Stewart huge pull for Trojans

USC landed a huge commitment in Elijah Stewart on Sunday. But what makes Stewart's pledge just so significant?

At the moment when 6-foot-4, 180-pound Los Angeles Westchester shooting guard Elijah Stewart received his full release from his Letter of Intent with LMU, it became pretty clear that the most important recruit of the Andy Enfield era was immediately on the market.

Stewart had started off his senior year as an unranked and relatively unknown prospect, but put together a memorable senior year, rattling off 30-point games like they were nothing and proving himself as one of the nation's top scorers in 2014.

USC associate head coach Tony Bland - Stewart's lead recruiter - and fellow assistant Jason Hart played at Westchester, and while that initially appeared to give the Trojans a head start in the recruitment, landing Stewart didn't come easy.

The big time jump shooter took official visits to Cincinnati and Oklahoma State before choosing USC on Sunday.

In Stewart, USC is landing a player who is a terrific shooter who can knock down jumpers from both midrange three. Stewart is athletic, has a good frame with long arms, rebounds, defends and always plays hard. He's also a competitive kid who values winning.

Stewart complements USC's future backcourt perfectly.

Incoming freshman Jordan McLaughlin is gifted point guard that can create for others and score the ball himself. USC will rely on him from day one and he has the athletic lead guard has the talent to deliver.

UNLV transfer Katin Reinhardt is a perimeter specialist who will be a knock down shooter off the catch from beyond the arc.

USC also has freshman Julian Jacobs, who at worst should be a perfect backup combo guard at the Pac-12 level.

Fellow 2014 signee Malik Marquetti is a versatile wing that prides himself as a utility guy who defends, rebounds, slashes, passes and does what it takes to help his team win.

With Marquetti's versatility, the Trojans can play small with him at the four - McLaughlin, Reinhardt and Stewart can play the one through three - and use any number of their post options, or go with two posts, depending on which of USC's front court players develop.

Between Charlotte transfer Darion Clark, freshman Nikola Jovanovic, sophomore Strahinja Gavrilovic 2014 signees Malik Price-Martin and Jabari Craig, along with 2015 Top 50 prospect Chimezie Metu, USC really only needs consistency from two of those players when you look at the talent in the Trojans' backcourt.

USC will be young next season and probably isn't an NCAA tournament team until maybe year three of the Enfield era, but suddenly the Trojans have enough talent coming into the program to eventually really compete in the Pac-12 and play in the postseason.

Stewart's commitment gives USC a lot more hope for the future, and that should be clear early into his Trojans career.


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