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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

I spoke to a USC player on Thursday about the new Friday depth chart policy promised by Clay Helton.

I asked the player what difference he thought the depth chart would make?

"It won't mean anything," the player said. "The team won't worry about it."

This goes back to a recurring theme for the Trojans: The players are pretty much over listening to Helton.

So while we all can agree Graham Harrell will improve the offense, how much of that will be nullified by Helton's poor leadership?

When adversity strikes during the season, is the Air Raid going to be enough to overcome an attitude within the team that it's had enough of Helton and doesn't want to listen? This could be the key to the season.

  • The first real test comes when Harrell and Helton choose a starting quarterback. As I have said many times, most of the players prefer Jack Sears so if the coaches choose JT Daniels, watch the morale sink.

  • New USC running backs coach Mike Jinks said he stayed at USC instead of following Kliff Kingsbury to the NFL.

“It was tough because it’s your buddy, but I wasn’t telling momma we were moving again.”

Isn't that a risky move since Jinks would probably have more job security at Arizona?

  • What a shock that Utah beat USC, 83-74, on Thursday night. USC is 3-8 in its past 11 Pac-12 games.

Thanks, Enfield!

When has USC ever won a road game against a Pac-12 team with winning record? And when does Andy Enfield ever beat Larry Krystkowiak when the teams are even close in talent?

Krystkowiak is 9-2 against Enfield. There was an interesting exchange between coaches in a 2015 game at the Galen Center. After Enfield called a 30-second timeout in the second half and started speaking to the referees about getting treated the same as Krystkowiak, the 6-foot-9 Krystkowiak walked over and told Enfield, “Hey, don’t start that. You’re out of your weight class.’’

  • The most likely scenario for the Pac-12 Tournament is USC facing Arizona on 12 p.m. (PT) on Wednesday with the winner facing No. 1 seed Washington on Thursday at noon.

  • Here's some USC thoughts on former pitcher Tom Seaver, who has been diagnosed with dementia.

USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux discovered him playing in Alaska. The only other school that really recruited Seaver, a junior-college transfer, was Fresno State.

Seaver was the Trojans' No. 3 pitcher his sophomore season but then his fast ball increased from around 85 mph to 91 mph.

He loved to play bridge at USC and his main hangout was the 901 club, which in those days was on Hoover Blvd. and known for its hamburgers and beer.

  • In 1966, baseball held a winter draft that was during the college baseball season and Seaver was drafted by the Atlanta Braves. Dedeaux called commissioner William Eckert, who said not to let Seaver sign so he could keep pitching at USC. That night, USC could not reach Seaver, who left his phone off the hook after he reached an agreement with the Braves.

Atlanta was going to tear up the contract so Seaver could finish the season with USC but athletic director Jess Hill contacted the NCAA and was told USC must declare Seaver ineligible. In a Pat Haden move, Hill complied, no doubt worried about crossing the NCAA, which had given USC sanctions in 1959.

Eckert nullified the Braves contract and three teams (Indians, Phillies, Mets) agreed to match Atlanta's contract for Seaver. The Mets won a drawing and Seaver signed for a $50,000 signing bonus.

The entire saga probably cost USC the 1966 College World Series title.

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