For the first time in months, there is positive news surrounding USC basketball.
According to 247 Sports, head coach Andy Enfield holds the No.1 ranked recruiting class for 2019. The outlet ranks UCLA at second and Kentucky at third.
With the commitment of 4-star SG Drake London on Wednesday, #USC moves to No. 1 in the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings. Trojans have three commitments with UCLA seven points behindhttps://t.co/dqJ0iP2uNl pic.twitter.com/lDJwk3Gt0U
— 247Sports Recruiting (@247recruiting) June 28, 2018
The lofty spot is encouraging for sure, but it’s important not to get too excited just yet. After all, it’s only July. Perennial contenders like Duke, UNC and Arizona are certain to close the gap. Enfield’s edge comes from having already secured three commitments, while most schools have just one or two in the early stages of recruiting.
The Trojans vaulted to the top of the rankings with the commitment of four-star shooting guard Drake London on Wednesday. He joins four-star power forward Isaiah Mobley and five-star center Onyeka Okongwu in the class. According to London’s Twitter account, he also intends to play football for the cardinal and gold.
Happy Birthday to the best Dad in the world! I wouldn’t be here without my family and the Man above🙏🏽 I’m truly blessed to be fully committed to my DREAM school, USC for both Football and Basketball #TrojanMade #FightOn ✌🏽✌🏽✌🏽✌🏽✌🏽✌🏽✌🏽✌🏽✌🏽✌🏽✌🏽 pic.twitter.com/mzSSjGarFi
— Dråkë (@DrakeLondon_) June 27, 2018
USC fans may be wary of pre-season rankings when it comes to the basketball team. Last November, the Trojans entered the season at No. 10 in the AP poll and emerged as a a trendy pick to win the Pac-12. Fast forward four months, and the team was unceremoniously dumped from the NIT by Western Kentucky in the second round.
An FBI investigation and NBA Draft later, and USC is firmly in rebuild-mode. The team can no longer rely on Jordan McLaughlin’s floor generalship or Chimezie Metu’s athletic ability. Aside from the return of forward Bennie Boatwright, Enfield will be painting with a blank canvas.
Hints why the 2019 recruiting class is vital: With just one starter returning, the Trojans may be in for a long 2018 campaign. The ongoing FBI investigation raised questions about Enfield’s ability to lead the program. A string of disappointing results, like the NIT exit, would further shake his job security.
But luckily, Enfield appears to be building a solid foundation for the future. Despite losing two commitments in January, he managed a top-20 class for 2018 (power forward Ja’Raan Brooks ended up flipping back to the Trojans). A top-ten class in 2019 would do wonders in building back faith with the athletic department and fan base.
Like most good news surrounding USC basketball, take this one with a grain of salt. First, let’s just hope the team can go any length of time without a major scandal.