Top-ranked point guard Isaiah Collier announced his commitment to USC men’s basketball on his Instagram Live Wednesday morning alongside ESPN’s Paul Biancardi, capping an already a good week for USC basketball fans.
Collier, the number one ranked recruit in the 2023 class according to recruiting analysts 24/7 Sports, chose the Trojans over Cincinnati, Michigan and UCLA. And he wasn’t the first top recruit to commit to USC this week.
In just a 24-hour time span, USC signed the highest ranked recruits in men’s and women’s basketball. Top-ranked player Juju Watkins announced Tuesday that she would stay in her hometown of Los Angeles to play at USC.
USC students said they are ecstatic, believing these two recruits will significantly help both the men’s and women’s program compete with the top teams in the country.
“I think we haven’t had a really strong guard in the last couple of years,’’ said senior Michael Friedman. “We’ve just kind of relied around a big man down low. We had Evan [Mobley], we got Isaiah [Mobley] and kind of shifting that scheme and having a really strong guard is very important for this team going forward.”
Collier is the highest ranked recruit to sign with USC since now-Cleveland Cavaliers center Evan Mobley signed with the university in 2020.
Travis Branham, 24/7 Sports’ national basketball analyst, called Collier “the best passer in high school basketball.”
“Elite playmaker with a competitive edge that sets the table for those around him,” Branham tweeted. “[He] has a chance to exit high school as USC’s first ever no. 1 recruit in the modern recruiting era.”
Collier, a 6′4″ 200-pound point guard, played high school basketball in Georgia at Wheeler High School, leading the team to two state titles.
In late May, he suffered a meniscus injury at the USA Basketball U18 workouts. He was able to return to action for the Steph Curry Camp and Under Armor Elite 24 in August, earning MVP awards in both events.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Collier discussed why he chose USC over other schools.
“I just knew that it was the best decision,” he said. “I have the best relationship with Coach [Andy] Enfield and his whole staff. It’s like a family there, and that’s the situation that I wanted to be in. Plus, it’s got great academics and that’s something that’s really important to me too.”
Collier will join his high school and Amateur Athletic Union teammate, four-star center Arrinten Page, along with four-star combo guard Silas Demary next year, according to Branham.
Watkins, USC’s other top recruit, grew up about 10 miles from USC’s campus, where she is currently a point guard from Sierra Canyon High School. Watkins is the No. 1 player in the 2023 HoopGurlz recruiting rankings on espnW and the highest ranked recruit to sign with USC since guard Jacki Gemelos in 2006, according to 2/47Sports.
One student believes Watkins’ skill set will fit what the team needs.
“We need a little bit more pace, need a bit more spacing,” senior Will Chambers said. “I think Juju’s shot is really going to open up the floor for more opportunities for passes, for looks down low, for just all around scoring.”
The incoming 2023 recruits suggest an exciting future for the Galen Center. 24/7Sports even called the two commitments the double whammy a “Galen Center coup.”
Enfield now has the No. 10 recruiting class in the country.