Quick transition provides challenges for USC

first_imgKatie Chin | Daily TrojanFollowing their win against Cal, the Trojans have a short week before they face Washington State on Friday in Pullman, Wa. In front of a sellout crowd expected at Martin Stadium, head coach Clay Helton and the Trojans will be put to the test. With injuries piling up and an explosive Washington State team playing in its own stadium, the Trojans have been put on upset alert by many around the country. Scouting the Cougars Led by head coach Mike Leach, the Cougars have come out of the gate strong in 2017. With a 4-0 record, Washington State is currently ranked 16th. This is due, in part, to a dynamic offense. Senior quarterback Luke Falk returns after a junior year that put him on the map. After forcing four interceptions against Cal, the Trojans hope to replicate some of their success in Pullman. But that could be a tall task. Helton said Falk is “about as efficient as there is in the league right now.” He’s been one of the best passers in the country, ranking second in touchdowns and fifth in passing yards. “I think he’s got a really good skill set,” defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast said. “He’s played in that system for a long time, he sees the field well and he doesn’t lock in on his first read.” Falk and the Cougars’ offense will test USC’s defense with their run and gun offense, made famous by Leach during his time at Texas Tech. Leach’s offensive philosophy is predicated on getting the ball to his playmakers in space. The running back combination of senior Jamal Morrow and sophomore James Williams has provided Falk with weapons out of the backfield. While the Cougars don’t run the ball often, Morrow and Williams are two players who will be watched closely by Helton and the defensive staff. Junior receiver Tavares Martin, the Cougars’ leading receiver with 390 yards and six touchdowns on the year, will test the Trojans’ secondary. Defensively, the Cougars are led by redshirt senior middle linebacker Isaac Dotson, who leads the team with 26 tackles. Sophomore safety Jalen Thompson is a player to watch in the secondary for Washington State. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold, who has thrown seven interceptions on the year, will need to cut down on turnovers. Healing Up Heading to Pullman on Friday, the Trojans still have several key players banged up. Junior wide receiver Deontay Burnett was held out for the second day in a row.“I think he’s gonna be able to go,” Helton said. “We’ve been pretty cautious with him.”Junior running racks Ronald Jones and Aca’Cedric Ware were both limited in Tuesday’s practice, but Helton expects them to be available. Junior linebacker Porter Gustin is still doubtful for Friday’s tilt. Redshirt sophomore tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe is still working his way back to the field. “We have a calendar mapped out,” Helton said Imatorbhebhe’s rehab. “Things change, everyone’s body is different, but we sat down and met with our staff and Daniel and got a plan so that hopefully within a couple weeks, he can get back.” While junior tight end Tyler Petite has done well with more snaps, getting Imatorbhebhe back would undoubtedly be big for the offense. While Helton and the staff don’t plan to rush Imatorbhebhe back, Helton said he was getting closer.Without a bye week, the Trojans don’t have a lot of time to recover. Helton and the staff have had to adjust accordingly. His first meeting every day is with head athletic trainer Russ Romano. Afterwards, Helton, Romano and his entire staff met to develop a plan for every player on the injury list. “Going 12 games straight, you have to have a great plan for each kid,” Helton said.Angeline Leaves Team News came out on Monday that redshirt sophomore Cary Angeline has decided to leave the team. Citing homesickness and a lack of playing time, the Pennsylvania native will look to get a fresh start at another school. “Cary’s a great kid,” Helton said. “He wants to find a place closer to home to be able to play. Unbelievable student and person. We wish him nothing but the best.” With Angeline’s departure, Trojans’ depth at tight end will be tested. Imatorbhebhe’s absence means the Trojans will have to rely on Petite and freshmen Josh Falo and Erik Krommenhoek to carry the load until reinforcements come.last_img read more

Matt Barnes returns as Los Angeles Clippers defeat Denver Nuggets for fourth win in row

