Thursday, May 23, 2024

Rising Star: Freshman JuJu Watkins Stuns with 51-Level Efficiency

Shawn Mclurkin/ Ballislife

JuJu Watkins delivered a file breaking historic efficiency

USC Trojans Freshman sensation JuJu Watkins is a strolling bucket, and nobody was stopping her Friday night time.

At Maples Pavilion, the rookie exploded for 51 factors and led USC to only their second street win on the season. Delivering a historic efficiency, the guard grabbed 11 boards, and completed with a double-double. No. 12 grew to become the primary participant to ever rating 51 factors in a sport for the Trojans. Cherie Nelson beforehand held the file for essentially the most factors in a sport with 50 in 1989.

Over the weekend, No. 15 USC Trojans (15-4) took down No. 4 Stanford in a traditional Pac-12 showdown. 19-3 on the season, and 8-2 within the convention, Stanford retains the slight lead over Colorado. With the victory, USC ranks sixth within the convention, behind Utah.

A 2-1 file in opposition to the Cardinal since early 2023, the Trojans recorded their first win in opposition to Stanford on the street for the reason that 2000-2001 season.

With regard to her historic efficiency, Watkins would not fairly put herself in the identical class as USC legends Lisa Leslie and Cheryl Miller simply but. Even after this jaw dropping efficiency, she’s centered on getting again within the fitness center for his or her subsequent matchup in opposition to California. That is mamba mentality proper there.

“Its loopy, ” Watkins mentioned after breaking the Trojans single sport scoring file. “I do not actually give it some thought an excessive amount of. I’ve an extended solution to go until I’ll contemplate myself in that class with Cheryl [Miller], Lisa [Leslie] and the greats. I am simply honored, blessed to be on this surroundings, house and time in Ladies’s Basketball. I am simply soaking all of it in–I’ll take all of it in after which again to the fitness center.” (USC Athletics).

She’s been killing it in her rookie season

Now simply making headlines, the rookie has been breaking data all season lengthy. Simply 18 years previous, the freshman has seven video games with 30+ factors. That is essentially the most since Nelson, who completed with eight through the 1988-1989 season.

Recording her fourth double-double of the season, Watkins is the primary D1 NCAA freshman to attain 50 factors in a single sport since Elena Delle Donne in 2010 (54).

Whereas there’s loads of NCAA expertise, Watkins is completely different. Main USC in a brand new period of basketball, she continues to construct on her Los Angeles legacy. From the best way she conducts herself in interviews, to her leap shot release–the future is vivid for Watkins.

Coming off a heartbreaking 62-59 loss in opposition to Washington, Watkins arguably had one in every of her worst capturing performances of the season. She completed with 19 factors, on 8-27 (29.6 %) discipline purpose capturing, and 2-7 (28.6 %) from deep. To have the ability to overcome that and adapt on this means speaks volumes.

“Her demeanor from the second that sport ended in opposition to Washington till now could be what units her aside to me greater than these numbers,” mentioned Trojans head coach Lindsay Gottlieb within the USC Athletics put up sport presser. “All week I mentioned, this child is completely different, she’s particular the best way she takes teaching, the best way she’s a teammate, the best way she holds herself accountable.” (USC Athletics).

Watkins single handily defeated the 4th greatest crew within the nation, and a high 5 ranked program. 51 factors is spectacular in opposition to any crew, however in opposition to Tara VanDerveer and the Stanford Cardinal? You are speaking about making headlines in opposition to the winningest coach in NCAA basketball historical past and one of the vital pristine packages in NCAA historical past. That is particular, and the basketball world is witnessing the evolution of the subsequent generational expertise.

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