Go Trojans!

January 2010 Archives

Hole in One


A hole in the back of a basketball shoe is not something you see every day, especially considering how particular and/or superstitious basketball players are about their shoes. The styles, colors, brands, grip, and marketing claims about their air-bound ability vary among the choices of basketball shoes. If you ask any of the Women of Troy, each has a favored brand of shoe that they feel works for them.

Whether or not they believe the hype of the shoe, the Women of Troy have a serious shoe game going on. Even at the U.S. Virgin Islands for the 2009 Paradise Jam Tournament, many players couldn't resist the lure familiar shoe stores, nor could they resist the tax-free rate they paid for their weapons of war.

So, seeing a hole in the back of a basketball shoe was surprising.

The sight, however, did not suggest that the shoe was neglected, considering the piles of bright orange boxes stacked in the Women of Troy locker room to protect the shoes from dust, dirt, and unnecessary wear-and-tear. Still, the hole was an especially puzzling sight, especially considering that it was on the shoe of Ashley Corral.

The reason for this sight is even more peculiar. It seems that Corral's foot was suffering from irritation aggravated by her shoe, and a very inventive athletic trainer took a scalpel to the heel of the offending footwear. Yes, I can already hear the gasps from you shoe aficionados. Don't fear, the hole was necessary to alleviate the foot pressure causing Corral problems.

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"The Melt" USC vs. Washington

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Did you miss Saturday night's game against Washington? If you did, Click here to check out "The Melt" for the Trojan's 87-61 win over the Huskies. You will see everything from the pre-game warm-up to the three-quarters court alley-oop pass from Mike Geritty to Marcus Johnson along with the best of the rest from Saturday. Take a look!

Preparation for the Oregon Schools Begin


The Trojans returned to the hardwood this afternoon for a shootaround and weightlifting session in preparation for this week's games against Oregon State and Oregon.

Head Coach Kevin O"Neill says that the team must continue playing together as a team and maintain a business-like approach through the week and weekend.

Below are a few pictures from today's workout.

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By: Josh Moser

Pac-10 Standings

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Here is the weekend wrap-up of the games that took place this weekend:
Washington      61     USC             87
Washington St. 62     UCLA           74
Oregon St.        61     California    65
Oregon             69     Stanford      84
Arizona             77     Arizona St.  58

Pac-10 Standings through 1/25/10:

5-2 13-6
Arizona State
4-3 14-6
4-3 12-7
4-3 10-9
Arizona 4-3 10-9
4-3 9-10
Washington State.
4-4 14-6
3-5 12-7
2-5 10-9
Oregon State
2-5 8-11

Trojans Dominate the Huskies

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The USC Trojans pounded the Washington Huskies, 87-61, at the Galen Center this evening.

Senior forward, Marcus Johnson led the offensive attack for USC, with a career-high 22 points. Dwight Lewis poured in 19 of his own, while Mike Gerrity and Alex Stepheson each had 15.

" It was a great team effort, USC Head Coach, Kevin O'Neill said in the post-game press conference." "We know what we are capable and now the challenge is to continue to play at this level."

Today's game was about getting back to the "blue collar" mentality that has been preached day-in and day-out and the Trojans did just that. USC found themselves up 19-6 early after a big three by Dwight Lewis almost halfway through the first half. The team moved the ball very well, amassing 15 assists on the night to only 10 turnovers, a statistic that has been the Trojans Achilles heal thus far this season. Great guard play by Mike Gerrity allowed the Trojans to space the floor and find openings that turned into easy buckets. This victory moves the Trojans up to second place in the Pac-10. USC will travel to Oregon next week to take on both Oregon and Oregon State.

Take a look at tonight's action from the floor taken by Pierson Clair, USC Athletics.

Check out our behind-the-scenes slideshow of tonight's game below.

Photos and Story by Josh Moser

Stay tuned for a full-game recap and Head Coach, Kevin O'Neill's press conference.

Tip Off Just Under an Hour Away!

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Stay tuned after the game for a full game recap and a behind-the-scenes slideshow of tonight's festivities.

The Trojans Gearing Up for the Huskies

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USC arrived early to the Galen Center this afternoon to mentally prepare themselves for tonight's contest against Washington. Four hours before game time, USC sat down for their traditional pre-game meal. While watching some last minute game film, the players and coaching staff continued in conversation about tonight's match up against the Huskies. The discussion covered everything from keys to the game to specific match-ups the Trojans want to exploit out on the floor. USC is looking to bounce back from Thursday's loss to Washington State.





