Freshman guard Kevin Porter Jr., who sat out the Trojans loss to Oregon on Sunday night, has been suspended indefinitely by USC basketball.
USC basketball’s woes have been many during the 2018-19 season. And they just got a bit worse.
The Trojans have suspended star freshman Kevin Porter Jr. indefinitely for “conduct issues.” Porter Jr.’s suspension started before USC tipped off against Oregon on Sunday night, but it was originally believe to be a single-game suspension.
“USC coach Andy Enfield said that Kevin Porter Jr.’s suspension is indefinite. He also indicated there’s a chance Porter could have played his last game for the Trojans: ‘He was suspended for conduct issues. We’ll reevaluate his future with the program this week’,” Brady McCollough of the LA Times tweeted.
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Porter Jr. had only just made his return for the Trojans after missing the better part of 10 games with a quad contusion. He came off the bench against Oregon State, scoring five points, with four rebounds and two assists. The Trojans lost that game in overtime.
Before sitting out with injury, Porter had lived up to the hype of his five-star rating coming out of high school. He averaged 10.7 points in his first five games as a Trojan.
Now, it’s not clear how many more points he will have the opportunity to score for USC.
Porter Jr.’s suspension is a problem for the Trojans at several levels. First and foremost, he is a potential lottery talent and USC could no doubt use his skills as they attempt to salvage a disappointing season in Pac-12 play.
On top of that, USC has a major depth problem. The Trojans have played more than half of their games so far this season with eight or less scholarship players available to suit up. Injuries have wrecked havoc along with the transfer of Jordan Usher before the start of the new year.
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Without Porter Jr. on Sunday night, USC was once again short-handed, using all eight available scholarship players, as well as two walk-ons, in a blowout loss to Oregon.
Porter Jr.’s future will remain a mystery until the Trojans decide the gravity of his conduct issues. Fortunately, they will have a few extra days to sort things out before taking on UCLA on Saturday afternoon at the Galen Center.
UPDATE 1/14: Porter Jr. has taken to Twitter to push back against talk that his USC career may be over.
“There has been speculation that I will no longer finish the season as a Trojan, those accusation & what has brought a lot of negative attention to the Trojan family are all false,” Porter Jr. tweeted. “I am a Trojan and never have once been put in a predicament from our coaching staff that I was removed & wasn’t apart of this program, I apologize for all the accusation that has been said about me & hope our support and our family stay as one! Fight on.”
It is still not clear how long Porter Jr’s suspension will last, but he at least expects to finish out the season with the Trojans.