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USC basketball: Transfer guard Jio Fontan named Pacific 10 Conference Player of the Week

December 27, 2010 |  1:16 pm

Jiofontan_300 USC junior guard Jio Fontan debuted for the Trojans just three games ago after having not played in more than a year in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.

But he didn't wait to make an impression, helping USC nearly upset  No. 3 Kansas in his debut. Three days later, he led the Trojans to an upset at No. 19 Tennessee, then scored a game-high 21 points along with four assists and four steals in his Galen Center debut against Lehigh on Thursday.

The former Fordham star, whom USC Coach Kevin O'Neill calls the team's best player and leader, is averaging 16.3 points as a Trojan, and his impressive opening run continued Tuesday when he earned Pacific 10 Player of the Week honors, the league announced.

It's obviously Fontan's first Pac-10 honor. It's the 32nd time a USC player has been named the conference player of the week. 

Also nominated were Arizona forward Jesse Perry, Oregon State guard Jared Cunningham, Washington's Isaiah Thomas and Washington State swingman Klay Thompson.

2010-11 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week
Nov. 22 -- Reeves Nelson, UCLA
Nov. 29 -- Thompson
Dec. 6 --   Derrick Williams, Arizona
Dec. 13 -- Thompson
Dec. 20 -- Nelson, UCLA
Dec. 27 -- Fontan, USC

-- Baxter Holmes

Photo: USC guard Jio Fontan scores over Lehigh's Kevin McCarthy in the second half at the Galen Center on Thursday in a 76-49 victory. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times