Breaking down Boatwright's commitment
On Wednesday, USC landed one of the surprise commitments of the 2015 class, when 6-foot-8, 210-pound Sun Valley (Calif.) Village Christian power forward Bennie Boatwright pledged to the Trojans. Boatwright gives USC one of the best shooters in the class. At his size, he poses difficult matchup problems for opposing defenders given how well he shoots it from the perimeter. He's also a capable shooter from midrange and can knock down shots off the catch and pull. The key for Boatwright will be continuing to develop his game beyond his jumper. He's improved as a rebounder and passer - two areas where he has the chance to excel at given his size and natural talent - and will need to be a committed defender who always plays hard in order for him to max out as a player. Should Boatwright hit his potential and give USC a big time outside threat who can also defend and rebound outside, it would give the Trojans a very strong nucleus moving forward. Just looking at USC's 2014 and 2015 classes - ignoring transfers and guys already on the roster - the Trojans have Jordan McLaughlin at the one, Elijah Stewart at the two, Malik Marquetti at the three, Bennie Boatwright at the four and Chimezie Metu at the five. McLaughlin is a point guard that is a talented passer who can also score, Stewart is a big time scorer, Marquetti is an extremely versatile talent and Metu is an athletic post just scratching the surface of his upside. Before the addition of Boatwright, there was a hole in the USC roster with a clear need for a face up four that can create more space on offense, allowing the guards more room to maneuver in the half court and giving them a big time shooting threat on the outside. Boatwright provides that and he came - figuratively, not literally - for cheap. USC didn't invest a ton of time recruiting him. At the end of the summer, the Trojans staff didn't feel comfortable with where they stood with many of their national targets and Boatwright decided he wanted to stay home. Both parties found a need in each other that may not have been obvious a month or so ago and decided to make it work. Ranked 54th nationally in 2015, Boatwright obviously has the talent, something that the Trojans program, still in the early stages of their rebuilding process, are going to have a tough time turning away at this stage. Andy Enfield and staff will do their best to get Boatwright to play to his strengths while improving as a prospect. If this fit works for both parties, people are going to be pretty surprised in a couple years when all of the sudden the Trojans are rolling out a very talented and successful basketball team.
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