USC basketball beat out by rival for elite-level PF recruit

Isaiah Mobley, USC Basketball, USC Trojans
Isaiah Mobley, USC Basketball, USC Trojans / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

USC basketball missed out on Devin Williams' commitment last Sunday, which was a tough blow to a recruiting class that's yet to pick up a 2023 recruit. Even worse, they lost out to UCLA. Not that the Bruins have a good recruiting class, or at least not yet, as this was their first commitment.

Still, though, it would be more than preferable to have begun this class with a four-star pickup (all recruiting ratings and rankings in article are as of 247Sports). Not only that, but Williams is a top 12 player in the state of California for the 2023 class, as well as the No. 13 Power Forward in the nation.

To add insult to injury, Williams began to put a USC hat on in his commitment video, only to throw it across the room and put on a UCLA hat to commit to the Bruins:

USC basketball has been recruiting much better than UCLA leading up to this cycle.

Here is how USC basketball's last five recruiting classes have ranked nationally, in order from most recent to most distant: 7th, 41st, 29th, 7th, and 18th. Now look at UCLA's: 12th, 35th, 55th, 78th, and 6th. USC has been so much better, and it's been night and day. Continuing to out-recruit UCLA these days would be huge, and it would have been a crucial pickup to land Williams.

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It's not the end of the world, as it's only September (and August when the commitment happened). It's fair, however, to be disappointed that SC missed out on a 6-10, 205 lb Power Forward that would have fit perfectly in with the size that SC just recruited in the 2022 class.

Hopefully USC responds, and if not, they'll likely be relying on five-star Center Vince Iwuchukwu or four-star Power Forward Kijani Wright to be dominant down low in the 2023-2024 season.

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The great thing about that, though, is that those two are great bets themselves, and were both rated higher than Williams out of high school. It's fair to be disappointed by this recruiting outcome, but it's not time to panic.