|USC shows off freshman O.J. Mayo at Midnight Madness|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 13 October 2007 01:18|
The Midnight Madness session kicked off the start of practice for the Trojans, who open the season Nov. 10, at home against Mercer.
Introduced next-to-last, Mayo jogged onto the court with the index and middle fingers on both hands signaling the Trojans' V-for-victory sign. He wore a No. 32 jersey in tribute to his favorite player, Magic Johnson.
Mayo teamed with a female fan in a 2-ball game, with each of them trying to make as many shots as possible in 60 seconds. He tossed up an air ball on his first attempt and smiled as he chased after the ball.
Mayo made four of nine shots, mostly from the perimeter, capped by a miss on a half-court attempt.
Across town at UCLA, the Bruins held a 2 1/2-hour practice featuring highly touted freshman center Kevin Love that was scheduled to end at midnight. In keeping with coach Ben Howland's custom, it was closed to fans and media.
Pepperdine and UC Irvine were the only other teams among the 13 Division I basketball schools in Southern California to participate in a Midnight Madness.
USC is coming off a school-record 25-win season in which the Trojans advanced to the final 16 of the NCAA tournament. Leading scorer Taj Gibson, who averaged 12.2 points, is back, along with sophomore guards Daniel Hackett and Dwight Lewis.
Joining Mayo, who is from Huntington, W.Va., as newcomers are forward Davon Jefferson, 7-foot center Mamadou Diarra, and guards James Dunleavy, Angelo Johnson and Marcus Simmons. Dunleavy is the son of Los Angeles Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy.
``Is everybody fired up? We are fired up,'' coach Tim Floyd told the crowd. ``Our goal is to sell out every single night this year.''
Among the Trojans' home opponents are Kansas and Oklahoma.
``We're going to try to kick those guys' (expletive) across town this year, too,'' Floyd said, referring to the rival Bruins.
USC's women's team also scrimmaged at Galen Center, where the lower bowl was nearly filled and the upper section was mostly empty.
The women were 17-13 last season and graduated five players. Among the returnees is guard Brynn Cameron, who sat out last season when she gave birth to the son of former USC quarterback Matt Leinart.