Post and photos by Josh Moser

More Pictures from USC vs. WSU


Take a look at these action photos from Trojan Fever Blog staff photographer Pierson Clair.

Trojans Back to Practice

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The Trojans returned to the Galen Center this afternoon to begin preparation for tomorrow night's contest against the University of Washington. Both teams are coming off of a loss and both are looking to get back on track.

The Trojans had a short film session this afternoon, followed by a forty-five minute lifting session. Practice commenced with a light shoot around. USC will be back on the floor tomorrow at 2:30 PM for a pre-game shoot around. Tip off against Washington is at 7:30 PM.

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-Josh Moser

USC vs. WSU Video Recap

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Check out some highlights and interviews from USC's 67-60 loss to Washington State.

Images from the game

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Check out this special behind-the-scenes slideshow of images from Thursday's 67-60 loss at the Galen Center, brought to you by Trojan Fever Basketball Blog's Josh Moser:

Photos by Josh Moser

Story form

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Here's the AP recap of the Trojans 67-60 loss to Washington State on Thursday night.

Straight from the source

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Watch a replay of Coach Kevin O'Neill's postgame press conference here.

Numbers game

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Following Thursday's 67-60 loss, the Trojans fall to 11-7 overall and 3-3 in the Pac-10. Here are the notable numbers from the game:

  • Leading scorer: Marcus Johnson, 16 points
  • Leading rebounder: Nikola Vucevic, 10 rebounds
  • Leading assist getter: Mike Gerrity, 6 assists
  • Team field goal percentage: 37.3 percent (22-for-59)
  • Team free throw percentage: 57.1 percent (12-for-21)
  • WSU leading scorers: Reggie Moore (21 points) and Klay Thompson (20 points)
  • Attendance: 4,422
  • Next game: Saturday vs. Washington, 7:30 p.m. at the Galen Center

Noted and quoted

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Here are some key quotes from Coach Kevin O'Neill's press conference following the Trojans' 67-60 defeat to the Cougars on Thursday night:

  • "This is a tough loss for us because we had that game in control."
  • "You count on your defense being your hallmark and when that lets you down, it's unfortunate."
  • "We kind of collapsed for the first time in a while."

Coach Kevin O'Neill speaks to the media following Thursday night's 67-60 loss.

Tough to swallow this one

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In the locker room after USC's 67-60 loss, Coach Kevin O'Neill delivered a terse and to-the-point postgame speech.

"That's a shame," a dejected O'Neill told his players after the Trojans surrendered a 15-point second-half lead. "For our defense to play like that after being up, 41-26, that's a joke."

Coach Kevin O'Neill speaks to his team in the locker room after Thursday night's 67-60 loss to Washington State at the Galen Center.

USC falls to Washington State

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After leading for much of the game, the Trojans wind up losing, 67-60, to Washington State tonight at the Galen Center. We'll have more from the locker room in a bit.

Closing in

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Washington State just sank a jumper to take a 64-58 lead with 1:03 remaining.

Fight to the finish

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Referees just signaled for the final media timeout of the game, and USC is down, 58-55, with 2:51 left in the contest.

Falling behind

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Just 40 seconds after his last timeout, Kevin O'Neill just called for another timeout, as the Trojans are now trailing, 56-53, with 3:49 remaining.

Slipping and sliding

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After watching his team's lead dwindle to just two points, Kevin O'Neill just called for a quick timeout. USC is up, 53-51, with 4:32 left in the game.

"We've got to make some stops," O'Neill told his players. "We've got to find some positive energy out there. We look dead right now."

Passion for the game

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Coach Kevin O'Neill enthusiastically goes over adjustments with his players during a 30-second timeout.

Mr. Fix It

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The scorekeeper just credited Washington State with a nine points on a three-point shot, and the detail-minded Kevin O'Neill noticed the erroneous score almost immediately.

"That's not the score!" O'Neill screamed out toward the scorers' table. "What the heck is going on?"

Have no fear, though, as the score was quickly changed to the correct mark.

Leading, 50-44

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With 7:13 remaining and the Trojans up 50-44, the second-to-last media timeout was just called by the officials.

Stop sign

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At the latest timeout -- with 11:25 left in the game -- the Trojans are winning by a 45-38 margin.

"We've got to get stops! Stops!" Coach Kevin O'Neill told his players during the break. "Let's play with great energy and emotion. We can't think about anything but winning this game."

From the bench

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Coach Kevin O'Neill watches his team on offense during the second half.

