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USC’s JuJu Watkins does something which hadn’t happened in 28 years

The USC women’s basketball team has authored a very special season in 2024. The Trojans, as a group, have done something no USC women’s basketball team has achieved in 38 years: Get a No. 1 seed at the NCAA Tournament. USC has won the Pac-12 Tournament for the first time since 2014. The Trojans, who have played in the Galen Center for nearly 20 years, will finally host NCAA Tournament games in their on-campus arena for the very first time. This is a season full of milestones and landmark moments for USC women’s basketball. You can add one more achievement to the list: JuJu Watkins was named a First-Team All-American in 2024, marking the first time in 28 years anyone at the program has done so. You would have to go back to Tina Thompson in 1996 to identify USC’s previous First-Team All-American.

JuJu Watkins probably would have made the All-America Team solely on the basis of her scoring prowess. She has spent almost all of the season second on the average points-per-game scoring list behind Iowa superstar Caitlin Clark. Watkins likely would have been a Second-Team All-America selection solely for her offensive ability.

What makes JuJu Watkins a first-teamer, not a second-teamer, on the All-America roster is her defense. Watkins is an elite on-ball defender who regularly gets multiple steals per game. She is a capable shot blocker as well and has great instincts as a help defender for USC. JuJu Watkins’ quality at both ends of the floor, not just offense, is what makes her a legitimate first-team selection. Now we will see how far this First-Team All-American can carry the Trojans in the Women’s NCAA Tournament.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire