USC’s Dedmon to leave school early for pros

Dewayne Dedmon, a 7-foot center from Lancaster who had one year of eligibility left at USC, decided Wednesday to declare for the NBA draft.

In a quote released by USC, Dedmon said, “It’s just my time to chase my dream and go to the NBA. I had a great time at USC and it was a good experience. I had some ups and downs and learned a lot and believe it is best for me to turn professional at this time. I wish USC, [new Coach] Andy Enfield and all my teammates all the best moving forward.”

Dedmon and senior James Blasczyk were suspended for USC’s final game — a loss to Utah in the opening round of the Pac-12 Conference tournament — and they were charged with second-degree assault from an incident that took place during the Trojans’ final regular-season road trip in Spokane, Wash.

Enfield, who is out of town recruiting, did not immediately respond to Dedmon’s decision.

-Diane Pucin