Senior guard Jio Fontan was supposed to be the unquestioned leader for the USC men’s basketball team this year.
Now, he’s out for the season.
“It’s a blow for our team,” USC coach Kevin O’Neill told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a huge blow for our team.”
After landing awkwardly in an exhibition game in Brazil on Tuesday, Fontan flew back to Los Angeles to have an MRI on his knee where it was discovered he had torn his ACL.
Before the injury, Fontan led USC in scoring in Brazil, notching 29 points and 28 points respectively during USC’s five-game preseason tour of the country.
Fontan transferred to USC last season after playing at Fordham. After becoming eligible, he was instrumental in the Trojans’ second-half surge that landed them in the “First Four” round of the NCAA tournament.
He was one of two returning starters for a team that lost forward Alex Stepheson, guard Marcus Simmons and forward Nikola Vucevic to the NBA.
With Fontan out, sophomore guard Maurice Jones will likely assume point guard duties, with transfer junior guard Greg Allen, freshman Byron Wesley and freshman Alexis Moore vying for the other starting spot.