Four-star California guards Reese Waters, Malik Thomas headline USC’s 2021 recruits

USC coach Andy Enfield talks with Jonah Mathews and Elijah Weaver during a game against Stanford in January.
USC coach Andy Enfield, center, speaks with Jonah Mathews, right, and Elijah Weaver during the second half against Stanford at the Galen Center on Jan. 18.
(Kelvin Kuo / Associated Press)

After USC rebuilt its basketball roster around one of the nation’s top recruits, its 2021 recruiting class couldn’t match the star power that came with the signing of Evan Mobley, the highest-rated recruit to ever choose the Trojans.

But a four-man class that boasts two top-80 players and ranks 13th in the nation, according to 247Sports, is a decent consolation prize for Andy Enfield, who’s entering his eighth season as USC’s men’s basketball coach.

Headlined by four-star California guards Reese Waters (Playa Del Rey St. Bernard) and Malik Thomas (La Verne Damien), the 2021 class is Enfield’s second-highest-rated as USC’s coach, behind only the incoming 2020 class that brought Mobley.

USC will need sophomore guard Ethan Anderson to lead the Trojans to an NCAA tournament birth.


The 2021 group also includes Kobe Johnson, a three-star guard from Milwaukee, Wis., and Harrison Hornery, a 6-foot-10 three-star forward from Santa Ana Mater Dei.

All four could have a chance to contribute to a Trojans team that could again be facing serious roster turnover, even as players retain their eligibility following the upcoming season.

Mobley is all but guaranteed to leave for the NBA after his freshman campaign, and sophomore Isaiah Mobley, his frontcourt mate and older brother, could follow with a strong season.

That would leave USC short on depth in the frontcourt, with Hornery the only big man to have joined the 2021 class so far. Signing three guards, however, should help USC rebuild its backcourt, after two straight seasons of serious attrition at the position.