One month following a disappointing 11-21 campaign that ended in a three-point loss during the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament, USC Basketball received a tough blow when junior leading-scorer Byron Wesley announced his intentions over Twitter to officially transfer from the program.
Head Coach Andy Enfield responded shortly after hearing Wesley's intended plans: "We wish Byron well and we thank him for his valuable contributions to our program." We are happy for him that he will leave USC with his degree. He had a very productive career here and I am sure he will do well wherever his career takes him."
First and foremost I would like to thank the Trojan family for all of the love and support they have given me these last three years.— Byron Wesley (@byron_wesley) April 17, 2014
After surprisingly coming up short of Pac-12 All-Honorable Mention selection, Byron Wesley's departure leaves USC without all four of its top scorers from last season and six of their top eight offensive contributors overall.
Wesley finished the season averaging 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds (tops on the squad) and if he can complete enough units to graduate this summer, he will have an opportunity to immediately play at another program starting this fall.
The Trojans three-year starter had been a stable force in the basketball program during his career, but sent out sincere appreciation for his time spent in Southern California from his prep days in Etiwanda all the way through his strongly undervalued career playing for sub-par basketball programs at the Galen Center.
I'd also like to thank my coaches for helping me become a better player, my teammates for all of the great memories, & fans for the support.— Byron Wesley (@byron_wesley) April 17, 2014
Wesley, the team-elected Sam Berry Award Most Valuable Player winner, was suspended during the Stanford and Cal road trip for a violation of undisclosed team rules. He scored in double figures in all but four games that he played, setting career highs in points (31 vs. WSU) and rebounds (14 vs. ASU) earlier this past season.
This was the opportunity of a lifetime & I couldnt be more thankful. I will be a Trojan for life & I'm most proud of that! Fight On Forever!— Byron Wesley (@byron_wesley) April 17, 2014
The Trojans will now look to the future with transfers Katin Reinhardt (UNLV) and Darion Clark (Charlotte) who are eligible to play this fall. Wednesday was the first official day NCAA Division-I programs could announce their incoming freshman classes, and USC basketball will now be adding one more player (rumored to be Westchester High School PG Elijah Stewart) before finalizing their newest crop of talent along with returning contributors Julian Jacobs and Nikola Jovanovic.