WSU closing the gap

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Leading 42-35 but with Washington State charging hard, USC takes a timeout with 13:27 remaining in the second half.

Up by 13

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The first media timeout of the second half has arrived, and the Trojans are leading, 41-28, with 15:39 remaining in the game.

Standing room only

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Technically, there's a chair on the bench reserved for Coach Kevin O'Neill.

But does he ever sit in it?

The first-year coach, whose white dress shirt is drenched with sweat, hasn't plopped down yet during tonight's action and, according to his assistants, never does during the course of a game.

Halftime chatter

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With his team up, 34-24, Coach Kevin O'Neill had a few detailed instructions for his players at halftime.

"We've got to wear on them defensively," O'Neill said in the locker room during the break. "We've got to shut them down.

"Let's have 20 more minutes of winning basketball -- starting right now."

From the locker room at half

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The coaches review their plan for the second half in the locker room at halftime.

Coach Kevin O'Neill shares adjustments with his players at halftime.

On top at halftime

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It's halftime at the Galen Center and USC is up, 34-24, over Washington State. We'll have more from the locker room following the intermission.

Increasing the lead

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With 3:29 remaining in the opening half, the Trojans lead the Cougars, 27-18.

Inter-personal communication

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Coach Kevin O'Neill has a steel-trap memory -- and a sense of humor.

About 10 minutes of game clock following a foul he didn't particularly agree with, O'Neill approached a referee during a free-throw attempt to discuss the call.

"Every game, for two years, you call that -- I'm starting to feel it's personal," O'Neill said, with a tinge of sarcasm, to the referee.

Huddle up

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Coach Kevin O'Neill shares adjustments with his players during a timeout with about seven minutes remaining in the first half.

Defensive intensity

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Another timeout, this one with about eight minutes left in the first half, and the Trojans are up, 19-14.

"Win with our defense," Coach Kevin O'Neill exclaimed in the quick team huddle during the break. "Win with our defense!"

Blood lines

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Guard Marcus Johnson just came out of the game with a bloody nose, the result of which has stained his shorts and jersey. Fortunately the equipment staff has an extra of everything, so Johnson ran back into the tunnel to change into a clean uniform while assistant athletic trainer David Borchardt works to stop the bleeding.

Hoarse play

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We're sitting next to Coach Kevin O'Neill tonight, and one thing is already incredibly apparent.

O'Neill's going to need some hot tea after the game.

While constantly pacing the sideline, the head coach is breathlessly yelling out instructions to his players, endlessly chatting up his assistants on the bench and passionately debating with the referees. Hoarse might be an understatement already.

Leading, 12-10

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Second media timeout and USC's leading, 12-10, with 11:50 remaining in the first half.

Aiming for more

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First timeout of the game and the Trojans are up, 4-3, with 15:57 left in the first half, but Coach Kevin O'Neill is far from satisfied.

"We should be up, 10-3," O'Neill kept repeating to the players in the team huddle.

Start it up

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Forward Alex Stepheson runs out for the starting lineups. The USC-Washington State game is now underway.

Almost game time

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The Trojans gather for a huddle just minutes before game time.

Players hop around and get pumped in the hallway just before taking the floor for tonight's game.

Images from the locker room

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Check out some photos from the locker room before warm-ups:


Coach Kevin O'Neill speaks to the team in the locker room prior to warm-ups.


The Trojans come together and say the Lord's Prayer just before warm-ups.


Coach Kevin O'Neill scratches out some notes just prior to heading out to the court for warm-ups.

Shots and ladders

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Fans are beginning to pour into the Galen Center, tipoff is less than 30 minutes away and Coach Kevin O'Neill just gave his pre-game address to the Trojans in the locker room.

"When you're trying to win a championship, you've got to climb a ladder," O'Neill said. "We've got to take it one rung at a time. And the only rung we have right now is this one tonight.

"The way we climb it is with a collective team passion and a collective heart and soul."

Getting warm

Initial pre-game warm-ups are well underway, and the Trojans, noticeably loose, are just a few minutes from returning to the locker room and making final preparations for the game against Washington State. Check out some images from the primary set of warm-ups:

The Trojans and Cougars conduct warm-ups at the Galen Center on Thursday night.

Players shoot around in a near-empty Galen Center.

Forward Alex Stepheson shoots a free throw during warm-ups.

Tying it up

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With the Lakers-Cavaliers game airing on the locker room flat-screen, Dwight Lewis, James Dunleavy, Nikola Vucevic and Marcus Johnson lace up their shoes and get ready to hit the court for initial warm-ups. Less than 55 minutes remain until tipoff.

