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Juju Watkins: The USC Freshman You Need To Know

USC Athletics

Much talk around the nation in Women’s College Basketball has been about Iowa Hawkeyes sharpshooting supernova and reigning National Player of the Year, Caitlin Clark, and rightfully so, as she just recently became the all-time leading scorer in college basketball history (men or women), surpassing Pete Maravich’s collegiate scoring record.

She also surpassed Stephen Curry for the most threes made in a single season, breaking the 162 record he set back during his sophomore season at Davidson in 2007-08.

Despite all the deserved recognition and allure Clark has received throughout her career, even more so over the last two seasons, another young woman is making her stamp felt on the collegiate level as a freshman who stands out from he peers.

Her name is Juju Watkins.

Watkins is a 6-foot-2 18-year-old guard for the USC Trojans. She attended the famous Sierra Canyon High School in California where she was the clear-cut No.1 player in the nation, earning National Player of the Year honors in 2023.

During her senior season, she averaged 27.3 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game en route to helping lead Sierra Canyon to the CIF Southern Section Open Division title after a whopping 31-1 season.

On her senior night, she only added to her legend by scoring a career-best 60 points, the second most in the area’s history, helping defeat Notre Dame High School 88-39.

Watkins is also a winner on the international level, having won two gold medals for Team USA on the U-16 team in 2021 and the U-17 team in 2022, where she was a two-way force for the team.

She averaged 5.2 steals, yes, over five steals a game in 2021 and 2.3 in 2022 while representing her country and contributing to other areas of the game.

Watkins committed to play for the Trojans early in her senior year of high school and she has done nothing less than impress the national audience in her short time in her hometown.

As a freshman, Watkins has helped achieve a 13-5 record in the Pac-12 (T-2nd in conference) as the catalyst of the team, averaging 27.0 points per game (2nd in NCAA) while also giving you 7.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 40% from the field and 32% from three.

She’s also a pesk defensively, swiping away 2.4 steals per game and erasing 1.5 shots per contest. She does it all.

It’s not just the numbers that make Watkins a coveted player and WNBA prospect, but how she gets into her shots and scores. She can do it by attacking the basket, operating in the mid-post, hitting the three, etc.

She’s had some standout moments this season from thirteen 30-point games (breaking USC Legend Cheryl Miller’s record), including performances this season such as a 51-piece nugget against now No.3 ranked Stanford who has a projected top-two WNBA Draft pick in 6-foot-4 forward Cameron Brink as well as scoring 42 against No.11 ranked Colorado Buffaloes in a 87-81 victory earlier this season.

The Trojans would take the Pac-12 Conference championship against Stanford, where Watkins struggled offensively scoring just nine points on 13% shooting from the field on 2-of-15 from the field.

Watkins will need to improve her efficiency from the field and shot selection, but that will come with more experience as she matures.

Just look at some of these advanced moves from the freshman superstar:

Watkins is only 18 years old and is currently projected to be the No.1 pick in the 2026 WNBA Draft. With her diverse skillset, hunger to be the best, and becoming a prominent figure in college basketball, learn the name now because she is a superstar on the rise.


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