USC Trojans: Dewayne Dedmon

USC junior center Dewayne Dedmon announced he will leave school early to enter the 2013 NBA draft.

“It's just my time to chase my dream and go to the NBA," Dedmon said in a statement released by the university. "I had a great time at USC and it was a good experience. I had some ups and downs and learned a lot and believe it is best for me to turn professional at this time. I wish USC, Andy Enfield and all my teammates all the best moving forward. Andy is a good guy and I believe he will do great things here."

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US PresswireUSC junior Dewayne Dedmon (14) is ranked by ESPN as the No. 16 center and No. 122 overall NBA draft prospect.
Dedmon was a curious case during his time at USC -- a raw 7-foot, 255-pound player with agility and quickness -- but things just never really came together in his time with the Trojans.

In 2012-13, he started 29 of 31 games and averaged 6.7 points and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per game. He also led the Trojans in blocks (66) and steals (34).

Dedmon was one of two USC players who were forced to sit out the Pac-12 tournament opener last month after being involved in an incident in Spokane (Wash.) following the season finale against Washington State.

In the 2011-12 season, his first with the Trojans, Dedmon battled injuries but still managed to start 20 games while averaging 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds.

Dedmon came to USC after two and a half years at Antelope Valley College, only one of which was spent playing basketball. Dedmon did not play basketball until his senior year at Lancaster (Calif.) Lancaster High due to religious reasons.

Dedmon is ranked by ESPN as the No. 16 center and No. 122 overall draft prospect.

Dewayne DedmonAP Photo/Jason RedmondGetting the ball in the basket has been a chore for Dewayne Dedmon and the rest of USC's basketball team, which is averaging a paltry 53.9 points per game this season.

LOS ANGELES -- After losing five of their top seven scorers from last season’s team, the USC men’s basketball team was expected to struggle offensively. When team leader Jio Fontan went down with a knee injury during a preseason exhibition game in Brazil, thoughts shifted to whether the Trojans would be able to score at all.

USC coach Kevin O’Neill echoed those sentiments during Pac-12 media day, when his said his team would continue to play tough defense, but baskets would likely be scarce. O’Neill spoke at length about how the Trojans would lean heavily on point guard Maurice Jones and how they’d go only as far as the sophomore point guard could take them.

Through 17 games, it hasn’t been very far. Jones has played much of this season as if he has been forced to literally carry the team on his back. He has been asked to play point guard and be the team’s leading scorer -- a combination that doesn’t often lead to successful offense. He has also rarely been able to catch his breath, as he has played fewer than 35 minutes in just one game this season.

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USC falls short at Cal, 53-49

December, 29, 2011
Despite a valiant second-half comeback, the USC Trojans (5-9 overall, 0-1 Pac-12) couldn't overcome the California Golden Bears (11-3, 1-0), falling 53-49 in the conference opener for both teams.

Trailing by 10 points with 5:24 to play, USC closed to 50-49 with 44 seconds remaining on the strength of an an 11-2 run. The Trojans elected to play defense rather than foul during the final Cal possession and were rewarded with a block by center Dewayne Dedmon with 10 seconds remaining. But Cal's Allen Crabbe grabbed the rebound and was fouled during a 3-point attempt, and the subsequent free throws provided the final margin.

The Trojans trailed 31-19 at halftime, thanks to another 20 minutes of offensive struggles. USC shot 33.3 percent from the field and missed all four of their 3-point attempts to go along with nine turnovers. USC shot 33.9 percent from the floor in the game and just 46.7 percent from the free-throw line.

Sophomore point guard Maurice Jones once again led the Trojans with 17 points -- the only USC player to score in double figures. He added four steals and four assists. Aaron Fuller scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds.

USC knocks off UC Riverside

November, 30, 2011
Utilizing their usual stingy defense, the USC Trojans (4-4) held UC Riverside (2-5) to just 11 points in the second half and were able to cruise to a 56-35 victory.

The 35 points were the fewest allowed by the Trojans this season, as Greg Allen (11 points, three 3-pointers) and Alexis Moore (10 points) paced them offensively. It was a balanced attack with center Dewayne Dedmon out with a foot injury, as Aaron Fuller scored nine points and Byron Wesley and Garrett Jackson each finished with eight.

Defensively, the Trojans forced 15 turnovers and held the Highlanders to 34 percent from the floor.

This was USC's second consecutive win after three straight losses, including a very disappointing defeat at the hands of Cal Poly. The Trojans will look to continue their current winning streak as they travel to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers this Saturday.

USC falls to Nebraska in double OT 

November, 14, 2011
After the USC Trojans missed shots that would have won the game at the end of regulation and the first overtime, the Nebraska Cornhuskers scored eight consecutive points in the second overtime and held on for a 64-61 win, dropping the Trojans to 1-1.

USC center Dewayne Dedmon had a chance to win the game in regulation after Aaron Fuller wrestled for an offensive rebound, getting the Trojansa final possession with 19 seconds remaining. Maurice Jones found Dedmon alone at the free-throw line with one second on the clock, but his shot bounced off the rim.

The end of the first overtime period was just as hectic. After Jones banked in a running jumper with seven seconds remaining to give USC a 54-52 lead, Nebraska was the beneficiary of a bang-bang call just across midcourt, as Toney McCray charged into USC freshman Alexis Moore, with Moore whistled for a blocking foul. The subsequent free throws knotted the game and a long 3-point attempt from Jones rattled off the rim at the buzzer.

USC hoops holds on for 66-59 win 

November, 12, 2011
It wasn’t pretty, but the USC Trojans won their season opener for the fourth consecutive season, coming away with a 66-59 victory over Cal State Northridge on Friday night.

Despite holding the Matadors to 25 percent shooting from the floor, the Trojans could never take full control of the game, thanks to 19 turnovers and missing all 15 of their 3-point attempts.

USC coach Kevin O’Neill has been adamant in his stance that the Trojans will only be as good as sophomore point guard Maurice Jones this season, and that was evident in the first game of the year. Jones didn’t have his best offensive game, as he made just one of his first 12 shots. But when Northridge clawed their way back from a 13-point deficit to take a 54-52 lead with less than four minutes remaining, Jones converted a three-point play to give the Trojans a 55-54 lead, which they would not relinquish. Jones went on to score eight of USC's final 12 points.

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