USC’s Drew Peterson, Isaiah Mobley declare intentions to enter the NBA draft

USC's Isaiah Mobley controls the ball during a game against Stanford in January.
USC’s Isaiah Mobley handles the ball against Stanford in January. Mobley announced Saturday that he plans to hire an agent and enter the NBA draft.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Two of USC’s top three scorers have decided to enter the NBA draft amid another offseason of upheaval for Andy Enfield and the Trojans, who have navigated their share of shake-ups in recent years.

Drew Peterson became the latest to announce his plans to leave USC, declaring his intent Monday to enter the NBA draft but still retaining his eligibility to return to USC this summer if he chooses.

Isaiah Mobley took a similar route last spring, impressing during the NBA draft combine process before ultimately deciding to return to the Trojans. The expectation is Peterson will follow that same path, working out for NBA teams and soliciting feedback from scouts before playing one final season at USC.


USC coach Lincoln Riley would like there to be more rules regulating name, image and likeness deals in an effort to separate it from recruiting.

April 9, 2022

For Mobley, one more season was enough to convince him it was time to move on. The junior, who led USC in scoring (14.2 points per game) and rebounds (8.3 per game) last season, announced Saturday in a post on social media that he planned to enter the draft and hire an agent, bringing his three-year tenure to an official close.

What lies ahead for Peterson during the draft process is less clear. But if he does decide to return, he will be one of the few from this past season’s 26-win team.

Forwards Chevez Goodwin and Isaiah White had already made their exit plans known. Since USC fell to Miami (Fla.) in the first round of the NCAA tournament, three more scholarship players from last season’s roster — guard Ethan Anderson and forwards Max Agbonkpolo and Boubacar Coulibaly — have left the team. Anderson and Agbonkpolo have since signed with Wyoming.

Only guard Boogie Ellis remains from the Trojans’ starting five last season, after a prolonged stretch of speculation that he, too, was considering leaving USC.

USC's Drew Peterson reacts after missing a three-pointer against Miami in the NCAA tournament last month.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

A top-flight recruiting class, ranked sixth overall in the nation, should help soothe some concerns about USC’s roster turnover, as five-star center Vince Iwuchukwu and four-star power forward Kijani Wright are likely to step into immediate roles.


But plenty of work is likely to be done before next season via the NCAA transfer portal. Enfield and his staff have deftly navigated the portal in the past, adding crucial pieces through spring and summer.

Peterson was one of those offseason additions two springs ago. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging, the gangly 6-foot-9 guard committed to transfer from Rice to USC without having stepped foot on campus. He has been a crucial cog in Enfield’s offense since.

Last season, he also assumed the role of floor general, initiating the Trojans’ offense as their de facto point guard. Peterson averaged 12.4 points per game last season.

Although his consistency was often scattershot and his confidence sometimes waned, he tended to save his best performances for the biggest moments.

Peterson put UCLA away in February with a career-high 27 points. He nearly played the hero again in USC’s tournament loss to Miami, scoring eight points in the final minute only to narrowly miss a buzzer-beater to tie the score.