If life is change, then USC's basketball program is living fast heading into this season.
Starting tonight with their first midnight madness opening practice, the Trojans will sport several new looks under Coach Charlie Parker, whose interim designation was removed at the end of last season.
With three new players--and two others who weren't available last season--added to last season's 7-21 team, USC will have different uniforms and a revamped coaching staff that includes former UCLA star Henry Bibby.
"We want to compete for the Pac-10 championship," said Parker, who became interim coach at the start of last season after the near-fatal auto accident and then retirement of former coach George Raveling. "We have better players who want to win now."
But will that be enough for a team that lost its last 14 games of the 1994-95 season?
"Our attitude has to be all positive and we are not going to look back," Parker said. "The only thing that is important is to win the championship and that is what we are going to try our best to do."
Back to help are Tremayne Anchrum and Avondre Jones.
Anchrum, a 6-foot-5 senior who sat out all of last season with a knee injury, will bring experience and leadership, not to mention his rebounding.
"When Tremayne went down last year, we lost the heart and soul of the team," Parker said. "Now the heart and soul is back."
Jones, a 6-11 junior, transferred back to USC from Chaffey College. He left the Trojans after his freshman season because of a lack of playing time.
"Avondre has really dedicated himself to basketball right now," Parker said. "I see him challenging to be one of the best inside players in the conference."
USC has also added three promising freshmen in guards Damion Dawson of Long Beach Poly High and James Brown of Compton Dominguez, and 6-8 forward Maurice Strong of Memphis, Tenn.
Rodrick Rhodes, a 6-7 senior transfer from Kentucky, is the Trojans' big-name addition, but he is ineligible to play this season under NCAA transfer rules.
Among the seven returning lettermen, Jaha Wilson, Brandon Martin and Stais Boseman are the standouts.
Wilson, a 6-5 junior, led the Pac-10 with 10.1 rebounds a game last season. Martin, a 6-4 senior, has started 40 games at USC and averaged nearly 10 points last season. Boseman, a 6-4 junior, is the team's top defender and averaged 12 points.
USC's other returnees are guards Burt Harris, Tyson Reuter and Cameron Murray, and center David Crouse.