Kevin O'Neill: USC not done with one-and-dones
In case you were wondering whether USC might be done recruiting one-and-done basketball talent, new coach Kevin O'Neill made it clear today at his introductory news conference that the Trojans would stay in the market.
"I think you have to recruit those guys," O'Neill said. "They're great players. It's important that you recruit guys that can help you win. Those guys are part of the basketball culture. Sure, we're going to recruit them."
USC had a one-and-done each of the last two seasons. O.J. Mayo was the first, becoming a 2008 lottery pick and leaving behind an NCAA investigation. DeMar DeRozan was next, his performance helping the Trojans during a late-season surge that resulted in a Pacific 10 Conference tournament title and school-record third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament. DeRozan is expected to go in the first 10 picks of the NBA's draft Thursday.
O'Neill implied that he would harbor no ill will toward a player who uses his program as a quick steppingstone.
"I coached Jerryd Bayless [at Arizona]," O'Neill said. "He was a great player and a great contributor to the program and a great guy to coach. They're part of it. You also need to recruit some program players too -- guys that are there for four years."
-- Mike Hiserman