Speech: Jeremy Wright’s speech at the Parliament and Internet Conference

first_imgGood afternoon everyone. And thank you to everybody who has contributed to the debates today. Finding the right relationship between technology and Government is an age old question. Especially how we strike the right balance between innovation and regulation. Because technology transforms everything in its path. Our legal frameworks, our ethical values and the everyday norms of our society.The invention of the printing press required new ways of thinking about copyright and the ownership of ideas.The ‘dark and satanic mills’ of the Industrial Revolution led to questions around public health and working conditions.And the invention of the automobile required us to develop frameworks for speed and safety, beyond a man with a red flag.So we always need to be thinking about not just what laws we need, but also about who we are online and what values that we hold dear.Of course we should not do this in a way that stifles innovation and tech. After all, big names from around the world are increasingly seeing the UK as the place to be. In 2017, UK venture capital investment exceeded Germany, France and Sweden combined.We have the third highest global investment in tech after the USA and China. And we have already become a natural destination for the largest and most innovative companies to operate and invest. Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM and many more firms have bases in the UK, are expanding them, or will soon be setting them up. And these big companies thrive because they are alongside a rich and diverse ecosystem of tech start ups and scale ups. We value tech companies for their ability to solve problems in ways that we never thought possible. And we don’t want to put up unnecessary barriers to innovation.But there is also a role for policy makers too, if we are to have an Internet based on democratic legitimacy and consent. This is at the heart of our Digital Charter. Government, industry and civil society working together to agree norms and rules for the online world and putting them into practice.I want to leave lots of time for questions but before I do so I wanted to update you on the work we are doing as part of the Charter.Firstly, online harms. As our digital economy grows, the online harms we face become greater and more sophisticated. The Government has been clear that more needs to be done to tackle online harms. The Internet Safety Strategy is a core pillar of the Charter, which sets out the Government’s ambition to make Britain the safest place in the world to be online.We published our Green Paper on the Internet Safety Strategy in October 2017. This provided details relating to the draft social media code of practice. When published, the statutory code of practice will provide guidance to social media providers on appropriate reporting mechanisms and moderation processes to tackle abusive content.By setting out clear standards for industry, we will make sure there is improved support for users online, and that more companies are taking consistent action to tackle bullying and insulting conduct. But although we have had success working with companies at a voluntary level, more needs to be done to address harms occurring across a growing range of platforms.The Government has therefore committed to publishing a joint DCMS-Home Office White Paper in the winter, setting out a range of legislative and non-legislative measures detailing how we will tackle online harms.Secondly, disinformation. Disinformation, along with misinformation, is one of the most significant issues of our age. We have all seen internationally how it can sow discord and pose a risk to free and fair elections. As the digital revolution continues to transform our lives, the potential to disrupt our civil society and democratic institutions becomes greater than ever.In our Digital Charter we set out a clear goal to tackle disinformation and misinformation here in the UK. One of the ways we will do this is by giving people the digital literacy and critical thinking skills needed to properly assess online content.This includes ensuring that these skills are taught in schools and colleges, but also thinking about what more we can do to empower adults to recognise deliberately misleading or false content. And it is encouraging to see so much excellent work underway in this space outside of Government too.Several news organisations, such as the BBC, the Guardian, and the Times, have developed valuable resources to raise young people’s awareness of disinformation and develop their critical thinking skills. It is true that the tech sector has also been taking action, especially Twitter, to make mounting disinformation campaigns more difficult and costly.This has included the development of algorithms to spot fake accounts and the deletion of hundreds of thousands of suspect accounts, many linked to hostile states such as Russia.But as new technologies like deep fakes mean we need to stay ahead of the game and fight for truth and accuracy online. Our democracy depends on it.Thirdly, data. There has been a huge programme of work in recent years to make sure we are promoting its open and transparent use. In the Government we are in a privileged position, as we collect a vast quantity of high quality