When Tim Floyd stepped down as the head coach of the USC men’s basketball team amid another pay-to-player scandal, he didn’t just leave a vacant position, he left a black hole. Hackett and DeRozan were always expected to go. Taj Gibson was already flirting on the edge of the precipice, and it sucked him right in. Marcus Johnson, who petitioned for a fifth year of eligibility, tried his best to leave but wasn’t picked up in the draft. Now it’s unclear whether he’ll play next year.
First the players, then the recruits. A projected top-five class took a nose dive out of the top-25 with the rest of the division sopping up the fallout from the Trojan Chernobyl. Lamont Jones, Derrick Williams and Solomon Hill jumped ship, only to be plucked from the frigid water by Arizona. Renardo Sidney and USC had a mutual(?) parting of ways, after the scandal-wary Trojans smelled some fishy connections. Evan Smith, 6-6, a small forward from Oaks Christian, is the last holdout from the class. Smith lacks star power but should be a solid contributor…that is, if he holds out for good.
But there’s a bright star on the horizon. Remember 2010 recruit Dwayne Polee Jr.? The 6-7 forward who committed to USC before he had ever played a high school game? Word on the street was that Polee was wavering on his commitment, getting sucked into the dark-matter at the center of the post-Floyd universe. Well good news. LA Times reported today that the Westchester forward and his mother met with new USC Coach Kevin O’Neill, and he still remains committed to the Trojans. So there’s hope for the future. At least until the results come back from the NCAA investigations…
Follow the Jump to see the Polee highlight video from ’08-09. Kid has got some hops.