To say Andy Enfield had a rough first season at USC would be an understatement. The Trojans struggled to a 11-21 record while going 2-16 in the competitive Pac-12. Enfield was hired late by USC, so he had to play the players who were already on the roster who did not necessarily fit the run-and-gun style he employed while at Florida Gulf Coast.
Enfield’s Trojans struggled throughout the season with a roster was made up of fifth-year seniors, castoffs and freshmen who had never played a game at the collegiate level.
Enfield however, was brilliant in hiring Tony Bland and Jason Hart as assistants, as both have really strong ties to the Los Angeles area. Those ties have never been more apparent than today with four-star guard Elijah Stewart committing to the Trojans. With Stewart’s commitment, one thing is becoming apparent: Enfield has USC going in the right direction.
At one point, Stewart was committed to Loyola Marymount and was considered to be a steal for the Lions. Stewart played his high school ball at Westchester High School for the past two years and quietly became the best player in the Los Angeles city section. Once Max Good was fired from LMU, Stewart became one of the most sought-after players in the country. There was a plethora of schools across the country who had interest in him including: North Carolina, UCLA and Oklahoma State. But in the end, it was USC who received the commitment.
At 6-foot-5, Stewart projects to play the two or three at USC and joins a team that is suddenly full of talent. Stewart will join five-star point guard Jordan McLaughlin in addition to UNLV transfer Katin Reinhardt who will be eligible this year. Enfield has also added Malik Marquetti, Jabari Craig and Malik Price-Martin to what will be a completely different team in comparison to last year’s Trojans.
McLaughlin is an amazing point guard, but Stewart may be the one to take this team to the next level. Stewart’s game extends way beyond the 3-point line and he may his jumping ability is off the charts. Playing in Los Angeles, Stewart has played against California Player of the Year and Arizona signee Stanley Johnson several times, and always held held his own.
College basketball in Los Angeles is great when both UCLA and USC are both competitive. After today, it is clear that Enfield will have his Trojans competitive for a long time.