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Vegas is betting on USC's Sam Darnold to win the 2017 Heisman Trophy

Sam Darnold entered last college football season as an unknown backup quarterback at USC. This year will be a bit different. Not only is Darnold the Trojans’ unquestioned starter at the position, he is also a Heisman Trophy favorite. In fact, several Las Vegas books have Darnold as the Heisman...

  • USC rolls out plan for Coliseum reseating and PSL-style fees

    USC rolls out plan for Coliseum reseating and PSL-style fees

    USC’s renovation of the Coliseum will place luxury boxes atop a large swath of seats near midfield, add aisles and concourses and shrink the stadium’s capacity from 94,000 to 77,500. The alterations mean many season-ticket holders will be forced to move. USC began its rollout of the re-seating...

  • College basketball: Mark Trakh returns to coach USC women

    College basketball: Mark Trakh returns to coach USC women

    USC’s new women’s basketball coach isn’t really new. The Trojans have hired Mark Trakh, who previously coached the Trojans from 2005 to 2009, to fill the open position, the school announced Friday. The announcement ends an unusually lengthy coaching search. Cynthia Cooper-Dyke resigned in March...

  • Charles O'Bannon Jr. becomes USC's first McDonald's All-American since 2008

    Charles O'Bannon Jr. becomes USC's first McDonald's All-American since 2008

    For the first time since 2008, a McDonald’s All-American has signed with USC. Charles O’Bannon Jr. filed his paperwork to join a three-man recruiting class, the school announced Thursday. O’Bannon, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound wing from Las Vegas will make an already deep backcourt even more crowded....

  • USC cornerback Adoree' Jackson makes predraft visit to Rams

    USC cornerback Adoree' Jackson makes predraft visit to Rams

    The Rams, in need of depth at cornerback, brought in USC’s Adoree’ Jackson for a visit Monday, a person with knowledge of the situation said. Jackson, 21, grew up a Rams fan in Belleville, Ill., not far from where the Rams played home games in St. Louis. The Rams do not have a first-round pick...

  • USC chooses caution over preparation in a quiet spring game

    USC chooses caution over preparation in a quiet spring game

    The most taxing portion of Sam Darnold’s Saturday came not during USC’s spring game at the Coliseum, which was not much of a game at all. USC’s starting quarterback threw six passes, handed off a few times, then stood for the rest of the afternoon on the sideline with his helmet in his hand. The...

  • The only thing missing from USC's spring game is the actual game

    The only thing missing from USC's spring game is the actual game

    Michael Pittman’s laboratory is tucked in a corner of USC’s practice field. He retreated there, usually with two team managers, for about 30 minutes after every practice this spring. A manager would load the ball into the passing machine. Clank. Pittman would pose as if he were reaching for a pass...

  • Elijah Stewart declares for NBA draft but leaves door open for return

    Elijah Stewart declares for NBA draft but leaves door open for return

    USC guard Elijah Stewart said on Tuesday that he will declare for the NBA draft, joining two other Trojans teammates who have already declared this offseason. He will not hire an agent, meaning he will retain the option to return to USC. Stewart said that a return is most likely. He is not currently...

  • USC's Jack Jones is never boring. Bored? He's working on that

    USC's Jack Jones is never boring. Bored? He's working on that

    USC’s quarterbacks came into Thursday’s scrimmage at the Coliseum with a plan. They were going to pick on the young, swaggering cornerback, Jack Jones. Jones played sparingly last season as a freshman, but by the spring he was pestering quarterback Sam Darnold like a mosquito at a picnic. He began...

  • USC forward Bennie Boatwright declares for NBA draft but does not hire agent

    USC forward Bennie Boatwright declares for NBA draft but does not hire agent

    USC forward Bennie Boatwright has declared for the NBA draft, he said on Wednesday. Boatwright said he will not hire an agent, meaning he will have the option to return to USC. Boatwright missed about half of last season because of a knee injury but quickly became USC's leading scorer upon his...

