The USC Trojans' road back to the NCAA Tournament looks even more bleak now that senior guard Jio Fontan will miss the entire 2011-12 season with a torn ACL; the injury occurred during the team's exhibition trip to Brazil earlier this week.
After losing center Nikola Vucevic a year early to the NBA Draft (where he was selected in the mid-first round by the 76ers), USC returned just one starter- Fontan, a devasting injury to a team with an already-limited rotation for inexperienced players and transfers. Fontan's creativity with the ball in his hands and ability to get in the lane and kick it out as well as score the basketball will be missed.
Fontan will apply for a medical redshirt in hopes of returning for a fifth season next season, which would be, if healthy, his first full season with the Trojans after transferring from Fordham in the midst of his sophomore season. If he is granted his waiver, USC should return the same core players as this season- current sophomore guard Mo Jones, Iowa-transfer Aaron Fuller and Wake Forest-transfer Ari Stewart, who is sitting this season out.