USC has announced the suspensions of Dewayne Dedmon and James Blasczyk from all team activities for a violation of team rules.
“Separately, we are aware of the Spokane investigation into an alleged incident with those player and we are cooperating with the authorities to determine the facts. Until we learn all the facts, it would be inappropriate to comment further,” USC interim head coach Bob Cantu said in a release.
Dedmon is averaging 6.7 points and seven rebounds this season and Blasczyk is at 1.5 points and 1.2 rebounds on the year.
Judging by the tone of the statement, it’s safe to assume that the two players are suspended for their alleged role in an altercation in downtown Spokane earlier this week, following USC’s 76-51 loss at Washington State.
While no players were named in the report following the incident, one person describes someone involved in the brawl as “7-foot, 260 pounds and the center for USC.” That’s a description that could describe both Dedmon and Blasczyk. Dedmon is listed as 7-foot, 255 pounds and Blasczyk is listed at 7-1, 260 pounds.
This is a tough break for the Trojans, especially this close to the Pac-12 Conference tournament. Dedmon is a consistent contributor and Blasczyk provided the post depth that USC sorely needs. With other serious cases of brawls involving college basketball players popping up this season — most notably involving Wyoming’s Luke Martinez — it’s impossible to know what’s going to happen to these two. The investigation will determine that and I think it’s fair to wait and let all the facts come out before passing judgment.
But from an on-court perspective, this is a huge hit to the post depth of the Trojans, who now have to rely on 7-2 Omar Oraby even more. The Trojans were lucky to have three seven-footers on their roster. Now they’ll be lucky to get one of the two back for the Pac-12 Tournament.
USC opens the tournament on Wednesday against Utah.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten