USC hoops recruits garner postseason hardware

For USC head basketball coach Kevin O’Neill, replacing the backcourt tandem of Mike Gerrity and Dwight Lewis might not be so hard after all, as two of the Trojans’ recruits in the class of 2010, Bryce Jones of Woodland Hills, Calif., and Maurice Jones of Saginaw, Mich., appear poised to make a significant impact next season after impressive senior seasons.

But it won’t be easy. Last season, Lewis, who became USC’s all-time leader in games played, led the Trojans in scoring with 13.8 points per game, and Gerrity was the lone player to post a positive assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.8/1. Replacing that kind of production will be a challenge, but by the sound of things, it seems as if the Joneses might be up to the challenge.

Last week, Bryce Jones, who played his senior season at Taft High School in nearby Woodland Hills received the 2010 John R. Wooden Award for the City Section, which is annually presented to the area’s most valuable player. Jones, who averaged 16.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in route to leading Taft to the L.A. City title game against Weschester, joins the ranks of former recipients and future NBA standouts Tyson Chandler, Baron Davis and Tayshaun Prince.

Yet, while such accolades are certainly impressive, fellow recruit Maurice Jones of Arthur Hill High School had an equally noteworthy senior campaign.

The 5-foot-8 Jones, who has drawn comparisons to the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year Jerome Randle from Cal, was named Associated Press Class A Player of the Year for the state of Michigan.

While leading Arthur Hill to the Class A quarterfinals, Jones posted some of the best individual numbers in state history with 30 points, 12 assists, five rebounds and four steals per game.