The men’s basketball team has already lost one starter and two bench players, and now they may be down one of their most versatile pieces.
Guard Julian Jacobs, who just finished his junior season at USC, told the Los Angeles Times that he will declare for the NBA draft. He has not hired an agent, though, which allows him to return to school if he chooses.
The Vertical reports that Jacobs told head coach Andy Enfield of his decision on Wednesday and that he is projected to be an early second round pick.
Jacobs was one of the primary ball handlers and a jack-of-all-trades for the Trojans. He averaged 11.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 31 minutes a game as a starter, serving as an athletic and experienced presence in the backcourt.
Jacobs was also named to the Pac-12 All-Conference First Team, the first representative from USC to receive the honor since Nikola Vucevic in 2011.
Earlier this week, redshirt junior guard Katin Reinhardt, redshirt junior forward Darion Clark and sophomore forward Malik Martin announced their intentions to transfer.
Losing Jacobs would be a major blow to the Trojans, who are bringing in several talented recruits, including guards Jonah Mathews and De’Anthony Melton. But replacing two veteran starters will be a tall task for a program looking to build upon a surprisingly successful 2015-2016 season that included their first NCAA tournament berth since 2011.
This post was updated at 10:26 p.m.