USC Basketball could be in deep trouble after tough Isaiah Mobley news

Isaiah Mobley, USC Trojans, USC Basketball
Isaiah Mobley, USC Trojans, USC Basketball / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

USC Basketball star Isaiah Mobley has officially declared for the 2022 NBA Draft. This was somewhat unsurprising, as he even had a chance to leave last year after his NCAA Tournament All-Region performance for the Trojans. Mobley followed that performance up with winning First-Team All-Pac 12 honors this past season.

It's too early to tell exactly how early Mobley will be going in the draft, but teams are going to be impressed when evaluating his performance at USC. As aforementioned, he was named First-Team All-Region (Western Region) in the 2021 NCAA Tournament when SC went to the Elite Eight.

He averaged 16 points per game to go along with 6.5 rebounds per contest during March Madness that year. He shot an incredible 61/54.5/88.9 in the tourney, and ended up actually getting even better the next year.

Isaiah Mobley's 2021-2022 season for USC basketball was even better.

Not only was Isaiah Mobley one of two USC basketball players to take home First-Team All-Pac 12 honors this season, but he did it in VERY memorable fashion. Mobley was the best player on the team--averaging 14.2 points per contest, 8.3 rebounds per contest, and 3.3 assists per contest.

He nailed 44.5% of his field goal attempts and 35.2% of his threes. A good shooter, he shot 46% from the field in his career and 36% from three. He's a player SC is certainly going to miss next year. The team already regressed drastically from where they were in 2020-2021 after losing another 2021 NCAA Tournament All-Region player in Evan Mobley.

While losing 2021 Pac-12 Player of the Year Evan (Isaiah's brother) is a bigger hit than losing Isaiah in theory due to him being the better player, context is key. Now, SC will be coming into the season while missing BOTH. The returning power coming back to the team is not particularly exciting after just this one loss. At least last year USC knew they'd likely retain Isaiah even if Evan went to the draft.

Therefore, SC will need to rely on freshmen next year. That's not the worst thing in SC's case, as the Trojans have the best recruiting class in the conference for 2022 and the sixth-best in the entire country (all recruiting rankings and ratings in article are as of 247Sports).

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The blow of losing an excellent big man in Isaiah will be lessened through bringing in a five-star, seven-foot center in Vince Iwuchukwu out of Southern California Academy in Castaic, California. They also have a signing from four-star, 6'9" power forward Kijani Wright out of Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth, California. SC will not be talent-less next year, but the roster will be less proven after losing a standout college basketball player in Isaiah.