USC junior C Dewayne Dedmon going pro

USC junior center Dewayne Dedmon announced he will leave school early to enter the 2013 NBA draft.

“It's just my time to chase my dream and go to the NBA," Dedmon said in a statement released by the university. "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, Andy Enfield and all my teammates all the best moving forward. Andy is a good guy and I believe he will do great things here."

Dedmon was a curious case during his time at USC -- a raw 7-foot, 255-pound player with agility and quickness -- but things just never really came together in his time with the Trojans.

In 2012-13, he started 29 of 31 games and averaged 6.7 points and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per game. He also led the Trojans in blocks (66) and steals (34).

Dedmon was one of two USC players who were forced to sit out the Pac-12 tournament opener last month after being involved in an incident in Spokane (Wash.) following the season finale against Washington State.

In the 2011-12 season, his first with the Trojans, Dedmon battled injuries but still managed to start 20 games while averaging 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds.

Dedmon came to USC after two and a half years at Antelope Valley College, only one of which was spent playing basketball. Dedmon did not play basketball until his senior year at Lancaster (Calif.) Lancaster High due to religious reasons.

Dedmon is ranked by ESPN as the No. 16 center and No. 122 overall draft prospect.