Tuesday, May 17, 2022

USC basketball recruiting: Five-star center Vince Iwuchkwu commits to Trojans

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USC landed yet another commitment from a heralded big man Friday, when the Trojans received a verbal pledge from five-star Class of 2022 center Vince Iwuchkwu. The seven-footer picked the Trojans over Baylor, Kansas, Texas and UCLA, giving USC its third commitment in the 2022 class, which moves up to No. 11 in the 247Sports Composite team rankings.

Iwuchkwu is from San Antonio but is playing high school basketball for powerhouse Montverde Academy in Florida and is ranked as the No. 12 overall player in the 2022 class, according to the 247Sports Composite. He joins Kijani Wright, a four-star power forward, and unranked shooting guard Oziyah Sellers in USC’s 2022 class.

If Iwuchkwu retains his status as a five-star prospect until signing day, it will mark the fourth time in the last five signing classes that the Trojans have landed a five-star player. The recent recruiting success has propelled the Trojans forward under coach Andy Enfield, who is 47-17 over the last two seasons and coming off an Elite Eight appearance in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

Iwuchkwu’s commitment follows the one-and-done tenure of star center Evan Mobley, who was selected third overall in the 2021 NBA Draft after ranking No. 3 overall in the 2020 recruiting class. His brother, Isaiah Mobley, was also a five-star signee in USC’s 2019 class along with fellow local prospect Onyeka Okongwu. Isaiah Mobley is expected to be a centerpiece for the Trojans as a junior next season, while Okongwu was selected No. 6 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Here is the full scouting report on Iwuchkwu from 247Sports recruiting analyst Brandon Jenkins:

Iwuchukwu is a fairly raw and mechanical big man prospect with a high upside who has been a steadfast worker and it has helped him make gradual improvement towards his body and skill set. The foundation of his production will be determined by how hard he plays. He has become more assertive and committed to rebounding the basketball and is a really tall and long prospect with elite shot altering capabilities. He shows flashes of skill, but nothing is completely polished just yet. He has a good looking release on his jump shot and developing touch that extends all the way to the three-point line. His upside is in his feel and awareness offensively. He rushes at times when he receives the ball offensively, which can result in a forced shot or turnover. The confidence, energy, and love for the game are there but once the game slows down for him, we could see Iwuchukwu transform into an elite high major center down the road.

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