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Transfer Charles O’Bannon granted immediate eligibility

TCU Basketball got a big boost Monday evening.

NCAA Basketball: Portland at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

TCU Basketball got some unexpected good news Monday evening, when USC transfer Charles O’Bannon was granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA.

O’Bannon, a 6’6” forward, is the son of former UCLA great Charles Sr, who starred on the Bruins 1995 championship squad. A native of Las Vegas, NV, Chuck (as he is listed on the TCU roster), was a 5* prospect and top 30 player in the 2017 class. He averaged 21 points, eight rebounds, and four assists for Bishop Gorman, winning a state title his senior season thanks to a 36 point, 11 rebound effort. He was also named to the prestigious McDonald’s All American team, where he played alongside current pros Michael Porter, Jr, DeAndre Ayton, Trae Young, Mo Bamba, Collin Sexton, and more.

O’Bannon played in just 14 games for the Trojans, all in his freshman season. He scored 18 total points and grabbed nine rebounds in year one, but saw the floor in just the opener as a sophomore after suffering an injury to his pinky in an early-season practice. He left for TCU that spring, sitting out the entirety of the season as a redshirt year.

O’Bannon should immediately compete for minutes at small forward, where his gifted all around game on offense and length on defense will be much needed. He’s a capable ball-handler and a high-energy person and player, someone who can provide a spark on and off the court. Paired alongside RJ Nembard and PJ Fuller, Jamie Dixon will have a trio of high scoring guards that can benefit from point guard Francisco Farabello’s exceptional court vision. He and Diante Smith make for an explosive duo as well, if the Frogs want to play fast.

TCU returns a core of Farabello, Fuller, Nembhard, and junior center Kevin Samuel, and add intriguing transfer O’Bannon and Kevin Easley. Jaedon LeDee and Smith round out a rotation that could also see contributions from redshirt freshmen Mickey Pearson and Taryn Todd, as well as first year players Mike Miles, Terren Frank, and Eddie Lampkin.