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USC Notes: Augustine Quits; Silvey Speaks--(Dec. 19, 1998)

It was widely rumored this past Tuesday morning, but not officially confirmed by the University of Southern California until later in the day that Kevin Augustine would quit the USC basketball team. Well, he did, and Coach Henry Bibby confirmed it for the media late Tuesday night.

Augustine's decision was not a real surprise, but the big question is what effect it will have on the team. Bibby told reporters yesterday, "I talked to his father today and he said Kevin is transferring out."  Bibby spoke to reporters from Richmond Virginia where he was on a recruiting trip, presumably visiting Luke Minor or perhaps one of his teammates who we hear he's interested in as well. Bibby also said, "We're losing a good point guard, but I want kids who want to be in our program.  I just wish him and his family the best. Hopefully, he can find a place he wants to be."

"It was their choice that he's leaving. He's a great kid, I enjoyed having him around. He's going to make a good player for somebody," Bibby said.

Augustine's father, Lucky, again confirmed to reporters that Kevin will enroll at Fullerton College next semester while deciding where to transfer.

"I'm very sorry to hear that he's leaving," Bibby concluded.

So where does this leave USC for now?  Probably with Brandon continuing as the starter for the foreseeable future, Ayuso as the backup and possibly Quincy Wilder getting some time at the point. And it leaves the Trojans with a big wide pathway to Tito Maddox (6'-4" Sr. PG/SG) from Compton for next year, but the big question will be, is Granville playing well enough so that Bibby won't need to recruit another point, at least not for the next couple of years? Only time will tell about that.  

Kevin Augustine also spoke to the media on Wednesday, and Thursday's local papers had lots of stuff about him and quotes from him. 

About not playing more in the Kansas game, he told reporters, "It was a surprise to me that after playing 21 minutes against Loyola Marymount, I didn't play more than six and a half minutes against the No. 8 team in the country. I felt they would need me more than that. "Ever since I came back, I felt like I didn't fit in. It reiterated to me that I don't fit into the puzzle. So I feel like this is the best thing for me."

About his earlier suspension, Augustine said: "It was a time for me to step back and get my career choices figured out," Augustine said. "I wanted to see if I really wanted to play basketball. Coach Bibby was supportive of me, but he had to show the other players that you can't leave like that without any action being taken."

About Brandon Granville, he told reporters,  "It had nothing to do with the coaches. There was no friction with Brandon Granville and I," Augustine said. "It just wasn't a perfect match, but I tried to make things work."

About his chances for the future, Augustine said, "I had lots of calls (Tuesday). I have lots of options and people to contact. I'll sit down and weigh my options."

* * * * * *

Pac-10 Media Teleconference:

On Tuesday, December 15, Coach Bibby was out of town and didn't participate in the weekly Pac-10 Coaches Conference Call, but USC assistant Silvey Dominguez did.  Here's what he had to say to reporters who were in on the call:

USC's Performance:  "Like everybody else in the Pac-10, we want to just get better and reach our goals.   And starting at 6-1, we feel we're doing as well as we can. Obviously our performance in Kansas not best the performance of year. With finals going on this is a difficult time. But we're going back to basics. With Granville, Scalabrine,  Trepagnier and some of the other new players, we believe we're coming together."

On Quincy Wilder: "He's having to learn to play at a different level. You know, it's always a big surprise to guys coming into the Pac-10 from other levels, especially jc players,  just how hard it is at this level. We'd like Quincy to be a bit further along in his progress, but we're generally pleased.  Good things will happen for Wilder. His minutes will improve, and we'd like to see him improve his shooting from the field, and we need him to be able to knock down the open jump shot. But we're very happy with his effort."

On Kevin Augustine: "I really can't comment on that, and I think that coach Bibby should be the one to talk about it."

On Brian Scalabrine: "He's a gym rat, a workaholic, a very focused player and extremely coachable. He's got a passion for the game, which sometimes is able to overcome deficiencies that he might have. He has an array of tools, many ways to score, whether on the block or the perimeter, and he's one of those rare guys who comes in and never misses a beat, even though he sat out last year after transferring.   He's still got to improve his rebounding and he needs to stop the turnovers (he leads in turnovers) and he will improve. We, as a coaching staff,   think his footwork is really good, but the officials don't seem to agree, and so we've got to get him to conform to what the refs are comfortable with so he doesn't get called for traveling so much, but we're very pleased with Brian."


Next USC Game:

USC next plays this coming Monday at 7:00 p.m. at the Sports Arena against American University.

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