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Nikola Vucevic

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November 23, 2010 | By Baxter Holmes
A week ago, the USC men's basketball team got smashed at home by Rider, losing by 20 points. The Trojans' problem in that game, aside from the Broncs' shooting lights out enough to set Galen Center opponent records, was that it could do almost nothing against a zone defense. This was an issue USC Coach Kevin O'Neill knew his team would face this season because it lacks the shooters to stretch a zone. But following that game, he made a decision: Move junior forward Nikola Vucevic from the paint to the high post/three-point line area, and run the offense through him. In the two games since, a one-point loss to Bradley and a 19-point win over New Mexico State, the Trojans seem to have found the potential zone-buster they needed.
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SPORTS
January 5, 2014
When: Sunday, noon. Where: Pauley Pavilion. On the air: TV: Fox Sports 1; Radio: 570, 710. Records: UCLA 11-2, USC 9-4. Update: USC has won five of its last six games, with quality wins over Xavier, Boston College and Dayton. Only a one-point loss at Long Beach interrupted that streak. USC and UCLA are opening Pac-12 Conference play and are the only Pac-12 teams that haven't played a league game yet. USC freshman Nikola Jovanovic has already logged more points than did another talented Trojans player from Serbia in his rookie year; Nikola Vucevic went on to become an NBA starter.
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SPORTS
February 26, 2011 | By Baxter Holmes
Borislav Vucevic watched from Section 111 at the Galen Center on Saturday. It was the second time he had seen his son Nikola play college basketball. But for the 6,621 who watched the Trojans junior forward deliver a routine 20 points and 10 rebounds in a 62-46 Senior Day rout of Arizona State, it might have been the last time ? at least at home. If Vucevic becomes an early departure to the NBA, that is. His jumping-off point might be whether he will be selected in the first round, but because the NBA faces its weakest draft class in nearly a decade, the 6-foot-10 Montenegro native should be a first-round pick sooner rather than later.
SPORTS
December 17, 2013
Josh Smith scored 30 points, Greg Monroe had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons handed Indiana its first home loss of the season Monday night, stunning the Pacers, 101-96. The Pistons won for the second time in six games, ended a six-game skid in the series and ended a nine-game losing streak in Indianapolis. Lance Stephenson had a season-high 23 points, and Luis Scola scored 13 of his season-best 18 in the fourth quarter for Indiana (20-4), whose 11-0 start at home was the best in franchise history.
SPORTS
March 25, 2011 | By Baxter Holmes
USC's rebuilding basketball program on Friday was shaken at its foundation. Nikola Vucevic, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, announced he would sign with an agent and make himself available for the NBA draft a year early. "It's the second year in a row that we've lost four of our top six [players] and 70% of our scoring during sanctions," Coach Kevin O'Neill said. "My job is to make sure we're better. Whether we can do that or not, I don't know. " Vucevic averaged 17.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and was first-team all-Pacific 10 Conference.
SPORTS
March 15, 2011 | By Baxter Holmes
As USC's charter flight took off from Los Angeles about noon Monday, the band members, seated near the rear of the Boeing 737 jet, began singing an a cappella version of "Conquest," USC's battle cry. It's their tradition for road-game travel, whether commercial or charter, and USC's song girls and spirit leaders joined in, making the Trojans' trip here for an NCAA tournament first-round game against Virginia Commonwealth on Wednesday feel a...
SPORTS
November 13, 2010 | By Baxter Holmes
The takeoff for USC's basketball season wasn't so smooth Saturday, but the result was a 62-49 win over UC Irvine at the Galen Center. If the opener is an indicator, the Trojans and their fans might be in for a bumpy ride, at least until junior guard Jio Fontan becomes eligible in December, when he could give the young, depth-deprived squad a much-needed boost. For now, the idea of advancing to a postseason tournament one season removed from a postseason ban is the least of USC's worries.
SPORTS
March 10, 2011 | By Baxter Holmes
Not long after tipoff Thursday, USC's disaster sirens blared. Its top-notch defense: absent. Its star player: benched with foul trouble. Its deficit: ever-extending. But the fourth-seeded Trojans' youthful backcourt and their unassuming "monster" in the middle stepped up to shut down fifth-seeded California, 70-56, in the quarterfinals of the Pacific Life Pac-10 tournament at Staples Center. USC kept its NCAA tournament hopes alive as it enters into a tantalizing rematch with top-seeded Arizona in a Friday semifinal at 6 p.m. "We played with a sense of desperation, I thought," USC Coach Kevin O'Neill said.
SPORTS
November 28, 2009 | By Mark Medina
A sign hangs at every stall in the USC locker room, emphasizing the need to "always nurture the soul of our team." That's been a hard task for a Trojans team playing without several missing parts. But the return of forwards Marcus Johnson and Alex Stepheson in Friday's 74-43 victory over Coppin State at the Galen Center at least provided comfort to a team that hadn't fielded more than an eight-man roster. Stepheson had missed the first two games because of a left knee injury, but his absence was much longer.
SPORTS
December 19, 2010 | By Baxter Holmes
Reporting from Lawrence, Kan. ? At halftime against No. 3 Kansas here Saturday, USC was staring at a double-digit deficit with Allen Fieldhouse rocking as usual. A shameful exit, as is custom for most of Kansas' visitors, seemed certain. After all, points aside, USC also trailed Kansas in talent, skill and athleticism. But midway through the second half, the Trojans used an 11-0 run to take the lead after trailing by 11 at the half, turning a potential blowout into a nail-biting thriller, which USC eventually lost, 70-68.
