Morning Briefing: Women of Troy fall, Marqise Lee’s stock is questioned, and other bullets

Three & Out:

  1. One and done: The “Why Not Us?” Cinderella dreams ended before they could really begin for USC in the NCAA women’s tournament. St. John’s Briana Brown hit a three with less than a second remaining and that was it. The women of Troy, who were making their first tournament appearance since 2006, were eliminated in the first round, 71-68.
    Still, take nothing away from a potential watershed season. Riding a six-game winning streak into the big dance, USC did the unthinkable winning four games in four days to emerge victorious from the Pac-12 tournament. First year-head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke achieved more than baby steps with this team. She engineered a leap forward, taking a squad with an 11-20 record in 2013 and making a sharp u-turn to finish 22-13 on the season. Bravo, women of Troy.
  2. Is Marqise Lee Overrated?: That’s what certain NFL draft scouts are reportedly saying. Hard to believe for any Trojan fan who has watched him for the past three years. Sure, Lee has concentration issues. Look no further than Notre Dame and the touchdown he dropped in the endzone. Still, you can also look no further than his superman-esue performance against Arizona or his clutch catches against Stanford to see the load of talent he carries on the football field.
    Like Robert Woods before him, Lee’s draft stock has taken a dive after an injury-dampened season. Luckily, also like Woods, there can be no questioning of his work ethic and there is more than enough evidence in his back story to suggest that he has the drive and maturity to become a solid, if not great, pro. Overrated? Doubtful.
  3. Spring Back: We got a small taste of USC football two weeks ago, but spring break broke up the fun. Now, with that out of the way, spring camp can kick off in full force once more on Tuesday. As before, there are more questions to be answered than we can count. Can Max Browne close the gap on Cody Kessler? Is Josh Shaw really going to stay at corner? Is Max Tuerk really going to stay at center? Are Anthony Sarao, Jabari Ruffin, and Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick ready to break out in 2014? After a short getting-to-know-the-new-coaches-and-new-schemes period, this is when the pressure will really be on and the answers might actually emerge.

They said it:

“Max is a great quarterback and so is Jalen but at the end of the day I’m not just competing against them. In my mind I’m competing against guys across the country. Brett Hundley, Jameis Winston, guys like that, that are elite quarterbacks across the country. That’s why I go to work everyday thinking ‘Ok, I need to be better than them today. I need to outplay (them) today.’ ”
– Cody Kessler, on the quarterback competition (via Fox Sports)

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Tags: Football Marqise Lee USC Trojans Women's Basketball