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Trojans add Fairfax guard Brendyn Taylor to roster

The 6-foot-2 guard, who averaged 18 points a game last season, joins November signees J.T. Terrell and Strahinja Gavrilovic in USC's 2012 class. A remaining scholarship will probably go to a transfer.

April 11, 2012|By Gary Klein
  • USC Coach Kevin O'Neill says he's pleased with the makeup of the Trojans' 2012 recruiting class.
USC Coach Kevin O'Neill says he's pleased with the makeup of… (Christine Cotter / Los Angeles…)

The overhaul of USC's basketball roster continued Wednesday when Los Angeles Fairfax High guard Brendyn Taylor signed a national letter with the Trojans.

Taylor joins a class that includes November signees J.T. Terrell, a guard from Peninsula College in Washington, and Strahinja Gavrilovic, a Serbian forward who attends San Diego Rock Academy but did not play on the basketball team.

"All of them are high-level players," USC Coach Kevin O'Neill said. "I like the class very much, especially with our guys coming back from injury and the guys who were sitting out."

Taylor, 6 feet 2 and 170 pounds, averaged 18 points a game last season. He is the son of former NBA player Brian Taylor and the brother of former Oregon player Bryce Taylor.

"He's kind of a late bloomer," O'Neill said, "with a big upside."

Terrell, whom O'Neill called "a proven scorer," is a 6-3 guard who averaged 24.4 points a game at Peninsula College after transferring from Wake Forest.

The 6-8, 220-pound Gavrilovic has played for Serbian youth national teams. O'Neill is hoping he develops similarly to former Trojan Nikola Vucevic, a 6-10 forward from Montenegro who was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 16th pick in the 2011 draft.

"We think he's a smaller version of Vucevic," O'Neill said.

The new players join a program that was devastated by injuries last season. The Trojans finished 6-26, the most losses in school history.

The Trojans are expected to be improved with the return of 7-footer Dewayne Dedmon and point guard Jio Fontan from knee injuries and forward Aaron Fuller from a shoulder injury.

Forwards Garrett Jackson and Curtis Washington and guard Alexis Moore were granted releases to transfer after the season.

Forwards Ari Stewart and Eric Wise, who redshirted last season after transferring from Wake Forest and UC Irvine, respectively, will be eligible.

"We're planning on both of those guys competing for a starting role," O'Neill said.

Stewart was arrested in Arizona in February on suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He has not been charged and the case is still under review, according to a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's office. Stewart has already been disciplined and would be subject to further discipline, O'Neill said.

The Trojans have one available scholarship and probably will fill it with another transfer.

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