Jio Fontan to Southern Cal

Jio Fontan is headed from the Atlantic 10 to the Pac-10.

The former Fordham guard committed to USC Monday morning after a weekend visit to the school.

“Yeah, I committed early this morning,” the 6-foot-1 Fontan said Monday afternoon. “I just came back last night.”

He must sit out a year as per NCAA transfer regulations before he can suit up for the Trojans in December 2010.

A Paterson, N.J., native, Fontan visited Miami and USC and was to visit Tennessee and Alabama, but he saw enough at Southern Cal to make the call.

The Trojans on Saturday upset No. 9 Tennessee, 77-55, behind 12 points and 10 assists from Charlotte transfer Mike Gerrity, making his Southern Cal debut.

“What I liked most was I liked the campus a lot,” he said. “I got a chance to speak to the coaches. Coach [Kevin O'Neill] said I got a chance to come in and play and major minutes right away because they’re losing the point guard [Gerrity] and the backup point guard.”

Fontan, who led Bob Hurley’s St. Anthony team to an undefeated 32-0 season in 2007-08, led Fordham in scoring (15.3 ppg) and assists (132) as a freshman, but parted ways with the school earlier this month.  Fordham then fired head coach Dereck Whittenburg and replaced him on an interim basis with Jared Grasso.

Fontan said he plans to be on campus at USC for the start of classes in January.

“I’m really happy,” he said. “I think I made a great decision. I love California. I love the campus.  Coach ‘KO’ is mad cool. I’m in the Pac 10.

“He told me to enjoy this Christmas break and then it’s time to get to business.”

(Photo courtesy Fordham Athletics)

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