Buzz surrounds spring sports at USC
The Trojans started classes this week and are off to a running start to the spring semester.
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
The Trojans football roster is busier than LAX the day before Christmas. RB Amir Carlisle, WR Kyle Prater and WR Brice Butler will all be transferring to other schools. DE DeVante Wilson and LB Scott Starr have enrolled and started classes this week.
Carlisle will be heading to Notre Dame where he will be less than 100 miles away from his father's new work place. Duane Carlisle was working as a strength and conditioning coach for the San Francisco 49ers when his son chose USC, but he has recently accepted the position as the Director of Sports Performance for Purdue University. It was stressed that it was a family decision which means the running back’s parents might have taken the decision out of the 18-year-olds hands.
Butler has completed his degree at USC and though he is in Los Angeles has apparently not been attending any team related activities. He said last spring that he was going to transfer and then changed his mind. This time, though, it looks like his mind is made up.
Prater has had trouble since he arrived at USC in the spring of 2010. The five-star recruit with monster hands couldn’t stay healthy. He redshirted his freshman year after a nagging hip injury and seemed to be in good form during off season work outs until he broke his foot. He was also seen on campus recently with a splint on one of his fingers.
Needless to say, the two biggest reasons Butler and Prater are transferring are named Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. The two Serra High studs provide Matt Barkley the best receiving tandem in the country. Everyone else is relegated to the second team.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Starr is a four-star recruit and All-CIF selection out of Norco (Calif.). Wilson was originally supposed to join the Trojans during the fall, but “grey shirted” while he rehabilitated torn knee ligaments (this meant he still kept his scholarship offer, but postponed his enrollment). Now healthy, Wilson is hopefully back to the form that earned him 2010 Prep Star All-American, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West and All-Big VIII League first team selection as a senior defensive lineman at Corona.
For those of you wondering how this ties into the scholarships reductions (10 for the next three years), remember that recruiting math is something so unique even a tax evasion specialist might get confused. The current mid-year enrollees do not count toward the now 75 cap (usually 85) and three transfers does free up three more scholarships.
Men’s Basketball will host the Bruins (9-7, 2-2) this week. Fortunately for UCLA, who has been playing down the street at the Sports Arena during the Pauley Pavilion renovations, they are now close enough to walk to the Galen Center and their fans should be plenty used to the commute by now.
Last Sunday against Arizona, the Trojans shot a season-low 29.3 percent from the field and were 1-for-15 from beyond the arc. In these desperate times, the rarely-used Greg Allen was put in the rotation.
"We're just looking for someone to make a shot. That would be the nicest thing in the world," said Kevin O’Neill.
With a whole week to prepare, the Trojans are going to putting extra focus on individual skill and it would be a safe bet to think there are going to be a few extra shooting drills thrown in.
The Women of Troy will be down the street playing UCLA after sweeping both Arizona schools to improve their record to 8-6 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
A new year means a new season of sports and some of USC’s teams are coming off impressive title runs from the year before.
Men’s Tennis will be going for their fourth straight national title lead by the 2011 singles champ Steve Johnson and his fellow senior Daniel Nguyen.
Men’s Volleyball has made it to two of the past three NCAA Final Fours, but will have to do some serious reloading to do the same this year. The No.6 Trojans (1-0, 0-0) will host No. 5 Long Beach State (2-1,0-0) on Thursday and then No. 11 Cal State Northridge on (1-2,0-0) on Friday. USC is lead by co-captains outside hitter Tony Ciarelli and middle blocker Steve Shandrick. Ciarelli is a two-time All-American second team selection and Shandrick is a 2012 preseason All-American second teamer. They are also the only two seniors on the roster.