Friday, August 19, 2011

Hoops Housekeeping: Fontan's acl, Armwood's transfer, Carlwell's eligibility denied

Kevin O'Neill's USC Trojans caught a terrible break on Thursday as the news became official that Jio Fontan, their leading returning scorer and distributor, will miss the season with a torn acl.

He suffered the injury on Tuesday in an exhibition game in Brazil. Fontan not only will miss the season, but he had his trip to Brazil cut short.

"When you lose your best player, who's also your best leader, who's also your glue guy, it changes your team, especially when you lost four other starters," O'Neill told the OC Register. "But the outlook for the season should be this: We're trying to win the Pac-12 title. We're trying to get in the NCAA Tournament."

"I can assure you this group of guys, after seeing them three games down here, they're going to play their hearts out every single game. We might not win every game, but no one's going to want to play us."

USC will be in full-on rebuilding mode next season. Without Fontan, the Trojans will have a completely different starting lineup than the one they used at the end of last season. Maurice Jones will be the only returning back court player that saw action in more than six games, but he was demoted to sixth-man for the last nine games as a freshman. As a sophomore, he will now be counted on as the Trojan's main source of offense.

Brian Carlwell's eligibility denied: The Aztec big man was denied an application for a sixth-year of eligibility by the NCAA on Thursday. He transferred SDSU from Illinois, red-shirting the 2008-2009 season.

"I was hurt when I found out I wasn't going to be able to come back," Carlwell said in a statement. "My time at San Diego State was amazing. I couldn't ask for a better three years of my life. I was a part of an amazing team. We made history at San Diego State and our legacy will forever live and that is something I am really proud of."

Carlwell averaged just 3.8 ppg and 2.7 rpg, but he was a valuable piece for the Aztecs due to the amount of talent they are losing along their frontline. Malcolm Thomas and Billy White graduated while Kawhi Leonard entered the NBA Draft. LSU transfer Garrett Green should help, but beyond that SDSU's front line is barren.

If Carlwell's name sounds familiar, it should. He was the passenger that was in the car when Jamar Smith drunkenly drove his car into a tree back in February of 2007.

Isaiah Armwood to transfer: After the junior forward was named captain and after returning from Villanova's team trip to Europe, Armwood sat down with Nova head coach Jay Wright and made the decision to part ways.

"He's the greatest kid in the world," Wright told Jeff Goodman. "He's our hardest-working guy, our captain. We started him every game on our trip. I love him to death."

"I just want to see him achieve his goals."

Armwood was expected to start, but with Mouphtau Yarou returning and Jayvaughn Pinkston and Markus Kennedy entering the program, the amount of minutes and effectiveness that Armwood was projected to have was limited.

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