In the College Football Enquirer podcast, Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, SI’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger take a break from football to examine the impact of Bronny James on the USC Trojans basketball program.
DAN WETZEL: LeBron James Jr. is going to stay in LA, which I kind of predicted but then didn't predict. I was-- I was fascinated by this.
PAT FORDE: Wait a minute. You kind of predicted but didn't predict. Where we going?
DAN WETZEL: I never thought he'd leave LA. I was--
PAT FORDE: OK.
DAN WETZEL: --really convinced he was going to go to USC. But, as we will get to, it's not like he's walking in and becoming a starter.
PAT FORDE: No. Right.
DAN WETZEL: So that was the part that I was like, jeez, is he really going to take a school where they're returning Boogie Ellis as a senior? He started all 33 games last year. Really good player. And they have Isaiah Collier, who's a 6' 3" guard, just like Bronny, and the number one player in the whole country.
PAT FORDE: USC basketball has been a chronic underachiever, and people there-- you go to games, and it is a morgue. I went to a game last year, and they were pretty good, and, still, there weren't people there. They've got the completely hyperactive DJ guy trying to hype people up, and it doesn't work. I mean, it was-- it's just not something that students there gravitate toward.
And we all know there's 9 million other athletic teams and other things to do in Los Angeles, and USC basketball has been near the bottom of the pecking order-- social list pecking order for a lot of people for a long time. This will help because this will certainly give them a bump. And, yeah, from a national exposure standpoint, they'll be on TV a lot.
And then the question is, yes, what is LeBron like courtside for the games? Because at the AAU games, he's there, which is really cool, but he's involved. I mean, he's not necessarily-- sometimes he was-- I think I've seen him sitting in the stands, but other times he's been like on the bench and not afraid to stand up and give his input to his son or someone else too. So I don't think that's going to be the way you're going to do it at USC. But what will his level of involvement be, and how is that received?
ROSS DELLENGER: You're going to get, obviously, a lot of exposure, but, I mean, USC doesn't really need exposure, right? I mean, there's a lot of other schools in the country that he would go on to and they would have kind of needed that exposure and that attention. USC really doesn't.
So it'll be interesting to see how they handle that. I mean, it's-- I don't know. With NIL and all this stuff now, a school like USC that's located in such a big city and what we've seen Lincoln Riley do with the football team and bringing in all these new players and all these stars like Caleb Williams and stuff, it just-- it's like-- it's like a pro team out there. It kind of reminds me of some professional team. Now you have Bronny added to the mix. It's interesting what's going out there in LA.