When the Runnin' Utes face USC in their Pac-12 Conference Tournament opener Wednesday, the Trojans will be missing a pair of players.
Two USC players were allegedly involved in two brawls that broke out in Spokane, Wash., following the Trojans' 76-51 loss to Washington State last Saturday.
Today, the two players, 7-foot-1 senior James Blasczyk and 7-0 junior Dewayne Dedmon, were suspended from all team activities indefinitely for violating a team rule.
"We are aware of the Spokane investigation into an alleged incident involving those players and we are cooperating with the authorities to determine the facts," said USC interim head coach Bob Cantu. "Until we learn all the facts, it would be inappropriate to comment further."
The USC Athletics Department has been in touch with the police in Spokane and is still looking into the situation.
"At this point, all I can tell you is we are aware of the report and are trying to get more info from the Spokane authorities,” USC athletics spokesman Tim Tessalone told CBS-Los Angeles.
USC's Dedmon is an active starter and losing him in the lineup could severely affect the Trojans Wednesday in a first-round match up with the Utes.
Dedmon started 29 of 31 games this season and averaged 6.7 points and seven rebounds per game. He has also been a blocking machine for the Trojans with a total of 66 rejections in the 2012-13 campaign.
Utah's previous meeting with USC in January, the Utes dropped double-digit decision at the Huntsman Center. In the game, Dedmon led the Trojans with 13 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.
When the Utes were in the midst of making a second-half run by cutting the deficit to eight points with 10:26 remaining in the contest, Dedmon spurred a Trojan rally with a key put-back dunk off a missed free throw.
Utah had no match for Dedmon on the boards, and that showed to be a huge factor in the final result.
Whitney O'Bannon is currently a new media sports intern for the Deseret News.
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