USC Quick Thought

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.

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USC-UCLA Picture Of The Day

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.

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Good Basketball At Galen Center

The Southern Section Open Division semifinals will be held Friday night at the Galen Center. Here’s the schedule:

No. 1 Sierra Canyon vs. No. 4 Bishop Montgomery, 7 p.m.

No. 3 Mater Dei vs. No. 2 Chino Hills, 8:30 p.m

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Deland McCullough Hired As USC Running Backs Coach

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.

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USC Morning Buzz: Is The Pac-12 Really That Tough?

USC is in the midst of a three-game stretch where it plays the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 teams in the current Associated Press Top 25 poll. And no one else plays Oregon, Arizona and UCLA twice.

But let’s look at a couple other facts: The Pac-12 is ranked No. 6 in conference RPI, which is last among the major conferences. So don’t assume the Pac-12 is tough, other than the top 3 teams. And USC’s non-conference strength of schedule is 163, thanks to Andy Enfield’s forgettable schedule. So while USC’s 21-6 is above pre-season expectations, it also is not completely surprising, given the data.

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Matt Corral To Long Beach Poly

The rumors were true. Quarterback Matt Corral has enrolled at Long Beach Poly, according to coach Antonio Pierce. Since Corral is moving from Ventura, he should be eligible at Poly. Of course, he could probably stay in Ventura and still be eligible at Poly. Just joking!

Now here would an interesting aside. Corral said when he left, “I did not get expelled nor did I punch anyone. I ran into problems at a school that is biased towards money.”

That is important because if you do not leave a school in good standing because of some violation of the rules, you might not be eligible under CIF rules.

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Some Tough NFL Analysis

There are some pretty interesting profiles of all the NFL’s combine participants at NFL.com. It’s not the usual fluff but lists strengths and weaknesses for each player. Here’s what it said about USC offensive tackle Zach Banner:

“Weight concerns are a huge issue. Has seen weight balloon to 385 pounds. Pass pro is a major concern. Could be too big and bulky to handle NFL edge talent. Lacks athleticism and quickness to recover when beaten. Slower than desired out of stance. Has to open early and lunge to protect the edge in pass pro. Rarely flat-footed at punch, relying on girth over technique. Takes wide route to his target with punch. Doesn’t mirror well enough to keep defender from escaping from side door once engaged. Lack of bend and high center of gravity could make move to guard a challenge. Has had issues with penalties during time as starter at USC.”

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USC Bracket Projections

USC has dropped all the way down to a No. 10 seed in Joe Lunardi’s NCAA Tournament projection for ESPN. The Trojans are a No. 9 seed in USA Today, which means a dreaded second-round matchup with a No. q seed in the second round.

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