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Despite everything -- the transfers, the scandals, the injuries -- USC is actually pretty...

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Despite everything -- the transfers, the scandals, the injuries -- USC is actually pretty good. Maybe even really good. The Trojans (8-4) open Pac-10 Conference play today against Arizona on a six-game winning streak. They own the conference's two wins over ranked teams this season, having upset then-No. 9 Tennessee on Dec. 19 and then-No. 20 UNLV on Christmas Day to win the Diamond Head Classic title in Honolulu. And they seem to be getting better with each win. So what did he know back in June that nobody else did? O'Neill: "I just thought, after seeing a few game tapes and watching them a little bit, I thought that if [point guard] Mike [Gerrity] was a player and Leonard [Washington] could get eligible, we had a chance to be competitive. And I wanted our guys to have an expectation that we were going to compete and be disappointed if we didn't compete. "I don't think we're a great, great team," he added. "We have a long way to go. But we play hard, play together, and these guys pull for each other all the time.''

Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com
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