Not too many seem to know exactly what to make of USC basketball as they get closer to their 2022-2023 season. Some are quite bullish, expecting big things with Drew Peterson and Boogie Ellis sticking around.
Some, however, ignore that and their No. 7 ranked recruiting class (all recruiting rankings and ratings in article are as of 247Sports), and expect the Trojans to be pretty lackluster. One of those people is ESPN College Basketball Bracketologist Joe Lunardi, who has USC as just a ninth seed in his early updated 2023 bracket.
It's a tough look to be projected somewhere in the No. 33 to No. 36 range of college basketball teams heading into the NCAA Tournament. It would mean that SC may have made the wrong decision on extending Head Coach Andy Enfield through the 2027-2028 season.
Being a nine seed in the NCAA Tournament would be a bad look for USC basketball.
USC basketball is returning a First-Team All-Pac-12 selection in Peterson, another proven high-impact starter in Ellis, and is bringing in an elite recruiting class. Being at best the 33rd team in the nation would mean that the team isn't capturing as much as they can.
Having Peterson and Ellis in the backcourt returning and adding three four/five-star 2022 recruits in the frontcourt should net a much better season than a ninth-seeded team. Perhaps Lunardi thinks the recruiting class will better help the Trojans moving forward, and not quite in Year 1.
Regardless, the hope for SC is that five-star 2022 Center Vince Iwuchukwu, four-star 2022 Power Forward Kijani Wright, and four-star 2022 Small Forward Tre White all can make immediate impacts.
While three stud recruits could be more fruitful than the services of one player in Isaiah Mobley, it's also possible that the loss of Mobley can be too much to overcome. It truly does remain to be seen what SC can do in this upcoming year.