Pete's Arboblog: End of Spring

Spring football is over, and the wait begins. Only about 120 shopping days until the opening of summer/fall ball. But, take heart, it's late June when the first pre-season football mags come out!!

I'm being interviewed on the phone today for an ESPNU piece on SC's team. Not sure when it airs, but my voice will be on it. No pay, just a common courtesy among broadcasting types. That, plus last time I asked ESPN TV types about pay for such things, they virtually laughed out loud. All I wanted was a t-shirt or a cap!!

No surprises on the two-deeps. Here are the thoughts that occur to me as I go down the list: I wonder how much playing time the Wizard of Ausberry will get. It will be VERY tough to keep him of the field.

Center will continue to be an interesting competition through the Idaho game. Will Spanos stay eligible in the interim? Can Howell and Byers, with their disparate ways of snapping, bother JDB/Mark? Will O'Dowd come in and take the spot like he claims he can and will?

We have the best #2 and #3 quarterbacks in the country, and maybe the best #1, too.

We will need another full back, no matter how good Stanley Havili is. Broderick Green comes to mind.

CJ and Chauncey and HD and Moody are ready to go and a formidable four-headed best. Can McKnight join them on the field or surpass all of them?

The defense is REALLY good! And deep. Alex's Morrow and Parsons were much improved this spring. Thomas Williams is the world's best-EVER backup linebacker! Or maybe it's Kaluka!

KevinThomas, Josh Pinkard, Terrell Thomas—not much action this spring, all potential starters. Pinkard to CB at some point if we need him there?

Woidneck kicking the hell out of the ball. Buehler still inconsistent has to practice as much as he can without getting a sore leg and hip flexor. We know he has a cannon, how bout the aim? I think we'll be okay.

I went over to the women's tennis match against Cal on Friday. SC won 4-3 when Lindsey nelson came back numerous times to finally put away Cal's #1 who just happened to be the defending NCAA women's singles champ. The women lost to Stanford 4-3 the following day, but dropped third doubles 9-7 or that action would have been reversed. Look out in the NCAA's!

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The baseball team got swept by UCLA? Not looking good for the boys this year for post season play, but there's still a lot of season left. Still…..

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An open letter to Nick Young:

In 1992 I had dinner with a junior guard who was thinking of heading early to the NBA. He was being told he would be a high first round draft pick, as high as #3, maybe more likely #7. He was being courted by agents and wanna be's and hangers-on and ankle biters. All of those close to the USC basketball program told him to stop listening to these people, and to stay in school. That he would increase his draft status ten-fold if he were to stay, for certainly he would be the Pac-10 player of the year, and have the ability to lead USC into the final four. And if you do that sort of thing, people take notice, mainly because USC has BEEN to the final four since 1954—the thinking being that if you are the guy to lead them there, you MUST be something special.

His coach told him to stay, his teachers, his family his friends, but he just could not wait.

You might have heard of him, as he is considered among the best if not THE best USC player of all-time (certainly one of the most gifted on offense).

He got drafted in the lowest of the low part of the first round…I want to say #22. Played a few years, made a few bucks. Now he's a recluse of sorts, won't talk to anyone, won't come to be honored by SC, despite the fact the fans still murmured his named in hushed, hallowed tones.

Nick Young, I want a couple of things from you—I want to you to change your mind like few others have had the courage to do. Then talk to a few guys who thought they were special players and decided to go out early and regretted the decision the rest of their lives. For every success story for what you are about to do, there are ten failures. Bill Plaschke of the Times did an article on it a few years ago. Call him and ask him.

Lead USC into the final four, and in my lifetime, perhaps even an NCAA championship. Yes, I dare to whisper the words USC basketball and NCAA men's championship in the same sentence.

And remember two words:

Harold Miner.

Be the first Nick Young, not the next Harold Miner.

Please, for all of the long-suffering USC basketball fans. We're just getting started with this new feeling and new way, and we like how it feels.

Thanks Nick,

Pete Arbogast.

(someone, somewhere, make sure he gets this!)

I know I kid about Afflalo and Collison and that they SHOULD leave. From an SC perspective it's the best thing for each of them, as we all know.

From a college sports perspective, it tears at the fabric of the competitions that we all love, in all the sports that allow it, but especially due to the nature of their being so high profile..football and basketball. I hate it, and wish there were a way to stop it.

And of course there is—offer a four or five-year scholarship, not a renewable one-year deal, make the kids sing it. Live up to it, and maybe the problem goes away to a great extent.

Some kids might only be willing to sign for one or two or three years, but at least you'll know that going in. Just a thought.

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Hats off to the Lakers, who made the playoffs for the 43rd time in 47 years in LA. It's a good start. Now let's see you get that 3-1 lead and close the deal this time.

Now, can the Clippers get in for that rarest of moments when both are in at the same time?

Last year both teams lost to the same team in the PO's 4-3. I suggest that had the Clippers played ‘em in the first round and the Lakers in the second, nothing would have changed. The Lakers and Clippers are just about dead even right now in terms of team strength. That must feel great for one team, and awful for the other. Jackie Robinson night was fun, informative and meaningful. That it took until 1947 to happen in the first place shames us all.

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From here on out, seeing as there is no football news to talk about, generally speaking, if you have thoughts about what you'd like me to write about from here through the end of the school year, I'd be happy to entertain ideas.

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Job search coming to a head, just waiting to hear back about a couple of questions as negotiations continue. I hope to be fully and well employed by maybe May 1. Keep a good thought for me, I need it.

Thanks and Fight On!


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