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USC Trojans fans, please explain this photo

5/1/2012
DJ Gallo/ESPN.com

USC basketball went 6-26 this past season, setting a record for most losses in the program's history. The Trojans also had the worst winning percentage in team history and lost 19 of their last 20 games. The 2011-12 season was universally regarded as the low moment in Southern Cal basketball history.

But then yesterday, at a junk shop more than 2,600 miles from the USC campus, I found this picture.

What ... is going on here?

In case you can't make it out, "Southern California" is printed on every player's jersey. That's established. But there are so many other questions.

  • Is this even a basketball team? That's my best guess, but why are two of the players wearing knee pads?

  • What year is this from?

  • What prompted this leg-kick routine?

  • Why is the bottom of several players' bottoms peeking out of their satin short-shorts?

  • Are these gentlemen the precursor to the USC Song Girls?

  • Would today's USC team be better if it participated in such camaraderie-building exercises?

If anyone has answers to any of these questions, please leave them in the comments or email me. Whatever the answers are, I think we can all agree it's nice to know there was a time when USC basketball players could laugh and dance.