If your American players transfer out, try the international route. That seems to be the philosophy of USC women’s basketball coach Cynthia Cooper. Three of the four freshmen in last year’s recruiting class transferred and Cooper’s style is not-too-popular with some players. So she added four players with international experience.
Harvard transfer Temi Fagbenle plays for the Great Britain national team. 6-1 wing Candela Abejón is from Spain. And then Cooper just added two Australians: Daniejla “Dani” Milisic, a 6-4 center and Khaedin Taito, a 5-11 guard.
USC won its fourth straight title in 1973 with a 4-3 victory over Arizona State in Omaha. The team featured outfielder Fred Lynn, who was the first player to win Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year in 1975 with the Boston Red Sox. Shortstop Roy Smalley spent 13 seasons in the majors, most with the Minnesota Twins. Pitcher Mark Barr won the title game and went 10-2 overall. The No. 1 pitcher, Randy Scarbery, also played pro baseball.
Left fielder Ken Huizenga preserved the win with a diving catch in the ninth inning and also drove in two runs. And in a sign of the times, reliever Jeff Reinke, who retired the final 11 batters, was on a basketball scholarship while second basemen Rob Adolph was a backup quarterback. Shortstop Marvin Cobb was a standout football safety.
A USC administrator tells me former tailback LenDale White returned to campus last week with the blessing of athletic director Pat Haden and also met with Coach Steve Sarkisian. This is not a complete surprise because a high-ranking USC official wanted White to return to a home game after last season’s confrontation between White and Haden at the end of the Colorado game. But this is the first time I’ve heard White visited campus since the fall.
The NCAA released its academic-progress reports today and USC is football is just 10th among Pac-12 schools with a multi-year score of 948. That is seven points better than last year when the Trojans ranked 11th. For the blog commenters (of course), UCLA is No. 3 at 975.
But if you take only the single-year APR scores, USC actually bested UCLA, 963-958. Full scores after the jump:
Here’s a photo of USC captains Tim Tolman (left field) and Doug Stokke (shortstop) hold the NCAA championship trophy next to Coach Rod Dedeaux after the Trojans’ 10-3 victory over Arizona State in 1978. Stokke set a USC-record for career hits (189) in the game. It was Dedeaux’s final title at USC. Pitcher Bill Bordley held ASU to six hits in nearly 8 innings. Pitcher Rod Boxberger was named Most Outstanding Player and made the all-tournament team with Stokke, Tolman, first baseman Dave Hostetler and center fielder John Wells. Photo courtesy Omaha Wordl Herald.
Former USC tight end Bryce Dixon, who is no longer enrolled, has yet to request his release from the football program to transfer to another school. At this point, he still must sit out a year and schools need permission from USC to contact him.