Less than two weeks ago USC announced that senior point guard Maurice Jones would sit out this season in order to take care of some academic issues, with the plan being that he would play in 2013-14.
Apparently Jones had a change of heart as he tweeted on Wednesday that he was transferring.
On a USC team depleted by injuries and won just six games last season (1-17 Pac-12), Jones led the Trojans with averages of 13.0 points and 3.5 assists per game.
With point guard Jio Fontan back after missing all of last season with a torn ACL and multiple transfers including former Wake Forest players Ari Stewart and J.T. Terrell (spent last year at Peninsula JC) and Tennessee transfer Renaldo Woolridge, Kevin O’Neill will have the depth (and talent) that last year’s team lacked.
But getting Jones back for the 2013-14 season gave USC a bit of a safety blanket (from an experience standpoint) at the point with Fontan out of eligibility after this season.
Now that’s likely gone despite Pedro Moura of ESPN Los Angeles noting that the 5-7 guard has yet to be released from his scholarship.
Also in that story it seems as if O’Neill is keeping the door open for Jones to return if he so chooses, but there’s no word as to whether or not the Saginaw, Michigan product would consider that.
USC has two point guards committed in their 2013 class in Texan Kendal Harris and Connecticut product Kahlil Dukes.
Those two become even more important to the immediate (when they arrive) future of USC basketball with Jones’ decision to leave the program.