Less than two months away from the start of the season, USC women's basketball has been dealt the loss of would-be senior point guard Ariya Crook, who was dismissed from the program for a violation of team and university policy.
The Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player, who propelled the Women of Troy to an NCAA berth winning four games in the span of four days, will not be returning to USC's basketball program following a much-improved 22-13 campaign.
"We wish Ariya the best and appreciate her contributions to our program over the past three years," head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke said in a press release. "She will have the opportunity to finish her academics, but will no longer be involved with this program. It's a blow to our team, for sure, but we are a resilient group."
Cooper-Dyke worked wonders last season with Crook, translating her game into one of the best pure scorers in the Pac-12 capable of making plays at the basket, from the midrange game and especially behind the arc. Crook averaged 15.8 points per game last season, and ranked No. 5 all-time in USC career 3-pointers made.
Crook also led the team in 3-pointers made (69) last year and was third on the team in assists (2.3 per game) under a much improved Women of Troy offense last season, which lost 71-68 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Women of Troy welcome freshmen guards McKenzie Calvert (Schertz, Texas) and Chyanne Butler (Costa Mesa, California) to the program, complementing the tandem of McDonalds All-American guard Jordan Adams and proven contributor Brianna Barrett, who averaged 2.9 assists per game last season.
USC returns to the floor on November 9th, in a home exhibition against Concordia University of Irvine before traveling to South Carolina for the 2014-2015 season opener which tips off on November 15th. Following a three-game road trip, the Women of Troy return to the Galen Center on November 23rd for the home opener.