USC’s Julian Jacobs, Nikola Jovanovic snubbed from draft combine

USC guard Julian Jacobs celebrates after a dunk against Colorado on Feb. 17.

USC guard Julian Jacobs celebrates after a dunk against Colorado on Feb. 17.

(Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

The USC basketball team will have its most promising roster in recent memory next season — if all of its regulars decide to return.

That has become an open question this off-season, after a rash of transfers and a decision by two starters, point guard Julian Jacobs and Nikola Jovanovic, to test the NBA draft waters.

Jacobs and Jovanovic will have until 10 days after the NBA draft combine to withdraw from consideration and return to school, a decision that may have become easier Thursday. Neither player received an invitation to the combine.

An invite doesn’t preclude getting drafted. Last season, five players without an invitation were selected.


But the snub is a signal that neither player is high on teams’ draft boards.

Should Jacobs and Jovanovic return, USC would return all five starters from a team that reached the NCAA tournament last season, despite several off-season departures.

The most significant transfer was shooting guard Katin Reinhardt, who started for much of the early season. Reinhardt will play next season at Marquette. Forward Darion Clark, the team’s best rebounder, announced he wouldn’t return to the team next season.

Two players who played sparingly last season, Malik Martin and Malik Marquetti, also announced they would transfer.

Jacobs and Jovanovic could not be immediately reached for comment.

Follow Zach Helfand on Twitter: @zhelfand