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Basketball News and Notes

With the holidays around the corner and some new responsibilities with work I took the weekend to work on some things that needed to get done, so lets get to it.

Kyle Austin is looking to transfer. The L.A. Times is reporting that the sophomore forward is considering the move and he recently discussed it with coach Floyd.

Coach Tim Floyd said Austin met with him Thursday and mentioned that he was considering seeking another school that would offer more playing time.

"I think that is an option for him right now at this point," Floyd said. "We would hate to see him go, but he desperately wants to play."

Austin played briefly in the Trojans' season opener against Mercer before sitting out victories over the Citadel and South Carolina. He suffered a back injury in practice Nov. 21 and will probably require a medical redshirt this season, Floyd said, regardless of whether he stays at USC.

"I don't know that he's going to be able to return physically this year, at our place or the next place, if he does choose to go someplace else," Floyd said. "We have not encouraged him to go. We would love for him to stay here, but he may view this as an opportunity go find another place at the semester" break.

I will be honest in not knowing a lot about Austin but this doesn't seem right. If he has been injured and unable to play how would transferring help that situation. I'm not sure that he has given this a lot of thought but it just doesn't seem right. If someone understands this better please explain it to me. I know the kid wants more playing time but from what I have read he needs to improve some aspects of his game.

I can see how it could be tough to break in with this line-up but Austin needs to get healthy first before worrying about transferring. Once he gets healthy and gets back into the swing of things then he can look things a little more clearly.

It's still too early to tell regardless of what we read before the season started but is O.J. Mayo ready for the pros? That was the subject in a recent article looking at how Mayo has progressed so far this season.

Two NBA scouts were split on whether O.J. Mayo would be a surefire lottery pick in the 2008 NBA draft based on the USC freshman guard's performance in his first nine college games.

"I don't think that's a slam dunk, but he's in that range," one scout said.

Said another: "I'd be shocked if he went any lower than seventh."

Mayo is averaging 20.4 points, second in the Pacific 10 Conference behind California sophomore Ryan Anderson (22.7), but he is coming off a pair of shaky shooting performances in losses to Kansas and Memphis. Mayo made 12 of 41 shots (29.3%) in those games, including only four of 15 attempts (26.7%) from three-point range.

"I think he's a little overrated," one scout said. "The word was out that this guy is the next LeBron James. I do not think he is the next coming of LeBron James in any way."

The other scout said the 6-foot-5 Mayo, who projects as a point guard in the NBA, was not making the impact some had envisioned because he was playing out of position for the Trojans.

That was not the feeling here, there is only one Kobe, only one LeBron and anyone who was paying attention knows O.J. is not those guys...yet. From what I have seen so far on the court O.J.'s game needs a fair amount of improvement. Especially in those long-range jump shots, he is taking too may 3-point shots that are not going in and until SC gets some much needed size in the middle it will tough for our guys to rebound efficiently.

Too much hype follows these kids when they need to just focus on developing their game. Will O.J. go after this season? I don't know but I would like his chances in the NBA better if he stayed for two years in college but I just don't see it happening.

From the spare me department there is a story up on the pay side of ESPN touting how ucla commit Jrue Holliday got the better of USC Demar DeRozan in a recent game.

Here is a taste

n one of the most anticipated individual matchups on the West Coast in recent memory, UCLA signee 6-4 Jrue Holiday (North Hollywood/ Campbell Hall) demonstrated why he is widely considered the No. 1 player on the West Coast (and maybe the entire country).

[...]After an impressive first quarter (13 points, 9 of those coming from the line), DeRozan (29 points on 9-28 from the field) went away from what was working (driving to the basket) and started to take more and more difficult jump shots as the game went on. In addition, he had Holiday in early foul trouble and refused to punish him on the inside, utilizing his size and athletic prowess.

As we have seen in football and in other years of basketball recruits being #1 does not mean too much until they get to the next level. Of course Holliday is a good player but trying to read into the "head-to-head" match-ups in high school is an exercise in futility. Mayo and Love have shown us that regardless of how great they are projected to be there is an adjustment. This also another reason why I don't get worked up about recruits until they actually get in school and play at the next level.

And for the record I would have said the same thing if the story was in the reverse.

SC takes on Delaware St. tomorrow night so look for AO's game preview before tomorrow nights tip-off!