A few things to note as we prepare for Thursday's spring practice — the fifth of the spring:
Trojans baseball picked up a victory in unlikely fashion Wednesday, beating visiting Cal State Bakersfield 4-3 while using six pitchers. First baseman Ricky Oropesa, who's becoming a full-fledged star for USC, homered to break a deadlocked game in the bottom of the eighth and give the Trojans the victory. Oropesa now has six homers in his last 11 games and 23 in his two-year career. Sophomore righthander Chad Smith closed down the game in the late innings to preserve the Trojans' impressive 14-1 record when leading after seven innings. More here.
The Los Angeles Daily News is reporting that former Trojans forward Keith Wilkinson has been hired as the director of basketball operations at Texas El Paso under former USC coach Tim Floyd. Wilkinson, who graduated in 2009, played one season with a Ukranian professional basketball team. Interestingly, Wilkinson described, in an Outside the Lines report this week, a time when USC athletic director Mike Garrett stormed into the Trojans locker room postgame and berated then-point guard Daniel Hackett for missing free throws. Wilkinson added that it appeared as if Floyd forbade Garrett from making postgame appearances in the locker room from that point on.
The seventh annual USC Football/Nike Coach of the Year Southern California Coaches Clinic will be held this Friday and Saturday at USC's Galen Center. Featuring speeches from first-year coach Lane Kiffin and Oregon's Chip Kelly and Harvard's Tim Murphy. Clinic participants will also attend Saturday's USC spring practice on Howard Jones Field and hear lectures from prominent high school coaches. More information, including the cost and where to sign up, is available here.
USC announced the 2009 Tommy Awards on Wednesday. Former receiver Damian Williams and tennis star Robert Farah were named co-Male Athletes of the Year. Female Athlete of the Year went to senior water polo two-meter Kami Craig, a former Olympian. The rest of the award-winners, including Teams of the Year and Comeback of the Year, are listed here.