USC Basketball: Trojans Transfer Guard Had Offseason Surgery on Elbow

He will miss most of summer practices.
Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA
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USC men's basketball has begun summer practices this week, but new point guard Desmond Claude will not be joining most of these summer practices, head coach Eric Musselman shared Thursday. Claude had elbow surgery this offseason, and will soon have surgery on his other elbow to clean up debris. He will, however, be ready to go for the 2024-25 basketball season.

"We will be without him most of this summer, but we did know that during the recruiting process ... this was important because he was playing through some pain and felt like this was the best time to do it so he didn't have to deal with pain during December and January, or after our season when he could potentially be focused on the pre-draft process," Musselman said of Claude while speaking with reporters."

Claude transferred to USC this offseason after spending his first two seasons of college basketball at Xavier. Claude had a breakout season in 2023-24, seeing his averages jump to 16.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game, after averaging 4.7 points per game as a freshman.

His free throw shooting rose over 20% in accuracy, and he nearly quadrupled his average in points per game. Claude was named the Big East Most Improved Player of the Year for his efforts.

The 6-foot-6 guard will now help a revamped Trojans team which saw a complete overhaul of the team after Musselman took place as head coach when Andy Enfield departed for SMU. Claude joined nine fellow transfers in coming to USC, including Terrance Williams III, Clark Slajchert, Josh Cohen, and Saint Thomas.

More USC: USC Basketball: Trojans Hire 2 New Staffers Under Eric Mussleman


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Eva Geitheim

EVA GEITHEIM

Eva graduated from UCLA in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in Communication. She has been covering college and professional sports since 2022.