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Hoops Update

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Coach Tim Floyd will get an early start on the hoops season when practice starts for all non-freshman on Wednesday. This is in preparation for the team's trip to Mexico on September 1st.

Practice looming ...

USC will begin practice prior to the Mexico trip on Wednesday for veterans. O.J. Mayo and the rest of the incoming class won't be able to participate until fall classes start on Aug. 27. The team is preparing to play four games in Mazatlan, Mexico, two each on Sept. 1 and Sept. 2.

This will give Coach Floyd a chance to evaluate the new team a little earlier than normal without there being any NCAA issues.

USC also gets the national spotlight on Thanksgiving Day with the basketball team playing in the first Anaheim Classic. This will part II of a big day for USC as they are also on TV earlier in the day when the football team takes on the Sun Devils and that nut Dennis Erickson.

Tim Floyd:

"It's the future of college basketball," USC coach Tim Floyd said of the tournament, held Nov. 22 to 25 at the 7,500-seat Anaheim Convention Center.

Floyd admitted that Mayo is the big draw. But it's about more than that.

"With LA the top city in the nation for teams to recruit, this will give teams like Duke and North Carolina a reason to come here and play -- and they will," Floyd said at Thursday's news conference at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney.

For USC, it's a way to give a young team three nearby games against better opponents than it could get in Galen Center, not to mention three national TV games. It also solves the early season issue of scheduling without damaging their RPI, Floyd said.

That will be fun to watch, I will get to see Mayo and Co. in person when they play here in NYC at the Jimmy V Classic on December 4th so that will be a real treat. Mayo is continuing to provide leadership with other freshman. If all this holds up I think we will be pleasantly surprised with the mark he makes on this team. I think these early games south of the border will give the pundits a more accurate assessment of where to rank the Trojans in the preseason polls. Margaritas anyone!

Doug Gottleib has his take on the Pac 10. He considers the conference the best in the country. Obviously all roads go through Westwood but there is no reason why the Pac 10 can't get more than a few teams in the tournament. The video is from ESPN.

Finally, the criminal that shot and killed Ryan Francis was sentenced to life without parole last week. SC fans will never really get over this for many reasons but at least there is some closure to this tragic situation. HT - TrojanNYC and TrojanUpdate.