data as part of the services we run. The Government has already published over 44,000 datasets on data.gov.uk. And this unprecedented level of openness has created many benefits.But whilst open data is something that we must aspire to, we also need to use it in a safe and ethical way. Because the rise of AI driven products and services have posed new questions that will impact us all.Is it right to use technology to be able to determine somebody’s likelihood of reoffending? Is it right to use a programme to make hiring decisions? And is it right to have an algorithm to dictate who should be saved in a car crash? This is not science fiction. But real questions that require clear and definitive answers from policy makers.That’s why we recently established our new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. The Centre is a world-class advisory body to make sure data and AI delivers the best possible outcomes for society, in support of its innovative and ethical use.This is the first body of its kind to be established anywhere in the world and represents a landmark moment for data ethics in the UK and internationally.I am pleased that today I have been able to announce the new Board for this Centre. We have already announced that Roger Taylor will be chairing the Board. Roger is a successful entrepreneur and passionate advocate for using data to improve lives and I know that he will do an excellent job.And as it is clear today, the Board will include many other world renowned experts and leaders in their field. The Board will bring their immense and varied expertise to tackle some of the greatest policy issues of our time.Finally, we are also working hard to make sure we have a secure Internet, with protection against those who wish to cause harm.Nearly half of businesses suffered a cyber breach or attack in the past 12 months and this is a threat that will only get more pressing as businesses and services continue to move online. Some of the solutions are regulatory. We’ve implemented the new Data Protection Act.This gives people more control than ever before over their data, and requires organisations to have appropriate cyber security measures in place to protect personal data.Some of the solutions are technical. For example, the NCSC’s Active Cyber Defence programme has had a real impact in reducing malicious emails and web domains at a national level. And some of the solutions rest on working closely in partnership with industry, to encourage organisations to act in a way that protects them online.We are continuing to promote the safe and secure use of data through targeted advice for businesses like the Small Business Guide and the Cyber Essentials scheme. And we are working to improve and expand cyber security skills at alllevels; from schools to degree level.Only last week we launched a new phase of our Cyber Discovery programme to find the cyber security experts of the future. This work is vital. Because a free Internet can only flourish if it is safe and secure.It is fitting that we are here in Parliament today to talk about the future of technology. Because the values that can be found in Parliament at its best; democracy, transparency and freedom, should be at the heart of the Internet and emerging technologies.We have a unique chance to make sure that we strike the right balance. Between promoting our pioneering tech industry and preventing those who cause harm. That is our big question and I’m looking forward to hearing your views on the answers.Thank you very much.last_img read more

Q&A with Alicia Oeser

first_imgHarvard President Drew Faust recently announced that new resources would be allocated to bolster the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR), which was created in 2003. The Harvard Gazette sat down with the office’s new director, Alicia Oeser, to discuss the dual mission of providing support services to those who have experienced sexual assault and offering education and outreach programs to decrease the incidence of sexual assault on campus. Oeser also helps staff the recently created Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Violence.GAZETTE: Can you describe the office’s mission?OESER: OSAPR has a dual mission. The primary focus is responding to survivors, anyone who has already experienced a sexual assault, who has been in an abusive relationship, experienced stalking, harassment, anything that falls under that umbrella. We offer immediate crisis counseling; short term, one-on-one conversations where we check in with someone and hopefully get them through their roughest moments. If long-term therapy seems like it would be helpful, we refer them somewhere else. We’ll walk students directly over to Student Mental Health Services. We’ll recommend someone we’ve worked with in the past so that there’s some sort of personal connection, and I think that that helps build rapport.We also offer medical advocacy and help students navigate their legal options. If somebody chooses to go to the hospital following a sexual assault, Harvard University Police Department and Harvard University Health Services are both trained to call OSAPR. We will come to campus, wherever the students happen to be, and drive them to the hospital so they don’t have to go in a squad car or in an ambulance. Then we will stay with them, make sure