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USC's Dewayne Dedmon out for the season

The 7-foot sophomore suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee and a bone bruise during the Trojans' loss to Colorado on Thursday.

January 27, 2012|By Gary Klein
  • USC's Dewayne Dedmon leaves the court following Oregon's victory over the Trojans on Jan. 19. Dedmon will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn ligament in his left knee.
USC's Dewayne Dedmon leaves the court following Oregon's victory… (Chris Pietsch / Associated…)

Dewayne Dedmon watched film with his USC teammates at practice Friday, resigned to the fact that he won't be able to help them on the court the rest of the season.

The 7-foot sophomore learned earlier in the day that he had suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee and also a bone bruise during the Trojans' 74-50 loss to Colorado on Thursday night.

No surgery is required, Dedmon said, but after meeting with Coach Kevin O'Neill and training personnel, it was determined that he would not play in the remaining 10 games and the Pac-12 Conference tournament.

"It's a bummer," Dedmon said, "but I just have to let it heal, don't rush it and, whatever happens, be ready for next year."

Dedmon, who suffered hand and foot injuries earlier in the season, averaged 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds. His performance was improving in conference play and he was once again drawing the attention of NBA scouts.

But Dedmon was not contemplating making himself available for the NBA draft. "I wasn't thinking about that," he said.

Now, he hopes to provide a vocal, supportive presence for a team that is 5-16 overall, 0-8 in conference play and on a nine-game losing streak going into Saturday night's game against Utah at the Galen Center.

At 5-15 overall and 2-6 in the Pac-12, Utah appeared to be the perfect opportunity for the Trojans to end their misery. But the loss of Dedmon complicates their prospects against the Utes and beyond.

"It's a crushing blow," O'Neill said.

Dedmon is the fifth Trojans player to suffer a season-ending injury, joining guard Jio Fontan and forwards Aaron Fuller, Evan Smith and Curtis Washington.

Asked whether the Trojans could overcome the loss of Dedmon, forward Garrett Jackson was succinct, saying, "We don't have a choice."

O'Neill told his players as much.

"My message was 'No one cares about your plight,'" he said. "It's part of basketball and it's our job to do our jobs.'

"They just need to keep moving forward in a positive manner."

Struggling opponent

Utah has not won a game on the road.

Its two conference wins were a 62-60 overtime victory over Washington State and a 64-43 victory over Arizona State.

On Thursday, UCLA defeated the Utes, 76-49.

"I can't explain why this happens," Utah guard Chris Hines said. "When we played against Arizona State, we shared the ball. It gets frustrating when we play like this on the road."

gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesklein

Staff writer Chris Foster contributed to this report.

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