Darion Clark, Malik Martin and Malik Marquetti, bench contributors for the Trojans are reportedly set to transfer away from USC basketball this offseason.
UPDATE (12:19 p.m.): Malik Marquetti has tweeted that he is NOT transferring from USC.
ORIGINAL (11:38 a.m.): USC basketball is set to lose forwards Darion Clark and Malik Martin as well as guard Malik Marquetti this offseason, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports and multiple other reports.
Clark will graduate and transfer for his final season of eligibility while Martin and Marquetti will have to sit out the year with two years of eligibility remaining each.
USC was expecting to return nearly everyone from the 2015-16 roster except graduating senior Strahinja Gavrilovic. However, with three incoming freshmen and Louisville transfer Shaqquan Aaron set to join the team, the Trojans did need to make room on the roster.
The hole left by Clark will be the most difficult to fill. He was an important figure for the Trojans coming off the bench to provide greater toughness and rebounding ability. He dealt with a series of injuries at the close of the season while USC was in a slump, losing six of their final eight games.
Clark also sat out the Trojans’ NCAA Tournament loss to Providence with a shoulder injury. In just 289 minutes of action in 2015-16 he had 119 rebounds.
USC’s depth at forward was already questionable. The absence of both Clark and Martin puts pressure on freshman forward Harrison Henderson to contribute. Aaron, who is 6-foot-7, could also help on the boards next season.
Aaron is also the answer to Marquetti’s departure as an added wing player. The Trojans will also welcome guards Jonah Matthews and De’Anthony Melton who might have pushed him further down the pecking order.
Martin and Marquetti saw limited action in 27 games this past season. Marquetti averaged two points while Martin averaged 1.8 points.