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Report: Academic issues end career of USC forward Ari Stewart

Ari Stewart

Southern California forward Ari Stewart puts up a shot during the second half of their NCAA college basketball game against Washington State, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Los Angeles. Southern California won the game 72-68. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


Just days after finding out that VCU transfer D.J. Haley is eligible to play immediately, USC’s front court rotation took a hit.

According to Galen Central, 6-7 senior forward Ari Stewart’s collegiate career has come to an end for academic reasons. With Stewart sitting out the 2011-12 season after transferring to the Pac-12 school from Wake Forest, his five-year “clock” to complete four seasons of eligibility expires as a result of this development. If there’s a positive to take out of this news, it’s that Stewart plans to stick around and complete his degree.

In 18 games last season Stewart averaged just 3.4 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. His best outing as a Trojan came in their 62-44 win over Long Beach State on November 13, as he scored ten points on 4-for-8 shooting from the field. From a production standpoint this isn’t a huge loss for first-year head coach Andy Enfield, but it doesn’t help given their overall numbers.

The good news for the Trojans is that Haley’s arrival gives USC a second center to go along with senior Omar Oraby. But after those two and junior small forward Byron Wesley the Trojans are left with underclassmen.

Sophomore Strahinja Gavrilovic played in just six games last season, and also in the mix are freshmen Roschon Prince and Nikola Jovanovic. Darion Clark, who transferred in from Charlotte, will have to sit out the 2013-14 season per NCAA transfer rules.

With Pe’Shon Howard and J.T. Terrell on the perimeter the Trojans won’t lack for experience, with freshmen Kahlil Dukes and Julian Jacobs looking to crack the rotation as well. But USC won’t have much depth, and that has the potential to be an issue once the Trojans hit conference play in an improved Pac-12.

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