On the agenda

Here's the minute-by-minute schedule leading up to tonight's USC-Washington State game at the Galen Center:

6:55 p.m. • Coach Kevin O'Neill speech to team in locker room
7:18 p.m. • Rory Markas tribute
7:20 p.m. • National anthem
7:29 p.m. • Warm-ups end
7:30 p.m. • Starting lineups
7:32 p.m. • Team huddle
7:33 p.m. • Tipoff

Taped up

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Athletic trainer David Borchardt tapes the ankles of guard Donte Smith (left) and forward Leonard Washington in the training room tonight about 75 minutes before tipoff.

The Playmakers: Nikola Vucevic

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Averaging almost a double-double, Nikola Vucevic is USC's leading rebounder (9 rpg) and second leading scorer (12 ppg).

In this week's edition of "The Playmakers," learn more about the Trojan star who came all the way from Montenegro to play at USC.

Click here for "The Playmakers: Nikola Vucevic."

The details for the night

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Tonight's USC-Washington State game at the Galen Center will tip off at 7:30 p.m. The game will be streamed live on USCTrojans.com for All-Access members and broadcast on 1260-AM radio.

And -- it's not too late -- you can even jet on over to the Galen Center and get tickets at the gate to watch the Trojans, 11-6 and 3-2 in the Pac-10, try and pull into a tie for first place in the conference with a win tonight.

Final prep

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A janitorial staffer goes through his last-minute cleaning regimen in an empty Galen Center with about 90 minutes until tipoff of tonight's USC-Washington State game, which is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.

First one here

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It's a few minutes before 6 p.m. and freshman center Davis Rozitis, wearing baggy shorts and a tight sleeveless shirt, has taken the Galen Center floor to begin light warm-ups. His teammates will join him shortly.

"First one on the court and last one off," Rozitis joked before alternating between short jumpers and half-court shots.

The Women of Troy Melt: UCLA

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The Women of Troy moved into second place in the Pac-10 last weekend with their 70-63 win over UCLA. Check out some of the highlights in "The Women of Troy Melt: UCLA."

Blog exchange program

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Tune in tonight for a special blog exchange program!

We'll be showcasing the hoops team in unprecedented ways when USCRipsIt takes what it does for the football program -- behind-the-scenes photos and info from places no outsiders have gone previously -- and doing it for the Trojan hoops team before, during and after its 7:30 p.m. matchup against Washington State tonight at the Galen Center.

So follow along tonight on this blog for special insider coverage that'll allow you to experience Trojan basketball in ways you've never seen before.

Special Guests at Practice Today

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The men's basketball team had some special guests at practice today as they continued preparation for this weekend's games vs. Washington State and Washington. Some lucky Lanterman High School students enjoyed practice and a little friendly competition on the court at Galen Center after practice concluded. Lanterman is a special education magnet for 6th-12th graders in Los Angeles, just down the street from USC.




The Melt: USC vs. UCLA


USC's 67-46 win over UCLA on Saturday was the Trojan's biggest win ever at Pauley Pavilion and their largest margin of victory over the Bruins since the 1940's.

If you missed the game, then be sure to check out "The Melt," a 5 minute video with all the highlights and behind the scenes action.

Click here to watch The Melt: USC vs. UCLA.

Also check out Coach O'Neill's Post-Game Press Conference and the USC vs. UCLA Video Recap.

USC Basketball Sweeps UCLA Over the Weekend

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It was a great weekend for the Trojans as both the men's and women's basketball teams beat UCLA.

On Saturday, the men's basketball team started off the weekend by beating UCLA at Pauley Pavilion 67-46, the largest win at Pauley since it opened in 1965. Click here for the complete release.

On Sunday at Galen Center, the women's basketball team took on UCLA in a game that went down to the wire. The Trojans came out on top with clutch free throw shooting down the stretch and won 70-63. Click here for the complete release.

Let Demar Dunk!


Although Demar Derozan was only at USC for one season, that season was filled with many highlight dunks and high flying plays. The NBA announced that Demar will compete in the first ever All-Star Dunk-In with Clippers guard Eric Gordon for a spot in the main Slam Dunk competition later that night. Click here to go to the Toronto Raptors Website to get all of the info on how to help Demar win the Dunk-In.

USC vs. UCLA Preview

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After a disappointing weekend in Northern California, the Trojans look to get back on track this Saturday against cross-town rival UCLA.

