Plenty of USC-related news on this Tuesday in Los Angeles:
Fresh off its first Pac-10 series win this season, USC baseball returns to the field today with a big midweek game against UC Irvine. Of course, UC Irvine's head coach is Mike Gillespie, who resigned from the same post at USC in 2006 — only to be replaced by his son-in-law (current coach Chad Kreuter) -- and took the job at Irvine, where he is 114-47 in two-plus seasons. Kreuter's Trojans are 19-24 this season and in desperate need of a string of wins. Last week, Kreuter said he expects the Pac-10 could very well qualify eight teams for the NCAA Tournament later this month. USC is currently 10th — the only team in the conference under .500. Still, an eighth-place conference finish is within reach.
In basketball news, the school announced today that Iowa big man Aaron Fuller will transfer to USC and redshirt the 2010-2011 season. Fuller was a valuable player for the Hawkeyes, leading the team in both points (12.3) and rebounds (7.6) during Big Ten play. "We are very excited to have Aaron at USC," coach Kevin O'Neill said in a statement. "He is going to be a tremendous asset to us on and off the court. We love his tenacity, hard work and desire to get better."
The latest installment of Athletic Director Mike Garrett's "From the Desk of the A.D." journal entries arrived today. A nugget regarding the NCAA investigations: " I get asked daily about when we'll be hearing from the NCAA regarding its findings in the pending investigation. I don't have an answer; the NCAA will release the results when its committee members have concluded their work. We hope it is soon."
Here's a profile of USC guard Marcus Simmons from a school publication. Simmons, a senior to-be, was an important cog in O'Neill's rotation this season and could be even more important next season, considering the Trojans will graduate senior guards Mike Gerrity and Dwight Lewis. Simmons plans to improve by then. A highlight from the story: " 'I'm going to get better," Marcus said nodding his head with enthusiasm. 'That's a promise. Bigger, faster, stronger for next year.' "
USC director of basketball operations Dwayne Polee turned in his resignation last week, the L.A. Times reports. Polee was hired by former coach Tim Floyd in 2007, during the time his son, Westchester High standout Dwayne Polee Jr., was committed to USC. Polee Jr. since decommitted from the Trojans and will soon choose between St. John's, Oregon and Georgia. The elder Polee did not return messages seeking comment Tuesday.