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If It's Friday, It's Time For A USC Notes Column

If It's Friday, It's Time For A USC Notes Column

Isn't it interesting Max Nikias felt more comfortable going to a USC game at Pauley Pavilion than the Galen Center?

In the picture here, he is speaking to USC athletic director Lynn Swann at the game. He also was outside the USC locker room after the game. What does it say about USC that Nikias, who remains president emeritus and a life member of the Board of Trustees, has to go to UCLA to watch his favorite team play? That is what happens when you are a disgraced public figure.

Come to think of it, so is Swann.

  • One reason Andy Enfield drives me crazy is the way he cannot get his teams to be poised and organized for final shots.

The most famous ending was letting Providence score a layup on an inbounds pass in the NCAA Tournament.

But the poor display at the end of regulation against UCLA on Thursday night with Bennie Boatwright putting up a poor shot was just the latest example. Boatwright did make a shot to beat Arizona State earlier this season but Stanford and then UCLA were totally prepared for him and USC lost those games.

USC is 1-6 in games this season decided by five points or less and 0-3 in overtime. Thanks, Enfield!

  • Clay Helton cannot fool the readers of this site because they are too savvy. But he can fool the put-out-to-pasture pundits who still fall for the Gomer Pyle persona.

They thought Helton had a well-thought-out, deliberate plan for hiring a good strength coach from outside USC. Instead, Helton simply hired the only other head strength coach he ever knew, Aaron Ausmus, who was Lane Kiffin's strength coach at USC from 2010-13.

This is a retread hire and Ausmus' third stint at USC. I have nothing against him but did you think USC was blazing a path in strength and conditioning during the Kiffin era?

I sure remember a lot of people complaining about sprained ankles and pulled hamstrings,

“I’m really disappointed with the hamstrings taking so long for a bunch of guys that we’d really like to be looking at,” Kiffin said in March, 2012.

One player said he believed a reason was not spending enough time warming up before practice began.

  • Helton did not realize it would take so long to hire a strength coach, sources tell me. But the reason was clear: No one wanted a one-year job.

  • Did you hear Bill Walton's comment during the USC-UCLA game about Lynn Swann? He is a "phenomenal athletic director at USC. (There has) never been a great program without a great leader." Amazing!

  • It sounded like in the same breath, Walton said "Ron" Dedeaux when describing legendary USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux.

  • Perhaps it is fitting that Washington could lose to awful California on Thursday night and still clinch the Pac-12 basketball title because Arizona State and Oregon State lost.

  • Former USC tight end Brad Banta has joined the Michigan staff as an analyst. He was previously the New Orleans Saints' special teams coordinator.

  • Nobody cares about USC men's volleyball but the Trojans needed five sets to defeat Concordia in Irvine on Thursday night. Concordia?!?!? Concordia is 5-13 this season. The Trojans are 8-7 overall and were swept by UCLA, 3-0, Sunday night.

  • Was it really seven years ago that USC played UC Irvine before 9,612 at the Galen Center in the NCAA men’s volleyball championship game? Like I said, nobody cares.

USC Keeps Losing Players

USC Keeps Losing Players

Clay Helton Hires A Strength Coach

Clay Helton Hires A Strength Coach