Both teams are part of a group of five Pac-10 schools that are 2-2, trailing three schools that are 2-1. It's still very early in the conference season, but it is shaping up to be a very competitive Pac-10 race. Add in the fact that it's the Bruins, and there is plenty on the line for the Trojans this weekend.

Clcik here to watch a Video Preview of USC vs. UCLA

The Playmakers: Ashley Corral

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USC sophomore Ashley Corral is off to a great start for the Women of Troy, leading the team in points, assists, steals and minutes played. Coach Cooper says her competitive spirit and work ethic remind him of himself as a player.

In this week's episode of "The Playmakers," learn more about the Trojan's point guard

Clcik here to watch The Playmakers: Ashley Corral (FREE).

The Melt: USC vs. ASU


USC beat ASU 47-37 last Saturday, in what turned out to be play-by-play announcer Rory Markas' last game with the Trojans. See the highlights and hear Rory's final call in the latest free episode of "The Melt."

Click here to check out "The Melt" for the Trojan's win over ASU. (FREE).

Trojans Drop a Heartbreaker to Stanford

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In the Trojans first game after the disappointing news that they won't be able to play in the postseason, they took Stanford to the wire in Palo Alto, but ended up losing 54-53.

USC was down 53-46 with less than 2 minutes left when the Trojans signature defense ramped up their intensity allowing them to tie the game on two big jumpers by Dwight Lewis and a 3-pointer by Leonard Washington.

With 30 seconds left, Stanford had the ball with a chance to take the lead, and were able to get to the free throw line with 10 seconds left. Jarrett Mann made the second of two free throws giving the Trojans a chance to win the game on the other end.

With no timeouts left, Mike Gerrity drove the ball up the floor, drew three defenders and shot a running lay-up from the baseline that rattled around the rim and came out. Leonard Washington and Nikola Vucevic both had chances at point blank range for a tip in but neither could convert with all of the action around the basket.

The Trojans are now 2-1 in conference play and head to Berkeley to take on California, 1-1 in conference play. Cal lost to UCLA on Wednesday night 76-75 in the final seconds of their game. USC tips off at Cal at 7:30pm on Saturday night. The game will be aired on Fox Sports Net.

Let The Decorating Begin

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The Women of Troy have added a new decoration to their locker room at the Galen Center.

Sitting on the counter of marble, surrounded by Gatorade bottles numbered with each player's number, is the Women of Troy Classic Championship Trophy. The Women of Troy pass it everyday, and know that it is the first of many to come this season.


Instead of sitting in a magnanimous trophy case where only recruits and the occasional fan would briefly glance at during halftime of a USC women's basketball game while in search of popcorn and candy, the trophy sits in the one place where it would be a constant reminder to the players about what they have achieved this season, and what they can do in the future.

And the future is what the Women of Troy are focused on.

Tribute to Rory Markas

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In honor of former USC play-by-play announcer Rory Markas, a highlight reel of his calls will be played during halftime of tonight's broadcast. Click below to listen.

Rory Markas Highlights.MP3

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Physioc, Arbogast to fill in as USC basketball announcer


Steve Physioc and Pete Arbogast will fill in as the USC men's basketball radio play-by-play announcer for the remainder of the 2010 season.

Physioc, who worked with Markas through 2009 on the Angels' television and radio broadcasts, will announce USC's 7 p.m. game at Stanford on Wednesday (Jan. 6). Because of a conflict with the Lakers' game, that Trojan-Cardinal contest will air on KLAA 830 and KGIL 1260 instead of USC flagship 710 ESPN Radio (KSPN-AM).

Arbogast, who is USC's football radio play-by-play announcer, then will handle the final 15 games of the 2010 season, beginning with Saturday's (Jan. 9) broadcast at California at 7:30 p.m. That game will air on 710 ESPN.

The pair previously filled in for Markas during part of last season when he was recovering from November 2008 surgery to remove a blood clot from the side of his head.

USC will decide on a permanent replacement for Markas after the season.

Hefner will continue in his role as the Trojans' longtime radio analyst.

USC basketball announcer Rory Markas passes away

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Rory Markas, the play-by-play announcer for both the USC men's basketball team and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, passed away on Monday (Jan. 4) at his home in Palmdale, Calif. He was 54.

Click here to read the complete release on usctrojans.com.

USC Reacts To Sanctions

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"Are you angry?" "Are the sanctions fair to this team?" "Will you be motivated for the rest of the season?"

These were just some of the questions the USC Basketball team had to answer to the media on Monday.

