Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Boy, have things really started to kick into gear for men’s basketball at the Galen Center. After recruiting the likes of Pe’Shon Howard, Katin Reinhardt and Darion Clark to officially transfer, Malik Price-Martin becomes the Trojans first high school commit for the recruiting class of 2014.
Just as news broke surrounding Price-Martin’s commitment to USC, the Trojans’ budding Class of 2014 now ranks 34th overall and 5th in the Pac-12.
For a look at USC’s newest pledge, check out this great video profiling his talents at the AAU level in the final prep tournaments of the summer in Vegas.
While this upcoming fall may be a trial season for Andy Enfield’s staff to institute a new system, his work on the recruiting trail will truly begin to paint the new picture around the USC Men’s Basketball program: one muddling in mediocrity, searching for their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2010.
Enfield made an immediate promise on day one to begin winning the recruiting battle in California. Standing so strong in his conviction, the Trojans’ head coach believes USC can make not only make the Final Four, but also to do it with just California talent.
Assistant coaches Tony Bland and Jason Hart will help the Trojans in this department. Now basketball fans can consider the 2014 class as one to shift the conversation around USC hoop from hype-filled disappointment towards a long-term big man on the block.
TOP CALIFORNIA PROSPECTS IN CLASS OF 2014:
Jordan McLaughlin: PG 6-0 165 ETIWANDA HIGH SCHOOL: RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA
- OFFERS from Gonzaga, Stanford, Indiana, UNLV, UCLA, Kansas, UCONN among others
- High School Connection with Byron Wesley
- McLaughlin’s game resembles a young Russell Westbrook in terms of explosion and scoring ability with the basketball. He can score at the basket, from the perimeter and behind the arc, combined with great vision to distribute the basketball.
Stanley Johnson: SG 6-6 220 MATER DEI HIGH SCHOOL: FULLERTON, CA
- OFFERS from Arizona, Kentucky, Louisville, Oregon, Syracuse, UNLV among others.
- High School Connection with Katin Reinhardt and USC Pipeline with Mater Dei.
- Johnson is tough to stop in the open court where he utilizes strength to power his way to the rim. One of the more underrated aspects of Johnson is his willingness to compete, something he has showcased throughout summer AAU play. (I.E. Leonard Washington USC 2009)
Malik Pope: SF 6-8 210 LAGUNA CREEK HIGH SCHOOL: ELK GROVE, CA
- OFFERS from Arizona, Cal, Gonzaga, Kansas, SDSU, Oregon, UCLA among others.
- Pope is an elite prospect with handles like a point guard, explosion like no other amongst the crop of California prospects and a solid shooting touch from behind the arc.
- The five-star recruit hasn’t been able to make his mark on the AAU scene, as he is continuing to recover from an injury suffered during his junior season. That being said, many of the top schools in the nation will definitely take notice the second he returns to the floor.
Isaiah Bailey: SG/SF 6-5 185 COMPTON HIGH SCHOOL: COMPTON, CA
- OFFERS from Gonzaga, Oregon State, San Diego State.
- Showcased his athleticism with monster jam at Pangos Spring Sweet Sixteen.
- Bailey’s length and quick hands are impressive on the defensive end. That being said, his wiry play on the court leads to many mistakes with the basketball and off-balanced possessions. While raw, Bailey has shown plenty of burst and passion on the floor.
Thomas Welsh: C 7-0 245 LOYOLA HIGH SCHOOL: REDONDO BEACH, CA
- OFFERS from ASU, Cal, Santa Clara, UCLA, Portland and plenty of interest from numerous Ivy League schools.
- According to 247sports.com, Welsh is 6th-ranked center in the nation and 10th best prospect in California. He shined in Battle At the Beach earlier this summer.
- Welsh has great size, good length, soft hands, and he plays with efficiency at both ends. Still trying to develop into his body, Welsh is an inconsistent rebounder that being said, he still is a force on the defensive end of the court.
Kameron Chatman: SF 6-6 175 LONG BEACH POLY HIGH-SCHOOL: LONG BEACH, CA
- OFFERS from Arizona, UConn, Michigan, Oregon, and UCLA among others.
- High School Connection with current USC freshmen Roschon Prince.
- Chatman has a terrific frame with very long arms and overall great length. The left-hander has a soft shooting touch that should get better with added strength, very finished prospect.