3-point shot: USC optimistic on Dedmon

1. USC coach Kevin O’Neill was much more optimistic about the return of his heralded newcomer, center DeWayne Dedmon, late Wednesday night. O’Neill said Dedmon will be in a cast for three weeks with a broken right hand, but should get his cast off in time for the Nov. 11 opener against Northridge. “He is going to practice," O’Neill said. “He won’t do offense, though." O’Neill said Dedmon will be behind since he needs the preseason practices. “We’ll find a way to be good," O’Neill said. “He’s going to be an NBA player some day, but he’s not even close to being ready." The Trojans are still smarting from losing leading scorer Jio Fontan to a knee injury during a summer trip to Brazil.

2. Temple is waiting for Missouri to make up its mind. The Owls are convinced, according to a source with direct knowledge, that they won’t know if they have a Big East invitation until Missouri decides if it is staying in the Big 12. That’s because the Big East doesn’t know how many schools it needs to add until the Big 12 indicates whether it might poach schools from the Big East. The Owls would be a huge get for the Big East in basketball in an attempt to alleviate the loss of Pitt and Syracuse.

3. Steve Alford has elevated the Lobos in a short period at New Mexico. But he hasn’t had to deal with the expectations that he’ll be faced with this season. The Lobos are the pick to win the Mountain West Conference by the league media. And the Lobos dominated the preseason all-league honors. Drew Gordon was tabbed as the preseason POY and guard Kendall Williams was a fellow first-team member. Australian guard Hugh Greenwood was selected as the top freshman. The Lobos, though, can’t fall flat early. The Thanksgiving weekend 76 Classic in Anaheim is set up for a possible UNM-Villanova final. Anything less than a title game appearance would be a disappointment for UNM.