Andy Enfield and his USC basketball staff have been back at work mining the NCAA transfer portal since the Trojans’ season ended, and after building their Elite Eight roster in part through the addition of four transfers last year, they struck again Monday night.
Boogie Ellis, a 6-foot-3 guard who spent the last two seasons at Memphis, announced via Twitter that he is transferring to USC.
Ellis, who was a 4-star point guard prospect out of San Diego and was at one point committed to Duke, started 42 games over the last two seasons and averaged 10.2 points as a sophomore. He ultimately settled into a bench role and was named the AAC’s Sixth Man of the Year this past season. He shot 38.6 percent from 3-point range (51 of 132) and will fill the void left by second-leading scorer Tahj Eaddy moving on to the professional ranks.
Ellis had three 20-point games last season, including a high of 27 against Houston. He had five games with at least 4 made 3-pointers, including a 6-of-7 performance from long-range against St. Mary’s. While he was a point guard prospect coming out of Mission Bay HS in San Diego, he averaged just 1.5 assists the last two years for Memphis.
He was the No. 37-ranked prospect overall in the 2019 recruiting class.
USC announced earlier in this day Monday that forward Chevez Goodwin, who arrived as a grad transfer from Wofford last season, would return for an extra year. That leaves fellow grad transfer Isaiah White as a pending decision still.
The Trojans will lose their top two scorers from last season in Pac-12 Player of the Year Evan Mobley and Eaddy, but they have the chance to bring back the rest of their rotation. (Guard Noah Baumann, who didn’t play every game and struggled to establish himself as a steady rotation piece, has entered the transfer portal).
There seems to be some question about the future of forward Isaiah Mobley, who would be the top returning scorer and rebounder on the team, but he certainly seems best-suited to return and build off the progress he showed at the end of this past season.
If both Mobley and White return, and with four incoming recruits expected to join the roster, the Trojans would still have one scholarship spot to use on another incoming transfer.
They could look to add a true point guard if that is not the role they envision for Ellis, or another big man to help rebuild the front court with Evan Mobley moving on.
The Trojans will have point guard Ethan Anderson back, but he still has plenty to prove after a challenging sophomore season in which he missed six weeks with a back injury and then never truly settled into a rhythm while ceding his starting spot to Eaddy. But USC often used Eaddy and versatile 6-foot-7 guard Drew Peterson to facilitate the offense last season and could do the same with Ellis, even if that was not his role at Memphis.
In the front court, assuming Isaiah Mobley returns, the Trojans will need second-year big man Boubacar Coulibaly and third-year forward Joshua Morgan to step into larger roles after seeing limited minutes this past season unless a major transfer addition is added there.