January 28, 2010 |
To coaches who face USC this season, Trojans Coach Kevin O'Neill asks one thing: Press us, please. Full-court, if that's all right, and all game long, if you don't mind. "The more people press us, the better I like it," O'Neill said. "I wish everybody would press us." Tennessee, Nevada Las Vegas and Washington all tried, and failed, largely because of USC point guard Mike Gerrity . In those wins, USC's offense hummed along to better-than-usual numbers behind Gerrity, who averaged 13.3 points and 6.7 assists, compared to his season averages of 9.7 points and 3.8 assists.
January 27, 2010 |
USC's postseason chances were buried on a Sunday. Immediately after that, many wondered whether the team would still be in mourning about its loss of what might have been, especially since those chances were laid to rest amid an eight-game winning streak. After that Sunday, when the university imposed sanctions over allegations surrounding former player O.J. Mayo , the team lost its next two games, and the many who wondered surely gave the team a pass, knowing what the team had gone through.
January 24, 2010 |
USC's Mike Gerrity cocked and fired the ball from half court, knowing his guy would fetch it. Marcus Johnson did: soaring, catching, two-hand slam, two points, and the crowd goes wild. "If Mike throws it up, I'll go get it," Johnson said. Call the highlight-worthy alley-oop an exclamation point of USC's offensive clinic Saturday night in an 87-61 blowout of Washington. New USC football Coach Lane Kiffin was among the 5,876 at the Galen Center, but he saw what most Trojans fans usually don't see: USC playing well on offense.
January 23, 2010 |
Defense is USC's bread and butter, its faithful standby. If shots aren't falling, if calls go against them, if the hardwood cracks in two and a chasm appears, suspending play indefinitely -- it's cool, no worries, don't sweat it. The Trojans can still rely on their rock-solid defense, which is built on players being aggressive, knowing if they get beat, a teammate has their back. But against Washington State on Thursday, that defense, which was ranked first nationally in scoring defense (54.7)
January 23, 2010 |
Kevin O'Neill has either the best sports job in America or the worst. He coaches USC men's basketball. He stood in a hallway Thursday night, minutes after his team had blown a game it had under control by frittering away a 15-point lead, and lost to Washington State. He was frustrated, angry, disappointed in his players' efforts, probably disappointed in himself. And he said the same thing his predecessor, Tim Floyd, had said three years earlier, early in his second season, standing in the same spot in the same hallway at the Galen Center, which had just opened.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2010 |
Would a reasonable person confuse a USC logo on a garnet-and-black ball cap in Columbia, S.C., with the same letters on cardinal-and-gold sportswear worn by a Trojans fan at the Coliseum? Apparently so, a federal appeals court has decided in rejecting a petition from the Palmetto State to use the letters on baseball team clothing for the University of South Carolina Fighting Gamecocks. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Tuesday upheld a decision last year by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office review board to recognize the University of Southern California's century-old claim to the logo letters.
January 17, 2010 |
Some raccoons carry it. Dogs can too. And let's not forget bats, cats and rats. USC Coach Kevin O'Neill wants his players to have it as well, since he thinks it will increase their intensity. "I always tell our guys, play like you have a shot of rabies in you," he said after his team's 67-46 win over UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday. "Play like you have rabies." By his account, they did, minus the foaming mouths. After slow starts in their previous two games -- both losses -- the Trojans came out more aggressively and jumped out to a 30-13 lead in the first half.
January 10, 2010 |
Missing the NCAA tournament is suddenly the least of USC's worries. Among the more pressing concerns: When will the Trojans win another game? USC arrived in the Bay Area as the hottest team in the Pacific 10 Conference and departed with a middle-of-the-pack feel after a 67-59 loss to California on Saturday night at Haas Pavilion. The Trojans have lost two consecutive games since they announced a self-imposed postseason ban in the wake of alleged rules violations involving former guard O.J. Mayo.
January 7, 2010 |
USC took to a live court Wednesday for the first time since whatever postseason it might have had was axed. The Trojans didn't play as if they were wallowing in self pity or trying to overcome the fact they are paying for someone else's sins. Instead, they played as they had all season -- leaning heavily on defense but coming up short against Stanford, 54-53, after missing repeated tip-in attempts as time expired. "For me, the news [about sanctions] had nothing to do with this game," USC Coach Kevin O'Neill said.