The road has not been friendly for the Trojans this season, as they dropped their sixth consecutive away game Sunday night in an 87-65 loss to Cal at Haas Pavilion.USC (19-10, 8-8) wraps up its road conference schedule with a 2-7 record and has dropped five of its last six games. Meanwhile, the Bears (21-9, 11-5) finish the season a perfect 18-0 at home.“We can’t afford to play like that anymore,” junior guard Julian Jacobs said of the road struggles. “It’s ridiculous. It’s the same thing every single time. It’s very frustrating. It’s the same game. It’s basketball – same hoop, same ball. Whatever it is, we’re mental midgets on the road.”Junior forward Nikola Jovanovic was the lone bright spot for the Trojans. Jovanovic had 21 points and nine rebounds, but only he and Jacobs – who finished with 11 points – scored in double figures.The Trojans started off with great energy on defense and on the boards as Jovanovic was highly efficient inside, going 7-of-8 from the field in the first half for 14 points. With USC down four, freshman center Chimezie Metu recorded two blocks that each led to layups on the other end. A putback by Jovanovic followed to give the Trojans a 14-11 lead at the 13:52 mark of the first half and the game was tied at 26-26 midway through the first half.“We played hard in the beginning of the game,” head coach Andy Enfield said. “It was 26-all. We were defending, rebounding, pushing the ball. We got good looks at the basket.”But the Trojans went cold the remainder of the half, going on a scoring drought that lasted nearly seven minutes as the Bears went on a 14-0 run to take a 40-26 lead. To wrap up the half, Cal freshman forward Jaylen Brown went coast-to-coast in 3.8 seconds and finished at the rim, a fitting end to a frustrating first 20 minutes of play.“All of a sudden, they kept making shots and we stopped,” Enfield said. “That was the difference in the game. You can’t get down double-digits at Cal and expect to win.”USC trailed 44-30 at halftime and like the loss against Stanford on Thursday night, never threatened in the second half as the Bears built a 20-plus point advantage. Cal wound up shooting 48 percent as Brown and fellow freshman Ivan Rabb led the way with 18 points each.The Bears made 10 3-pointers while the Trojans struggled despite getting quality shots, which, for whatever reason, led to issues on the defensive end of the floor.“We pretty much got whatever we wanted,” Jacobs said. “We just didn’t finish. A lot of shots went in and out. Whenever we don’t make shots, it translates to poor defense. That was the name of the game. We just couldn’t guard.”Coming into the night, USC had allowed its past four opponents to shoot at a combined 49.3 percent clip.The Trojans drop to .500 in conference play and are tied with Oregon State and Stanford for sixth in the Pac-12 conference. They wrap up their season with a pair of home games this week against Oregon State and Oregon.“It’s not looking too good for us,” Jacobs said. “We definitely need to regroup, and we really need these two games at home.”
Miami, Florida — There’s a group in Miami, South Florida that spend timeless hours doing multiple things – big and small – all while striving to help the life and livelihood of others. And oftentimes, while their work helps shape and change the lives of hundreds, they sit quietly in the shadows of their relentless effort in the pursuit of the happiness they helped to share and provide for others without ever being formally thanked or duly noted. These strong men work tirelessly in the shadows. They have a solid and meaningful purpose and are on a cause with a true mission: to help empower and inspire. They plant seeds of hope by giving of their resources, their professional expertise, and their valuable time. Modern day, real-life ‘Avengers’This group is known as the Alpha Rho Boule, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. Through their Foundation, these heroic men are truly the modern day, real-life ‘Avengers’ of our time, and they stand in the shadows and watch from a far while witnessing their contributions take shape. Founded in 1904 by a doctor in Philadelphia, the Boule, Sigma Pi Phi, is a professional fraternity with member Boules all over the country and internationally as well. “Member Boules across the country lend a helping hand to those who need it,” says Ricardo Forbes, a highly revered community leader, and member of The Alpha Rho Boule. “We work behind the scenes and help do our part to help support the lives of young, gifted and talented black men who have demonstrated that they have the potential to excel and exceed if only given the opportunity to do so.”FMU’s Black Male College Explorers ProgramKnowing this premise for their success, the South Florida Boule initiated a program with Florida Memorial University, south Florida’s only Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Their partnership helped to position FMU’s Black Male College Explorers Program, which serves to stem the tide of low matriculation of Black Males in institutions of higher learning. The Alpha Rho Boule Foundation and FMU’s Black Male College Explorers Program serve an average of 60 students each year. The summer program provides these students with five weeks of intensive on-campus training, seminars, and professional encouragement. The program’s curriculum is based around S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, and funding support includes room and board. Recently, financial aid/scholarships have been distributed among the Explorers Program, FMU sophomores through graduation, as well as to a medical student at Florida International University. In this past year, financial aid was also provided seniors to ensure their graduation.Dr. John T. McAdoryThe Boule Foundation is led by renowned physician, Dr. John T. McAdory. Known throughout South Florida for his successful practice in South Miami, Dr. McAdory has also made time to contribute to increasing the Black middle class by way of providing educational opportunities. It is here in this effort that he has focused the Foundation’s resources. These efforts are endorsed by the Alpha Rho Boule membership empowering the Foundation to pursue its goal of providing scholarships to young Black men through higher education careers and economic stability. Successful Black influencersThe South Florida Boule is comprised of a number of successful influencers, including prestigious lawyers, government officials, business owners, renowned physicians, and many others. These men collectively give of their time, talent and resources and work to provide mentorship, financial support, encouragement and partnerships for these young men. To date, over $154,000 has been awarded through the Alpha Rho Boule Foundation to enhance the growth of the Black middle class. These contributions to youth and education are just what the doctor ordered. And as the Alpha Rho Boule and their Foundation become more visible to the community, this group of unsung heroes are stepping out of the shadows and into their light to receive the gratitude and appreciation they truly deserve.“We’re still behind the scenes, and our goal, mission, purpose and vision remain the same, says McAdory. “Our invisible capes, if you will, are perhaps a little more visible.” And thank God they are!