Stay Or Go? USC Faces Some Big Questions

When everybody got healthy at the end of the season, USC was a very good basketball team. Good enough to win the Pac-10 Tournament, win its first-round NCAA matchup and put a scare into Michigan State.

Just imagine how good they could be next year if…..

There are a lot of “ifs” looking ahead for next year’s Trojans. Most revolve around the “Should I stay or should I go now?” question with he NBA draft in a couple months.

There is heralded freshman Demar DeRozan, who was expected to be one of the top freshmen in the NCAA this year, but really didn’t round into form until the end of the season. He was a beast in the Pac-10 Tournament and showed there and in the NCAA games that he is an explosive athlete starting to figure out how to use that at the next level.

Because of that athleticism scouts love him and his skill set fits in as a swingman very well at the NBA level. Which is why he is a likely lottery pick. DraftExpress has DeRozan going 12th..

That leaves a dilemma for DeRozan — take the money or go back to college, compete at what should be a higher level for your former NBA head coach, and go for a bigger prize next season. Or, take the high pick now and get going on a certain NBA career.

Taj Gibson also turned a lot of scouts’ heads late in the season. The athletic 6-9 player could be a power forward at the NBA level (in the right system), and he could worth be a pick (though likely in the second round). Does he come out now and prove he can make it, or does he go back for a senior season to prove he can play at an elite level consistently, long the knock on him?

Daniel Hackett is the other junior who has some pro interest and has a decision to make about his senior season.

Then there is the incoming rock star, Fairfax high’s Renardo Sidney — a super talented 6-9 power forward who has been on everybody’s radar for years. He chose USC over schools such as UCLA and Memphis. Now all he has to do is get a high enough score on his SAT and he is a go-to Trojan player next season.

Think about it — Hackett and DeRozan in the backcourt, Gibson and Sidney up front. That could be a whole lot of talent playing for a coach that knows how to use it. This is a team that could be a real powerhouse next season.

That is, if….

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