Trojans payoff coming soon

Two years ago, the state of California produced a gold mine of girl's basketball talent and it was USC which mined it most adroitly, producing a 2006 signing class that was ranked No. 1 in the country by HoopGurlz.com. Since that lofty ascension up the recruiting ranks, if the Trojans didn't have bad luck, as the old saying goes, it wouldn't have had any luck at all.

Jacki Gemelos of Stockton, Calif., the crown jewel of that glittery '06 class, suffered an ACL tear during the state high school playoffs and was redshirted. Stefanie Gilbreath of Katy, Texas, the centerpiece of the Trojans' 2007 class, also suffered an ACL tear. In between, coach Mark Trahk's team was so injury riddled during the 2006-07 season that he at one point started a walk-on, Nicole Berberet, as his lead guard.