The USC Trojans struggled this season, finishing with an 11-12 overall record and an 8-10 Pac-12 record. But there could be a reason to be optimistic with a young team in the next upcoming years.
Returning will be All-Pac-12 team member Endyia Rogers. The soon-to-be junior led the Trojans in scoring, averaging 14.8 points per game. She had 17 double-digit games this season and against Arizona State, she had a career-high 30 points. A guard, she also grabbed 4.4 rebounds and dished out 4.1 assists per game. As someone who can fill up the stat sheet, I expect her to have a tremendous 2021-2022.
Also returning will be Alissa Pili, who had to sit out much of this past season with injury after being named Pac-12 freshman of the year in 2019-2020. After returning in mid-January, she averaged 11.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Given her hunger for the game, she should be ready to once again make a big impact for USC this fall.
Amaya Oliver was a true freshman this season and she made a respectable showing, scoring 5.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. While not a big scorer, she is athletic and plays good defense, and does the little things to help win games. If Oliver can develop an offensive game, she could be a massive asset for the Trojans for years to come.
USC has some new, local blood coming to campus, and they can play. Clarice Akunwafo and Rayah Marshall could be great additions to the Trojans roster.
Clarice Akunwafo 6-5 C Rolling Hills Prep
Last year at Rolling Hills Prep, Akunwafo averaged 20 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. She is a versatile post player who can also shoot from the perimeter. An outstanding rebounder, she can push tempo after getting a board. She is also a force in the paint defensively. Akunwafo and Angel Jackson will be a lovely center duo for this team.
Rayah Marshall 6-3 G Lynwood High School
Marshall has excellent size for a guard. At 6-3, she can do it all: she can drive the basket, finish in traffic and rebound. Her skill set allows her to be able to push the tempo on the fast break, and she is a terrific one-on-one player. Marshall averaged 18.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per at Lynwood.
USC has a lot of young talent on the roster and some more talent coming in. Akunwafo and Marshall will have to prove they can be effective on the college level. If they can, this team could surprise next year. Along with the returning players, the Trojans have a nice young nucleus that will need to gel together.