Even with all the turmoil, USC's Chimezie Metu says he's glad he returned for junior season

Lindsey Thiry, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

LOS ANGELES -- Family and friends surrounded Chimezie Metu as he walked toward the Galen Center exit.

A fan stopped the junior forward to ask for an autograph and thank him for his contributions to USC basketball.

"No problem," Metu said as he signed a poster, then continued on his way.

The Trojans had just lost to UCLA for the second time this season, and when Metu walked off the court after the game Saturday night, he pulled his jersey over his face and was overcome by emotion in what could be his final appearance on USC's home floor.

Metu said after the game that he had not made a decision whether he would make himself available for the NBA draft or return for his senior season.

"I'm still here," Metu said. "I'm still worried about USC basketball."

Sponsored Video Stories from LifeZette

When the 6-foot-11 Metu put off the NBA last spring for a third season with the Trojans, he could hardly have imagined it would turn out the way it has.

USC (21-10 and 12-6 Pac-12 Conference) finished second in the conference for the first time since 2002 and secured a first-round bye in the conference tournament in Las Vegas. The Trojans on Thursday will play the winner of the Wednesday game between Washington and Oregon State.

Metu earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors for averaging 15.9 points and 7.4 rebounds a game.

But off the court, the Trojans' season has strayed.


swipe to next page


blog comments powered by Disqus