After rebuilding its basketball roster with a fleet of experienced transfers ahead of next season, one of USC’s most tenured guards is now on his way out.
USC sophomore guard Elijah Weaver entered the NCAA’s transfer portal Tuesday, bidding adieu to USC in an Instagram post.
“I appreciate you for welcoming me with open arms, the past two years in Southern California have been nothing but fun,” Weaver wrote. “Memories and relationships that I’ve built and the people I’ve been able to meet I’ll cherish forever. But all good things come to an end.”
Weaver was expected to step into a significant role for the Trojans next season. The 6-foot-6 combo guard started 14 games as a sophomore but did most of his damage as a reserve. Weaver averaged 6.6 points per game on 41% shooting, a slight uptick from his freshman campaign.
As a playmaker, his prowess often fluctuated on a game-to-game basis. Weaver sparked USC to key conference victories over Utah and Stanford last season, the latter coming in overtime. But he also was prone to erratic mistakes, the most notable of which cost USC a chance to upset Colorado on the road in February.
After that game, USC coach Andy Enfield criticized Weaver, who had failed to follow the play drawn up during a timeout.
“I’m not going to make excuses,” Enfield said. “If you want to win games on the road, especially if you’re a lead guard as a sophomore, you have to be able to follow the darn board in the timeout.”
Still, Enfield anticipated that Weaver would make the leap as a junior. In March, as he reflected on a shortened season, Enfield said he expected Weaver “to really lead us next year, from the summer and preseason on.”
Instead, Weaver is the second USC guard to enter the transfer portal this offseason, after freshman Kyle Sturdivant opted to play closer to home in Georgia in the wake of his father’s unexpected death this past season.
Roster reinforcements are on the way in the form of four transfers, three of whom will be immediately eligible as graduate transfers. USC also signed the top-rated recruit in the nation in Evan Mobley.
But only one of USC’s new additions this offseason, Santa Clara transfer Tahj Eaddy, will slot in at guard, joining newly eligible transfer Noah Baumann and freshman Ethan Anderson as the only scholarship guards.