5-Star Center Vince Iwuchukwu Commits to USC

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2021

Photo Credit: Brandon Jenkins, 247Sports

The USC Trojans added a major piece to their future frontcourt Friday when center Vince Iwuchukwu joined their 2022 recruiting class.

The Montverde Academy product announced his decision on Instagram Live with Shams Charania of The Athletic. 

Josh An @joshh_an

BREAKING: 5-STAR 2022 C Vince Iwuchukwu commits to #USC! https://t.co/dOQ5pkUAs8

Iwuchukwu, who checks in at 7' and 220 pounds, is a 5-star prospect and the No. 12 overall player, No. 4 center and No. 3 player from the state of Florida in the class of 2022, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

The list of teams that recruited the big man included finalists USC, Baylor, Kansas, Texas and UCLA.

The first thing that jumps out about Iwuchukwu's game is his ability to protect the rim on the defensive side. His height and athleticism allow him to cover plenty of space along the baseline and also control the glass as a rebounder.

Brandon Jenkins of 247Sports also pointed to how the prospect "has a good looking release on his jump shot and developing touch that extends all the way to the three-point line."

If he continues to make strides at the offensive level, it wouldn't be a surprise if Iwuchukwu is one of the best frontcourt players in college basketball during his career. His overall ability to score on the blocks, create matchup problems with his shooting and impact the game defensively has been on full display even before joining the Trojans.

Sports Illustrated noted in June 2021 that he averaged 15.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per night in 2020-21 and then impressed at the highly regarded Pangos All-American Camp by averaging 22.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 58 percent from the field.

While expecting him to put up numbers like that as a freshman may be setting the bar too high, it wouldn't be a surprise if he was a double-double threat every time he steps on the floor.

That would work well for USC, which will look to continue rising among the national ranks after reaching the Elite Eight last season.

Consistently landing playmakers like Iwuchukwu on the recruiting trail is the surest path to competing for more deep NCAA tournament runs, and the Trojans continued their overall program momentum with this commitment.