Click here to see what the team had to say after learning their season will be over on March 6th.

The Melt: USC vs. Arizona

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Did you miss the USC vs. Arizona game on New Year's Eve? If you did don't miss all the highlights in the latest episode of "The Melt."

Click here to check out "The Melt" for the Trojan's 56-50 win over the Wildcats.

Self-imposed sanctions for men's hoops

USC announced self-imposed sanctions on its men's basketball team this morning. Read the story and also see athletic director Mike Garrett's video announcement here.

The self-imposed sanctions for the men's basketball program include a one-year ban on post-season competition following the 2009-2010 regular season, including the Pac-10 Conference basketball tournament; a reduction of one scholarship for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years; a reduction by one of the number of coaches permitted to engage in off-campus recruiting activities during the summer of 2010, and a reduction in the total number of recruiting days by twenty days (from 130 to 110) for the 2010-2011 academic year. Also, USC will vacate all wins during the 2007-2008 regular season, which was when O.J. Mayo competed while ineligible. USC will also return to the NCAA the money it received through the Pac-10 Conference for its participation in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Tournament.

These self-imposed sanctions impact only the men's basketball program, and do not affect any other program.

USC Shuts Down ASU at the Galen Center

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The USC Trojans knock off Arizona State, 47-37, after holding the Sun Devils to under 25 percent shooting from the field.

This defensive stronghold for USC was anchored by Alex Stepheson. The former Harvard-Westlake standout had seven rebounds on the night, to go along with six points. While his numbers might not reflect a great game, Stepheson's presence daunted the Sun Devil driving attack, and forced ASU to take bad shot, upon bad shot. Marcus Simmons championed the perimeter defense for the Trojans,forcing All-Conference guard, Derek Glasser out of the middle, much like he did in last year's Pac-10 championship game. Simmons defensive performance allowed the Trojans to dictate the game's momentum and keep the ball in the sure hands of Mike Gerrity.

Gerrity finished the game with a game-high 12 points, while holding Glasser to a lowly two. Marcus Johnson also finished the game with 12 points, including a monstrous dunk over Eric Boateng in the middle of the second half.

This win makes it eight in a row for the Trojans. USC will travel to the Bay Area to take on Stanford and Cal next week.

Check below for a behind-the-scenes slideshow of tonight's game.

Stay tuned to watch Kevin O'Neill's post-game press conference and for a full recap of tonight's game.

Battle of the Guards: Gerrity vs. Glasser


Tonight's key match-up pits USC's Mike Gerrity against Derek Glasser of ASU. Both are senior guards that stand 6-foot-one inch in height and both are former prep standouts in southern California. The two have almost identical statistics entering tonight's contest, each averaging around 12 points per game, 2 rebounds, and both shooting near 90 percent from the foul line.

Gerrity is coming fresh off of a week in which he was named the Pac-10 Player from the period between December 21st- December 27th. While he struggled in the Pac-10 opener against Arizona, tonight's game gives the Yorba Linda native the first look at a zone defense during conference play. Look for Gerrity to use his great vision and ball handling to penetrate and break down the middle of the zone in order to find Johnson and Lewis on the outside or Vucevic and Stepheson down low for an easy two.

USC vs. Arizona St. Preview

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The Trojans come into tonight's contest hosting the Arizona St. Sun Devils after taking care of Arizona, 56-50, in their conference opener at the Galen Center on New Year's Eve.

SCOUTING THE SUN DEVILS -- Arizona State is 10-4 following its 72-70 loss at UCLA on Dec. 31. It has been a complete team effort by ASU as no one player ranks among the top 15 in the Pac-10 in scoring and only one player in the top 20 in rebounds. They have, however, shot the lights out, shooting at a 48.1 clip while holding opponents to 39.3 percent. ASU also stretches defenses with their outside shooting, having connected on a conference-leading 121 three-pointers in 14 games, as compared to the Trojans' 38 in their first 13 games. USC took two out of three games from ASU last season, including winning 66-63 in the Pac-10 Tournament title game. USC leads the all-time series with ASU, 48-32, and has won nine of the last 13 games against the Sun Devils.

Look for USC to establish a post-game early, using the great size of Vucevic and Stepheson down low. On the defensive end, the Trojans have held team to 56 points or less in each of their last 7 games and are looking to keep their seven-game winning streak alive. Tip off is at 7:30 PM PST.

Stay tuned for a complete wrap-up of tonight's game, including a behind-the-scenes phot gallery following the contest.