Update: It's official. King has told FOXSports.com that he will transfer to USC.
Remember Taylor King?
Yes, the same guy, who went to Mater Dei, committed to then-first year coach Ben Howland and UCLA before even appearing in a high school game, went to Duke for a year, and almost transfered to USC before ending up at Villanova for his sophomore season, has now returned to the west coast and is looking to continue his college career somewhere in Southern California. Luckily, for Trojan hoops fans, one of those schools under consideration is USC. Per Jeff Goodman of FOXSports.com:
The 6-foot-8 King, who burst onto the national scene prior to his freshman year at Mater Dei (Calif.) and spent his freshman season at Duke, told FOXSports.com he has visited USC, Concordia and Azuza Pacific.
``I'm going to make a decision soon," King said.
If King elects to go to Concordia - which he visited on Tuesday - or Azusa Pacific, he would be eligible immediately and have two years of eligibility remaining.
If he transfers to USC, he would have to sit out this season and have one year left under Kevin O'Neill.
Over the past seasons, King has earned a fair amount of notoriety, largely due to his Brett Favre-esque wavering. But yet for some reason, he has never been able to fully develop as a prospect. At Duke, he didn't even average double-figure minutes, while posting an underwhelming statline of 5.5 points per game/2.0 rebounds per game/0.4 assists per game. But after all, he was only a freshman.
Yet, in his lone season at Villanova, the Hunington Beach native was equally as disappointing:
King averaged 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season for Jay Wright and the Wildcats, but was benched late in the regular-season finale against West Virginia and saw his minutes dwindle in the postseason.
But that doesn't mean that his possible transfer to USC would be meaningless, for in reality, it'd represent a few positive trends.
For starters, it would help to disprove the notion that Kevin O'Neill is irritating to everybody he comes into contact with. King transferring to USC would mark the third player O'Neill has been able to convince to give up eligibility to play for the Trojans. Iowa'a Aaron Fuller and Fordham's Jio Fontan announced similar decisions to come to USC previously this year. Generally, based on his track record, players leave K.O. They don't flock to him. But in terms of fighting that perception, this would certainly help in terms of recruiting.
More importantly, King would also provide some depth. He's not a program changer by any stretch of the imagination, but because of the NCAA sanctions, 'SC hoops lost virtually two entire recruiting classes. Just look over the roster. There aren't too many sophomores or juniors. At the very least, King represents another body for O'Neill to use in the rotation, and that'd be something hard to turn down.