USC transfer commits to Dayton Flyers

Elijah Weaver played key role off bench last two seasons for Trojans

The Dayton Flyers picked up their first new recruit since the end of their historic 29-2 season as University of Southern California transfer Elijah Weaver, a 6-foot-6 guard, announced his commitment Monday on Instagram.

» OFFSEASON UPDATE: Next step on everyone’s mind, says Anthony Grant

“After talking with my family and everybody, coaches, my dad, my mom, I decided I’m going to Dayton,” Weaver said. “I’m a Dayton Flyer.”

Dayton center Jordy Tshimanga talked to Weaver on the Instagram Live video and congratulated him on picking Dayton.

“I can’t wait to have you on the squad,” Tshimanga said. “I’m excited.”

Tshimanga also asked Weaver why he picked the Flyers.

"It was AG (Anthony Grant) and coach (Ricardo) Greer,” Weaver said. “We were talking almost every day. Coach Greer hit me up every morning."

Weaver also said speaking to the current players made his decision easy. He said he talked to Tshimanga, Ibi Watson and Jalen Crutcher.

Tshimanga told him, "You’ll get acclimated really fast. We're going to be lit. We’re going to fly. Like Flyers."

Here are seven things to know about Weaver and what the decision means for Dayton.

1. Final list: Weaver announced May 15 he would choose between Dayton, Arkansas and Central Florida. On Twitter, he wrote distance wouldn't matter in his decision because he's already been away from home — he's from Florida — and he just wanted to find the right fit.

2. USC career: Weaver averaged 5.1 points in 28 games as a freshman at USC and 6.6 points in 30 games last season as a sophomore. He shot 34 percent from 3-point range (48 of 141) over the two seasons.

» SEASON AHEAD: An early look at 2020-21 roster

Weaver started 19 games over the two seasons and averaged more than 20 minutes per game in each season. The Trojans finished 16-19 in his first season and 22-9 last season. Weaver was expected to play a larger role for USC next season.

"Elijah Weaver really stepped up during the conference play," USC coach Andy Enfield told reporters in March. "He helped us win some big games and really showed his potential and I think he's in for a terrific offseason and could be a special player for us next year."

3. Transfer decision: Weaver announced in late April he had entered the transfer portal.

“I appreciate you for welcoming me with open arms, the past two years in Southern California have been nothing but fun,” Weaver wrote on Twitter. “Memories and relationships that I’ve built and the people I’ve been able to meet I’ll cherish forever. But all good things come to an end.”

4. Looking ahead: Weaver likely will have to sit out the 2020-21 season under transfer rules and then would have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

» SCHEDULING NEWS: Dayton adds to non-conference slate

5. Recruiting history: Weaver was a four-star recruit who ranked 45th in the class of 2018, according to the composite rankings. He ranked 37th on ESPN's top 100 list. He committed to USC in October 2017, choosing the Trojans over a group that included Florida, Ohio State and Oklahoma State.

6. High school career: Weaver attended Florida Air Academy in Melbourne his freshman year and then spent two years at Oldsmar Christian on the other side of the state near Tampa. Oldsmar Christian won a state championship in 2017 when he was a junior.

Weaver then transferred to Rockledge High School, located on Florida’s East Coast near Cocoa, for his senior year.

"He grew up in our area, so we had known him for a long time," said Logan Keith, who coached Weaver at Rockledge and now coaches at Viera High School in Melbourne, Fla. "We were super excited when he decided to transfer back home and play his senior year at Rockledge High School. He was phenomenal."

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Weaver was the Class 6A state player of the year as a senior, averaging 23.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 4.3 steals.

"He's a big guard," Keith said. "He's left-handed and can shoot it. He's a guy you have to guard. He can get paint touches and knock down open shots. Dayton's getting a big-time guy."

7. UD roster: Dayton now has 11 scholarship players for the upcoming season, assuming Jalen Crutcher withdraws his name from the draft. The number would be 12 if Chase Johnson, who medically withdrew from the university in January, returns.

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