Bronny James’ arrival at USC magnifies big dramas in recruiting and the portal

Bronny James, a consensus top-20 recruit in the United States, clearly makes USC basketball a lot better. The Trojans picked up a really good player and now have an even deeper roster heading into next season. Yet, let’s be clear about a few things: First, the Trojans need at least one more piece to have a complete roster. Second, Bronny James might influence who that roster piece will be.

A number of details and news items are worth sharing with you, as we consider how Bronny James — before he plays a single game at USC — could continue to influence the Trojan basketball program and its 2023-2024 roster:


The hot rumor in college basketball right now is that Bronny, due to the fact that Klutch Sports represents both him and Kentucky commit Aaron Bradshaw, could flip Bradshaw to USC.

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Kentucky insiders think Bradshaw is staying with John Calipari, and that might be the proper read of the situation, but stranger things have happened. This situation definitely merits attention, and there are more details which need to be sorted out.


Dickinson, the best big man in the transfer portal, committed to Kansas this past week. He was considering Kentucky. Dickinson going to Kansas might enable Aaron Bradshaw to stay at Kentucky, which would prevent USC and Bronny from flipping him. However, that’s not the full story.



USC needs a power forward. Keshad Johnson played on the San Diego State team which reached last season’s national championship game. He plays rugged, tough defense and is a quality rebounder, exactly what USC needs on a team which already has elite guards and scorers (Isaiah Collier, Boogie Ellis, Bronny James).

With Keshad Johnson considering Kentucky, we could have a situation in which Johnson is waiting to see what happens with Aaron Bradshaw. It’s unlikely that both Johnson and Bradshaw would go to Kentucky. If Bradshaw remains committed to Kentucky, Johnson probably goes elsewhere. You can see that Johnson is also considering Arizona. It would be a gut punch for USC if Johnson travels to Tucson to become a Wildcat. Keep your eyes on this story.



Bronny James choosing USC means he rejected Oregon. The Ducks need another piece in the transfer portal. It will be interesting to see what Dana Altman is able to achieve in response to Bronny’s decision.


Without Tre White, USC needs to go out and get another piece. Let’s make that point clear. Keshad Johnson would be great, but if not him, Andy Enfield needs a strong Plan B in the portal.



This story is noteworthy in and of itself, but also because it shows USC is going to be on national television a lot more with Bronny James aboard. That could influence recruits and portal prospects as they weigh their decisions. We will see.

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire