Thomas Graham Picks USC

It was more than 90 minutes later than expected but cornerback Thomas Graham selected USC (as expected). This had to be one USC’s easiest sell jobs: Graham said USC was his dream school and his sister is already enrolled as an incoming freshman.

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World Cup: Japan 2, England 1


A heartbroken Laura Bassett might be the image of this World Cup as England surrender an own goal in the 92nd minute. World Cups produce drama, men’s or women’s. Now Japan moves on to face the USA.

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Thomas Graham Announcement

Cornerback Thomas Graham of Rancho Cucamonga is scheduled to make his announcement tonight at 7. This looks like an easy one for USC. Graham set his announcement date after getting offered by USC last week. And his sister is going to be a freshman on the USC track team in the fall.

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And When Did Lakers Become This Desperate?

The Lakers seem to be begging fans to ask free-agent LaMarcus Aldridge to sign. And of course, a celebrity just happens to have an Aldridge jersey. Almost as bad as that Dwight Howard campaign a couple years ago.


UPDATED: Fittingly, the meeting with Aldridge was apparently a disaster.

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USC Morning Buzz: The Original Lane Kiffin Was Paul Hackett

HACKETT

Paul Hackett is mostly considered an unsuccessful USC head coach today. But back in the 1970’s, he was a bright, young offensive coordinator and establishing himself as a quarterback guru of sorts. The problem was Hackett turned out to be a much better assistant than head coach (sound familiar?). Here he is in 1976. That staff also featured Bob Toledo, who experienced success as UCLA’s head coach.

My favorite Hackett story from this era came in the 1980 Rose Bowl. USC came-from-behind to defeat Ohio State, 17-16, as Charles White (247 yards rushing) scored a TD with just more than a minute remaining. The winning drive is famous because USC ran the ball every play behind its star-studded offensive line (Brad Budde, Keith Van Horne, Anthony Munoz, etc.).

Anyways, during the drive, Coach John Robinson said to Hackett, “if you call a pass, you’re fired!”

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World Cup Talk: USA 2, Germany 0

And the U-S-A is going to the World Cup final! Too bad I was rooting for Germany. The ref did no favors with two key botched decisions, including a dubious USA penalty that was outside the box. But you cannot miss a penalty in a semifinal game, Sacic. C’mon England!

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Nike Chairman Phil Knight Decides To Step Down

MCKAY.FEETPhil Knight says he will step down but no departure date will be set. Does this mean anything for Oregon? Or does Knight (and Nike) remain its most influential booster? Most fans are unaware of Knight’s close relationship with USC. He named former USC coach John McKay to his original board and donated money to the building of the McKay Center. Those are Nikes that McKay’s statue sports in front of the McKay Center.

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NCAA Says It’s Beach Volleyball, Not Sand Volleyball


The NCAA wisely changed the name of sand volleyball to beach volleyball now that it will sponsor the sport. There will barely be more than 50 schools competing next year so hopefully there will be a numbers increase to add more luster to actually winning the title.

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Can Adoree Jackson Make United States Olympic Team?

Embedded image permalinkBuffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin had not jumped competitively in the long jump since the 2012 Olympics but jumped 27-5.5 at the USA track and field championships last weekend. And it was still not good enough as he finished fourth and did not qualify for the World Championships.

Adoree Jackson jumped a personal-best 25-11.5 when he finished fifth at the NCAA championships earlier this month. What is my point? If Jackson wants to make the Olympic team, he will need to skip spring practice next year.

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