The suspended USC guard ensnared in the FBI investigation is done with college basketball.
Prized sophomore De’Anthony Melton announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing from USC and focusing on preparing for next June’s NBA draft.
I would like to announce pic.twitter.com/H2EDvQyZfg
— DeanthonyMelton (@DeAnthonyMelton) February 21, 2018
Melton has not played for the Trojans this season due to eligibility concerns stemming from the FBI investigation into bribery and corruption in college basketball. USC announced last month that it is holding Melton out of competition for at least the rest of the 2017-18 season after the school’s internal investigation corroborated that would-be agent Christian Dawkins paid a family friend of Melton’s $5,000 in exchange for advising the prospect to hire Dawkins and financial advisor Munish Sood when he turned pro.
USC allowed Melton to remain on scholarship and practice with the team. The school did not rule out the possibility that he could potentially compete for the Trojans next season had he chosen to remain in school for another year.
Melton is considered a potential late first-round pick this June even though he has not had a chance to show off his development this season. The dynamic wing needs to demonstrate during workouts that his outside shooting has improved, but he was USC’s most disruptive perimeter defender as a freshman and he showed a knack for guarding multiple positions, making plays in the open court and finishing in transition.
The absence of Melton is a big reason USC has not lived up to expectations this season.
USC began the season in the top 15 of the AP poll thanks to the return of a handful of key players from last year’s NCAA tournament team and the arrival of a talented freshman class. With Melton sidelined, forward Bennie Boatwright now out for the season due to injury and the FBI investigation hanging over the program, the Trojans (19-9, 10-5) are on the NCAA tournament bubble.
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