Norman Powell wants to make sure USC finishes last in the Pac-12

Norman Powell wants to leave Pauley Pavilion with one more win against USC. He scored 22 points in an 83-66 victory over the Trojans on Jan. 14. (John McCoy/Staff)

Norman Powell wants to leave Pauley Pavilion with one more win against USC. He scored 22 points in an 83-66 victory over the Trojans on Jan. 14. (John McCoy/Staff)

Norman Powell has played in 135 career games for UCLA, a mark bested by only a handful of other Bruins in program history. Along the way, he has gone from little-used benchwarmer to one of the most exciting driving guards in the conference.

He has also gone 7-1 against USC, becoming the first UCLA player to get a career road sweep against the Trojans since Toby Bailey did from 1995-98.

It’s fitting then that the 6-foot-4 guard will get to face the crosstown rival on Wednesday at 6 p.m., his last game ever at Pauley Pavilion barring a trip to the NIT. Asked about playing the Trojans, Powell relayed a message he said head coach Steve Alford had used to open the week.

“We have a chance to make them finish last in the conference,” he said. Continue reading

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UCLA baseball to play USC in Dodgertown Classic

UCLA beat USC, 6-1, at the Dodgertown Classic at Dodger Stadium in front of more than 14,000 fans on Sunday, February 28, 2010. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA beat USC, 6-1, at the Dodgertown Classic at Dodger Stadium in front of more than 14,000 fans on Sunday, February 28, 2010. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

Tickets have gone on sale for the return of the Dodgertown Classic, which will feature UCLA vs. USC and Vanderbilt vs. TCU on Sunday, March 8.

The event is going back to Chavez Ravine after a two-year break, though it is billed simply as the “Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic” this year rather than by its old name. The Bruins and Trojans are scheduled to play at 3:30 p.m., following an 11:45 a.m. first pitch between the defending NCAA champion Commodores and the Horned Frogs. The UCLA-USC game will also be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.

“Our program is very excited to get the opportunity to play at Dodger Stadium,” UCLA coach John Savage said in a statement. “We thank the Dodgers organization for hosting a great day of college baseball and we are looking forward to having our fans come out and support the Bruins.” Continue reading

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No. 1 cornerback Iman Marshall commits to USC via music video

Almost everyone in the college football world expected Iman Marshall to commit to USC. But how many expected him to do it like this?

The top-ranked cornerback prospect announced he would become a Trojan through a music video released on Bleacher Report — a 2:54 oddity in an increasingly extravagant world of recruiting ceremonies. The 6-foot-1, 194-pound defensive back is ranked the No. 3 recruit in the country at any position by Rivals.com.

The Long Beach Poly product had LSU, UCLA, Notre Dame, Michigan and Florida State as his other finalists.

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Linebacker Osa Masina commits to USC over UCLA, Arizona State

Linebacker Osa Masina picked USC in an announcement ceremony Friday morning, leaving UCLA and Arizona State hats on the table at Brighton High, just outside of Salt Lake City.

Rated one of the top three outside linebackers in the country by both Scout.com and Rivals.com, Masina is considered the top recruit in Utah — finishing with 97 tackles, 10 sacks and an interception as a senior.

The Bruins are also awaiting a decision today from receiver Ryan Newsome, who is picking between UCLA and Texas.

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VIDEO: Bryce Alford talks about UCLA’s 83-66 win at USC

UCLA point guard Bryce Alford scored 21 points in the Bruins’ win at USC on Wednesday, his highest total in more than a month. The sophomore poured in 15 after halftime, and finished 8-of-14 from the field — including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.

He had shot 20.6 percent in his last five games.

“It’s just confidence,” Alford said. “You see a couple go down, you see a couple of tough ones go down — I made a couple of tough ones today. A couple of fadeaways that, I know that I don’t need to take, but sometimes when you’re feeling it and it goes in, it’s a good shot.”

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VIDEO: Steve Alford talks about UCLA’s 83-66 win at USC

Asked what the difference has been for UCLA — which has won three straight — head coach Steve Alford referred repeatedly to location.

The Bruins had lost five games in three different time zones before returning the Pauley Pavilion to earn its first two Pac-12 wins of the season. On Wednesday night, it tacked on a third in an 83-66 win at USC.

“I really think getting home (helped),” Alford said. “We’ve talked about it, and I’ve tried not to make it sound like an excuse, because I know people can spin it that way. It’s not an excuse. I mean, look at it. There’s not another BCS school that went 26 days (between home games).

“And then look at the trips we take. Chicago. Back home for Christmas. Back to Westwood. Then to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Then back to Westwood. Then to Colorado, Utah. … Guys got a little bit tired. We get home, we get a little more energy.”

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