Top scorer Jordyn Jenkins among USC veterans in transfer portal
Before Lindsay Gottlieb can rebuild USC, the roster is getting stripped down to its studs.
Three veteran players have entered the transfer portal since the Trojans finished 12-16 in Gottlieb’s first year, including leading scorer Jordyn Jenkins and 2020 Pac-12 freshman of the year Alissa Pili, a source confirmed to The Times on Monday. Reserve center Angel Jackson posted on Twitter on Sunday that she will be transferring to Jackson State after three years with the Trojans.
Jenkins was the Pac-12’s co-most improved player last year, leading the team in scoring with 14.8 points per game. The sophomore from Kent, Wash., also pulled down 6.7 rebounds per game, which ranked second on the team, and was USC’s lone All-Pac-12 honoree.
Jenkins posted a series of photos from her two seasons at USC on Instagram on Sunday with the caption “forever grateful. Cheers to new beginnings.”
The USC women’s basketball team struggled under first-year coach Lindsay Gottlieb, but the Trojans are making progress in rejuvenating the program.
Since becoming the fourth player in program history to earn conference freshman of the year accolades, Pili has struggled with injuries that reduced her playing time. She averaged 16.3 points and eight rebounds per game as a freshman and played all 31 games, but an ankle injury the following year limited the Anchorage, Alaska, native to 13 games, during which she averaged 11 points and 3.8 rebounds. Pili played in 19 games this season, missing several for personal reasons, with 7.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per game. Pili’s older brother Brandon, a defensive lineman at USC, is expected to return this season after missing last year with an Achilles injury.
Jackson, a 6-foot-5 center, was an All-American out of Salesian High and played in 30 games as a freshman in 2019-20. She played in just 16 games this year, starting four, averaging 4.4 points and three rebounds per game.
The Trojans, who haven’t played in the NCAA tournament since 2014, don’t have any players signed for the 2022 recruiting class. Their lone verbal commitment is from five-star point guard Aaliyah Gayles, the eighth-best player in the class, according to ESPN’s rankings. USC is in position to lose four of its top five scorers with Jenkins and Pili in the transfer portal and transfers Jordan Sanders and Tera Reed graduating.
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