USC’s basketball team has suffered another bad break. Coach Kevin O’Neill revealed Wednesday that 7-foot forward DeWayne Dedmon has a broken right hand and could be out four to six weeks.
O’Neill has tabbed Dedmon, a sophomore who sat out last season after transferring from Antelope Valley College, a potential NBA lottery pick. Dedmon sustained the injury to his shooting hand just above the knuckle of his index finger during a two-hour practice Tuesday.
USC officially begins practice Friday at 5 p.m., but teams are allowed to practice two hours a week from Sept. 15 until their first official workout.
O’Neill said Dedmon might be able to play while wearing a brace on the injured hand, as Alex Stepheson did with his broken left hand early last season.
“I don’t know if he’s going to be able to do that or not,” O’Neill said Wednesday, after the John R. Wooden Award preseason luncheon at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
USC opens its season Nov. 11 against Cal State Northridge, roughly four weeks from when Dedmon’s injury occurred.
If he’s out six weeks, he would miss as many as seven games, all nonconference.
Team trainer David Borchardt said Dedmon is scheduled to have a hard cast put on the hand Thursday.
“We suspect that the fracture will resolve before we start our games,” Borchardt added.
This is the second severe injury suffered by a key USC player this preseason. Returning starting guard Jio Fontan, a senior, will sit out the season after he sustained torn ligaments in his left knee in August while playing on the team’s exhibition trip in Brazil.
Double duty doubtful
USC freshman receiver Marqise Lee told reporters this week that he is interested in playing for the Trojans basketball team.
O’Neill said that seems unlikely.
“I’ve never talked to Marqise,” O’Neill said. “He says he’s playing basketball all the time, but I’ve never even met the dude. The way he’s playing in football, he should keep playing football.”
Lee is second on USC’s team in receiving with 21 catches for 323 yards and three touchdowns.
Lee, 6 feet and 190 pounds, said this week that he can dunk on an 11-foot rim, one foot taller than regulation.