Tirebiter's Corner

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Hershel Dennis qualifies for USC (LB Press Telegram)

Recent Poly High graduate Hershel Dennis was twice selected the Press-Telegram's area offensive player of the year, as he led the Jackrabbits to the last three CIF Southern Section Division I football titles.

Dennis will be able to continue his talents on the field at USC. Dennis, who signed with the Trojans in February, earned an NCAA qualifying score on his final SAT attempt on June 1. Dennis met NCAA freshman eligibility requirements with a 2.9 core grade-point average (3.2 overall) and a 920 on the SAT.

USC, though, has a trio of seniors listed atop the depth chart at tailback in returning starter Sultan McCullough, Michigan transfer Justin Fargas and Malaefou MacKenzie, who was granted a rare sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

"I worked very hard on academics at Poly and I didn't like it that everything came down to passing one test," Dennis said. "It was kind of upsetting, but you have to overcome obstacles and everyone has to take that same test. I'm hoping to play next year and I'm going to try to learn as much as I can from those three seniors this summer. But if I'm not where I need to be physically, I'll redshirt."

USC likely needs more immediate help from its other three Poly football signees in safety Darnell Bing, offensive tackle Winston Justice and defensive tackle Manuel Wright. But neither Bing or Wright received a qualifying score on their last SAT attempt on June‚1.

Both players took the ACT on June 8 and are awaiting those scores. Without a passing score on that ACT, neither Bing or Wright will be eligible to play for USC this fall. Justice, like Dennis, has met NCAA entrance requirements.

Trojan Baseball recruit Sergio Santos signs with AZ (ESPN.com)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to contract terms with first-round draft pick Sergio Santos.

Terms of the deal with the 18-year-old shortstop weren't revealed.

Santos, the 27th player chosen overall, will report to the Missoula Osprey of the Pioneer Rookie League on Saturday and will play at Billings that night, the Diamondbacks said in a news release on Wednesday.

Santos, 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, batted .388 with eight home runs, 33 RBI and 14 stolen bases in his senior season at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif. He also hit .286 with a home run, seven RBIs and two stolen bases for the silver medalist U.S. team at the Junior Pan Am Championships in Cuba.

Santos is the first high school player selected by Arizona in the first round since 1999.

Arizona has signed 23 of its first 28 picks from this year's draft.

Sam Clancy chosen in 2nd round of NBA draft (usctrojans.com)

USC forward Sam Clancy, the 2002 Pac-10 Player of the Year and Trojans' third all-time leading scorer, was selected in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft with the 45th pick overall by the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday (June 26).

Clancy, USC's all-time leading shot-blocker (195) and second-leading rebounder (839), started 102 of his 113 games for Troy and finished with 1,657 points. He had 35 career double-doubles.

He is the third Trojan in the last two years to be drafted. In 2001, Brian Scalabrine was selected with the 35th pick by the New Jersey Nets while Jeff Trepagnier was selected with the 36th pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Clancy is also the fourth Trojan to play for Coach Henry Bibby to be drafted since Bibby came to USC. Rodrick Rhodes was taken in the first round (24th overall) by the Houston Rockets in 1997.

Clancy, a FOXSports.com All-America first teamer and AP, USBWA and Basketball Times All-America second-teamer, led USC in scoring (19.1), rebounding (9.4), field goal percentage (.494), blocks (1.5) and was second in steals (1.8) in 2002. In Pac-10 games, Clancy tied for third in the conference in scoring (21.1) and second in rebounding (9.8). Clancy finished the season scoring in double figures in 28 consecutive games.

 


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