The Trojans received a commitment Friday from five-star center Vince Iwuchukwu. Over the last few weeks, the recruiting battle for Iwuchukwu appeared to be narrowing to defending national champion Baylor, and USC. Iwuchukwu’s final five also included Kansas, Texas and UCLA.
Iwuchukwu is the No. 23 overall prospect in his class in the On3 rankings. In his announcement, he referred to the relationship he has developed with Andy Enfield and Chris Capko as one of the biggest reasons he chose the Trojans. Iwuchukwu also cited the success USC has had in developing big men and talked about Chimezie Metu, Onyeka Okongwu and Evan Mobley. Iwuchukwu steadily moved up the recruiting rankings this year from No. 31 in January.
Iwuchkukwu joins 4/5 star 6-foot-9, 235-pound power forward Kijani Wright and 6-foot-5 shooting guard Oziyah Sellers in the 2022 Trojan class. USC was in on a few of the best high school centers in the country. With Iwuchukwu and Wright on board, the Trojans may continue to pursue a wing and a point guard.
The Pac-12’s national statement
Following last season’s success in the NCAA Tournament, with three teams in the Elite 8 and one advancing to the Final Four, the top-tier PAC 12 teams are following up with very good 2022 classes. The Trojan class is now No. 8 nationally. UCLA and Oregon join the Trojans in the top ten.
Those teams brought in very highly regarded 2021 classes. They will likely be the top three teams when pre-season conference polls are announced.
USC has answered the question of whether it can recruit at a high level.
Jason Hart was USC’s lead recruiter over the last several years. It was natural to question whether the current staff could continue the Trojans’ recruiting success. Any concern is now in the rearview mirror.
Hart left the Trojans in June and all three commitments came after he left. Enfield and staff are also showing they can recruit big-time players who didn’t come thru the Compton Magic AAU program. Iwuchukwu is from San Antonio and will play his final high school season in Florida.
Becoming a solid member of the top-tier teams in the Pac-12 is a very good accomplishment for Enfield. New assistant Jay Morris is reputed to be a good recruiter and Chris Capko is passionate about everything he does.
Chavez Goodwin is entering his final year of eligibility and the great majority of the college basketball media expect Isaiah Mobley to stay in the draft this Spring. Bringing in two talented front-court players to combine with Josh Morgan, Boubacar Coulibaly and Harrison Hornery will continue the Trojans front-court success. The Trojans added three high school and one transfer guard in the 2021 recruiting cycle and have one good shooting guard committed for next year. Enfield is building a program that can have sustained success in the conference and on the national level, something that has eluded USC for many, many decades.
Trojan basketball fans should be very excited about the state of USC basketball.