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Chuck O’Bannon Jr. is leaving USC and entering transfer portal

USC's Chuck O'Bannon Jr. puts up a shot during the Trojans' game against Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament in March.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Chuck O’Bannon Jr., whose arrival as the first McDonald’s High School All-American at USC since DeMar DeRozan once marked a significant step forward for Trojans basketball, has decided to leave the program and enter the transfer portal.

His father, former UCLA great Charles O’Bannon Sr., confirmed O’Bannon Jr.’s intentions in a tweet, the tone of which seemed to point to an underlying frustration with his son’s role at USC.

“On to bigger and certainly better,” O’Bannon Sr. wrote.

Since signing as a top-100 recruit in 2017, O’Bannon Jr. struggled to carve out a consistent role at USC. He played in 14 games as a freshman and averaged just 1.3 points per game. After playing 10 minutes in the Trojans’ season opener as a sophomore, O’Bannon Jr. never returned to USC’s lineup, sitting out the rest of the season with an injury.

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As a redshirt sophomore, in a rotation suddenly flush with top recruits, O’Bannon Jr. has played in just three of USC’s 11 games this season, with only 19 minutes and two made free throws to his name.

The younger O’Bannon, whose uncle Ed O’Bannon Jr. was also a star in UCLA basketball, hasn’t played since Nov. 12.

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