After having an incredible off-season, USC basketball has the potential to bounce back as one of the top seeds. In addition to what was already an extremely talented roster, USC now has some of the top freshmen in the nation with Vince Iwuchukwu, Tre White, Kijani Wright, and Oziyah Sellers. Each of these players could be in for some quality minutes this season, despite only being freshmen.
As the season-opener is within reach, there is no clear "number one option" who will take command on both ends of the floor. Head coach Andy Enfield will have to decide whose skillset fits the criteria needed to lead USC to a deep tournament run.
Although there may be several players who could dominate this season, only two players come to mind when referring to USC basketball's "number one option." Both Drew Peterson and Boogie Ellis have the talent, experience, and leadership abilities required to take over as the focal point on both ends. Enfield will be expecting Ellis and Peterson to compete to the best of their abilities all season long.
With that being said, only one of these two will have the responsibility as the "number one option." While Ellis and Peterson may be just as talented on the floor, guiding the younger players will create separation in their duties off the floor. This leaves Peterson with the role of the "number one option" for a variety of reasons.
USC basketball should lean on Drew Peterson as the "number one option."
USC basketball is extremely lucky to have two proficient guards who are willing to improve their game no matter what the cost. The slight edge goes to Drew Peterson as he has more experience and a more versatile skillset.
As he enters his fifth season of college basketball, Peterson could be seen as a role model to those entering their freshman season. His role as the "number one option" will take place mainly in the locker room. Some of these responsibilities may consist of providing insight when watching the film, leading when others are facing adversity, and even teaching the underclassmen how to elevate their game to the collegiate level.
On the court, opposing teams will already have their eyes focused on Peterson. Not only can Peterson score at all three levels, but he is very efficient when doing so. Last season, Peterson had a true shooting percentage of 57.3. This is remarkable, especially considering Peterson's size and build.
As a guard, Peterson can rebound the ball at a very high level and can defend almost any position. Throughout the 2021-22 season, Peterson posted a rebound percentage of 10.3. Furthermore, Peterson had 10 games with eight or more rebounds. Earlier on in his career, Peterson found himself struggling when rebounding the basketball. As time went on, he gradually improved making rebounding one of the strongest aspects of his game.
Having a guard who is eager to work on his weaknesses is essential to any team that wants to compete. As Peterson is used to the spotlight, he will have no problem leading as the "number one option." Enfield will notice success in his players on and off the court with Peterson in control. He checks off every box needed when evaluating some of the best players in the country.