Thursday, August 11, 2011
Basketball: Brazil trip begins Friday
By Pedro Moura
Trojans coach Kevin O'Neill and his team practiced one last time Thursday before they jet off for a land far, far away on Friday, as they'll spend the next 10 days in Brazil and land back in Los Angeles Aug. 21.
Thursday's session was quick, lasting under an hour. But it served its primary purpose all the same: to cement O'Neill's vision of the starting lineup and bench roles. Here's what he has planned for the trip, where the Trojans will play four games against Brazilian professional teams and one scrimmage:
PG: Jio Fontan
SG: Mo Jones
SF: Evan Smith
PF: Aaron Fuller
C: Dewayne Dedmon
Off the bench: F Garrett Jackson, G Greg Allen, G Byron Wesley, G Alexis Moore, C James Blasczyk
O'Neill also plans to play walk-ons Eric Strangis, Tyler Sugiyama and Daniel Munoz, all guards. Transfer forwards Ari Stewart and Eric Wise are sitting out the 2011-2012 season and are thus not eligible for the trip, per NCAA rules.
Also making the trip with the Trojans is senior associate athletic director Steve Lopes.
In other basketball news, USC has hired a new director of basketball operations, Jamal Boddie, a 2009 graduate of the University of Arizona who worked as a manager for the Wildcats while O'Neill was the head coach. The previous director, Ryan Hennick, spent two seasons on the job before resigning in the offseason.