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Jeff Borzello, ESPN Staff Writer 115d

Taeshon Cherry prefers USC's style, commits to Trojans

Men's College Basketball, Men Basketball Recruiting, USC Trojans, Texas A&M Aggies, Gonzaga Bulldogs

Five-star forward Taeshon Cherry committed to USC on Friday, becoming the highest-ranked prospect to commit to the Trojans since Andy Enfield took over as coach in 2013.

Cherry had six schools on his final list but told ESPN he picked USC over Texas A&M and Gonzaga.

"My relationship with coach Tony [Bland] and Coach Enfield was better than all the other schools," Cherry said. "Their style of play fits my style of play. Our matchup was meant to be."

USC landed a commitment earlier this week from ESPN 100 power forward J'Raan Brooks, but that decision didn't dissuade Cherry from the Trojans.

"They'll have me play more at the 2- and 3-spot; he'll play more of the 4 and 5," Cherry said. "A&M and Gonzaga were going to have me at the 4-spot. I don't see me at the 4. USC told me the 2, 3 and 4. That put them over the top with me and my dad. I don't see myself in the NBA at the 4-spot."

USC will have one of the most talented rosters in the country next season, with all five starters coming back plus the additions of Duke transfer Derryck Thornton Jr. and McDonald's All American Charles O'Bannon Jr. But Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart will both be seniors next season, while star forwards Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu could turn pro.

Cherry should step into a major role right off the bat.

"I see myself scoring a lot, playing a big part scoring-wise, handling a lot of minutes as a freshman" he said. "They told me I'll be starting, since Bennie and Chimezie are both leaving. I'm ready for it. We can put them over the hump and win the Pac-12 championship."

At No. 20 in the ESPN 100 for 2018, Cherry is the highest-ranked player to commit to USC since Tim Floyd landed top-10 prospects O.J. Mayo and DeMar DeRozan in back-to-back classes in 2007 and 2008.

Cherry, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward from Saint Augustine High School in San Diego, averaged 13.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game on the Nike EYBL circuit this spring with the Oakland Soldiers AAU program.

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