Extra Innings: Too many athletes are transferring out of USC

first_imgFor most players, the reasoning behind this wave of potential transfers is not clear. When McCoy decided to transfer, I wrote in a previous column, “Five-star receivers want to go to a university to do a few things: win football games, get better under great coaches and get noticed by professional scouts. Right now, USC offers only one of those three things and it isn’t the first two.” In this week’s installment of “What the Hell is Happening to USC Athletics?”: the transfer portal. This week, almost half of USC’s women’s basketball team entered the transfer portal. Six of the 13-person roster are at least considering — if not set on — leaving Galen Center. Granted, there are two graduate transfers in that group of players, but a daunting statistic nonetheless. USC Athletics needs to make some serious changes soon to retain players. For players to leave USC at such a rapid rate from multiple sports is not a good look for recruits of any sport. After all, when the players leave, the recruits stop coming. I’m not going to pretend I follow collegiate basketball. However, I do know that the women considering jumping ship are some of USC’s best ballers. But this issue isn’t unique to women’s basketball. Rather, it is evidence of a larger issue that has been perpetuated over the past year. Student-athletes keep transferring out of USC. Some of the most notable are redshirt junior receivers Velus Jones Jr. and Trevon Sidney. Jones posted a solid 10.4 yards per reception in 2018. He was a fantastic addition to USC’s receiving core last year. Sidney, on the other hand, didn’t have a whole lot of targets but showed great potential. It’s also important to note that Sidney was left off the spring roster. Jones is listed. Under offensive coordinator Graham Harrell’s air-raid offense, both receivers have the potential to be key players for USC next season, if they decide to stay. Those two potential transfers are just drops of water in the ocean of players that continue to enter the transfer portal. For most in the portal, their intentions are not clear. Perhaps, they are just keeping their options open this spring. center_img Some of my past thoughts hold validity. At least USC has an offensive coordinator now, but if I had to assume the reasoning behind this ordeal, players are unhappier with the athletic department than they are concerned with winning. Considering either the coaching staff or the administration, can you blame them? It’s a mess, and there is a whole lot to be upset about right now. Senior guard Minyon Moore, one of the graduate transfers who announced she will be transferring, led the Trojans in points, free throws, rebounds, assists and steals this past season. Senior forward Ja’Tavia Tapley also plans to transfer. She posted the second most blocks and rebounds during the 2018-19 season. How could anyone forget about one of the most interesting and jaw-dropping transfers of this spring? Incoming receiver Bru McCoy enrolled at USC early. It seemed like he was all in, ready to join receiving leaders senior Michael Pittman Jr. and sophomore Amon-Ra St. Brown to terrorize secondaries. Then, out of nowhere, he entered the transfer portal and became a Texas Longhorn just days later. You don’t need to look far to see that this is a major problem with USC football. News of players transferring has been dominating the USC football headlines for the past several months. But some might argue that players transfer all the time. However, a significant portion of the players entering the portal aren’t third string; they are the starters and the impact players USC needs. Sam Arslanian is a sophomore writing about sports. His column, “Extra Innings,” runs Fridays.last_img read more

Read More →

Joakim Noah elevates, steadies Clippers on new journey

first_imgThe Clippers arrived on the NBA’s closed campus at Walt Disney World Resort five players short, and since then have had others take leave to attend to trying personal matters, including the deaths of loved ones. Lou Williams was among the Clippers who was excused for a funeral – and then prescribed a 10-day quarantine after returning to the bubble because his excursion to Atlanta included a much-discussed stop at a strip club, reportedly for chicken wings.“Overall, it’s like our team has dealt with a lot of adversity outside the bubble already,” Noah said Monday, following the Clippers’ third and final scrimmage, a loss to the Sacramento Kings. “But this is definitely something that we can overcome. We’re a strong group, and I’m proud to be part of this team.”Noah – the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time All-Star – remains staunchly appreciative of the opportunity to compete for the title that’s evaded him through 12 NBA seasons. He’s especially grateful, he said, because an Achilles injury last September almost robbed him of this shot.Still, he’s getting support from outside the bubble as he forges toward the goal.“For sure, I’m reaching out to my family and they’re there for me,” Noah said. “And it feels good to be able to talk to them. Overall it’s not too bad, we have a lot of resources. But overall, it’s tough to live without your freedom, you know? That’s a sacrifice we gotta make right now, to be able to play basketball.” What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Noah impressed as the only bona fide big man on the floor for the Clippers in their first two bubble scrimmages, contributing five rebounds and three assists in a win against Orlando, solid in his first 15 minutes of NBA action since March 23, 2019.In Exhibition No. 2, a 105-100 victory against Washington, Noah finished with six rebounds, five blocks, a steal and a team-high five assists – including a pass he slipped to Patrick Patterson, in stride, for a layup, and another he delivered to Rodney McGruder for a 3-pointer after spotting a corridor in the Wizards’ defense, open just long enough to get the ball through.“He’s an elite passer. We already knew that,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. “What I love was the screening and rolling. He is so used to coming towards the ball and getting the ball, and we are asking him to do something completely different, and that’s screen-and-roll more. He’s still getting used to it, but I thought … he did a great job. He also is starting to notice the more talent we have on the floor, the more they are going to double-team.“You give him the ball in the middle of the paint, he’s just a great decision-maker.”His teammates say they’re enjoying their experience alongside the skilled, 6-foot-11 facilitator.“When he has the ball in his hands, you know he’s going to try to make something good happen,” said Terance Mann, the Clippers’ rookie guard. “When he has it, it’s just a bunch of cutting, making plays away from him so he can find us – his IQ is awesome.”So is his camaraderie, the Clippers say.While Ivica Zubac was away, quarantining after being diagnosed with the coronavirus in early July, he said Noah was in constant contact, engaging him, motivating him, filling him in.“Joakim, ever since he came to the team, we’ve been close, and we’ve been talking a lot about the game,” Zubac said. “Even when I was at home and he was here in Orlando, he was hitting me up every day, talking about everything we did at practice, lots of stuff here in Orlando.Related Articles Clippers’ Paul George: ‘If I make shots, this series could be a little different’ Game 4 photos: Luka Doncic, Mavs shock Clippers in overtime LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — “They can put us in a bubble away from our people but our spirits will have to stay strong.”So began Joakim Noah’s Instagram message four weeks ago, posted as he was about to join his new teammates for a wild basketball journey inside the NBA bubble.The Clippers are expected to contend for the organization’s first championship when NBA play begins again; to help with that, they brought aboard Noah, signing the savvy veteran initially to a 10-day contract that later was cemented for the rest of the season and, without guarantee, through the next, too.The 35-year-old is there to add size and depth at center, to scrap and spur ball movement, but most of all, to lend his presence and perspective, so valuable in what’s already proving to be a challenging experience for the Clippers ahead of their restart opener Thursday against the Lakers.center_img Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I think he’s been through a lot. He’s got like a lot of experience, one of the best defenders in this league, and I think I’ve got a lot to learn from him.”That’s the idea, said Noah, who played in 60 playoff games for the Chicago Bulls, making it as far as the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011, when they were denied a Finals berth by LeBron James and the Miami Heat.“Zu’s in a great situation,” Noah said of Zubac. “He has a great coach, he has great players around him, he’s a young talent with a lot of skills. And with my story, I’ve been in situations where we’ve come close to winning championships and it didn’t happen, so it’s really about not taking any opportunity for granted, especially on a championship contender and making the best of your opportunities.”last_img read more

Read More →