USC Signs No. 1 Rated JC Player Terrell To NLI
Nov. 9, 2011
The USC men's basketball program has received signed National Letters of Intent (NLIs) from guard J.T. Terrell of Peninsula JC in Port Angeles, Washington and forward Strahinja Gavrilovic from La Jolla Prep in La Jolla, Calif. it was announced today (Nov. 9) by USC men's basketball head coach Kevin O'Neill.
"J.T. is a dynamic scorer that will be able to impact our team offensively next year," said O'Neill. "He comes in with the experience of playing in the ACC which will allow him to have an immediate impact in the conference. He's an exceptional athlete that can score in a number of ways. He's as talented a perimeter player as I've coached in college."
Terrell is rated as the No. 1 junior college player in America by Swannys Roundball Review. The ultra-quick guard is playing this season at Peninsula JC in Washington, following a freshman season at Wake Forest. In one exhibition game this season for Peninsula, he scored 29 points. Terrell averaged 11.1 points per game during the 2010-11 season at Wake Forest, second on the team and fifth among ACC freshmen.
Terrell played in all 32 games for Wake Forest and made 18 starts, while recording 16 double-figure scoring games. He made a splash in his collegiate debut by scoring 26 points vs. Stetson on Nov. 12, 2010, setting the Wake Forest freshman record for points in a first game. He had a season-best 32 points vs. Iowa on Nov. 30, 2010, making seven three-pointers, including the game-winner with two seconds left in the game. His seven three-pointers made tied a Wake Forest freshman record.
He made 35.7 percent from beyond the arc (50-for-140) and his 50 three-point baskets are the fourth-most ever by a Wake Forest freshman. Terrell also made 76.5 percent of his shots from the free throw line (78-for-120).
Terrell was one of the top high school scorers in the country as a senior at West Charlotte High, averaging 30 points per game. He was ranked the No. 49 prospect overall by ESPN.com. Terrell was a two-time All-State selection and led West Charlotte to a 22-10 record and the 4A Finals as a senior. His father James lettered two years in basketball at UNC Charlotte (1991-92).
"Strahinja is a very skilled forward who has the ability to use both hands and score inside and outside," said O'Neill. "He can really rebound outside of his area. He has a bright future and his best basketball is ahead of him. Once he adjusts to the college game, we expect him to have a key role in our future. He has a wide repertoire of moves which allows him to score in a number of ways and makes him hard to defend."
Gavrilovic is a 6-8, 220 forward from Kragujevac, Serbia who came to the United States this fall and will play his senior year at La Jolla Prep. He is known to have a solid inside and outside game out to three-point range and honed those skills as a member of the Serbian U18 team at the European Championships. His father Zoran played professionally in Europe for more than a decade and is now the Secretary General of the Basketball Association in Serbia.
USC is expected to add on to this recruting class either in the fall or spring signing periods.
Next season, USC will also have the services of forwards Ari Stewart and Eric Wise. Stewart was a teammate of Terrell's at Wake Forest and averaged 8.4 points as a sophomore for the Demon Deacons. Wise transferred to USC after his junior year at UC Irvine where he averaged 16.3 points. He left UC Irvine as the 11th-leading scorer and 15th-leading rebounder in school history. Both players can practice with the team this season, but are ineligible until the 2012-13 season.