Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 11/16/11
True freshman guard Byron Wesley was considered the No. 1 recruit in the state of California, averaging 19.2 points per game his senior year and scoring in double figures in all but one game. He led Etiwanda High to a 29-4 record before losing in the round of 16 in the California State championships. In the Trojans' first two games - a 66-59 win over Cal State Northridge and a double overtime 61-64 loss to Nebraska - Wesley played a total of 75 minutes. He averaged six points and five rebounds per game. He is starting to earn comparisons to former Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Simmons as he leads the team in steals (4) and is tied for second with assists (4). Simmons had 95 rebounds, 46 assists, 25 steals and eight blocks his senior year. After going undrafted in the 2011 NBA draft, he signed with the Yokohama B-Corsairs in Japan. Its a pretty big role to fill, but I definitely look to it as something I want to be like someday. Marcus, he was a real good defender, I definitely model my defense out of him. Wesley also tries to model his game after the Atlanta Hawks Joe Johnson and the Sacramento Kings' Tyreke Evans. He feels that between his size and ball handling skills he has something in common with the two professional guards. But when it comes to the here and now, Wesley looks to injured senior Jio Fontan for guidance. Wesley has been thrust into a starting role much faster than anyone expected after Fontan tore his ACL in an exhibition game in Brazil. I didnt expect to be playing all these minutes as a freshman and having to fill this role and having to start, its really made me adjust, said Wesley. Hes our captain and he always has great words of wisdom for me. If I ever had any problems, I just go to Jio and he usually knows the right thing to say. Wesley admits that the adjustment started off slow, but the first thing he caught on to was the speed of the game. He definitely noticed that he wasnt in Etiwanda anymore. Everybody is your size. Everybody is as good as you are, if not better. It just makes you play at a high level. Now Wesley says he is trying to extend his range on his outside jump shot to round out his offensive arsenal. Its an arsenal that he feels compliments fellow guards Maurice Jones abilities well. After two games its clear that the Trojans offensive is lagging behind their defense. Much of the slack will need to be picked up by this duo. Mo, he can do pretty much anything on the court, said Wesley. And I think Im a good driver so when he gets the ball he penetrates, maybe too many people hop off him, I can step out, hit the jumper or try to get into the hole. Wesley verbally committed to USC his junior year. The Trojans were banned from the postseason that year and faced an avalanche of graduating players over the next two. Yet Wesley was practically sold on USC from the start. I had no doubt that I wanted to come here. Wesley credits his relationship with head coach Kevin ONeill and the environment USC offered. He ONeill showed me he really wanted me and I just felt a connection. I came and took an unofficial visit and I just loved the campus and the facilities and it was just the place I wanted to be. Ultimately, for the self-proclaimed Harry Potter fan (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is his favorite) it was about finding not just a new athletic program, but a new world. Weve got great alumni, great student support and the academics are real good. Oh, and he thinks that his basketball team has a pretty good shot for a solid season too. Our team has been playing hard and if we keep playing like this I think good things will happen.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Browns GM Dorsey rips team’s previous personnel regime

LeBron James 'long shot' to sign with Lakers

Eli Apple, Landon Collins now in a feud with the Giants

Report: MLB investigating source of Shohei Ohtani medical info leak

Steve Kerr caught taking a bath during radio interview?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Le’Veon Bell on playing Patriots: Opportunity is here

Jones cites 'problematic aspects' to NFL disciplinary process

Russell Wilson reveals best defender he's played against

Sapp lying with explanation for giving co-workers sex toy gifts?

Alex Collins wears dark visor to keep migraine headaches at bay

Ron Rivera: Everyone knew Aaron Rodgers would be back

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

The 'Is there anything Brown can't do for you?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Newcomers help Predators get back to 'Smashville' hockey

How Buddy Hield became the NBA's newest sniper

NFL MVP Watch: Antonio Brown enters suddenly wide-open race

The 'To the Victor, go the spoils' quiz

Matt Barnes and the looming end of the NBA's enforcers

25 players to watch in the pre-Christmas bowls

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

The 'Is there anything Brown can't do for you?' quiz

Newcomers help Predators get back to 'Smashville' hockey

How Buddy Hield became the NBA's newest sniper

NFL MVP Watch: Antonio Brown enters suddenly wide-open race

The 'To the Victor, go the spoils' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker