September 11, 2013 by Ryan MacDougall
By Ryan MacDougall
On Wednesday afternoon, head coach Andy Enfield received some good news, as highly-touted 5’11″ point guard Jordan McLaughlin committed to USC. McLaughlin is a local kid from Etiwanda, Calif., and he led Etiwanda High School to a CIF SS 1AA championship in his junior season. ESPN rates McLaughlin as a five-star recruit, while Rivals, Scout and 24/7 Sports give him four stars. McLaughlin is rated as the 18th best player in nation by ESPN, 36th by Scout and 43rd by Rivals.
As stated in our Battle of the Beach evaluation, McLaughlin is a very gifted point guard who knows how to score the basketball. He is very quick with a great burst off the dribble that allows him to blow by his defender with ease on offense. On the defensive side of the ball, he has a knack for creating turnovers. McLaughlin is also very creative in using his exceptional ball-handling to create offensive opportunities. Along with being a strong scorer, McLaughlin has shown consistently that he can dish out nifty assists. McLaughlin has the desire to run and play fast, up-tempo basketball, which should fit nicely with Enfield’s scheme.
USC was considered to be McLaughlin’s top choice for a while now, and after his official visit to USC this weekend, he decided to pull the trigger. McLaughlin was also being recruited very hard by crosstown rival UCLA, as well as powerhouses Kansas and Indiana. In fact, McLaughlin has official visits scheduled for Kansas and UCLA in October, but decided to commit anyway. After losing out on point guard recruit Josh Perkins to Gonzaga, UCLA made a huge push for McLaughlin, but it was apparently not enough. His commitment to USC over UCLA makes it even more satisfying to Trojan fans and it symbolizes that there could be another collegiate basketball powerhouse emerging in Los Angeles.
Like USC’s other commit, Malik Price-Martin, McLaughlin will definitely play and have a huge impact immediately. McLaughlin is just too talented to keep off the court. Also, with Pe’Shon Howard leaving after this season, McLaughlin and Julian Jacobs will be the only scholarship point guards on the roster for the 2014-2015 season. With two scholarships available for the 2014 recruiting class, USC hopes to add local sensation Stanley Johnson along with another big man to finish out their class.
If you have any questions about McLaughlin or USC basketball recruiting, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our third mailbag will be up this Friday.