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USC basketball: Boogie Ellis is the key to another Trojan NCAA Tournament run

Apr 13, 2021, 5:34 PM PDT
USC basketball added Boogie Ellis.
USC basketball added Boogie Ellis. | Joe Murphy/Getty Images
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Memphis guard Boogie Ellis is heading back west to join USC basketball in a move that will help keep the Trojans relevant going forward.

USC basketball's Elite Eight run was the stuff of dreams, but it came to an end there. Can the Trojans hope for future tournament success?

It'll be tough with Evan Mobley leaving for the NBA along with Bruin-slayer Tahj Eaddy. If Isaiah Mobley and Isaiah White opt to move on, it'll get even more difficult.

Help is on the way, so Trojan fans should consider getting comfortable with the idea of becoming NCAA Tournament stalwarts.

On Monday night, Memphis guard Boogie Ellis committed to transfer to USC. As a San Diego prospect originally, it'll be a bit of a homecoming for Ellis. For USC, it's a massive step towards staying relevant.

Ellis was Memphis' second-leading scorer despite averaging just 23 minutes per game and spending the first half of the season coming off the bench. He put up 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in limited playing time. He has the talent to do so much more with a full-time starting gig.

In fact, Ellis averaged 12.3 points and the Tigers went 11-2 after he took over as a starter at the start of February. He had 27 points in a valiant effort as Memphis lost to Houston in the conference tournament, then put up 23 points in the Tigers' NIT championship victory. Those are exactly the kind of big-game performances Trojan fans can look forward to in 2021-22.

Ellis can create his own shot. He can shoot from distance. He can set up teammates or drive to the hoop himself.

Andy Enfield now has someone to slot right into Eaddy's role, filling a gap that would have loomed over USC's offseason without a new face arriving via transfer.

Should Isaiah Mobley decide to stay, joining Chevez Goodwin for the ride, excitement for the coming season would ramp up.

That may not be an Elite Eight caliber lineup, but is should be more than enough to put USC into the tournament field. The potential for a deep run would rest on how far Mobley and Ellis could lead them.

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