Final Four notebook

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March 31, 2017 by Seth Rubinroit

USC’s Final Four connections

USC has several connections to the Final Four, which will take place on Saturday.

Gonzaga guard Jordan Mathews is the older brother of USC guard Jonah Mathews.  Max Holm profiled the Mathews brothers in the USC blog. The Bulldogs are favored by 6.5 points over South Carolina.

The Trojans played Oregon twice, losing by an average of 17 points. After the game at the Galen Center on Feb. 11, Elijah Steward memorably referred to his team as the “Harry Potter of the Pac-12.”  The Ducks are a five-point underdog against North Carolina.

Big honor for George Raveling

Former USC coach George Raveling received the prestigious “Champion” designation from “Sports Business Journal.”

In Terry Lefton’s profile, Raveling talked about the transfers of Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers, who would go on to lead the nation in scoring.

When Raveling took over as USC’s coach, he set a deadline for Kimble and Gathers to stay at USC or transfer to another school. The players missed that deadline, and Raveling told them their scholarships would not be renewed.

At the time, both players were disappointed to have to leave USC. Gathers, in a statement to the “Los Angeles Times,” said, “I truly have a love affair with USC, Coach Stan Morrison and his staff, and I think possibly, given the time, would have developed a closeness with Coach Raveling and his staff. I guess I will never know.” Kimble added, “We all had a dream about how bright the future would be, but that dream was shattered.”

But Raveling stands by his decision.

“There are times when you know your decision will be unpopular,” Raveling said, “but it’s right, so you live with those.”

Charles O’Bannon Jr. shines in McDonald’s All-American Game

Charles O’Bannon Jr. became USC’s first McDonald’s All-American since DeMar DeRozan in 2008. He made the most of his opportunity in limited minutes:

Courtside Films put together his best highlights:

2017 Galen Central Tournament Challenge

The 2017 Galen Central Tournament Challenge is coming down to the wire. Out of 29 submissions, Rob and Logan top the standings, followed by the author of this story.

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