they are comfortable, make sure they know what their rights are, and then we get them home. We also follow up with them to make sure if there is anything else they need we are offering it, although it’s not infrequent that somebody says, “No thank you, I just want to move on.” But we’ll still maintain a relationship where we check in to say: “Is everything OK? Have you changed your mind? Is there anything you want to come in and talk about?” So we try to give people multiple connection points.Assistance with navigating the legal system might include helping with filing a police report, or going to court for a restraining order, order of protection, no-contact order, the whole gamut of what somebody might need in terms of protective services. If somebody wanted to pursue a criminal justice case and go through the process of working with prosecutors, we would help them do that.I think it’s important that people know those services are available to anyone in the University community. Graduate and professional students are welcome and encouraged to call us.The second mission of the office is to decrease incidents of sexual assault, and we do that through prevention work, including education and outreach programs. All freshmen entering Harvard College will have exposure to the OSAPR. They see a skit about healthy relationships and consent followed by a 45-minute workshop led by trained peer educators. They discuss the different tools you can use to promote safety on campus using “bystander intervention,” an approach that gets students to think about all the points where they can intervene before a sexual assault occurs.We also work with a range of student groups and sports teams. They reach out to us, and we count on them to do that because it’s a pretty tough sell to say: “Come talk about rape.” People aren’t lining up out the door to have that conversation. It’s such an emotional, tough topic. We have to find other ways to reach students, and getting their peers involved is critical.We also meet with sororities, fraternities, and social clubs, which surprises people. This year we will have worked with every single final club, and that is voluntary.GAZETTE: Can you tell me more about the hotline?OESER: The hotline is in operation 24/7. That’s weekends, holidays, summer, anything. The idea is that people don’t have to sit on questions, anxiety, fear alone. If something comes up at 3 in the morning, if somebody is studying and can’t focus because of something that happened a long time ago, and they just need to talk about it, we are there. If someone had a conversation with their friend and they are concerned and don’t know who to talk to, and they don’t want to betray their friend’s privacy, we are there. The hotline isn’t just for emergencies for people who were sexually assaulted moments ago. The hotline is for anyone. It’s meant to be a full-service resource.GAZETTE: Can you tell me about the student groups that are involved with your office?OESER: The first group is Response peer counseling, and they specialize in sexual assault. The idea is that if people are intimidated by staff or are not comfortable calling us, there’s another option out there for them. The second group is CAARE, which stands for consent, assault awareness, and relationship educators. The CAARE students are our peer educators, who are responsible for programming and curriculum design. The third student group is Harvard Men Against Rape. They get together and talk about events in the news and violence in pop culture and how that relates to campus life and how masculinity is a factor in this. Anyone who wants to be part of this group is welcome. But the idea is to encourage the presence of men as agents who challenge the attitudes of other men and society as a whole in order to reduce sexual violence.GAZETTE: Why is it important that students can come to the office confidentially?OESER: OSAPR provides one of the few confidential reporting options for students and others. Because of our Title IX obligations as a University, there aren’t a lot of spaces where that’s possible.Certainly student mental health services, medical providers, and any clergy members will maintain confidentiality. Other staff — for instance, tutors and proctors, people college students maybe see as their front line — keep information private but may need to share it with a Title IX coordinator. Sharing information with tutors, proctors, and other staff puts the University on notice, so they may have to respond.In contrast, when you come to OSAPR, our staff is legally allowed to keep your information confidential. We maintain only anonymous statistics for the Clery Act so individual student information stays between the student and OSAPR. It’s not something that moves anywhere beyond here. Giving people this confidential option is really significant in increasing the number of reports that we are able to receive. Making sure that people can discuss their situation confidentially helps them know it’s OK to make that first phone call.GAZETTE: How is the office’s role different from the roles of the University’s Title IX officer or the Title IX coordinators at each of Harvard’s Schools?OESER: The idea behind having both advocacy services at OSAPR as well as Title IX coordinators in the Schools is to provide students with multiple