The USC Trojans 2011-12 basketball team was not expected to make a big splash. The losses of big men Nikola Vucevic and Alex Stepheson deprived them of their length and strength inside defensively, and the graduation of top wing defender Marcus Simmons and backup guard Donte Smith meant they would be down to two starters from last year's squad.
Now they could be in outright panic mode. Two just became one.
Guard Jio Fontan was USC's best scorer and passer, and looked ready to be an impact Pac-12 player as the senior leader of the squad. But Fontan sustained a knee injury during a Brazil exhibition and had to fly back to Los Angeles to get an MRI. Head coach Kevin O'Neill called Baxter Holmes of the Los Angeles Times to say Fontan tore his ACL, and his senior campaign is over. A medical redshirt is a possibility.
USC will now have to look at the 5'7" Maurice Jones handing point guard duties (Fontan had been assuming most point guard duties while Jones played more of a scorer/slasher role). JuCo signee Greg Allen will also be pressed into action as Jones takes on the point role. O'Neill has had trouble maintaining depth in his program, and this year looks like it'll be the most severe test of that deficiency.
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