Taylor King says that he loved Villanova and appreciated the two years he spent at the Main Line school, but that he needed to return to his home in Southern California to deal with personal matters.
King, who withdrew from the Wildcats' basketball team in June but had intended to return to Villanova this fall, said Thursday he has transferred to the University of Southern California, just a short trip from his home in Huntington Beach, Calif.
The 6-foot-6 forward, who is entering his senior year academically, made the decision to move back west after he returned home following the end of summer school.
"I just wanted to be back home," King said. "I needed to be back with my family. I have personal issues I need to deal with and I had to go back. But it's all right. It's good."
King said he considered two NAIA schools in California, Azusa Pacific and Concordia, where he could have played immediately next season. But in going to USC, he'll have to sit out the 2010-11 season as a transfer, and then have only one year of eligibility left.
He will pay his way at USC next year because the Trojans are out of scholarships, but he will get a scholarship the following year.
King played his freshman year at Duke, then had to sit out a year after transferring to Villanova.
"I loved Villanova," he said. "I loved the fans and I loved the people I met there. They all know how I feel."
King also called a quote allegedly attributed to him on a website that a USC education is superior to a Villanova education "the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. I would never say anything like that."
King, who sat out the 2008-09 season after transferring from Duke, averaged 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds for Villanova last season.
However, he sat out the final game of the regular season against West Virginia for a minor disciplinary issue, and saw sporadic action in the Big East and NCAA tournaments.
Villanova coach Jay Wright was not available for comment.