Bronny James and DJ Rodman.
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images (left), Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images (right)

Bronny James Will Join Another NBA Legend's Son at USC Next Season

USC's basketball team will look different next year thanks to a couple sons of NBA legends: Bronny James and D.J. Rodman.

On May 6, LeBron James Jr. committed to Southern California (USC), immediately making the Trojans one of the spotlight teams for next year's college basketball season. Days after, D.J. Rodman, son of NBA hall of famer Dennis Rodman, announced he would be joining Bronny at USC, transferring in from Washington State.

The Trojans had an early ejection from the latest NCAA tournament, bowing out in the first round to Michigan State. With Bronny and Rodman, USC is expected to make a leap, but will the hype of the famous sons match up with the result? It isn't entirely obvious.

What Bronny & Rodman's Addition Mean For USC

Bronny James of McDonald's All American Boys West is seen during the McDonalds All American Basketball Games at Toyota Center on March 28, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

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As things stand, people need to first understand that Bronny is not exactly like his father. Only one man can be "the chosen one," and James' first-born son does not qualify. A four-star recruit, Bronny was No. 19 in ESPN's top 100 for his class of 2023. In fact, the 6-foot-3 Bronny isn't even the highest recruit on his own team. Hailing from Wheeler High School in Georgia, point guard Isaiah Collier is the No. 1 recruit in the class and is committed to the Trojans.

One big challenge for Bronny will be the competition with the current guards on the Trojans roster. Fifth year senior Boogie Ellis will return to the team, and Collier should certainly start alongside returning guard and Pac-12 All-defensive team member Kobe Johnson. Last season, Ellis led USC in points per game (17.7) and three-point percentage (.386). 

With Bronny at his side, Rodman will charge into the fray as the second son of an NBA legend on the Trojans. A California native, Rodman was a starter with the Cougars last season and played 30 games, averaging 9.6 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game.

DJ Rodman of the Washington State Cougars stands on the court during a break in the first half of a quarterfinal game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament against the Oregon Ducks at T-Mobile Arena on March 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Ducks defeated the Cougars 75-70. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The presence of Rodman should let USC play with a smaller lineup, as the Washington State transfer plays similar to his father and can grab rebounds despite being undersized in comparison to his matchup. If Rodman fits better than those such as the highly recruited Kijani Wright, who could step in the place of the exiting Drew Peterson, he may be in the starting lineup. Either way, USC will need some more points to come from somewhere else to make up for the scoring dichotomy between Peterson and Rodman.

All things considered; hype isn't bad for college basketball. In fact, the game could use it, whether this USC team turns out to be everything people want it to be or not. An example, Zion Williamson might've been the most anticipated prospect to enter college in recent years. The hype around Williamson's Duke Blue Devils was immense, and it drew eyes to television sets, unlike this year's national championship game. Still, the Trojans experiment must at least have some sample size before anybody can crown any new addition to the roster.

Entering the 2023-24 season, USC will be a good contender as it enters its final season in the Pac-12. Draft Kings lists only Arizona and UCLA as the two other teams in the conference who have better odds to win it all next season. Perhaps USC will find itself deeper in the tournament this time around, but without Bronny and Rodman somehow staying on campus multiple years, the Trojans shouldn't have much bigger March Madness dreams than last year's team did.

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