USC’s solid run on the recruiting trail in the Class of 2016 got even better Wednesday night, as 6-foot-3 four-star shooting guard Jonah Mathews (Santa Monica, California) verbally committed to Andy Enfield’s program. News of Mathews’ commitment was first reported by Scout.com.
The younger brother of current Cal shooting guard Jordan Mathews and son of former UCLA assistant Phil Mathews, Jonah joins fellow four-star prospect De’Anthony Melton (shooting guard) and three-star power forward Harrison Henderson in USC’s 2016 recruiting class. In addition to those three, the Trojans will have Louisville transfer Shaqquan Aaron available in 2016-17.
Mathews, who played alongside the likes of Auburn freshman Nu Williams and Class of 2016 7-footer Jayce Johnson at Santa Monica HS last season, played for the California Supreme program on the Nike EYBL circuit this summer. Mathews averaged 14.3 points per game for California Supreme, and he’s considered by scouts to be one of the top perimeter shooters on the west coast.
Mathews is ranked 96th in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com.
USC doesn’t have a senior in its current backcourt, with Julian Jacobs and Katin Reinhardt both being juniors, but the Trojans are in a position where they need to stockpile talent after struggling in Enfield’s first two seasons at the helm. More options tends to mean more competition for minutes, which should benefit the program moving forward.
While USC’s backcourt rotation currently has a solid combination of youth and experience, with Julian Jacobs and Katin Reinhardt (juniors) being the lone scholarship upperclassmen, there was room for an addition that could help the Trojans defensively. Wednesday afternoon Andy Enfield and his staff received a verbal commitment from a player well-equipped to help out in that regard in the form of 6-foot-3 guard De’Anthony Melton.
Melton, a southern California native who attends Crespi High School, announced the news via his Twitter account. Melton helped lead Crespi to the CIF Division IV state title this past spring.
Melton is USC’s second commitment in the Class of 2016, joining power forward Harrison Henderson. It also in all likelihood takes them out of the running for guard Te’Jon Lucas, who will announce his college choice Wednesday evening.
As mentioned above USC won’t lack for perimeter depth when Melton arrives on campus next year. Jacobs and Reinhardt will both be seniors at that time, with Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart being juniors and Louisville transfer Shaqquan Aaron a redshirt sophomore.
One of the biggest stock risers during the month of July is set to make a decision, as point guard Te’Jon Lucas will commit on Wednesday. The native of Milwaukee will choose between his finalists of Illinois, Old Dominion and USC during a 5:30 p.m. CST press conference.
The three-star Lucas burst on the national scene with his strong play during the summer as he was one of the surprise players at the NBPA Top 100 Camp and he also performed well during July. Old Dominion has been in the picture the longest for the 5-foot-11 Lucas but Illinois and USC have both made late charges.
Lucas has taken an unofficial visit to Illinois and official visits to Old Dominion and USC during the recruiting process. A high IQ floor general, Lucas is adept at running pick and rolls and he’s the type of point guard who can get others involved.