USC already has its point guard of the immediate future – the 2023-24 future, that is – raring to go in Isaiah Collier, one of the top recruits in the nation who has built a fast rapport with returning senior Boogie Ellis.
But Collier, in all likelihood, is destined for the draft after one season with the Trojans. And on Friday night, USC locked its future future backcourt into place.
Trent Perry, a 6-foot-4 combo guard coming off a run leading a talented Harvard-Westlake squad to a CIF Open Division state championship, announced his commitment to USC on Friday night on social media. It’s another massive recruiting win for Coach Andy Enfield, who brought in Collier and Sierra Canyon’s Bronny James as part of a loaded 2023 class and now strikes big with Perry in 2024.
“He felt at home with the staff and school,” David Rebibo, Perry’s coach at Harvard-Westlake, wrote in a text.
Perry’s the ideal modern combo guard for Enfield. He’s mature beyond his years and plays with the innate pace of a conductor, if the conductor could also take off from a few steps inside the arc and flip a legs-splayed layup around the outstretched arms of opposing big men. He’d be a ready-made fit next to Bronny James if James were to stay at USC for a sophomore season – James’ recovery from cardiac arrest leading to a range of possibilities as to his future with the Trojans – and if James moves on, Perry is a foundational piece capable of running the point or playing off the ball.
“Coach Enfield plays an uptempo style and gives his guards freedom to play,” Rebibo wrote, when asked how he envisioned Perry fitting into Enfield’s system.
Perry’s shot selection can occasionally waver, firing off a pull-up 3-point attempt here and there when a better look might have come later in the shot clock in games during his junior year, but that’s more than offset by his court vision and versatility on defense. Watch his patience here in commanding a fast break, drawing the eyes of the low-man just long enough to dink teammate Jacob Huggins for a dunk:
Trent Perry finds Jacob Huggins and Harvard-Westlake is up 27-9 over De La Salle. Mick Cronin watching here at Mater Dei. pic.twitter.com/Gssxy9zC6M
— Luca Evans (@bylucaevans) January 29, 2023
He’s got plenty of shot-making moxie and the ability to push tempo, too, as evidenced in the first clip of this highlight by Ballislife, an end-of-quarter 3-pointer over double-coverage in a game against Sierra Canyon last year:
From watching him orchestrate Harvard-Westlake’s offense at one of the highest levels of high school basketball in the country, it’s easy to see Perry eventually stepping into a Drew Peterson-esque role at USC, a versatile guard with size who is as capable of threading a pick-and-roll needle as he is bumping a defender off for a smooth midrange jumper.
Perry, too, is a born leader, the focal point of excellent chemistry in Harvard-Westlake’s core, in constant communication and encouragement with teammates like now-graduated forward Brady Dunlap.
“Constantly seeking ways to improve his game, how he approached the game, film study, nutrition, and the weight room,” Rebibo texted. “An incredibly motivated young man who loves the process of getting better.”