options at Harvard. Mia Karvonides, the University’s Title IX officer, is the expert on Title IX, and maintains an open-door policy to discuss the role of her office and the role that the Title IX coordinators play at each of Harvard’s Schools. Unquestionably, I can say that having Title IX coordinators at each of the Schools increases options for survivors, should they decide to come forward.Both the School-based Title IX coordinators and OSAPR are dedicated to providing students with the support they need. Both should be well known as options for students.But our office, OSAPR, is in a unique position. It isn’t our job to sort out the facts when a student tells us about an assault, which means we do not have to remain neutral. We take what they tell us at face value and figure out how we can support them. When somebody sits down in front of us, we are going to talk to them about what brought them in. We are going to have a conversation based on how they respond. Our job is to say: “We believe you. What do you need now?” And make sure that that’s available. We can help students access options or accommodations, including Title IX coordinators, but because we are confidential there is no obligation to move forward in any capacity beyond what the student chooses. We are meant to be a safe space for survivors, and we do this through a commitment to confidential, non-directive service.GAZETTE: What is the most important thing you would want people to know about your work?OESER: I think one of the easiest ways to encapsulate this is to remind people that sexual assault is something that can happen to anyone. Your race, your cultural background, your religious background, your gender, your educational background, who your family is, doesn’t matter when you are talking about sexual assault. The fact that this can happen to anyone means that this matters to everyone.The way we are invested in this conversation is by both supporting the people who unfortunately have already been there, and then helping to navigate a conversation that makes it stop. Because if we are all invested in this, that means we can all do something to stop it.GAZETTE: How did you get involved in this kind of work?OESER: I started doing this kind of work eight years ago on the Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline. I was getting my master’s in sociology at DePaul University, and I took this class [where] the woman who ran the city’s domestic hotline spoke. I had so many questions for her during class. Afterwards she came up to me and gave me her card and told me I should think about this kind of work. I kept thinking about it and realized it made sense.I identify as a survivor and, at the time, I was really just realizing that. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it would be great to help create community and safe spaces for people, so I decided to volunteer for the hotline. I had no intention of turning it into a career, but the minute I took my first phone call it felt right. I remember thinking, “I can do this.” That was it. I’ve never wanted to do anything else.I also worked at DePaul as their coordinator of sexual violence support services. It was a brand-new office. I was the first person to serve in the role. It was an amazing experience to get to build the program from the ground up, but night and day from coming to Harvard, where there’s already something in place. Later, I ran a transitional housing program for women with children who left abusive homes. I think that’s probably the hardest job I’ve ever had. You have to redefine success when you are looking at intersections of poverty and tremendous amounts of trauma in someone’s life. It taught me a lot about how to think creatively in finding solutions for people that are going to work for them, not solutions that are going to work for me.The last job I had before coming to Harvard was [as] the LGBT and hate crimes specialist at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office [in Illinois], where I also worked on sex crimes. There, I had the opportunity to learn the legal system inside and out and learn what the criminal justice system looks like. I feel lucky. I’ve been on the hotline, I’ve been up all night with people, I’ve been to court with them, and I’ve helped them navigate success at a college. I feel like all of that has informed what I am going to be able to do here. I am grateful for what that experience has taught me, and I am glad to get to put it to use here.last_img read more

Native Plant Garden