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> The Clippers got off to a fast start, responded when challenged, and romped to a simple 112-91 triumph over the visiting Denver Nuggets on Saturday night, welcoming Matt Barnes back to the court with a comprehensive performance.Blake Griffin and Chris Paul contributed their customary double-doubles and Barnes saw his first action in more than a month as the Clippers (19-9) matched their season-best winning streak before a sellout crowd of 19,129 at Staples Center, making it four in a row for the third time this year.Jamal Crawford scored a game-high 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting, including 6 of 12 beyond the 3-point arc, and the Pacific Division leaders’ extraordinary defense left the struggling Nuggets (14-12) little chance to compete.Griffin scored 24 points and pulled down 16 rebounds for his 19th double-double of the season, and Paul had 10 points and 11 assists for his 21st as L.A. raced to an 11-2 lead barely two minutes after tipoff, extended it to 19 before halftime, then pulled away — behind three third-quarter 3-pointers from Crawford — after Denver climbed within six points shortly after the break. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Barnes saw his first action since Nov. 18, coming on to a rousing ovation with 3:02 to go in the first quarter, sporting goggles that he “didn’t like — I got elbowed, and the goggles gave me a bruise.”He needed a few minutes to adjust after missing the previous 16 games after he suffered a torn retina in his left eye, requiring three surgeries, a month ago against Memphis, but got stronger as the game went on, making 5 of 12 shots and three 3-pointers for 13 points, with three rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes.“It felt good,” said Barnes, who dealt with a series of ailments before the eye injury. “It’s been hard for me to catch a rhythm all season, you know, being hurt (in the) summertime, training camp, beginning of the season, up to now. So it’s really been a mental season for me so far, kind of seeing where I can help the team when I get back. Tonight, I tried to do a little bit of that.”Barnes, who was in uniform but did not play Wednesday against the Pelicans, turned the ball over the first time he tried to penetrate, then blocked a Jordan Hamilton shot. He hit a 3-pointer early in the second quarter and scored after grabbing a loose ball after a Griffin miss in the final minute of the half, both restoring double-digit leads. He made 3 of 6 attempts in the second half.“Overall, he was really good, and he just gives us something extra,” Rivers said. “You can see it. He gives us the toughness, the cutting, the basketball IQ. For a guy that missed that amount of days — to me, he missed basically the whole year, because he’s only played and then in-and-out. I thought that was the best he has looked since he’s been with us because of his rhythm. He had pretty good rhythm and his shot looked good. He didn’t look rusty, so that is good.”Said Griffin: “Love having him back. He’s a guy that has a positive impact, even if he doesn’t score a basket. Just the way he cuts offensively and the way he plays defensively, and just his experience. Having a veteran guy out there who always plays hard is great for us.”DeAndre Jordan had a dozen rebounds for L.A. Timofey Mozgov scored 15 points, Lawson had 13 points and six assists in 33 minutes, and Nate Robinson scored 11 for the Nuggets.center_img “We said we didn’t feel like we had the right energy or played with the right spirit against New Orleans (in a victory Wednesday night), and we have a back-to-back tonight and (Sunday evening against Minnesota),” said Paul, who had four assists in the first 3½ minutes and a half-dozen a little more midway through the first quarter. “So we wanted to come out and try to put them away, and I think we did that.”Wilson Chandler scored 19 first-half points on 8-of-11 shooting but missed all four of his second-half shots for the Nuggets, whose cause wasn’t helped by point guard Ty Lawson’s flu-triggered fatigue, which limited him to just two second-half minutes, nor power forward Kenneth Faried’s departure after rolling his left ankle just 3:15 into the game.Denver pulled within six points twice — at 56-50 and 58-52 — but a 19-8 spree over the final 8½ minutes of the third quarter boosted the Clippers’ lead to 19 points, and they led by as many as 23 in the fourth quarter.L.A.’s defensive play was pivotal. The Nuggets were held to only 35.2 percent shooting — and just 31 percent before making 9 of 17 fourth-quarter shots.“What I like the most was the transition defense,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “I think that they had nine points in transitions. That is what they do so well: They come down, spread the floor, they beat you to the basket. … And I thought we did a great job taking that away and making them run their half-court [offense], which was great for us.”last_img read more

Wal-Mart report faulted

first_imgROSEMEAD – Earthmovers rumbled across the alluvial soil Friday where a Wal-Mart Supercenter is being built.From a tall lamppost on Rush Street, a red-tailed hawk watched as its former hunting grounds were graded by the giant yellow Caterpillars.Watching from the sidewalk along Rush was Jim Flournoy, clutching a seismic map, a copy of the 1983 Rosemead General Plan and the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act with its powder-blue paper cover.The Rosemead resident is suing to put a stop to the Wal-Mart project based on what he alleges is a lack of study of a fault line across the 24-acre property.The Alhambra Wash fault line cuts a northwesterly slash across roughly the center of the land at Walnut Grove Avenue and Rush Street, where Wal-Mart is building. The fault is one of a smattering in the area, each an extension of the fault that caused the deadly 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake.Wal-Mart is building its 204,388-square-foot store outside the mandated 100-foot setback from the fault.Flournoy said little is known about another fault, the Puente Hills blind thrust, that also cuts a wide swath across the area, including under the Wal-Mart site. Flournoy’s suit alleges that without the studies the Supercenter should never have been approved.The environmental impact report the council used to approve the project includes two studies evaluating to some degree the dangers presented by area faults.“There are studies,” Flournoy said. “But they’re not the studies the law requires them to have.”The studies are available in the appendices of the EIR, which was produced by Ontario-based Applied Planning Inc. The EIR can be found at www.appliedplanning.com.City Hall defends the studies.“All the studies are there, they’re done,” said Brad Johnson, Rosemead planning director. jason.kosareff@sgvn.com(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2717 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more