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It’s No Longer Victoria’s Secret

Times Staff Writer

It was either a brilliant prank or a mean trick, depending on your point of view.

Gabe Pruitt, a sophomore on USC’s basketball team, last week got a message over the Internet that supposedly came from a UCLA female student named Victoria, who said she wanted to meet him in Westwood.

The prank came to fruition on Saturday when USC played at California and students in the Cal cheering section started chanting, “Vic-tor-ia.” They also held up a sign with Pruitt’s cellphone number.

USC and California meet again today in the Pacific 10 Conference tournament at Staples Center, and Pruitt says he hopes to have a good game.

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“That’s going to be my payback,” he said.

Trivia time: The nation’s leading scorer in college basketball in 1951 played for Temple and was known as the “Owl without a vowel.” Who is he?

A slight problem: Bob Timmerman, a contributor to the DodgerThoughts website, heard an interesting exchange between ESPN basketball announcers Lou Canellis and Bucky Waters on Saturday. It came during the Atlanta Sun Conference tournament championship game between two Nashville, Tenn., schools. Belmont defeated Lipscomb, 74-69, in overtime.

Near the end, Canellis said, “If Belmont wins, they get to buy some new shoes because they are going to the Big Dance.”

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Said Waters: “Actually, Belmont is a Southern Baptist school that prohibits dancing.”

Not a great idea: Sam Cassell played a key role in the Clippers’ victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday despite suffering a dislocated little finger in the first half.

After the game, FSN West reporter Lindsay Soto said to Cassell: “You might want to dislocate a finger more often.”

Said Cassell: “No, no I don’t.”

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Two birthdays, one cake: The Trojan Club of Orange County had a cake Tuesday night to celebrate the 90th birthday of Nick Pappas, former USC player and coach and a lifelong booster. USC assistant coach Steve Sarkisian was there and his 32nd birthday was Wednesday, so club members asked Pappas if they could borrow his cake.

“As long as you give it back,” Pappas said.

Where they are now: John Henry, who retired in 1984 and at the time was racing’s richest horse with earnings of nearly $6.6 million, now resides at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. He turns 31 today.

Looking back: On this day in 1958, George Yardley of the Detroit Pistons became the first NBA player to score 2,000 points in a season. Yardley, a star at Newport Harbor High and Stanford, died Aug. 12, 2004, at his home in Newport Beach at 75.

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Trivia answer: Bill Mlkvy.

And finally: Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Mike Schmidt, in his new book, writes that Bud Selig didn’t re-instate Pete Rose because Selig didn’t believe Rose was remorseful.

“So add this to Rose’s shortcomings: He wasn’t smart enough to hire an acting coach,” Ostler wrote.

Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com.

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