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USC center Dewayne Dedmon to enter NBA Draft

Apr 24, 2013, 5:23 PM EST

Dewayne Dedmon AP

In news that came as a surprise to many USC 7-footer Dewayne Dedmon announced his intentions to forego his final season of eligibility to enter the 2013 NBA Draft.

Dedmon, who averaged 6.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per contest for the Trojans this season, played in 31 of USC’s 32 games this season after missing the latter portion of the 2011-12 campaign due to a knee injury.

“It’s just my time to chase my dream and go to the NBA,” said Dedmon in a statement released by the school. “I had a great time at USC and it was a good experience. I had some ups and downs and learned a lot and believe it is best for me to turn professional at this time.

“I wish USC, Andy Enfield and all my teammates all the best moving forward. Andy is a good guy and I believe he will do great things here.”

(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

Dedmon definitely has upside, as he’s an athletic big man who also managed to lead USC in steals last season. But he’s extremely raw offensively, and if an NBA franchise were to roll the dice and select him they would need to be willing (and able) to be patient when it comes to his development.

Dedmon was suspended for USC’s Pac-12 tournament loss to Utah due to what was defined as a violation of team rules, shortly after allegations of his role in an altercation during the team’s road trip to Washington State surfaced.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.