Just one week after the reported departure of forwards Darion Clark and Malik Martin and a day after the two-year contract extension of head coach Andy Enfield, redshirt junior guard Katin Reinhardt became the next Trojan to depart USC, making an announcement on Twitter on Monday.On Tuesday, head coach Andy Enfield officially granted releases to all three players.Originally a transfer from UNLV, Reinhardt, a former four-star prospect, was ranked as the 47th best prospect in the nation in 2012, earning a 94 scout ranking thanks to his shooting capabilities.During his freshman year with the Runnin’ Rebels, Reinhardt averaged a healthy 29.2 minutes, 10.1 points, 2.5 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 35.8 percent from the floor and 89.2 percent from the line. In an interview with CBS Sports’ Doug Gottlieb, Reinhardt said he left UNLV due to his reduced role on the offense and lack of ball handling.“Everybody thinks I want to be a point guard — that isn’t true. [Former UNLV head coach Dave Rice] just said I would play mainly off the ball, and I am just not comfortable that way,” Reinhardt said three years ago. “I averaged three assists a game because I like to pass and can pass and I need to have the ball in order to create, not just stand in the corner or run off screens. I’m not that type of player.”Unfortunately for the Men of Troy, Reinhardt’s primarily shooting role was not good enough, with the former Mater Dei guard transferring.Considering that sophomore guard Jordan McLaughlin and junior guard Julian Jacobs accounted for 65 percent of USC’s 504 assists, Reinhardt was understandably displeased with his 48 assists last season.Not to mention, the 6-foot-6 guard averaged the least amount of minutes in his college career so far, dropping from 29.2 to 26.9 due to sophomore guard Elijah Stewart’s increased role in the offense.Simply put, though, Stewart’s superior 3-point accuracy and per-minute rebounding totals earned him the starting job down the stretch after losing it to Reinhardt midseason. With 26.4 minutes per game, Stewart shot 42.9 percent from 3-point range and 45 percent overall in his final nine games as compared to Reinhardt’s 37.3 and 33.3 percent, respectively.Reinhardt, a potent scorer with 11.4 points per game and a 44.4 percent shooting percentage in his final season with USC, is fitted to a role which Jacobs and McLaughlin already fill.Expected to receive numerous offers with other Division I schools, Reinhardt has a lot to offer: a sweet shooting stroke, postseason experience and very much improved clamp-down defense which the Trojans will certainly miss in 2016.
Shenzhen: In-form world number three Naomi Osaka believes she is better equipped to deal with the WTA Finals’ demanding round-robin format, after her maiden appearance at the season-ending showpiece ended in tears.There was much attention on the Japanese sensation entering last year’s WTA Finals on the back of a controversial US Open victory over Serena Williams. But Osaka failed to live up to the hype in a winless campaign that ended in tears when she was forced to retire against Kiki Bertens due to a hamstring injury.Having learned the lessons from that bitter experience, Osaka said she knew what to expect in the $14 million tournament pitting the eight best ranked players of 2019.The lucrative WTA Finals has moved to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen for the next 10 years after a five-year run in Singapore.”I definitely think last year helped me in the way that I kind of know the format more,” Osaka told reporters on Saturday.”Before last year, I hadn’t played round-robin since I was, like, eight or ten.”I think the end of last year was just so hectic for me. Honestly, by the time I got to the (WTA Finals), I was just so tired,” Osaka added.She will be one of the favourites in Shenzhen having claimed successive titles in Osaka and Beijing.It has been a return to form for the 22-year-old after a stunning first round exit at Wimbledon followed by a lacklustre US Open title defence ended with a round of 16 defeat to Belinda Bencic, who she will face in Shenzhen.Osaka said renewed concentration was the catalyst for her late season revival.”Those matches that I’ve played (in Beijing and Osaka), I just tried 100 percent,” she said.”I tried to be as focused as I could every point, which for me is something very difficult to do because my mind tends to wander a lot.”Osaka has been drawn in the Red Group featuring Bencic, world number one Ashleigh Barty and Petra Kvitova.The Finals start on Sunday with Osaka up first against Kvitova, before Barty takes on Bencic.World number two Karolina Pliskova has top billing in the Purple Group and starts her tournament with a mouth-watering clash against defending champion Elina Svitolina on Monday.US Open champion Bianca Andreescu takes on Wimbledon winner Simona Halep later the same day in a battle of the past two Grand Slam champions.The top two players in each group advance to the semi-finals next Saturday.The event’s move to China is highlighted by an eye-watering total prize pool of $14 million with the winner receiving up to $4.725 million — the highest payday in tennis history. Related StoriesNo Favourites in WTA Finals, Feels World Number 1 Ashleigh Barty Ahead of Opener Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Naomi Osakatenniswomens tennis associationwta finals First Published: October 26, 2019, 4:37 PM IST