Roster upheaval could be in offing
USC’s basketball roster could be in for a makeover.
Will forward DeMar DeRozan be a one-and-done? Will juniors Daniel Hackett and Taj Gibson be back? What will incoming recruit Renardo Sidney score on his SAT?
Those are a few of the questions that should be answered in the coming weeks.
“It’s something I haven’t really thought about,” DeRozan said after he scored 18 points in a 74-69 loss to Michigan State that eliminated the Trojans from the NCAA tournament Sunday. “I’m still dwelling on this loss. I’ll sit down with Coach [Tim Floyd] and my family and see how it looks.”
DeRozan could be the third USC freshman in the last two seasons to jump to the NBA draft. He is projected as a first-round pick.
“The whole opportunity I got this year has helped me,” DeRozan said. “A lot of freshmen I know didn’t get a chance to make it to the NCAA tournament. I got a lot of friends playing in the NIT, and they probably will never get to experience the NCAA like I did.”
Hackett and Gibson also said they would make a decision later.
Floyd leaned heavily on freshmen in the Michigan State game because of the Spartans’ size -- they led the nation in rebound margin -- and Gibson’s foul troubles.
Leonard Washington, who is 6 feet 7, replaced wing Marcus Simmons in the starting lineup and 6-10 Nikola Vucevic played 22 minutes off the bench.
“It’s a rebounding game, and they just pummel people,” Floyd said of Michigan State.
Washington scored eight consecutive USC points in the first half after Gibson got in foul trouble. He finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
“I had to pick up the slack when the big man got in trouble,” Washington said.
Vucevic had six points and four rebounds. Michigan State finished with a slight edge in rebounding, 36-30.
USC made only one of 10 three-point shots. Michigan State was six for 13 from beyond the arc.
Gibson was 10 for 10 from the field against Boston College in USC’s first-round victory, but that isn’t even the best NCAA tournament performance in his own family.
Kenny Walker, who was 11 for 11 for Kentucky in a 1986 game, is his cousin, according Gibson’s mother, Sharon.