Thursday, June 11, 2009
Two recruits want out of commitments
By Andy Katz ESPN.com
USC continues to suffer the fallout of the investigation into possible NCAA violations and coach Tim Floyd's subsequent resignation.
The Trojans' recruiting class, once viewed as one of the best in the country, is down to one.
Lamont Jones of Oak Hill (Va.) Academy has been released from his national letter of intent, USC announced Thursday night. Fellow recruit Derrick Williams of La Mirada (Calif.) High also asked for his release, The Los Angeles Times reported. USC wouldn't confirm Williams' departure.
The Trojans already gave Noel Johnson, of Georgia, his release.
Evan Smith, of Calabasas (Calif.) High, is the lone recruit remaining for 2009-10.
Johnson's release was conditional and he will not be allowed to go to another Pac-10 school, a source told ESPN.com. It's unclear if Jones or Williams have had the same condition placed on their release.
One-time recruit Solomon Hill got out of his verbal commitment and went to Arizona. Renardo Sidney, who also committed out of Fairfax (Calif.) High, went to Mississippi State.
The Trojans lost four players -- freshman DeMar DeRozan, juniors Daniel Hackett and Taj Gibson and senior Marcus Johnson -- to the NBA draft.
USC has nine returning players on scholarship. Senior guard Dwight Lewis, who averaged a team-high 14.4 points a game, and North Carolina transfer Alex Stepheson are among them.
Point guard Gary Franklin Jr., of Mater Dei (Calif.) High, has committed for 2010. A source told ESPN.com he may also back out.
USC (22-13, 9-9 Pac-10) won the Pac-10 tournament last March. The Trojans reached the second-round of the NCAA tournament with a win over Boston College but lost to No. 2 seed Michigan State in the second round in Minneapolis.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.