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USC loses leading scorer Maurice Jones for season

By Jeff Goodman | College Basketball Insider

USC coach Kevin O'Neill has taken his first hit of this season as the school announced that leading returning scorer Maurice Jones won't play this season due to academics.

A year ago, the Trojans were ravaged by injuries. However, O'Neill was confident that USC would make a major improvement with everyone healthy. Jio Fontain and Dewayne Dedmon are back -- and the Trojans have added transfers J.T. Terrell, Eric Wise, Renaldo Wooldridge and Ari Stewart.

But the loss of Jones, who led the team at 13 points per game and also led the team in assists, minutes and 3-pointers, will definitely hurt the team's depth.

The school announced that Jones is expected back for the 2013-14 campaign.

"Maurice Jones has been nothing short of magnificent for us for two years," O'Neill said in a statement. "Mo has been a great guy and great player and we want him to graduate from USC. I support him 100 percent in all that he does."

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