USC basketball: Trojans win first game of Brazilian exhibition trip
Senior point guard Jio Fontan scored 29 points, junior forward Aaron Fuller scored 12 and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the USC men's basketball team defeated Pindamonhangaba, a second-division pro Brazilian team, 60-51, in Sao Paulo on Sunday in the first game of a 10-day exhibition trip in Brazil.
"The team was good," USC Coach Kevin O'Neill said by phone. "They played hard, played well. We had 20-some turnovers. We didn't play particularly well but we played great defensively. I thought our effort was really good."
USC led for most of the game, O'Neill said, and Fontan dominated.
"He controlled the whole game, basically," O'Neill said. "He was really good."
Sophomore center DeWayne Dedmon, whom O'Neill touted for much of the summer, struggled with foul trouble in his first game as a Trojan, finishing with four points and four fouls. Dedmon played about eight minutes, O'Neill said.
O'Neill said junior center James Blasczyk, a junior college transfer, struggled mightily as did sophomore forward Evan Smith.
Sophomore forward Garrett Jackson scored eight and grabbed 11 rebounds.
The starting lineup included Fontan, Dedmon, Fuller, Smith and sophomore guard Maurice Jones, who scored two points but recorded seven assists and six steals, a USC spokesman said.
O'Neill said guards Byron Wesley and Alexis Moore, both freshmen, and newcomer Greg Allen, a junior college transfer, won't be able to play in a game until Tuesday when their grades are posted.
The Trojans were scheduled to play four games overall and a scrimmage to be held Monday against Sao Jose dos Campos Club Team, a first-division pro team. But, according to the latest version of their itinerary, their game Thursday against the Flumenesse Sports Club has been turned down by that team.
They are trying to add in a game on Wednesday against the 19-and-under Paulistano Team; that's still waiting approval.
-- Baxter Holmes
Photo: USC guard Jio Fontan during practice last season. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times