Zags pick up Wesley, Trojans’ leading scorer
Forward also USC’s top rebounder last season
Byron Wesley, a 6-foot-5 wing who led USC in scoring and rebounding last year, will play his senior season for the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
The addition of Wesley is another important piece for the 2014-15 Zags, who return numerous proven players, bring in four recruits and welcome forward Kyle Wiltjer into the mix after a redshirt season.
“The most important thing was the winning culture at Gonzaga,” Wesley said in a phone interview. “They’ve been to the (NCAA) tournament 16 straight times. They’ve won their conference countless times.
“That group of players they have returning, there’s a lot of seasoned veterans and I’m excited to learn from those guys because they’ve had great college experiences. I’m excited to be around a group that knows how to win and can make a run at a national championship.”
The 205-pound Wesley averaged 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds last season. He equaled his career-high with 31 points against Washington State in March. Wesley averaged 24 points against rival UCLA and had 20 points and 14 rebounds against Arizona State. He missed two Pac-12 games after being suspended for a team rules violation.
Wesley made 46.7 percent of his shots, including 33.8 percent of 3-pointers, and 71.3 percent at the free-throw line. He attempted 178 free throws, 67 more than the next teammate. He scored 1,167 career points, No. 23 on USC’s all-time list.
“I just pride myself on competing,” Wesley said. “Every time I get out there I want to be the hardest-working player on the court. I think I bring a certain toughness every day and just wanting to win and be a good teammate.”
Wesley can play multiple positions and figures to compete for a starting spot at small forward. He’s expected to be eligible immediately when he completes his degree at USC. He’s finishing up two courses this summer.
Wesley roomed with GU’s Gary Bell Jr. at the NBA Top 100 camp prior to their senior years of high school.