USC Men's Basketball: Maurice Jones Ruled Academically Ineligible
Jones averaged 13 points and 3.5 assists last season. Head coach Kevin O'Neill says the point guard will remain at USC and return to the team for his final two seasons of eligibility.
"There's no question that we have a plan for him to be successful and graduate and we want to make sure that happens," O'Neill said.
The fourth-year coach added that losing Jones will hurt the Trojans' depth at guard, but the return of Jio Fontan, who missed all of last season due to injury, should provide a major boost at the position.
Injury setbacks derailed the Trojans last season as they limped to a 6-26 record and won just one game against Pac-12 opponents. Fontan tore his ACL during an August 2011 team trip to Brazil and 7-footer DeWayne Dedmon suffered a season-ending knee injury on Jan. 26.
"We're always going to be faced with challenges," O'Neill said. "Teams deal with them all over the country. We've had a whole year of them. We're used to dealing with them. We'll be fine."
USC's season gets underway on Nov. 9 when Coppin State visits Galen Center for an 8 p.m. contest.