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Some USC Basketball News

While no one is really sure what the future holds with USC basketball its hard not to see that until something definitive comes down from the NCAA the program looks to be dead in the water.

Four players have declared for the draft and SC has lost 2 commits (Sidney and Hill) and let one recruit out of his LOI (Noel Johnson). SC has tried to minimize the damage by asking Diarra and Smith back to the team after announcing they were moving on and they are desperately trying to hold on to their two prized recruits, Jones and Williams.

No one really knows about Jones right now but the news on Williams looks bleak.

USC basketball recruit Derrick Williams, who signed a letter of intent last fall, said Monday he is "up in the air" over whether he'll seek a release and sign with another school.

"I'm still not sure," Williams said. "Right now, I'm trying to get more information about USC and the O.J. Mayo stuff and (NCAA) investigation."

The Trojans already lost guard Noel Johnson of Fayette County, Ga., who is in the process of receiving his release. Point guard Lamont Jones is also considering whether to ask for a release.

Williams, a 6-foot-7 forward from La Mirada, said the fact that Johnson left and verbal commitments Renardo Sidney and Solomon Hill of Fairfax High in Los Angeles signed elsewhere would be a deciding factor if he chooses to leave USC.

"I thought I was going to be part of a top-10 recruiting class in the nation," Williams said. "As it looks right now, we're not even top 10 in California. That's the main reason why, if I choose to leave."

I understand Williams' concern. The future looks bleak so who can blame him? But I do think there is a lot to be said about sticking with your commitment. Anyway it is his call if he doesn't think he won't be happy here or that he will have a productive time at SC then he should move on. There is no need to have a player who doesn't want to be here. SC will get through this regardless of how bad a hit we take the world will not end, the sun will still rise in the east and SC will be better for it. We just have to ride it out.

On the positive side of the ledger DeMar DeRozan looks to be a solid lottery pick.

Burlison of the Long Beach Press-Telegram has a nice write-up on how the overall upcoming draft is taking place.

The modern draft, for the most part, is all about "upside." Scouts and NBA decision-makers see oodles of it in Holiday, who averaged only 8.1 points per game and wasn't the defensive "stopper" he was projected to be as a freshman. DeRozan was six of 36 on 3-pointers and Daye who is anything but physically formidable at 191 pounds.

That is why it wouldn't startle a lot of NBA folks if DeRozan and Holiday are selected before Curry, the most touted jump shooter in college hoops but lacking what some believe is the quickness to be dominant scorer in the NBA. And Daye could be tabbed before Hansbrough, who at 6-8 and minus eye-popping vertical explosion, is projected as possibly struggling to score as readily inside the lane as he did with the Tar Heels.

It is all about potential not what have you done for me lately. Its a whole new world at the next level so the scouts and coaches look at and look for different things. DeRozan may not have shined they way we hoped he would during the seaon but he will make some solid impact on whatever team takes once he gets settled in. He won't be as flashy as Mayo but he will be as consistent, he has too much raw talent.

SLAM has a nice overview of DeRozan possibly going sixth in the draft.

Demar DeRozan. Last June the Timberwolves drafted a dynamic guard out of USC who was primed to fill their need for a point guard and a slasher. They traded him three hours later.

Though there is still debate about whether Minnesota got the better player in the Mayo/Love swap, the deal enabled them to unload troublesome contracts, gain maneuverability under the salary cap and add another valuable component to a promising roster. Time has shown it to be a prudent move.

However for those who think it wasn’t, the Wolves can offer a mea culpa this June by drafting a dynamic guard out of USC who is primed to fill their need for a slasher.

The teams focus should be on acquiring a point guard or center, but as far as this Mock Draft is concerned, DeRozan is the best available talent that complements their core players...

It is all about needs but that has to balance with the best talent available and DeRozan brings a lot upside that will make whichebver team that takes hip very happy.

We will find out in a few weeks...