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A (Taeshon) Cherry on Top: Trojans Men’s Basketball Land 2018 5-Star PF

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USC bolsters their men’s hoops team with highest recruit in years

USC v Baylor Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images

Friday turned out to be a huge day for the USC basketball program. Amidst the pandemonium of NBA free agency, the Trojans managed to make a splash of their own, landing a commitment for their in 2018 class with 5-star power forward Taeshon Cherry.

The consensus four star recruit announced his decision via Twitter after making his first unofficial visit just last week, per Rivals. Immediately, the LA Times called Cherry USC’s “highest-rated basketball recruit in 10 years,” and rankings seem to back that up. Cherry is the first USC commit to be ranked in Rivals’ top 30 since DeMar DeRozan who signed back in 2008.

Cherry’s decision came as a bit of a surprise despite USC’s proximity to his home of San Diego, with the versatile 6’8” forward holding offers from the likes of Arizona, Oregon and Gonzaga.

His commitment showcases the progress head coach Andy Enfield has made since arriving in 2013 from Florida Gulf Coast. After a respectable 2017 class that included Charles O’ Bannon Jr., his 2018 group is shaping up to be a slam dunk. 247 Sports currently has USC ranked eighth in team recruiting rankings, with another four-star forward J’ Raan Brooks having committed earlier this week.

The Trojans are starting to look like they can compete with perennial west coast powerhouses both on the court and on the recruiting trail.

As far as playing style, Cherry should be a solid fit in Enfield’s free flowing, position-less offense. He can attack the rim yet also space the floor with a solid mid- range and three point stroke.

While this could be the final year for established stars like Chemezie Metu and Shaqquan Aaron, Cherry can provide a smooth transition into the 2018/19 campaign. If his commitment holds up (don’t worry, I found some wood to knock on), Cherry will be something sweet for Trojan fans to look forward to.