Byron Wesley, Jarett Upchurch

USC guard Byron Wesley to transfer for final season of eligibility

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The first season of the Andy Enfield era at USC was a difficult one to say the least, with the Trojans finishing the season with an overall record of 11-21 and winning just two Pac-12 games. A bright spot for USC was guard Byron Wesley, who played nearly 35 minutes per game and posted averages of 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest.

And while those numbers weren’t enough to get Wesley a spot on any of the Pac-12’s all-conference teams, they were a noticeable improvement on his numbers in 2012-13.

Unfortunately for USC, Wesley has decided to transfer for his final season of collegiate eligibility. The 6-foot-5 Wesley announced the decision via his Twitter account, and upon graduating this summer he’ll be eligible to play at another school immediately.

Wesley reached double figures in 26 of the 30 games he played in this season, scoring a season-high 31 in a win over Northern Arizona on November 15. That was one of two games in which Wesley scored 31 points this past season, the second of which being a win at Washington State on March 6.

Wesley shot 46.7% from the field, 33.8% from three and 71.8% from the foul line as a junior.

USC will be a young team next season, something that was bound to be the case with or without Wesley in the rotation. A solid recruiting class led by point guard Jordan McLaughlin will have the opportunity to earn minutes (especially front court players Malik Price-Martin and Jabari Craig), and rising sophomores Julian Jacobs and Nikola Jovanovic both factored into the rotation in 2013-14.

USC also adds UNLV transfer Katin Reinhardt, who sat out last season per NCAA transfer rules.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown:

Niang, Morris lead No. 14 Iowa State past No. 24 Texas

Iowa State forward Georges Niang drives past Texas guard Tevin Mack, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After falling at Texas Tech for the second straight season midweek, No. 14 Iowa State needed to bounce back with No. 24 Texas visiting Hilton Coliseum. The return of Jameel McKay, who was suspended for two games, certainly helped the Cyclones and the play of Georges Niang and Monte Morris was key as well. But the biggest difference on this night was the fact that Iowa State was able to limit the effectiveness of Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor.

 

Taylor scored just nine points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field, and with Morris and Niang scoring 24 points apiece the Cyclones won by the final score of 85-75.

Taylor had multiple opportunities to make plays around the basket thanks to his ability to beat defenders off the bounce, but he struggled to finish. Add in a 0-for-4 night from three, and Texas’ most dangerous offensive option was unable to duplicate his performance in the first meeting between the two teams. In Texas’ 94-91 overtime win over the Cyclones January 12, Taylor scored 28 points and dished out six assists with just one turnover, shooting 11-for-17 from the field.

Four Longhorns finished in double figures, with Tevin Mack and Javan Felix scoring 18 apiece, but with Morris decisively winning the point guard matchup Texas was unable to pick up the win on the road.

For Iowa State the aforementioned tandem of Morris and Niang performed as they did in the first meeting, which should come as no surprise. What helped them, especially when it came to Texas attacking the basket, was the presence of McKay. McKay finished the game with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 22 minutes of action, and to have their best interior defender back on the floor certainly helped the Cyclones on this night.

With their lack of depth Iowa State’s margin for error is small, especially when it comes to foul trouble, injuries and disciplinary reasons. Even with Texas’ size advantage Iowa State outscored them in the paint 48-34, and McKay’s defensive ability factored into that. The Cyclones can put points on the board with the best of them, but at some point they’ll need to string together stops as the games get even bigger.

Iowa State managed to do that down the stretch, with Morris and Niang running the show offensively. And that’s a good formula to be able to rely upon as the season approaches its most important month.