  • USC extends Andy Enfield's contract two years, through 2023

    USC extends Andy Enfield's contract two years, through 2023

    After reaching its second consecutive NCAA tournament, USC has given men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield his second consecutive contract extension. Enfield’s contract was extended another two years, through the spring of 2023, the school announced Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed. In 2013, Enfield...

  • A makeshift offensive line is stressing out USC coaches

    A makeshift offensive line is stressing out USC coaches

    USC Coach Clay Helton plunked a football down just outside the goal line. USC’s offense lined up with heels almost touching the chalk. Helton calls it the “backed-up” drill: The offense tries to punch out from its own end zone. Only on Tuesday, the defense was pushing the offense back. Quarterback...

  • USC receiver Deontay Burnett continues to bloom in spring practice

    USC receiver Deontay Burnett continues to bloom in spring practice

    After USC’s football practice ended on Saturday, Coach Clay Helton grabbed receiver Deontay Burnett and wrapped his arm around him. "I just used him as an example of what a Trojan should be,” Helton said. “Right now, he's just a shut-up-and-work guy." The departure of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus...

  • USC guard Shaqquan Aaron declares for NBA draft but can still return

    USC guard Shaqquan Aaron declares for NBA draft but can still return

    USC guard Shaqquan Aaron has declared for the NBA draft, a team spokesman said Friday, but Aaron has not hired an agent, meaning he will retain the option to return to the team. Aaron, a 6-foot-7 sophomore wing, is unlikely to be drafted this year and could decide to return. He averaged 7.6 points...

  • Is a freshman already winning USC's battle for defensive tackle?

    Is a freshman already winning USC's battle for defensive tackle?

    More so than any departing USC player — more so than a lot of current players — the Trojans love to talk about Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, the 25-year-old defensive tackle transfer who became one of the defense’s best players last season. Tu’ikolovatu is mentioned several times in interviews during spring...

  • Projected 2017-18 USC basketball roster could be dynamic

    Projected 2017-18 USC basketball roster could be dynamic

    USC’s projected basketball roster next season: :: Shaqquan Aaron, Jr., G, 6-7: May have saved USC's season with 23 points against UCLA but struggled with consistency. Bennie Boatwright, Jr., F, 6-10: Would be the hardest player for USC to replace; a threat to score from inside and out. Devin Fleming,...

  • On the brink of national prominence, USC confronts a nervous wait as NBA decisions loom

    On the brink of national prominence, USC confronts a nervous wait as NBA decisions loom

    USC players shuffled in a procession down a tunnel at the BOK Center on Sunday evening, until the only player remaining on the court was Bennie Boatwright. Around him, Baylor’s players snapped photos and celebrated their win in the NCAA tournament second-round game that ended USC’s season. Boatwright...

  • USC can't complete another comeback in 82-78 loss to third-seeded Baylor

    USC can't complete another comeback in 82-78 loss to third-seeded Baylor

    The gears of a March loss grind without a rulebook or a leader. In USC’s locker room Sunday evening, the loser’s soundtrack spun on autoplay: The spatter of a shower, the low hush of voices and the scraping of velcro as a staffer peeled off USC’s nameplates, the evidence that the Trojans had made...

  • Behind USC's streakiness? A green light that never turns yellow

    Behind USC's streakiness? A green light that never turns yellow

    When USC’s coaching staff was rehashing its last-minute victory over Southern Methodist on Friday night, assistant coach Tony Bland turned to Coach Andy Enfield and started laughing. Bland was recounting the game-winning play from earlier in the day, a three-pointer from the corner by Elijah Stewart....

  • USC vs. Baylor: How the teams match up

    USC vs. Baylor: How the teams match up

    A look at how the USC Trojans and Baylor Bears match up for a second-round game in the NCAA tournament: WHO: No. 11 USC (26-9) vs. No. 3 Baylor (26-7). WHAT: NCAA East Regional second round, Sunday, 4:45 p.m. PDT. WHERE: BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla. TV: TruTV; Radio: 690. UPDATE: USC Coach Andy Enfield...

