USC men’s basketball could use a little boost on the hardwood after the disappointment of 2017-18, but it’s the end of June, so sources of inspiration are somewhat hard to find.
What a perfect time, then, to check on the composite recruiting rankings.
— USC Men's Basketball (@USC_Hoops) June 29, 2018
While that tweet might inspire (perhaps frightening) visions of Andy Enfield as president of the United States, it actually represents USC’s grip on the national men’s basketball recruiting landscape. While typically a top-35 program in recent years of recruiting (Nos. 18, 31 and 34 in 2018, 2017 and 2016), Enfield’s efforts have never garnered this type of attention, not with the likes of Arizona and UCLA contending for the same recruits.
Thanks to the commitment of 5-star center Onyeka Okongwu, that has changed. USC owns the nation’s best class in terms of 247Sports’ composite ratings, which awarded the Trojans 63.59 points in the recruiting game. USC’s average recruit rating of 98.44 places it ahead of every school with at least two commitments except for Kentucky, with an average of 99.07.
USC also benefits from being one of just two schools to have three commitments in the 2019 class, which helps boost its overall point total, creating somewhat of an uneven plane upon which these schools are judged at this point in the process. Crosstown and conference rival UCLA is the other, with two 4-star recruits and one 3-star pledged to the Bruins.
In conclusion, it’s a hot start for USC. But as other programs add commitments to their classes, that point-total lead will inevitably shrink, or disappear entirely, unless the Trojans can land another big-time prospect or two. Might as well toot the Trojans horn while on top.