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Conquest Chronicles - All Posts

a USC Trojans Blog

Updated: 2018-04-18T11:00:56-07:00


Conquest Chronicles Podcast: Spring ball wrap up and NFL Draft



A new Conquest Chronicles podcast is up and running. This week we review the Trojans spring practice, discuss the upcoming NFL draft, and answer your questions.

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New episode of Conquest Chronicles podcast is up and running. On this week’s Matt and Dina review the Trojans spring practice. Who impressed during the spring? Did the quarterback situation open the door for JT Daniels? We discuss all of that. Also with the NFL draft coming up, will Sam Darnold end up being the number one pick and is Cleveland the right fit. That plus some Q&A from the listeners. You can listen by clicking on the player above or check us out and subscribe to our Soundcloud page.

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Twitter: @CChroniclesSBN


USC Football: What We Learned During Spring Camp


With Spring ball wrapped up, we look at what we’ve learned about the Trojans during spring camp. Spring camp has come and gone for the USC Trojans. We now move closer to the 2018 season as the Trojans prepare to defend their Pac-12 Championship. USC return to the field having to replace some key players on both sides of the ball, however the Trojans still have a good amount of talent on their roster returning and looking to take huge step forward. We take a look back at spring ball and see what we learned about the Trojans so far. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Quarterback Situation is Still unknown: Perhaps the biggest question mark on the USC roster is at the quarterback position. Matt Fink and Jack Sears split reps as they compete to get a leg up in the competition to replace Sam Darnold. Through the spring neither one has done enough to separate or stand out as a clear cut favorite as both have shown inconsistencies in practice. The last two days of spring practice and the Trojans spring showcase, both were impressive and shown improvement. Spring practice competition also showed that incoming freshman JT Daniels will have a pretty good shot at winning the starting quarterback job. Daniels will be on campus during the summer for player ran practices and that will help him build chemistry with receivers heading into fall camp. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Defense, Defense, Defense!: One thing have been over looked was the key players that forgone entering the NFL draft on defense. USC’s defense has been nothing short of impressive during spring camp. The secondary led by senior cornerback Iman Marshall and safety Marvell Tell excelled in spring practice. Both made plenty of plays during the spring. At the linebacker position, Porter Gustin has shown that he will be an absolute problem to block this coming season. He has become more vocal on the field and setting the example as well. Players who could work their way into seeing a good chunk of playing time are redshirt freshman Cornerback Greg Johnson and freshman linebacker Kana’i Mauga. Both filled in due to either injury or a player being out due to academics and made the most of their reps on the field. Either way you want to put it, the Trojans will have a good amount of depth and will have the “next man up” mentality. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Velus Jones improvement: While wide receivers Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman Jr are expected to be the starters on the outside, one player has emerged from the group of talented receivers during the spring and stood out. Velus Jones has had an issue with drops last season and was mainly used in the tailback position on passing plays when the Trojans wanted to get the ball in his hands. During the spring Jones has shown tons of improvement by making plays in space and becoming the deep threat with his speed that the Trojans could use. Heading into summer and fall camp, Jones could be a favorite in the slot with his speed and play making ability. Offensive coordinator Tee Martin will look to get the ball into his hands once again by any means. John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports Build Around The Running Game: Same philosophy the Trojans basically had last season. Get going on the ground to open things up. With Stephen Carr out due to back surgery, Aca’cedric Ware and Vavae Malepeai saw a lot of carries this spring. It’s something they should get used to as the Trojans will stick with the ground game despite Jones being gone. USC will balance things out with power running game with Malepeai and surprise teams with some speed with Carr on the outside. Expect Ware to bring a balance of both speed and power for the Trojans. We can say this, there’s nothing wrong with the philosophy at all given the quarterback situation. [...]

Bennie Boatwright To Return For His Senior Season



USC Basketball gets a key player back for next season.

USC Basketball just got a big boost for next season.

Forward Bennie Boatwright will return next year for his senior season. Report came via Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. The news was also confirmed by Boatwright’s father per OC Register’s Joey Kaufman.

(image) Photo By Dina Colunga

Unfortunately, All-American running back Ronald Jones and wide receiver Deontay Burnett are still being hampered by injuries, and there is talk of a second pro day for them to show off their skills once they are healthy.

What Could Have Been for USC Basketball


Plenty broke wrong for Trojans hoops this season, but what if it hadn’t? The silver and red confetti floated lazily from the ceiling, coating both the victors and the defeated in Arizona Wildcats colors. Defeat is how the USC Trojans season would close. Crashing, to a rudely abrupt halt as the comeback kids from California walked off the court, wiping someone else’s celebration from their jerseys. The irony was particularly thick between the two clubs meeting because both had endured FBI investigations over during the season. Though only one player, USC’s De’Anthony Melton, was sidelined for the title bout. This team had endured plenty over the course of just one season. USC started the season with anticipation around the team boiling over, as expectations of Elite Eight bids in the NCAA Tournament were the hot prediction around the program that battled into last season’s Sweet Sixteen round. But the tide quickly turned on a team maligned with nearly as many problems off the court as there were on them. Despite numerous setbacks, the Trojans surge back in the final stanza of the season. USC was able to put themselves in position to play for the conference title. For a team with so many early problems, Southern California made a drive for the lofty preseason expectations around the program. Following a missed Tournament bid, the season leaves some questions on the table. How was such a maligned team with setbacks still able to vie for a conference title? What could have been? In 2017, USC edged out SMU and Providence, which led to a toe to toe slug match with Baylor in the Round of 32. Despite the loss to the Texas team, the Trojans prospects were looking up. Their stellar class of De’Anthony Melton and Chimezie Metu would be back, along with upperclassmen Jordan McLaughlin and Bennie Boatwright. They would even have a role player swingman in Elijah Stewart. They had a roster loaded with players that just proved their tournament salt. Then things started to hit the fan. First, it was the allegations of bribery leveled against Melton, which sidelined him for what turned into the entire season and resulted in his eventual departure. On the court, things were not as simple. The problems not as evident as an FBI investigation. But the erosion was there as well. USC covered up off-court issues with a 4-0 run to begin the season, clouding less impressive wins against schools like Lehigh and North Dakota State with an overtime road win against Vanderbilt. The turnovers started to catch up to the team in their proceeding three-game skid, giving the rock away 15.7 times an outing. Exacerbating the issue was an injury to Boatwright and question marks around Stewart as he hit a cold shooting streak. A 5-1 run against out of conference cream puffs could not hide USC’s struggles defensively or their sloppy play. It was a problem that came back to hurt the team when they kicked off the PAC-12 play with a 2-2 start and a suspension to Metu (the star player) for hitting a Washington Huskies player in the family jewels. Every story about USC was a negative one, as they slowly slipped into the college basketball background. After a tough start to conference play, the Trojans cleaned up their turnover problems and fixed the defense. They began scheming better around the top threats on opposing squads, clamping down on what gave other programs their teeth. They went on a six-game run through the conference play and were right back in the top of the PAC-12. Despite everything along the rocky road, the Trojans were still able to make a late-season push to relevance. The problem was everyone was already tuning them out. The Trojans watched their season slip through their fingers like sand. They had the talent to still contend for the PAC-12 title. McLaughlin was four thin the country with 7.5 assists per game, Metu averaged 15.7 points and the team had 3-and-D wings in Boatwright and Stewart. They lost their dynamic, dual-thre[...]