  • How do USC and Southern Methodist match up?

    How do USC and Southern Methodist match up?

    USC-SOUTHERN METHODIST MATCHUP WHO: No. 11 USC (25-9) vs. No. 6 Southern Methodist (30-4). WHAT: NCAA East Regional first round, Friday, 12:10 PDT. WHERE: BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla. TV: TruTV; Radio: 710. UPDATE: When USC defeated the Mustangs in November, “A lot of people said ‘So what? You beat...

  • USC wipes out 17-point deficit to defeat Providence, 75-71

    USC wipes out 17-point deficit to defeat Providence, 75-71

    March is a good time to make an introduction, and 30 minutes into an improbable USC comeback victory on Wednesday, 75-71 over Providence, the college basketball world met Nick Rakocevic. The best way to watch Rakocevic is to watch his teammates. Halfway through the second half of the NCAA tournament...

  • UCLA's Isaac Hamilton is on the upswing at the right time

    UCLA's Isaac Hamilton is on the upswing at the right time

    Isaac Hamilton was like four quarters that jangled back into the coin hopper after UCLA had lost nearly everything in Las Vegas. The senior managed two strong performances in what was an otherwise dreadful Pac-12 Conference tournament for the Bruins guards, which could have a carryover effect for...

  • A look at the First Four matchup between USC and Providence

    A look at the First Four matchup between USC and Providence

    USC-PROVIDENCE MATCHUP WHO: No. 11 USC (24-9) vs. No. 11 Providence (20-12). WHAT: NCAA East Regional First Four game, Wednesday, 6:10 p.m. PDT. WHERE: UD Arena, Dayton, Ohio. TV: truTV; Radio: 690. UPDATE: Coaches Andy Enfield of USC and Ed Cooley of Providence are golfing buddies. “He’s just...

  • March Madness: Pac-12 Conference tries to regain its swagger in NCAA basketball tournament

    March Madness: Pac-12 Conference tries to regain its swagger in NCAA basketball tournament

    Before Kadeem Allen arrived at Arizona, West Coast basketball wasn’t on his radar. Allen grew up in Wilmington, N.C., where Duke and North Carolina games crackled onto the radio and beamed onto his television. For junior college, Allen hauled out to Hutchinson, Kan., where on game days, traffic...

  • To defeat Providence, USC must first confront last season's collapse

    To defeat Providence, USC must first confront last season's collapse

    The USC men’s basketball team was marooned at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday afternoon after its charter flight to the NCAA tournament’s First Four was delayed four hours because of a mechanical issue. The turnaround to Wednesday’s play-in game against Providence was already tight,...

  • After following around losing teams for years, USC's 'Road Warriors' indulge in rare treat

    After following around losing teams for years, USC's 'Road Warriors' indulge in rare treat

    Sunday was a whirlwind day for the USC basketball team. The Trojans learned they had been placed in an NCAA tournament “First Four” play-in game, which meant arrangements had to be made to get to Dayton, Ohio, on short notice. Travel had to be planned, schedules pieced together, expenses forecast....

  • USC vs. Providence: How the Trojans and Friars match up in NCAA tournament

    USC vs. Providence: How the Trojans and Friars match up in NCAA tournament

    No. 11 USC vs. No. 11 Providence: A look at how the Trojans and Friars match up in a play-in game for the NCAA tournament’s East Regional: WEDNESDAY AT UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON ARENA, DAYTON, OHIO How they got here: USC won almost all the games it was expected to and lost nearly all of the games it...

