the nation in hitting percentage (.430) and 10th in blocks (1.09 per set). Only one other member of the second team has earned three MSPF honors in his career.

On Saturday, Yoder, Benesh and the Trojans take on MPSF Player of the Year TJ DeFalco and the Long Beach State 49ers in the first round of the MPSF Tournament. That match begins tomorrow at 7 p.m. at LBSU.

2017 Spring Practice #14: Notes

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The Trojans wrapped their final practice of the spring in anticipation of Saturday's Coliseum showcase.
  • In addition to the long term injuries, here are the rest of the players that will not participate in the USC Spring Game: DL Kenny Bigelow, DB Isaiah Langley, OLB Porter Gustin, OL Andrew Voorhees, TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe, TE Tyler Petite, WR Deontay Burnett, WR Keyshawn "Pie" Young and OL Chuma Edoga, per head coach Clay Helton.
  • Because of the limited numbers, the Spring Game will be more of a "situational practice," Helton explained. "No score will be kept."
  • Saturday will still be competitive as every practice is. Today, the defense exploded when CB Ajene Harris picked off QB Sam Darnold in the end zone to finish off the day. "It felt really good, the team is just finishing up the last practice, last period of the practice, so it just was a good win for our defense right there," said Harris who trotted the length of the end zone with the football until his teammates mobbed him.
  • Harris has a spot locked down after his impressive play at the end of last season. Sophomore CB Jack Jones is trying to do the same. Helton said that Jones has been "exceptional" and expanded, "He's always had confidence, but you can see him being very assignment sound now." While he will have a lot of competition for the spot opposite Iman Marshall, Jones appears to have the edge coming out of spring. "We're going to have to count on him next year."
  • As each year passes, the leaders change. Last year at this time, DL Rasheem Green was an unproven commodity, but now he returns as the team's sack leader. "I just try to lead by how hard I work, by playing well and not messing up on my plays," Green said. "It is important that we don't just play with effort and intensity for two or three plays, but all the plays that we're on the field for."
  • Helton has made mention of it many times, but staff continuity could play huge dividends this year. "I just think it's the communication," said Harris about the difference. "It's our second year with the same defense, the same defensive coordinator, the same DB coach. So, our confidence is pretty up with the play calls and just the players around us, we're all comfortable and we're all hungry. We all come out here with a swagger and we're just ready to play."
  • The Trojans have not shied away from playoff expectations this spring, but Helton explained that it will take more consistency for this group to reach those lofty heights. The team needs to "start fast and play clean football right [from] the get go," said the head coach. Last year, the Trojans looked like a playoff team by the end, but "September is equally as important," said Helton, and USC lost three games in the season's first month. USC will have a difficult opening schedule again with Western Michigan, Stanford, Texas, Cal and Washington State all before October.
  • Here is Helton's entire press conference:

Seniors' Last Sets

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usc-mens-tennis-etsu-012817-mcgillen-7051.jpgThis weekend, USC men's tennis hosts its two final home matches of the season.

Click here for the full preview!

The No. 6 Trojans are 20-4 (3-1 Pac-12) heading into this weekend's matches. When they face Arizona at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow, they will aim for their 100th all-time win over the Wildcats, as their current series record stands at 99-2.

On Saturday at 1 p.m., senior captains Rob Bellamy and Nick Crystal (pictured) along with redshirt junior David Laser will play their last match at USC's Marks Stadium when the Trojans host Utah.

Bellamy, who hails from Pacific Palisades, CA, is 59-24 (.711) in his four years as a Trojan, while Crystal, a Waccabuc, NY native, is 77-34 (.694). Laser has gone 6-15 in his three years of competition.

Crystal and his doubles partner, Laurens Verboven, are ranked No. 76 in the nation together this season. USC's freshman duo of Brandon Holt and Riley Smith is the squad's highest ranked doubles team, at No. 11, and Logan Smith and Thibault Forget rank No. 80 in the nation as a pair. Holt and Logan Smith come in at No. 23 and 72 in the nation, respectively, in singles.

