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USC women's basketball is back and better than ever after officially getting the commitment from 2023 No. 1 recruit Juju Watkins, a 6'2 senior guard from California. In back-to-back years, USC has landed a pair of top-10 talents.
Watkins' name has been in the spotlight for years, most notably playing at Sierra Canyon, whose men's team stars LeBron James' son Bronny. But while Bronny ranks No. 41 in his own class, Juju has made a name for herself as the best player of her class.
At 6'2 with shooting range, a scorer's mentality, and the motor to corral rebounds, USC is getting the whole package with Watkins. Last year, she averaged 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.0 blocks to lead Sierra Canyon to a state title. LMAO!
Watkins has shooting range, the ability to take the ball herself off-the-dribble, and a low-post game to battle in the interior. She has all the technique and size a do-it-all star needs.
Though the team hasn't made an NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014, USC has deep roots as one of the most historically incredible women's basketball programs built most prominently by four local talents.
In 1983 and 84, the team won back-to-back championships behind Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and Cheryl Miller, made a pair of Elite Eight runs twice with Lisa Leslie, and one with Tina Thompson.
Watkins is the latest top recruit looking to bring her hometown team into national relevance again.
The former Cal women's basketball head coach and Cleveland Cavaliers NBA assistant is quickly turning the USC Trojans around. Earlier this year, she earned a commitment from the No. 8 recruit in the 2022 class, Aaliyah Gayles, and No. 49 recruit in the 2023 class, Malia Samuels. (Gayles, who survived a shooting, will redshirt this season and debut with Samuels and Watkins in 2023.)
With three top-50 recruits, including the best in her class, watch out for USC next year.
USC has the fourth-best odds to win this year at +800 (bet $10 to win $80).