As stated by Jeff Goodman of FOXSports.com a few days ago, it does in fact appear as if USC's 7-foot reserve center Davis Rozitis will be looking for a new home for next season, as the Latvian native will transfer to another Division 1 program multiple sources indicate. For more information, here's the scoop from the Los Angeles Times:
Davis Rozitis, a freshman center on the USC men's basketball team, has decided to transfer, a source close to the situation told The Times on Friday.
Rozitis, a 7-foot, 215-pound Latvia native, played in just nine games last season. Considered a raw project at best, he is still learning the game and spent most of last season trying to add weight to his frail frame.
It is not clear where Rozitis might transfer. The source said he was visiting UC Santa Barbara on Friday.
Even without Rozitis and Leonard Washington, who was kicked off the team in March, USC still has one of the most stacked front courts in the Pacific 10 Conference with forwards Nikola Vucevic and Alex Stepheson, who each averaged a near double-double last season.
The first reaction when any player transfers from Kevin O'Neill's program is to speculate that O'Neill's temperament was the likely reason for the departure. After all, O'Neill is known for having rather rocky relationships with players in the past so the fact the his teams see a great amount of player turnover doesn't come as a big surprise. However, with Rozitis, I don't see that as the primary factor for his decision to head elsewhere.
For one, Rozitis is simply not a legitimate Pac-10 center. Last season, he appeared in just nine games for a mere total of 29 minutes, scoring just one basket. No matter what you say about "limited opportunity," that just isn't getting the job done.
But even more so, his small frame is not meant to take the wear and tear that comes with playing in an upper-echelon college basketball conference. After all, he does just weigh a mere 215 pounds - a good 30-40 pounds smaller than most of the competition. I think when you combined his limited production with his skill level and build, it makes a lot more sense for a guy like Rozitis to play at a mid-major school like UCSB or LMU. He can still get a good education, while also being more of a factor on the court.