first_imgNative plant gardens reduce the use of inputs like pesticides and fertilizer, positively impacting the environment. Native plants also provide food and habitats for a variety of native wildlife.One Macon, Georgia, garden evolved from a research garden to a native plant demonstration garden run by the Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program, part of University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.This garden was established in the 1990s as a variety trial garden on the campus of Wesleyan College. When the trial ended, Master Gardeners repurposed the garden into a demonstration garden using native plant materials. When construction started on the college campus, the Master Gardeners relocated as many of the plants as possible from the full-sun demonstration garden area to a shaded area at Macon’s Museum of Arts and Sciences.The process took a year, but the hard work and diligent efforts of the Master Gardeners paid off. Central Georgia Master Gardeners from Bibb, Houston, Twiggs, and Crawford counties worked tirelessly to lay out, label and map the garden beds; provide appropriate, informative signage; and address the natural landscape challenges of the new location, like shade from surrounding trees and erosion of the sloping landscape during heavy rainfall.The installation of shade-tolerant native plants, undergrowth plantings to prevent erosion and a small retention pond to catch rainwater have played vital roles in ensuring the establishment and success of the garden, now the “Native Plant Garden,” on the museum grounds. Today, the garden thrives in its new location.The garden is open to the public and museum visitors. Surrounded by walking trails, it is an ideal educational opportunity and is frequently part of tours for numerous school groups. The garden is used by the resident naturalists and educators at the museum, and is used to teach youth about ethnobotany, or knowledge about native plants by indigenous cultures. The walking trails are often teeming with adults, children and pets.In 2013, the garden received the Native Landscape Award at the South Georgia Native Plant and Wildflower Symposium. To explore the Native Plant Garden, visit the Museum of Arts and Sciences located at 4182 Forsyth Road in Macon. For more information about Georgia’s native plants, visit the Georgia Native Plant Society online at gnps.org.For information on how to plant a native garden, read the “Native Plants for Georgia” publication series on the UGA Extension publication website at extension.uga.edu/publications.last_img read more

Florida ready for data integration innovation

first_imgFlorida ready for data integration innovation February 1, 2006 Regular News Who’s involved Florida ready for data integration innovation to information from multi-agencies computers Jan Pudlow Senior Editor The Article V Technology Board pulled off what it considers a remarkable feat.Techies and policymakers from 17 state agencies forgot about the different logos on their business cards and guarding their own turfs and agreed to work together for the greater good: figuring out how to make computers talk to each other across agency lines so judges have accurate information at their fingertips to make good decisions in cases.The outcome is an unprecedented blueprint for sharing information that promises to be smarter, quicker, and cheaper — all spelled out in a January 2006 final report to the governor, Senate president, House speaker, and Florida Supreme Court chief justice.The next step is for Second Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Charles Francis, the board’s chair, to explain the recommendations to lawmakers during legislative committee meetings. His hope is that legislators will fund the effort, which includes a permanent statewide governing board with authority to compel further cooperation among agencies, as well as 20 judicial circuit boards with authority to spend money generated by court clerk recording fees for technology needs on all counties within a circuit, a major shift from current policy.“incorporating the recommendations of the board, the State of Florida can accomplish something that no other state has been able to accomplish so far. That accomplishment can be the integration of disparate systems at a level never before achieved,” according to an executive summary of the report.James McMillan, principal court technology consultant at the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, VA, has read the Florida report and agrees the effort is unprecedented.“Florida is the largest and most disparate state to date to fully endorse the concept of communicating justice rather than simply data gathering,” McMillan said. “The great advantage to the Florida approach is that it saves local working systems that are both well-tested and fully operational. This maximizes the taxpayers’ investment by reusing and sharing that information between these systems and agencies. And, when information is shared, justice improves because offenders, as well as innocent persons, can be identified and their full records provided.”If approved by the legislature, the groundwork has been laid to allow players in the court system to share information with each other, as well as other participating agencies through an integrated technology system.“It’s so technical that the average person on the street doesn’t realize how it’s done,” said Judge Francis. They just want it done, he said, and that is to share information on their computer screens.The greater good of the board’s goal to a judge like Francis is to have complete and accurate information at his fingertips about everything from an out-of-town defendant’s prior record at a weekend first appearance hearing to a child’s school record in dependency court.The board’s recommendations call for no new systems, no new hardware, no bids, and no vendors. What’s new is a sea change of collaboration that involves mixing funds and information-sharing that allows agencies’ existing computer systems to talk to each other.