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Trojans make top 10 for 5-star freshman

Class of 2023 point guard Mikey Williams is already one of the most well-known basketball recruits in the country and he’s just heading into his sophomore season. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound, five-star prospect earned scholarship offers from major programs before attending high school and he has more than two million followers on Instagram. On Wednesday, he released a list of his top 10 schools, which leaves him with an interesting mix of options.

Alabama State, Arizona State, Hampton, Kansas, Memphis, North Carolina Central, San Diego State, Tennessee State, Texas Southern and USC are still in the mix for Williams (San Ysidro, Calif./San Ysidro), the nation’s No. 3 overall prospect in the 2023 class and a player virtually guaranteed to hold onto his five-star status throughout his high school career.

The addition of the five HBCUs as final options is worth noting, as Williams has spoken about the possibility of going that route, rather than attending a traditional basketball power.

Five-star 2020 prospect Makur Maker (Phoenix/Hillcrest Prep) committed to Howard earlier this month and specifically mentioned Williams in his commitment announcement.

“I need to make the HBCU movement real so that others will follow,” Maker wrote on twitter. “I hope I inspire guys like Mikey Williams to join me on this journey. I am committing to Howard U & coach Kenny Blakeney.”

USC has become accustomed to recruiting five-star basketball prospects in recent seasons. Onyeka Okongwu and Isaiah Mobley were both five-star and top-20 recruits in the 2019 class, while Evan Mobley was a five-star and in contention for the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2020 class. Of course, the Trojans have some advantage for all three after hiring Eric Mobley as an assistant coach, as Mobley is the father or Isaiah and Evan and former coach of the Compton Magic AAU team. Mobley could be an asset with Williams as well, as the standout prospect played for the Magic during the 2019 AAU season.

Williams will likely be a top target for the Trojans all the way through his recruiting class, as a combo guard with the ability to score from anywhere on the court.

He averaged 29.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.9 assist and 1.6 steals as a freshman during the 2019-2020 season. He had a 77-point game, as well as five 40-point games.

But it could be more and more difficult to get top prospects to enroll anywhere for college, as other options are increasingly pulling them away.

Top-five prospect in the 2019 class, R.J. Hampton, elected to sign with the New Zealand Breakers of the Australian National Basketball League. The nation’s No. 1 overall prospect in the 2020 class, Jalen Green, signed a one-year, $500,000 contract with the NBA’s G League. Jonathan Kuminga, Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix–all five-star prospects ranked among the top 21 players in the country–signed with the G League as well.

Top-ranked class of 2022 prospect Emoni Bates (Ypsilanti, Mich./Lincoln) has committed to Michigan State already, but there is plenty of talk that he could wind up going a professional route as well.

Erik McKinney

Erik McKinney began writing for WeAreSC in 2004, during his junior year at USC, covering the Trojans football team and recruiting. He then moved on to ESPN.com in 2011, where he served as the West Region recruiting reporter and then the Pac-12 recruiting reporter. He took over as publisher of WeAreSC in January, 2019.

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