Neither Arizona nor Utah boasts a ranked player in singles or doubles.

At Friday's match against Arizona, the first 150 fans in attendance will receive a free poke bowl. After Saturday's match, the Trojans will hold a reception for the seniors, alumni and donors.

Meet Velus Jones Jr.

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usc-football-spring-BALL-04012017-mcgillen-3430.jpgName: Velus Jones Jr.

Position: WR

Class: Redshirt Freshman

Size: 6-foot-0, 185 pounds

Age: 19

High School (Hometown): Saraland HS (Saraland, AL)

Game: Jones is an explosive athlete who is at his best with the ball in his hands. Instead of lining up on the outside every time like a traditional wide receiver, Jones is a flexible weapon who could be utilized as a downfield pass catcher, but also as a runner from the backfield.

Prep Career: Jones made 2015 Prep Star All-Southeast Region, USA Today All-Alabama first team, Super All-State first team, Alabama Sportswriters Association All-State Class 6A first team and All-Coastal Alabama first team as a senior wide receiver at Saraland 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.

Helton on Jones: "He's kind of that Percy Harvin-type, the ability to run great routes, explosive plays in the pass game, but then be able to hand him the ball on the outside perimeter and do some special things. He's a guy that I think a redshirt year really helped."

Fun Fact: From 1880 to 2015, fewer than five people per year have been born with the first name Velus.

Here is Jones on Alabama's love of football, his passion for science-fiction movies and more:

Photo Gallery: USC MBB Awards Dinner

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Last night, USC men's basketball celebrated its record-setting 26-win season at its annual Awards Dinner.

USC photographer Pierson Clair was on hand to capture every moment of the night:

Clash At The Coliseum

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USC_lacrosse_stanford_coliseum_mcgillen_HR-1437.jpgTomorrow evening, USC's ninth-ranked women's lacrosse team heads to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to host No. 6 Colorado in its last home game of the season.

Click here for the full preview!

USC heads into the conference clash riding a 15-game MPSF win streak and a 22-game win streak at home (including two games at the Coliseum). USC's seniors, who will be honored ahead of the game, have played a huge role in those streaks.

Senior attacker Michaela Michael has won MPSF Offensive Player of the Week four weeks in a row for her goal-scoring prowess recently. Michael is USC's all-time leading goal-scorer and needs just seven more points to become USC's all-time leader in points scored.

Fellow seniors Kylie Drexel and Cynthia Del Core rank fourth and fifth in all-time goals, respectively, while Nina Kelty ranks fifth in USC history in ground balls. Michael, Drexel, Del Core and Kelty, along with fellow seniors Drew Jackson and Gabby McMahon, will all be honored ahead of the game.

The matchup will also be significant for USC head coach Lindsey Munday, who played alongside Colorado head coach Ann Elliott at Northwestern for three years.

The Trojans are 11-3 on the season with a 5-0 mark in MPSF play, positioning them at the top of the conference standings. Colorado sits just behind USC, with a 4-0 conference mark and a 12-1 overall record.

Tomorrow's tough matchup kicks off at 5 p.m. at the Coliseum. Admission is free and open to the public. For those unable to attend, the game will be broadcast on Pac-12 LA and Pac-12 Mountain.

Crock Of Gold

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USC men's golf junior Sean Crocker was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Ben Hogan Award, the Colonial Country Club, the Friends of Golf (FOG) and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) announced yesterday.

Click here for the full release!

The Ben Hogan Award is given annually to the top men's NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA or NJCAA college golfer for his achievements in collegiate and amateur competitions over 12 months.

Past winners include Hunter Mahan (2003), Bill Haas (2004) and Rickie Fowler (2008).

Crocker, who was born in Zimbabwe but prepped at Westlake High in Westlake Village, CA, leads No. 1 USC in stroke average this year (70.15) and has finished under par in eight straight tournaments (combined 26-under par in those events).

Crocker is one of five golfers from the Pac-12 to make the cut. The list of semifinalists will be cut down to three finalists on May 3, making this month's Pac-12 Championships crucial for Crocker. The Pac-12 Championships run from April 28-30 in Boulder, CO.

