Basketball player Maurice Jones plans to transfer from USC, he announced via Twitter Wednesday morning.
“In a few hours I will be on my way home … I will be looking to transfer from USC smh,” Jones tweeted.
The news comes on the heels of Jones being ruled academically ineligible for the 2012-13 season. The original plan was for the 5-foot-7 guard to return to the team after sitting out this season.
“He’ll have two years [of eligibility] left,” head coach Kevin O’Neill told the Daily Trojan last week. “What we’re looking forward to is getting [Jones] back next year after Jio [Fontan] has graduated, and stepping right into the role of being the lead guard on our team.”
That no longer appears to be the case, although nothing is finalized in the transfer process. According to a USC spokesperson, no paperwork for a transfer had been filed as of Wednesday night. O’Neill reiterated to the Daily Trojan that he supports whatever decision Jones decides to make. He also stated he could not comment any further because Jones has not officially transferred yet.
Jones, a junior from Saginaw, MI, averaged a team-leading 13 points, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game last season. He started all 32 of USC’s contests, averaging 38.2 minutes per game — good for the sixth-highest ranking in the NCAA. It remains to be seen where Jones might be interested in transferring, as he was unavailable for comment when reached by a number of publications.
ESPN Los Angeles reported Wednesday night that USC might seek to fill Jones’ scholarship with center Omar Oraby, a prospective 7-foot-2 transfer from Rice. As transfers between Division I schools must normally sit out one season, the NCAA would need to grant Oraby’s hardship waiver request for him to play immediately.