Bennie Boatwright had 23 points and the Trojans shot 53 percent from the field for the Trojans (21-7, 8-7). But Arizona made 11 of 20 shots from 3-point range and Allonzo Trier had 25 points for the Wildcats (26-3, 15-1). USC now has a big game at Arizona State.
USC trailed 60-53 in the second half when Arizona went on an 11-2 run. One fan complained to me that USC never called a timeout during that run. Thoughts?
USC has a nice story on Ajene Harris, who made a successful transition from wide receiver to cornerback following hip surgery. But there is a quote from offensive coordinator crying out for some pushback.
“He came back, went to the other side of the ball, and became a star. I don’t know if that’s happened in USC history,” Martin said.
In USC history? How about Chad Morton, who started at free safety, cornerback, tailback and cornerback . . . and that just in 1997. Morton played defense in 1996 and then finished his career at tailback, where he gained 985 yards in 1998.
How about Marcell Allmond, who played wide receiver for two years then switched to cornerback, where he was a reason the Trojans won their final eight games.
And then there were all those guys forced to play two ways. I will highlight one: Willie Brown (pictured above). In the 1963 Rose Bowl, No. 1 USC played No. 2 Wisconsin. Brown had 108 yards receiving, returned kickoffs 41-and-31 yards and made perhaps the key play of the game with an interception in the end zone. Perhaps someone at USC can show Martin a film of that game.
USC basketball is not expected to beat Arizona tonight. But that probably doesn’t really matter for its NCAA Tournament chances. According to respected basketball Ken Pomeroy, who does power rankings on his site, KenPom.com, the Trojans have a different concern.
“They probably can’t afford more than one more bad loss if they want to be safe,” he said.
That makes the Arizona State this weekend more important.
Ever since USC was hit with severe NCAA sanctions, there has been the question of whether other schools would suffer similar punishment? And every time, schools like Miami, Ohio State, North Carolina and Oregon escapred tough penalties. Even Penn State, which did experience rough sanctions, had its bowl ban dropped and scholarships restored after two years of penalties in 2014. Remember, the NCAA denied USC’s request to restore scholarships the same week it dropped Penn State’s sanctions.
So now Ole Miss is in the spotlight. The school has received the dreaded lack of institutional control charge and coach Huge Freeze was accused of failing to monitor the staff. One of the charges includes an ex-staff member arranging for a recruit to get $13,000-15,600. There are 21 new alleged violations by current or former members of the coaching staff. USC had only one staff member accused of violations (Todd McNair).
With Matt Corral transferring to Long Beach Poly, it is hardly unique. Many kids transfer these days. But it does illustrate just how low key Sam Darnold was in high school and remains today at USC. One thing that makes Darnold so unique is how much he avoids drama and is unchanged from his newfound fame.
I admit that I cannot get enough of color pictures from the past. Here’s another nice color photo from the 1978 USC-UCLA basketball game at Pauley Pavilion. This is also one of my favorite USC basketball uniforms. Classic.
Indiana running backs coach Deland McCullough has accepted a similar position at USC. He spent the past five years at Indiana and before that was at Miami of Ohio for two seasons. Indiana set 19 rushing records during his tenure. Perhaps even better, USC hired an assistant without Western Kentucky ties or presumably some other inside connection.