  • UCLA vs. Kent State: How they match up in NCAA tournament

    UCLA vs. Kent State: How they match up in NCAA tournament

    No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 14 Kent State: A look at how the Bruins and Golden Flashes match up in the first round of the NCAA tournament’s South Regional. FRIDAY AT GOLDEN 1 CENTER, SACRAMENTO How they got here: UCLA has won 10 of its last 11 games but did not look sharp in the Pac-12 Conference tournament,...

  • USC barely played way into NCAA tournament, and will have to do it again

    USC barely played way into NCAA tournament, and will have to do it again

    Andy Enfield walked out of the USC coaches’ offices early Sunday afternoon leading a small parade toward college basketball’s judgment day. Behind him were his three children, his wife, Amanda, and a panting, weeks-old pug named Cali that Enfield claimed was the Trojans’ good luck charm as they...

  • NCAA tournament preview: East Regional

    A look at the NCAA tournament’s East Regional: THURSDAY :: BUFFALO, N.Y. 1 Villanova (31-3, Big East champion) vs. 16 Play-in winner (See matchup below) The biggest hurdle to the heavily favored Wildcats returning to the Final Four could be an regional final matchup against Duke at Madison Square...

  • March Madness: Few would disagree with Villanova as No. 1, but there's room for griping

    There weren’t a whole lot of surprises when the field for the 2017 NCAA tournament was announced Sunday, but the selection committee still left room for a time-honored — if unofficial — tradition. Griping. March Madness gets its angry side from inevitable complaints about seedings, who got in and...

  • For USC, focusing on future means getting past Rose Bowl glory

    It has been just over two months since Deontay Burnett caught one of the most memorable touchdown passes in recent USC history, a long, improvised route to tie the score late in a classic Rose Bowl game victory. Yet Burnett claims that he has only seen video of the reception once, “scrolling through...

  • Bruins get the win but know they have to play better

    USC could have won this game. USC should have won this game. UCLA needs to think about that as it advances into a postseason that is quickly making them skittish. And the NCAA tournament selection committee needs to think about that as USC goes home to wait for what should be not only a guaranteed...

  • It's UCLA by a nose over USC in Pac-12 quarterfinals

    UCLA didn’t need to fill a whiteboard with the intricacies of its high-scoring offense or its much-improved defense. The Bruins’ game plan heading into the Pac-12 Conference tournament was simple: Just do what they do, be who they are and don’t change a thing in the wake of a lengthy winning streak...

  • Chimezie Metu is Pac-12's most improved player, and one of USC's most important

    The play USC Coach Andy Enfield was scribbling wouldn’t have made much sense a year ago. During a timeout in the final minute, his team down one point during a game against Colorado in January, Enfield sketched out a simple concept on a whiteboard. USC would swing the ball around the perimeter....

  • Conference tournament success is not a harbinger of how teams will fare in NCAA tournament

    The sweat was still glistening on their foreheads when UCLA players slipped on Pac-12 Conference tournament championship T-shirts inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, holding one finger aloft as they draped arms around each other for a group photo. Jordan Adams, whose three-pointer in...

  • USC has issues to solve before it is championship caliber

    USC finished last season as college football’s hottest team not named Clemson. The Trojans closed with a nine-game winning streak, minted a Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Sam Darnold and won a thrilling Rose Bowl game. Coach Clay Helton’s grade for the 2016 campaign? Incomplete. "The fact...

  • USC edges UCLA, 4-3, in Dodger Stadium Baseball Classic

    Lars Nootbaar made a change by staying the same. It led to an extra-innings RBI double to push USC to a 4-3 win over UCLA in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic on Sunday evening. Normally when a pitcher gets two strikes against Nootbaar, the USC cleanup hitter will spread out his stance,...

  • USC's victory in regular-season finale has Coach Andy Enfield feeling better

    Andy Enfield spent much of the second half of USC’s final regular-season game, a 74-58 victory against Washington on Saturday at Galen Center, in a state of agitation. He waved his arms and stomped his feet. He emoted and dropped theatrically into his chair. Enfield had acknowledged earlier in...