Check out USC's top-ranked men's golf team on Twitter and Instagram to follow Crocker's quest.


Stevens Center Academic Spotlight: Dashiell Enos

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USC's student-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 bit better in our academic spotlight.

dash.jpgName: Dashiell Enos
Class: Junior
Sport: Men's Diving
Major: Cinema and Media Studies
Minor: Entertainment Industry
GPA: 3.12

Aubrey Kragen (AK): Can you tell me a little bit about your major and what makes it different from other majors within the film school?

Dashiell Enos (DE): I would describe Cinema and Media Studies as studying and getting to know the importance and impact of film. Really how the content on screen impacts society, how it has had a role in society in the past and also how society plays a role in what's being created. There are a lot of classes like history of American cinema, I took a comedy class. Things like gender in film and TV. It's different from others like production or writing, where there are more projects where you're actually creating things. This is more studying and analyzing.

AK: What do most people do with a Cinema and Media Studies degree post-graduation?

DE: It can be very helpful. You can definitely be a film or TV critic. But you can definitely still direct, you can be in production, because you can take those classes along with this major. That's what I plan to do. I took this major because it's more flexible with my diving schedule, whereas the other more project-based majors, you can't be away. I plan to start doing more production classes because I want to be in editing.

AK: How did you decide that you were interested in film?

DE: I just remember when I was looking into colleges, I wasn't really sure exactly what I wanted to do when I was older. I knew I liked writing and I also loved playing with cameras. Me and my brother when we were younger, we would always play around and make videos and I loved to hold the camera and record stuff. But I got recommended to take this major through a teammate of mine who's graduated now, but his name is Jordan Gear. He talked to my mom and said the film school is great and that if I were to be in the film school, this major would probably be the best.

AK: What have been some of your favorite classes in the film school and why?

DE: One that I really enjoyed was a class all about Hitchcock, which was taught by Prof. Drew Casper -- he's a pretty well-known professor in the cinema school. I liked that one a lot because I'm into the thrillers and kind of horror genres of film, so studying Hitchcock -- he's at the top for that genre. It was great to learn about his films and about him personally. From beginning to end, we just learned a lot about him.

AK: What are a few of your favorite films and directors?

DE: Definitely Alfred Hitchcock. And some of my favorite films: when I was younger, I saw Moonrise Kingdom. I think that was one of the first films where I was like, 'Wow, I really liked that. I want to watch that again.' I always say that that's one of my favorites. I also like the film Prisoners and Lights Out. Those are more of the horror genre.

AK: How has going to USC and being a student-athlete at USC helped you network and make connections in the entertainment industry?

DE: There are definitely a lot of opportunities in the film school. They send out emails to students inviting us to screenings, maybe of a film that an alum made, or a pre-screening of something that's going to be released. So I've gone to a couple of those. It's just watching the film but you also get to meet the people there. There are workshops, Q&As -- I went to one Q&A where it was all about editing and that's what helped me kind of decide that editing is where I want to be. And through athletics, there were three teammates of mine who had the same major.

AK: Did they offer much advice on balancing your major with your athletics schedule?

DE: Yeah, I've asked them quite a few questions. When I was applying, I actually had to apply three times to get in. And it was on the third time that I was accepted. After the first time I was denied, I asked Jordan Gear, 'Man, this is hard. Should I try something else? Is it really worth it?' He told me I should really try again. He said, 'Usually getting in on the first time is pretty rare.' So he kind of comforted me with that. I told another one of my teammates how I'm into horror and thrillers and he told me he had a classmate who interned with Blumhouse, which is a production company known for horror films. And he gave me her contact info and now I can ask her questions that I have.

AK: Lastly, what goals or aspirations do you have during your time at USC and in the future?

DE: I'm a junior, so I have one year left, and it's kind of snuck up on me. I'd like to get to know more people, make more connections and so far I haven't done many production classes, but now that I've covered most of my major's requirements, I'm going more into production. I'd like to get more practice in editing and start working with cameras to kind of build up those skills for myself before I'm done with school here.