“The board has found that state court system entities and other participants that will not agree to work together is the most common impediment to integration and progress. For reasons of ‘security’ or the feeling that data is too valuable to be shared freely, or too proprietary to be seen by others is the general response given for not cooperating in this regard,” the report said.But great strides were made in cooperation and collaboration among agencies during a total of 50 public board meetings and subcommittee meetings since August 2004, said Francis. Sharing Information Boosts Public Safety “We have to think about everyone. That’s what is different,” Judge Francis said.Everyone includes sheriffs’ deputies who log booking information at the jail.“One of the real benefits is the ability of a judge sitting on the bench to have the complete story about a defendant,” said Duval County Sheriff John Rutherford, a member of the board. “What that means is greater public safety.”Right now, just in the court system alone, there are 798 different data bases and a minimum of 1,500 distinct data bases when you add in other participating state agencies, said Terry Brown, legislative staff director for the board.The solution spelled out in the board’s report recommends GJXML (Extensible Markup Language to transport criminal data) and LegalXML (Extensible Markup Language to transport civil data) as standards and protocols to be used by all state and local organizations transporting information. The standards serve as translators from one agency’s computer system to another.As McMillan, the national expert, noted: “The endorsement by Florida of the U.S. Department of Justice Global XML Data Model allows the state to obtain federal funding to support the effort.”Not to get too technical here, but the key is that no control is taken from participating agencies. The philosophy embraced by the board is to accommodate others with information that is public record, while keeping confidential that which agencies are statutorily required to do.“The culture of the Florida Legislature has always been to throw money at agency problems. Agencies get money and solve their own problems. Then they find out a lot of other people need access to that information and they have to go back and retrofit their systems. That’s the culture we are changing,” said Brown.“This will be the largest integrated effort undertaken — ever.”The key to making the plan work, Judge Francis said, is the creation of a state board — which would include a Florida Bar appointee and a chair appointed by the chief justice — that will have the authority to order the various entities to continue to cooperate.“We want the legislature to say this board has done enough to bring everything together and fund a permanent state governance board and judicial governance boards with adequate authority, staffing, and funding to carry on the work we have begun,” Francis said. A Funding Policy Shift And Working Out the Details In addition, funding oversight would occur at the judicial circuit level. In a major departure from the current scheme, a $2 recording fee now collected and spent at the county level would be administered on a judicial circuit level by a committee comprised of the state attorney, public defender, and chief judge. This is especially critical in multi-county circuits where smaller, rural counties do not generate sufficient recording fees to pay for technology.A living document the board staff is still working on is a comprehensive, searchable database called a Catalog of Common Data Elements, which Jim Reynolds, information systems project administrator with the board, says “puts some sanity into all the pieces of information” so that they can be shared across agency lines.Reynolds described the ongoing process of creating the central repository as compiling a “Sears wish list of data elements” that codes information agencies are willing to share.Judge Francis added it is like “the catalog number for what we want to buy.”Who should have access to that information is still a work in progress.Another initiative of the board is to develop a “unified statute table” for all court system entities and other participants. Now, out of necessity, each state attorney in Florida has developed a proprietary “table of charges” developed for their own automated systems, but the case filing information sent from the state attorney to the court clerk cannot always be accommodated by the clerk’s system. This often results in incomplete information the clerk sends to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. And adjudication and plea bargain dispositions from the court often do not match the original charges and statutory references.“The most important problem is that a one-to-one relationship between the criminal incident and a single Florida statute number being used to represent that violation does not exist,” the report said.Another pending issue is the need for a “unique personal identifier” that could be used to link individuals in dissimilar types of cases.