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Tuesday News and Notes

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Kind of taking it easy this week after being out a bit last week and fighting a nasty cold so lets get to it.

Is Dodd Nuts??

I realize that Dodd's hit piece on Ben Howland last week led the boys from across town to fill his inbox with screed but I think he overcompensates in order to get back in their good graces with this piece. He's kidding me right? Why, because they have 20 players coming back? Reality has left the room with Mr. Dodd. I mean SC doesn't have anyone coming back right? I mean have some credibility man.

The Bruins are in!

You k new that, and you didn't know that. Final Four? Sure. The Spring Top 25? Let's just say I am making Marc Dellins' day. Dellins is the UCLA Minister of Propaganda -- they call him the sports info director in Westwood -- who was quick to point out that his Bruins have 20 returning starters from a team that beat Southern California.

This is an issue because the Bruins got, uh, well, somehow left out of my first 2007 Top 25 in January. Being the good MOP that he is, Mr. Dellins quickly shipped me the galleys of the spring guide. He apologized in advance for the typos (the bound version is coming). I didn't notice any except the bold prediction on Page 3 about beating USC. Again. By 20. To win the Pac-10...

Yeah right. How was that sloppy kiss you just gave them?

I caught this on Wolf's blog.

One of the top recruits USC signed in February must avoid getting any D's this spring to gain eligibility for the fall. We hear the recruit, who hails from Southern California, has an extremely difficult teacher for one class, that gives some at his high school quite a bit of concern.

All I can say is this, Pete Carroll recruits them and the school is supposed to vet them out so if the player can't get passing grades then its not SC's fault. I had to be the worst student in my graduating class but I at least passed. I thought some of the comments in that thread is dead on.

While the shock and sadness of Mario Danelo's tragic death still haunt us his parents carry on.

Joe Danelo surveyed the scene as USC players ran from one drill to the next during practice on Sunday, the flurry of activity stirring fond, cathartic memories for the father of late Trojans kicker Mario Danelo.

"This is just where Mario used to be," Joe said. "Part of his memory is out here. It's good to be out here with the kids."

Mario Danelo, who would have been a senior in the fall, died in January, his body discovered at the bottom of a cliff not far from his family's home in San Pedro. The Los Angeles County Dept. of Coroner said in a February autopsy report that Danelo was under the influence of alcohol and that the manner of death was undetermined.

On Sunday, Coach Pete Carroll, several players, other players' parents and Trojans fans greeted and embraced Joe and Emily Danelo, who visited practice for the first time since their youngest son's death.

Joe Danelo said the outpouring of support from the USC community had been, "overwhelming."

Mario will always be with us.

There is a new USC Football Blog out there that is soley for those who want to analyze SC's plays and schemes. USC Trojan Football Analysis has some great stats and play diagrams, be sure to check it out.

There is an interesting column by Plaschke that shows the lack of respect for that Florida has for the history of UCLA basketball. Looks like most of their players don't know anything or care about it.

GAINESVILLE, FLA. -- The tradition of the UCLA basketball team swept through this quiet country town Monday with all the fury of sweet tea.

"I don't care about UCLA's tradition," said Walter Hodge, a backup guard on the Florida basketball team. "I don't know anything about it."

He was asked if he had heard of a coach named John Wooden.

"I don't know, and I don't care," he said.

He paused.

"Is he that old dude?"

The legacy of UCLA basketball deftly sliced through the Gators' heart Monday like a comb through Joakim Noah's hair.

"They've won, like, 17 national championships, right?" forward Al Horford said. "But I don't think that has anything to do with today."

He was asked if he knew the name of their home arena.


He was asked if he had heard of Pauley Pavilion.


At the end of the day it doesn't matter. Winning today is what matters. There is no question that Coach wooden and his successes are things of legend but that was 30 years ago when there were only 32 teams in the tournament and when players stayed all 4 years etc. etc. That means nothing to the players of today regardless of the program. Sure it means a lot to the Bruin faithful and the players because its their school but in the end it's about the here and now. It's the same with USC baseball of the 60's, it's a nice story but irrelevant to today's team.

As much as I hate to admit it, I think UCLA wins on Saturday. Ben Howland's style of basketball, at least to me, is more versatile than the pundits give them credit for. That they could keep up with the tempo that Kansas threw at them and win by 13 points should be noted so I think Florida needs to be careful. Now, I hope UCLA gets nailed to the wall and embarrassed by Florida but I don't think they, Florida, will be able to hold them back and remember Mata was a non-factor last year due to injury but that's not the case this time around.

As far as the article goes I'm sure it will get the boys from across town all riled up and that's when their the most fun to watch...all that gnashing of teeth.