New kids on the block: USC men’s basketball team welcomes three four-star, ESPN 100 recruits

The USC men’s basketball team announced Wednesday that it will add three four-star recruits to next season’s roster.

The program said in a press release that point guard Elijah Weaver, power forward J’Raan Brooks and shooting guard Kevin Porter chose USC as their home for the 2018-19 season.

USC head coach Andy Enfield, who earned a five-year contract extension this past year, praised the well-rounded abilities of his three ESPN 100 recruits in Wednesday’s press release.

Photo of Porter courtesy of USC Athletics

“[Brooks] is a talented and versatile player who can play multiple positions,” Enfield said. “[Porter] is a terrific athlete and has the unique ability to avoid the defense and make plays for his teammates. Weaver is a big guard who is a tremendous leader, passer and defender. His overall skill set will immediately help our program.”

As a point guard, Weaver is expected to play a similar role that De’Anthony Melton played during his time at USC.

Weaver not only averaged 23.1 points and 8.7 assists on a Rockledge High School team that won the Florida District 14 6A title, but also averaged 4.3 steals and was named the Florida Class 6A Player of the Year.

Weaver’s 6-foot-5, 215-pound frame allows the guard to score at all three levels, while still distributing the ball and providing key plays on the defensive end — something Melton was known for during his freshman year.

Photo of Weaver courtesy of USC Athletics

And with a similar, 6-foot-6, 218-pound frame and a similar high school alma mater, Rainier Beach natives Porter and current redshirt junior forward Shaqquan Aaron provide USC with similar playing styles.

After averaging 27 points, 14 rebounds and five assists during his senior year, Porter, Washington’s “Mr. Basketball”, ironically enough lost the Washington state title game to fellow USC commit J’Raan Brooks’ Garfield High squad.

Unlike former USC commit Taeshon Cherry, who is now committed to Arizona State, Brooks recommitted to the Trojans after initially decommitting in the wake of the FBI scandal involving former assistant coach Tony Bland last year.

Brooks is a defensively-stout, 6-foot-9 power forward who not only won a Washington state 3A title in 2018, but was also named Co-Defensive Player of the Year and helped his team to a 28-2 record.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

He will join a USC front court that will lose junior forward Chimezie Metu to the NBA Draft, and former three-star Harrison Henderson, who will transfer after this season.

However, role player Victor Uyaelunmo and starters Bennie Boatwright and Nick Rakocevic will remain at the Galen Center next year. It is unclear who from the bunch will get quality minutes in 2018 because starting shooting guard Jonah Mathews, key sixth man Jordan Usher, likely starting small forward Shaqquan Aaron, potential starting point guard Derryck Thornton and former McDonald’s All-American Chuck O’Bannon will all be returning.

Rumors around the college basketball world also suggest USC could potentially land a graduate transfer from another D-I program in the coming weeks, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

Either way, Enfield and the rest of his coaching staff will have a lot of talent at their disposal after losing four starters to the NBA.