USC is bringing in a talented shooter in Bennie Boatwright. How has the 2015 prospect expanded his game as a senior and what will he provide to the Trojans next season?
A successful high school career is over for 6-foot-9, 210-pound Sun Valley (Calif.) Village Christian power forward Bennie Boatwright
, which means the 2015 prospect can now focus on the next stage in his basketball career.
signee made a step forward as a prospect as a senior and has a skill set that should come in handy for the Trojans next season.
Boatwright is ranked 55th in the class by Scout but is one of the top shooters nationally. Given the fact that Boatwright is 6-foot-9, that makes him a serious offensive threat from the perimeter.
USC finished Pac-12 play hitting at a 32.9% rate from three - 11th in league - this past season so Boatwright's shooting prowess should give the Trojans a weapon they sorely missed this season.
One of Boatwright's biggest improvements over the last year has been how he's become a better passer and used his vision to make teammates better.
At the college level, Boatwright won't be considered a huge threat to take defenders off the dribble from the perimeter, which means he's going to be face-guarded.
The fact that he can counter those who defend him that way by passing over defenders into the arms of cutters will give the Trojans an added offensive weapon.
Boatwright has also become a better area rebounder. He's not going to grab boards on athleticism, but does have the size, length and feel to do a nice job on the glass.
USC finished 8th in the conference on the defensive glass - 24.5 per game - this season and Boatwright's minutes should help improve that next year.
More importantly, Boatwright gives USC size and talent that it just doesn't have much of at the four spot. The Trojans two natural four men on the roster - Malik Martin
and Darion Clark
- are limited players who combined for 39.9 minutes a game last season.
You can expect Boatwright to take over half of those minutes in 2015-16 - and more likely than not more - allowing Martin and Clark to be more efficient role players than guys who the Trojans are counting on.
The biggest area that Boatwright will need to improve on is defense. He's not especially quick or athletic and will be forced to defend the interior in any kind of man to man situation.
Look for Andy Enfield to run a lot of zone next season to protect Boatwright - amongst others - and allowing the elite shooter to stay out of foul trouble so he can use his jumper to help USC win games.
Enfield, being an offensive minded coach, isn't going to be successful without guys who can score it, and Boatwright's ability to knock down shots at a high level will be an important addition to the Trojans.