Newly minted USC basketball coach Andy Enfield reeled in his first commitment for the class of 2014. Power forward Malik Price-Martin tweeted a verbal pledge to the Trojans this past Sunday after being offered in mid-June.
According to a report from South Florida High School Sports’ Curtis Stevenson, 4-star Price-Martin cited Enfield’s style of play and the chance to start a winning tradition among reasons for picking USC.
“I loved the style of play that you saw in the tournament and that fits my game,” commented the Florida product. “This is just the next step for me. I want to be a part of bringing winning back to the USC program.”
The 6’9”, 195-pound forward had received interest from prestigious programs such as Louisville, Florida, Miami and Syracuse, among others. He is currently ranked as the 70th best prospect on 247sports.com and 87th on the Rivals 150.
USC assistant coach Tony Bland was very excited upon the commitment, taking to Twitter to welcome Price-Martin to the Trojan family.
Based on a scouting report from ESPN (subscription required), Price-Martin has a lot of offensive versatility for his size, using above-average athleticism to score. He can shoot the mid-range jumper, post up, and lead a fast break. He has an impressive 7-foot wingspan that allows him to be an excellent shot-blocker.
The main knock on him is his lack of size for the power forward position, as his skinny frame can be pushed around. As a power forward, this puts him at a big disadvantage defensively.
Price-Martin is the prototypical forward for Enfield’s wide-open style of play. He could thrive playing in a similar role as Chase Fieler from Florida Gulf Coast’s magical NCAA tournament run.
However, he may have to wait a year before seriously contributing. USC is bringing in a four-man recruiting class this year and gaining three transfers the year after, making playing time hard to come by when Price-Martin steps on campus.
Expect him to be a three-year contributor to the Trojans as he puts on weight and adjusts to the college game during his freshman year. Once he bulks, his potential is very high.
Perhaps more importantly, this is as good of a start Enfield can get for his recruiting career in Los Angeles. He swayed one of the more sought-after recruits in the nation from top programs that were closer to home.