The roster for next year’s USC men’s basketball team remains in flux following the departures of one of its top would-be returning players and its most highly touted recruit.
Forward Marcus Johnson had been granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA after transferring from Connecticut but has elected to turn pro instead of returning to the Trojans, according to the Los Angeles Times. He becomes the fourth USC player to forgo his remaining eligibility to pursue a professional career, joining guard Daniel Hackett and forwards DeMar DeRozan and Taj Gibson.
Noel Johnson has also requested to be released from his letter of intent because of the ongoing NCAA investigations into USC. Johnson, rated by most scouting services as one of the top 50 incoming freshmen in the country, is the third member of USC’s once highly decorated recruiting class to pursue other opportunities. Top 10 recruit Renardo Sidney has committed next season to play at Mississippi State and forward Solomon Hill defected to Pac-10 rival Arizona.
The remaining members of USC’s recruiting class who have signed letters of intent are guard Lamont “Momo” Jones and forwards Derrick Williams and Evan Smith.
Earlier in the offseason, point guard Donte Smith decided he would transfer to Cal State San Bernardino.