Eric Wise transferring to USC

LOS ANGELES -- UC Irvine junior forward Eric Wise will transfer to USC and signed official scholarship papers with the school Friday, Trojans coach Kevin O'Neill announced.

Wise, a junior, will be forced to sit out the upcoming season per NCAA transfer regulations and will use his final year of college eligibility in 2012-13.

"We are very excited to have a proven veteran player like Eric join our program," O'Neill said in a statement. "His sit-out year will give him an opportunity to acclimate to our system and prepare him to have a good senior season. He is a good student who did well at UC Irvine and will be in position to graduate from USC."

The Riverside native averaged 15.4 points and 6.6 rebounds in 83 career games with the Anteaters. He had contemplated transferring after his sophomore season but ended up staying for his third year at UC Irvine, finishing four points and 62 rebounds from the school's top 10 list in each category.

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound forward was Irvine's leading rebounder a year ago, averaging more than eight a game, and could provide similar numbers for the Trojans when he becomes eligible next November.

Wise played high school basketball at Riverside King High, where he averaged 20.4 points and 9.3 rebounds and earned county player of the year honors his senior season. He was also named CIF Southern Section Division IA player of the year as he led King to a CIF title and 32-3 overall record.

His cousin, Jaha Wilson, played for USC from 1994-97 and, on the day coach Henry Bibby was hired in 1996, famously guaranteed the Trojans would qualify for the NCAA tournament the next season.

They made it in as a No. 11 seed, losing to Illinois in the first round. Wilson stands in 10th all-time on USC's career rebounding list.

Pedro Moura covers USC for ESPNLosAngeles.com.