‘No-nonsense’ O’Neill named USC’s coach

Kevin O’Neill returned to the college ranks Saturday when he was announced as Southern California’s coach, after the school twice was turned down by Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon and once by UNLV’s Lon Kruger.

The school announced O’Neill’s hiring in an e-mail. He replaces Tim Floyd, who suddenly resigned June 9 amid allegations that he paid to have O.J. Mayo delivered to the Trojans. He said he was quitting after four seasons because he no longer had enthusiasm for his job.

O’Neill is scheduled to be introduced Monday at a campus news conference.

“We’re thrilled to have Kevin O’Neill as our men’s basketball coach,” athletic director Mike Garrett said in a statement. “I love his coaching philosophy and principles. He’s a no-nonsense coach who is very detail-oriented and prepares his teams well. He stresses defense, and I’ve always believed that defense wins championships.”

The 52-year-old coach was an assistant with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies this past season. Mayo plays for the Grizzlies. O’Neill led the Toronto Raptors to a 33-49 record in 2004.

O’Neill also had coaching stints with the New York Knicks, Detroit and Indiana.

He returns to the Pac-10 after serving as interim coach at Arizona in 2008 when Lute Olson took a leave of absence.

The Trojans went after Pitt’s Dixon and UNLV’s Kruger — as well as former Knicks and Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy — before settling on O’Neill, the Los Angeles Times reported.


U.S. men need miracle in Confederations Cup

After two dismal defeats, the U.S. men’s soccer team finds itself on the verge of elimination from a major tournament. It’s a familiar story.

The United States not only has to beat Egypt today in its final first-round match at the Confederations Cup in Rustenburg, South Africa, but also needs an improbable combination: They could advance by beating Egypt by at least three goals, and either Italy scoring three fewer goals than the United States in a loss to Brazil or the victory margins of the U.S. and Brazil totaling seven or more.

“We’ve talked about this whole tournament as a test run for, hopefully, when we are here next year, and from the players’ standpoint we have to prepare no matter how unlikely it might be that we advance tomorrow,” Landon Donovan said. “It might happen next year that we win the first game or tie the first game and have a bad second game. And how quickly do you mentally and physically get ready for the third game?”

Since advancing to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, the U.S. team has been bounced out of the first round of the 2003 Confederations Cup, the 2006 World Cup and the 2007 Copa America.

Also: Spain set an international record with its 15th straight victory, a 2-0 win over South Africa that allowed the host nation to scrape into the Confederations Cup semifinals along with the European champion.

Spain (3-0) finished first in Group A with six points, two ahead of South Africa (1-1-1).

Las Vegas Premier lost to Sereno White 1-0 in the under-18 boys semifinals of the U.S. Youth Far West Region Championships in Lancaster, Calif.


Russia’s Tursunov nets Aegon championship

Second-seeded Dmitry Tursunov of Russia won the Aegon International championship in Eastbourne, England, with a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory over unseeded Frank Dancevic of Canada.

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark won the women’s title, defeating unseeded Virginie Razzano of France, 7-6, 7-5.

Also: German qualifier Benjamin Becker won his first ATP championship, beating Dutch wild card Raemon Sluiter 7-5, 6-3 at the Ordina Open in Den Bosch, Netherlands.

Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand became the first player to successfully defend the women’s title by beating Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer, 6-3 7-5.


Phelps wins 100 fly in personal-best time

Michael Phelps is getting ready for the U.S. championships in impressive fashion.

Phelps swam a personal-best time of 50.48 seconds in winning the 100-meter butterfly at the Canada Cup in Montreal, flirting with the world record set here four years ago by American Ian Crocker.

Phelps, competing in the pool used at the 1976 Olympics, improved on his previous best of 50.58 set in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

“This pool is still in great shape, and it’s fast too, it’s without a doubt fast,” said Phelps, who won one of his record eight gold medals in setting an Olympic record in the event last summer, the only event in which he did not establish a world record.

Phelps narrowly missed Crocker’s world record of 50.40 set during the 2005 world championships.

Also: The Molson family is poised to buy back the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.

Team owner George Gillett and Geoff Molson issued a joint statement saying they have an agreement in principle for three Molson brothers to purchase the club.

The deal needs approval from the NHL’s board of governors, which they expect to occur by late August.

Former New York Islanders defenseman Kenny Jonsson is retiring after a 19-year hockey career that included two Olympic championships with Sweden.

The 34-year-old spent the last four seasons with the Swedish club Rogle, and in May he captained the Swedish team that finished third at the world championships.

Jonsson played in 705 NHL games, compiling 64 goals and 207 assists in 10 seasons, mostly with the Islanders.

Matteo Manassero completed a dominant week at Formby Golf Club by winning the British Amateur, making the 16-year-old the youngest player and first Italian to win golf’s oldest amateur tournament.

Manassero seized control toward the end of the morning round to take a 3-up lead, then pulled away from Sam Hutsby of England to win, 4 and 3.

Tony Martin of Germany won the eighth stage of the Tour of Switzerland, and Tadej Valjavec of Slovenia clung to the overall lead.

Martin finished the 113-mile route that ended in Crans-Montana in 4 hours, 12 minutes, 31 seconds to record Team Columbia-Highroad’s sixth stage win in the Tour de France warmup.

Icon Project beat Criticism by 13 lengths in the $245,000 New York Stakes for fillies and mares at Belmont Park.

Trained by Marty Wolfson, the 4-year-old ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.38. She earned $150,000 for the Star Crown Stable, paying $13.20, $4.80 and $3.40. Criticism, the 7-5 favorite, returned $3.40 and $2.30. Winning Point paid $2.50 to show.

Grazen held off Misremembered to take the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif.

Under Rafael Bejarano, Grazen ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.40 and won by two lengths.

Grazen paid $5.20, $2.60 and $2.40, while Misremembered, with Victor Espinoza up, returned $3.40 and $2.60. Quindici Man paid $3.20 to show.

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