USC Guard Gabe Pruitt Ineligible For Fall Semester

June 7, 2006

USC junior guard Gabe Pruitt, a two-year starter who averaged 16.9 points this past season while making the All-Pac-10 first team, is academically ineligible for the upcoming fall semester, Trojan head coach Tim Floyd announced today.

The 6-4 Pruitt will work to regain his eligibility in hopes of rejoining the USC squad in mid-December, about a third of the way into the Trojans' 2006-07 season.

'I'm very disappointed in Gabe,' said Floyd. 'We have high expectations for our players in the classroom. This is a setback not only for Gabe, but for our entire team.'

Said Pruitt: 'I'm very sorry to have let my coaches and teammates down like this. I take full responsibility for slipping up and losing focus in the classroom. I now have to pick it up, work hard to get eligible and use this as a lesson to be learned. I guarantee it won't happen again.'

As USC's shooting guard, Pruitt also averaged 4.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and a team-high 2.2 steals last season. He scored 30-plus points three times as a sophomore last year.

In the 2004-05 season, the Westchester (Calif.) High product made the Pac-10 All-Freshman team while leading the Trojans with a 12.3 scoring average and hitting a school-record 45.0% of his three-point shots.

Pruitt's loss, coupled with the tragic death this spring of sophomore point guard Ryan Francis, leaves USC without its starting 2005-06 backcourt to begin the upcoming season. Francis was shot and killed on May 13 while riding in a car in his hometown of Baton Rouge, La., the unintended victim of a dispute between two other men.

USC's top returners in 2006-07 are 6-6 junior guard/forward Nick Young, who led Troy in scoring (17.3) and rebounding (6.6) last season to earn All-Pac-10 and USBWA All-District IX first team honors, 6-4 senior guard Lodrick Stewart (12.3 points last year) and 6-11 senior center Abdoulaye N'diaye (5.3 points, 4.7 points in 2005-06).

The Trojans went 17-13 overall last year in Floyd's debut season.

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