One of the key transfers in the Trojans’ unexpected run to the Elite Eight will return for another season at USC.
Senior forward Chevez Goodwin announced Monday that he would utilize the additional year of eligibility offered by the NCAA because of the pandemic to play another season at USC, where he established himself as a rotational big man off the bench.
“If you look at my career, it’s like a great book, each chapter getting more and more interesting than the last one,” Goodwin said in the video. “But like any great story, everyone wonders how you’re going to finish it. I’m going to finish it the best way I know how, with a grand finale. So let’s run it back one more time.”
His first run with USC was an extraordinary one, as the Trojans rolled to the Elite Eight with Goodwin in a key rotational role. Goodwin, who transferred last spring after two seasons at Wofford, averaged just 5.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game but was crucial in spelling star forward Evan Mobley throughout the season.
“Chevez has exceeded our expectations,” coach Andy Enfield said ahead of USC’s Sweet 16 win over Oregon. “He’s had an outstanding season. He’s such a good leader by example. He gives great effort. You see his motor. He plays so hard.”
Goodwin will return to a frontcourt devoid of the top draft pick who played in front of him last season, leaving him with massive shoes to fill. Evan Mobley is expected to declare for the NBA draft in the coming days, while his brother, Isaiah, may join him after a standout March. If both leave, Goodwin would be one of the only big men on USC’s roster.
USC should also receive frontcourt reinforcement from transfer forward Joshua Morgan, who sat out last season after transferring from Long Beach State, where he was named the Big West’s defensive player of the year as a freshman. The Trojans also have freshman Boubacar Coulibaly on the roster and will add three-star freshman Harrison Hornery.
Goodwin’s return should help fortify an otherwise unproven group. But it’s also unlikely to keep USC from pursuing other big men in the transfer portal, where Enfield rebuilt most of his roster a year ago.