  • In a 'Dunk City,' USC carves out a swat suburb

    Chimezie Metu, USC’s 6-foot-11, spidery-limbed shot blocker, was not embarrassed to report after Friday’s practice that he had been the victim — on not one, but two occasions — of a brutal rejection. On dunks, no less. By a guard. "There were no fouls,” said Metu said. “He just — he blindsided...

  • USC hires Indiana's Deland McCullough as running back's coach

    USC’s stable of running backs has a new coach. USC has hired Deland McCullough, the running backs coach at Indiana for the last six seasons, as its running backs coach, the team announced Friday. McCullough led a resurgence at the position at Indiana. He coached Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard,...

  • Before they part ways, UCLA Coach Steve Alford will try to cherish final moments coaching his son on the court

    Father knows best how to irritate his son. It happens whenever UCLA Coach Steve Alford, whose pure jump shot launched a legion of copycats in Indiana driveways, critiques Bryce in practice about the family talent. Maybe Steve feels Bryce took a bad shot or passed up one he should have taken. Depending...

  • Cynthia Cooper-Dyke resigns as USC women's basketball coach

    Cynthia Cooper-Dyke has resigned after four years coaching basketball at USC, her alma mater. She had a 70-56 record, including 14-16 this season. Cooper-Dyke left on Friday, a day after the Trojans lost to California. 71-58, in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament in Seattle. They were 5-13...

  • USC falls to California in Pac-12 women's basketball tournament

    Kristine Anigwe scored 34 points with 13 rebounds and four blocks and eighth-seeded Califiornia pulled away from ninth-seeded USC, 71-58, in the opening game of the Pac-12 Conference women’s basketball tournament on Thursday in Seattle.  Cal was up 48-45 entering the fourth quarter and Anigwe scored...

  • USC cruises past Washington State to end four-game losing streak

    USC was up big Wednesday night, nearing the final minute against Washington State, and yet Jonah Mathews, walking off the court, looked like the puppy that had gotten into the trash. His shoulders slumped. He had a sheepish grin. His eyes struggled to meet those of point guard Jordan McLaughlin....

  • USC is still in position to reach the NCAA tournament field, but it 'better not lose'

    Last week, virtually all projections listed USC as comfortably joining the NCAA tournament field, heading toward a drama-free finish. Most figured USC would be sitting pretty as it entered the final week of the regular season. But there was USC on Tuesday at the Galen Center, finishing an abnormally...

  • Local NFL prospects invited to the scouting combine

    Local prospects who have been invited to the NFL combine in Indianapolis, which begins Wednesday: Zach Banner, OT, USC:  The son of former NFL tackle Lincoln Kennedy, Banner was listed by the Trojans last season at 6 feet 9, 360 pounds. Victor Bolden Jr., WR, Oregon State (Los Osos High School): ...

  • Arizona State stuns USC with late rally, 83-82

    Bennie Boatwright held the ball on the baseline as if it were a lit fuse and counted down in his head from five. There were 14 seconds and plenty of surprise remaining in what would become a stunning USC loss to Arizona State on Sunday, 83-82, a defeat that would deliver a late blow to the Trojans’...

  • Pac-12 basketball: UCLA women finish regular season with win at Arizona State

    Kennedy Burke scored 16 points with nine rebounds, Jordan Canada had 12 with eight boards and eight assists and No. 15 UCLA held off Arizona State, 55-52, on Sunday in Tempe, Ariz., in the regular-season finale.  Relli Richardson made a three-pointer and the Sun Devils made four free throws during...

  • USC's plan to get into the NCAA tournament includes one must: no bad losses

    During the course of a college basketball season, there are losses that can haunt a coach’s dreams, particularly if that coach’s team is not yet firmly in the NCAA tournament. Typically, there’s a hiccup during the nonconference season, or an uninspired conference game on the road — bad losses...

