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No. 3 USC won three times this season, so they remain one of the favorites to contend for the crown. The Trojans, who will tee off on Friday at 12:20 p.m., are led by All-American duo Rico Hoey and Sean Crocker.
Here is Hoey on the team's camaraderie ahead of the NCAA Tournament:
The NBA Draft is June 23.
I have made my decision that I will keep my name in the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft. Playing in the NBA has been my dream and I couldn't be more excited to have the opportunity to start my professional career. I'm so blessed and thankful for the past 3 years that I have spent at USC. I have learned so much on and off the court and I'm glad that I will be getting my degree this summer. I want to thank my family, coach Andy, Pat Haden, coaching staff, my mentor John and whole athletic department for the full support that they have given me throughout this time! I also want to thank the fans for supporting me and my brothers for this past 3 seasons! I will always be a Trojan for life! #USC #NBADraft #FightOn
Not only did USC's student-athletes accomplish plenty athletically during the just-completed Spring 2016 semester, they also continued to star academically.
USC's 539 student-athletes posted an average semester grade point average of 2.95 in Spring 2016. That was a slight rise above the Fall 2015 mark of 2.94 and just under the previous Spring 2015 semester's 3.00, which was the highest since calculations were first kept in 2000.
More than half of USC's student-athletes (292) notched a 3.0 or higher GPA this Spring, including 18 with a perfect 4.0. And 118 of them made USC's Dean's List, including a best of 15 by the women's swimming and diving team.
Twelve of USC's 21 teams had GPAs above 3.0 this Spring, topped by the women's golf squad's 3.36. The men's team with the highest GPA was swimming and diving with 3.13, its second best figure on record.
Men's basketball recorded its best GPA since records were kept (2.81, nearly a tenth of a point above its previous best that came in the prior Spring). Men's track and field posted its highest GPA for the second consecutive semester (3.09). Football's 2.58 GPA tied for its third-highest semester GPA.
The women's water polo team, which won the NCAA championship earlier this month, proved that athletic and academic successes are not mutually exclusive. The poloists notched their third highest GPA ever (3.13).
Six Trojan teams did not have any student-athlete with a sub-2.0 GPA in Spring 2016: golf, tennis and track and field on the men's side and golf, soccer and swimming and diving on the women's.
The men's basketball (+.37) and women's golf (+.18) teams had the most improved GPAs from Fall 2015 to Spring 2016.
"Once again, we are extremely pleased with the
academic performance of our student-athletes," said Dr. Magdi
El-Shahawy, USC senior associate athletic director in charge of
Student-Athlete Academic Services. "The bar is set high here and
we continue to set it higher. This validates our culture and our
message: you can succeed both in the classroom and on the playing field
at USC. Doing so at such an academically-demanding university as USC
makes it an even more impressive achievement by
"They, along with our coaches who support their academic pursuits and our staff in Student-Athlete Academic Services, are to be congratulated."
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"The Pac-12 has some of the most loyal fans in college athletics and we appreciate our television partners working with us on this important issue for fans," said Rob Mullens, University of Oregon athletic director. "The increased exposure and revenue from our contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports have been instrumental to our success, but we continue to work hard to minimize as much as possible the negative impact late start times have on our fans who travel great distances to see our teams in person."
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While the Women of Troy have plenty of postseason experience on their roster, senior Kyung Kim is the only starting player expected to depart. The three-time All-American bounced back from an injury this season to lead the Trojans to a Pac-12 title.
"It's been a great career here," Kim said. "We started with a team title in 2013 and have come so close the last three years to winning another. Today was tough but we ran into a Duke team that played extremely well today."
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With Lott, Yam discussed the Hall of Famer's most important life lessons, including the mentors that shaped him into the man that he became. Returning the favor, Lott provides advice for young athletes about what it takes to push past failure.
Leinart told the story of his Heisman experiences, winning the trophy in 2003 and losing it to his teammate in 2004. He also shared some NFL stories, taking listeners inside the quarterback room.