Trojan guard Bryce Jones set to transfer

USC freshman guard Bryce Jones announced Tuesday that he will transfer, leaving the men’s basketball program just 18 games into the season.

“Bryce Jones has informed us of his desire to leave USC and transfer to another school,” said USC coach Kevin O’Neill in a story published on the team website. “We appreciate his contributions to our program, and we wish Bryce and his family all the best. He’s a talented player with a promising future.”

Recruited by O’Neill from Taft High School in Woodland Hills, Calif., Jones was the highest rated player in USC’s 2010 recruiting class.

He started the first 10 games this season before losing his starting position to sophomore transfer Jio Fontan from Fordham University, who became eligible Dec. 18 against Kansas.

Through 18 games, Jones, a Los Angeles native, averaged 7.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in 20.6 minutes per game.

But in a statement released by the school, Jones cited a lack of playing time, not his replacement as starting guard, as the reason for his decision to transfer.

“My family and I felt it was in my best interest to transfer, so I informed coach O’Neill of this yesterday,” Jones said. “Although my time at USC didn’t go exactly how I had hoped in terms of playing time, I appreciate the experience I was offered and wish my teammates nothing but the best in the future.”

Since receiving a technical foul in the waning minutes of the Dec. 23 game against Lehigh, Jones saw a significant drop in playing time, averaging just five minutes per game.

In the team’s most recent contest against Oregon State last Saturday, Jones played for only four minutes.