  • College basketball: California snaps losing streak with easy win over Oregon State

    Ivan Rabb scored 16 points with nine rebounds in what might have been his final home game, and California beat Oregon State 76-46 on Friday night.  Charlie Moore added 11 points, five assists and six rebounds while Sam Singer scored 14 on seven-of-seven shooting as the Golden Bears (19-9, 10-6...

  • UCLA's TJ Leaf prepared to hear it from Arizona fans when Bruins face Wildcats

    UCLA hasn’t just turned the page on its losses this season. The Bruins have rewritten the narratives to their liking. The prevailing memory of Oregon is no longer Ducks star Dillon Brooks sinking an improbable last-second shot but UCLA counterpart Lonzo Ball making a 30-footer. The lasting image...

  • USC can't slow down Allonzo Trier and Arizona in 90-77 loss

    The most frustrating part of playing at Arizona, where the Wildcats have won 70 of their last 71 games after USC’s 90-77 loss on Thursday, is not when a visiting team is playing poorly. That is to be expected. Wait until a team has a chance to play well here. Then futility can be understood. USC...

  • UCLA more willing to bare its teeth than just flash a smile this season

    UCLA probably would stage the Big Dance in a ballroom if it could. This team is all about etiquette. Isaac Hamilton checks into hotel rooms and immediately refolds the towels. Thomas Welsh thanks coaches at the end of practices, asking how he can get better. Bryce Alford is so engaging and gracious...

  • USC isn't happy with its No. 1 ranking in an unusual category. Where's the luck?

    Andy Enfield, the coach of the luckiest team in the nation by one measure, has had a stressful two weeks. It started two Saturdays ago, when his USC team lost a close game to No. 6 Oregon. The following Saturday, USC suffered an embarrassing 32-point loss to No. 5 UCLA on the road. Now the Trojans...

  • LaVar Ball’s boasts about sons, including UCLA star Lonzo, draw strong reactions

    The NBA world according to LaVar Ball will be a bustling place for his sons in the coming years. UCLA freshman point guard Lonzo Ball will be the No. 1 pick in the June draft, a designation to be shared by LiAngelo Ball in 2018 and LaMelo Ball in 2020 after the middle and youngest brothers also...

  • Pac-12: Utah is surprised by Oregon State

     Stephen Thompson Jr. made the winning basket and got 31 points and Oregon State waged a furious second-half rally to beat Utah, 68-67, on Sunday night.  Drew Eubanks had 12 points, six blocks and three steals for the Beavers (5-23, 1-14 Pac-12 Conference).  Kyle Kuzma had 19 points and nine rebounds,...

  • Getting chatty has made UCLA talk of the town

    If recent trends persist, the team that doesn’t like to talk can look back on the time it chattered like teenagers carrying on about the latest photo-sharing app as the moment that changed the trajectory of its season. UCLA had just been throttled by USC on Jan. 25 when the Bruins lingered in their...

  • UCLA denies USC fifth-straight win over rival with impressive 102-70 rout

    Bryce Alford drove toward the basket, extending the ball just out of the reach of Elijah Stewart with his outstretched right arm and somehow flipping it in off the backboard while getting bumped. Alford snarled and coolly walked toward the sideline, where he high-fived a few fans before doing the...

  • Bill Plaschke: Bruins go to school on the Trojans

    Everyone knows the UCLA basketball team can score, and dish, and run through the gym as if they are flying. But at a rollicking Pauley Pavilion that included all those things Saturday night, the Bruins proved capable of equally important attributes. They can learn. They can grow. And yes, they...

  • Pac-12 and Southland basketball roundup: Stanford rallies past California, 73-68

    Dorian Pickens scored 23 points, Reid Travis had 19 with nine rebounds and Stanford held on to beat California 73-68 on Friday night.  Marcus Allen added 11 points for the Cardinal, who overcame an early 12-point deficit to beat their cross-bay rivals for the 21st time in the last 24 meetings between...

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