“There is currently no single method of identifying individuals involved in court cases (criminal or noncriminal) in any state including Florida,” the report said, adding that “more research, much discussion, and consensus-building will be necessary (by a lot of agencies) before a solution can be finalized for submission to the legislature.”The board recommends a change in judicial rules that would provide “additional information necessary to positively identify an individual, and that the clerks be assigned the responsibility for collecting and maintaining that additional information.”If you are interested in the technical details, the report is available on the board’s Web site at www.articleVtechboard.state.fl.us. Plan would provide judges with instant access Agencies that appointed staff to work with the Article V Technology Board include: Office of the State Courts Administrator, Florida Public Defender Association, Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptroller, Florida Association of Counties, Florida Legislature Division of Statutory Revision, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Department of Corrections, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Florida Department of Management Services, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Florida Department of Children and Families, Florida Department of Revenue, Florida Department of Health, Florida Department of Education, Chief Financial Officer of Florida, and the Florida Sheriffs Association.last_img read more

Delay on City plans

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Trojans’ comeback attempt falls short

first_imgTurnover, turnover, followed by six straight misses.That’s how the USC men’s basketball team began Sunday night’s home matchup against No. 25 San Diego State, a game that ended in a 66-60 defeat for the Trojans.Added boost · Junior forward Ari Stewart came off the bench and nailed three of five 3-point attempts to cut into San Diego State’s lead. – Corey Marquetti | Daily TrojanUSC got off to an abysmal start, trailing 18-5 midway through the first half. That gap eventually reached 19 points at 29-10 before USC went on a 13-6 run to make it 35-23 going into the halftime break.“The biggest thing is the way we came out of the gate,” USC coach Kevin O’Neill said. “We can’t be down 19 in the first half at home and really expect to fight hard enough to get back into it.”The Trojans shot just 8-31 (26 percent) from the floor in the first half. USC missed its first six 3-point attempts and was outrebounded by six early on even with a major height advantage.“We’ve got to start converting, shooting the ball better,” O’Neill said. “I liked our shot selection for the most part.”But the Trojans did fight back in the second half, going on an 11-2 run to cut SDSU’s advantage to 37-34. From there, the two teams exchanged baskets back and forth, with USC even taking the lead 41-39 with 13:32 remaining.“How we came out in the second half is how we’ve got to start the game,” junior forward Dewayne Dedmon said.Critical mental mistakes down the stretch, however, doomed the USC comeback. With 2:18 remaining and the Trojans down 56-55, junior center Omar Oraby was called for a technical foul for making contact with Aztec guard Jamaal Franklin after the whistle blew. The score quickly ballooned to 61-55, an unreachable deficit with so little time remaining. In the closing moments, sophomore guard Byron Wesley committed an intentional foul in an apparent fit of anger.“We’ve got a bunch of new guys,” O’Neill said. “We did all the right things down the stretch against Texas in a tight game. In this situation, the immaturity of the emotional stuff — you can’t overcome that in a tight game against a good team. It’s not acceptable, it’s not professional, it’s not winning basketball.”Senior point guard Jio Fontan was quick to shoulder some of the blame for failing to keep the rest of the team composed down the stretch.“It’s me and K.O.,” Fontan said. “Got a lot more to do with me than K.O. because I’m on the court, and I’ve got to do a better job of controlling the guys on the court and being in control myself.”Senior forward Eric Wise led the Trojans in scoring for the fourth time in six games, putting up 14 points and seven rebounds in the loss, which dropped USC to 3-3 on the season. O’Neill was highly complimentary of Wise’s play following the game.“He’s a heck of a player,” O’Neill said. “He does it all — scores, rebounds, assists, playmaker, [is a] smart player. Got a chance to have a really good year in his senior season. He’s a guy that is probably our No. 2 playmaker behind Jio. That’s why he’s so valuable to us.”USC’s backcourt, on the other hand, struggled to shoot the ball again as Fontan, Wesley and junior guard J.T. Terrell combined to shoot just 6-29 for the game.“We’re not making shots,” O’Neill said. “Our three perimeter guys shot 6-29 again. It’s tough to win with that number. I liked their shots — they’ve got to keep being aggressive, keep shooting and attacking the basket, doing the things that will help us win.”The Trojans do have a few positives to take from the game, as they recovered in the rebounding department to finish with 43 boards compared to 36 for the Aztecs. And though NBA prospect and junior guard Jamaal Franklin finished with 17 points — tied with senior guard James Rahon’s 17 for the team high — he did so on an inefficient 4-of-15 shooting.“It was a great basketball game, both teams played hard and played well,” O’Neill added. “Unfortunately, we gave into some things at the end that don’t make sense in a tight game like that, you just can’t do it.”last_img read more