SPORTS
November 6, 2013 | By Broderick Turner
ORLANDO - He talked about how the "basketball gods punished" his team, about how the Clippers were "very casual in our approach" to the game against the Orlando Magic and about how their steadfast belief that offense will cure all is "fool's gold. " That about covered it all for Coach Doc Rivers as he lamented the Clippers' 98-90 loss to a young Magic team Wednesday night at Amway Center. The Clippers fell behind by 19 points in the third quarter, but rallied to take a five-point lead in the fourth by finally playing some defense.
SPORTS
February 16, 2013 | By Ben Bolch
NBA awards can be so predictably dull. There's most valuable this and most improved that, with many deserving topics going unrecognized. Like the daily disaster that is the Lakers. Or the breathless Derrick Rose updates. Or the laughable use of performance-enhancing drugs by a wiry Orlando Magic forward who has barely played. Here, then, are the midseason awards for the most captivating players, coaches and phenomena not named LeBron James (our most valuable player), Tom Thibodeau (coach of the year)
SPORTS
November 24, 2012 | By Michael Robinson
Andrew Bynum is known more for bowling than basketball in Philadelphia, and it's going to stay that way awhile longer. Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Tony DiLeo said Saturday that Bynum is out indefinitely with bilateral bone bruises and weakened cartilage  in his knees. "We don't know when he'll be back," DiLeo said. "Only Andrew's body can answer that question. When he feels better, we can step up the rehab program. We just have to wait to see how he reacts to the rehab.
SPORTS
March 3, 2012 | By Ben Bolch
It could have been a nice NBA draft class for UCLA, with a dominant center and a highly skilled power forward both taken in the first round. Of course, that was before Joshua Smith's conditioning issues and Mike Moser's move to Nevada Las Vegas left the Bruins as likely nonfactors in the draft for the second time in three years. USC is pretty much assured of a draft shutout to go with its dismal season. That leaves UC Santa Barbara as the closest thing to a winner in another down draft year for Southern California.
SPORTS
December 18, 2011 | By Baxter Holmes
For a four-game stretch from Nov. 22 through Nov. 30, USC shot the lights out, making more than half its attempts each game. But for the last three games, all losses in which USC has shot 36% or lower, the Trojans are shooting as if those lights are still out. What happened before that's not happening now? "We were finishing better in the paint," USC Coach Kevin O'Neill said Sunday, a day before his Trojans (4-7) were to play host to Texas Christian (7-3) at the Galen Center.
SPORTS
November 27, 2011 | By Ben Bolch
One Southland college basketball team won a game in the Sports Arena this month, but it wasn't UCLA or USC. One Southland player was the subject of a complimentary tweet from LeBron James, but he wasn't a Trojan or a Bruin. One Southland coach took his team into the Arizona desert and beat a Pac-12 Conference opponent, but his name wasn't Ben Howland or Kevin O'Neill. The best basketball in Southern California so far this season has been played by mid-majors such as Loyola Marymount, Long Beach State and Pepperdine, who hope their success against brand-name opponents amounts to more than a few early surprises.
SPORTS
January 9, 2011 | By Ben Bolch
In the final seconds, USC forward Nikola Vucevic waved his arms in triumph near midcourt before stepping over to high-five Alex Stepheson. Several feet away, UCLA's Reeves Nelson stood with his hands on his hips. Bruins center Joshua Smith could only sit and stare from the bench. When it came to the battle of the big men Sunday night at the Galen Center, it was advantage, Trojans. A super-sized one. Vucevic scored 20 points on nine-for-16 shooting, and Stepheson logged a double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds during USC's 63-52 victory over the Bruins.
SPORTS
December 29, 2010 | By Baxter Holmes
As USC basketball Coach Kevin O'Neill walked into his news conference Thursday night, still trying to swallow his team's 73-67 overtime loss to Washington, he muttered, simply, "Guess we're not top-20 like everyone thought. " The Trojans (8-6) entered their Pacific 10 Conference opener with momentum, having won four of five, including beating two ranked teams. And they had started to believe, along with a growing audience, that they were better than the predicted sixth-place league finish designated for them in the preseason.
SPORTS
October 13, 2011 | By Baxter Holmes
Their captain was out for the season before it ever began. Now, without senior guard Jio Fontan, USC is a "rudderless ship," according to Coach Kevin O'Neill. So aimlessly the Trojans will head into the basketball season, which begins Nov. 11 against Cal State Northridge, short on experience and talent, with only a dream of a return visit to the NCAA tournament. "We're going to have an interesting year, to say the least," O'Neill said. Times staff writer Baxter Holmes looks at USC's five most pressing issues as it begins practice Friday: Looking for a leader After losing three key seniors, and junior forward Nikola Vucevic to the NBA, the Trojans had two starters returning this season before Fontan, their floor leader and leading returning scorer (10.5 points)
SPORTS
June 23, 2011 | From staff and wire reports
Kyrie Irving traveled just a few miles down the road to become the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. The players that followed him came from across the globe. The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Irving with the No. 1 selection in a draft filled with internationals, confident his foot is healthy enough to lead the rebuilding effort that follows LeBron James' departure. Loudly cheered by family and friends not far from where he starred at St. Patrick's High School in Elizabeth, N.J., Irving showed no signs of the toe injury on his right foot that limited him to 11 games last season as he walked up the stairs to shake hands with Commissioner David Stern on the stage at the Prudential Center in Newark.
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