The USC Trojans roster takes another hit as they lose another key guard. This time to the NBA. Trojans freshman guard Kevin Porter Jr. will hire an agent and declare for the 2019 NBA Draft. The announcement came in an interview with ESPN’s and Draft Express reporter Jonathan Givony Friday morning. Porter Jr. also announced that he would declare for the draft on his twitter account with a note to Trojan fans. The freshman guard will sign with Roc Nation Sports.
USC's Kevin Porter Jr. (#14 in the ESPN 100) will hire an agent and enter the NBA Draft, he tells ESPN. "I will be declaring and I will be signing with @RocNationSports." Some scouts consider Porter a top-5 caliber talent in this class. ESPN news story: https://t.co/qWdrlFFMAW— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 12, 2019
While this will be a key hit to USC, it was an expected one. The freshman guard was viewed as a potential one and done coming into the season. Porter Jr. is viewed as a potential lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft. While he was only able to give a sample size of what he could do during his freshman season, many NBA scouts love what Porter Jr. can bring at the guard position with his 6-foot-6 frame, athleticism, and explosiveness driving the lane.
Highlights from Kevin Porter's freshman season, courtesy of the ESPN social team. Scouts love his combination of size, strength, ball-handling, shot-making prowess and long-term upside. He's a 6-6, 220-pound guard, giving him really nice lineup versatility to tap into. pic.twitter.com/jSiYX0mto6— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 12, 2019
Porter Jr. was a five-star guard out of Rainier Beach, Washington. Ranked as one of the top guards in the nation, Porter Jr. has caught a lot of attention throughout his senior season. The freshman guard came into USC with a ton of exceptions, however he was only able to show flashes of that. Porter Jr. averaged 9.5 points, four rebounds, and 1.7 assist in only 21 games played. Most of the games he missed were due to injuries which included a lengthly thigh bruise that sidelined him for six weeks, and a suspension for a conduct issue. His best performance of the season came in the Trojans’ loss to Washington in the Pac-12 tournament where Porter Jr. had 17 points and six rebounds coming off the bench.
USC will have lost some talent this off-season with Forwards J’Raan Brooks and Victor Uyaelumo transferring out of the program, guard Shaquan Aaron and leading scorer Bennie Boatwright graduating. They also lost guard Jordan Usher, who transferred to Georgia Tech, back in December. Despite the losses, the Trojans still has some talent returning to the roster with big man Nick Rakocevic and guards Derryck Thornton, Jonah Matthews, and Elijah Weaver returning to the team. Former McDonald’s All-American Charles O’Bannon Jr. will also return from a hand injury that forced him to miss the whole 2018-19 season. USC will also have some key additions with grad transfer guard Quinton Adlesh joining the roster and a top five 2019 recruiting class that includes a couple of five-star big men in Isaiah Mobley and Onyeka Okongwu, four-star forward Max Agbonkpolo, four-star guard Kyle Sturdivant, and dual sport athlete Drake London, who had an impressive dunk back in march that sent social media into a frenzy.