Jordan McLaughlin, Hoop Scoop’s No. 41 overall ranked player, will play college basketball at USC, the all-state guard announced Wednesday afternoon at a press conference at Etiwanda High School.
As a junior, the 6-foot-1 point guard led Etiwanda to the coveted CIF Southern Section Division I-AA title, its first since 2005, and was a first team Cal-Hi Sports all-state pick. McLaughlin averaged a team-leading 15.6 points per game on a squad that only gave up 42 ppg. He was named the co-CIFSS Division I-AA Player of the Year with Mater Dei’s Stanley Johnson, who will commit and sign in the spring.
McLaughlin chose USC over UCLA, Kansas, Indiana and San Diego State. After guard Josh Perkins of Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.) announced he was headed to Gonzaga, UCLA turned its focus to McLaughlin. He developed a close relationship with USC assistant and former Syracuse and L.A. Westchester standout Tony Bland that began while Bland was on Steve Fisher’s staff at San Diego State and that played a role in his decision.
It’s not too often a coveted recruit chooses USC over UCLA, so this is a huge commit for new USC coach Andy Enfield and his staff.
After a conversation with Josh Gershon of Scout.com triggered our memory, we recall one memorable instance when a highly-coveted recruit chose USC over UCLA. It was 1993 McDonald’s All-American Avondre Jones of Artesia of Lakewood. His high school teammate and fellow McDonald’s All-American, Charles O’Bannon, chose UCLA over Kentucky, but Jones decided to join George Raveling’s USC Trojans.