Wise lands at USC

Eric Wise, a two-time second-team All-Big West Conference performer for the UC Irvine men's basketball team, will transfer to USC to complete his final season of eligibility, he said Friday.

Wise, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound forward-center said he signed with the Trojans Friday morning.

Wise, who played three seasons at UCI, will have to sit out the 2011-12 season and will be eligible to play in 2012-13.

"I'm very excited," Wise said. "It's a great place to be. A great school, a great program and a great conference."

Wise said he chose USC over Santa Clara.

Wise averaged 16.3 points and a team-best 8.1 rebounds as a junior last season, when he missed 12 games due to a string of leg injuries. He received honorable mention in all-conference voting.

He started 62 of the 63 games in which he played his first two seasons with the Anteaters. He was widely considered the best player in the program and arguably the most talented to wear a UCI uniform since all-time scoring leader Jerry Green.

Wise was four points and 62 rebounds shy of cracking the school's top 10 career lists.

As a sophomore, he averaged 16.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists, becoming only the second player to lead the Anteaters in all three statistical categories in 37 seasons.

As a freshman, he averaged 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds, second best on the team. He was named to the conference's All-Freshman team.

"We are very excited to have a proven veteran player like Eric join our program," USC Coach Kevin O'Neill said in a statement. "His sit-out year will give him an opportunity to acclimate to our system and prepare him to have a good senior season. He is a good student who did well at UC Irvine and will be in position to graduate from USC."

Wise said he planned to work on his game and his body while sitting out next season.

Wise, whose last class at UCI will end in three weeks, told UCI Coach Russell Turner he would be leaving the program in mid-April.

"I thought it was just time to move on, pretty much," Wise told the Daily Pilot on April 15, adding that he thought his preparation for a professional career would be enhanced by at another school.

Wise, a former CIF Southern Section Player of the Year at Martin Luther King High in Riverside, is the son of former Long Beach State All-American Francois Wise.

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