The University of Southern California (USC) has long been known as a powerhouse in college basketball, producing exceptional players who have made their mark on the game. From their stellar performances on the collegiate level to their successful careers in the NBA, these individuals have cemented themselves as some of the greatest players of all time.
Here, we will explore the top ten USC players, providing detailed player profiles, statistics, years played, and their remarkable careers in the NBA.
- Bill Sharman: Bill Sharman, a shooting guard, played for USC from 1946 to 1950. During his college career, Sharman displayed exceptional skills, averaging 18.7 points per game. After graduating, he went on to have a successful NBA career, primarily with the Boston Celtics, where he won four NBA championships and was an eight-time All-Star.
- Paul Westphal: Paul Westphal, a versatile guard, played for USC from 1968 to 1972. Known for his scoring ability and leadership qualities, Westphal averaged 16.6 points per game during his college career. In the NBA, he enjoyed a successful career, earning five NBA All-Star selections and helping lead the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals in 1976.
- Gus Williams: Gus Williams, a dynamic guard, played for USC from 1972 to 1975. Williams’ speed and agility made him a formidable scorer, as he averaged 17.4 points per game in college. In the NBA, he excelled with the Seattle SuperSonics, winning an NBA championship in 1979 and earning two All-Star appearances.
- Bill Russell: Bill Russell, a dominant center, played for USC from 1953 to 1956. Known for his shot-blocking and defensive prowess, Russell’s impact went far beyond statistics. In the NBA, he had an illustrious career with the Boston Celtics, capturing 11 NBA championships, five NBA MVP awards, and earning 12 All-Star selections.
- Sam Clancy: Sam Clancy, a powerful forward, played for USC from 1979 to 1983. Clancy’s physicality and rebounding ability were instrumental in USC’s success. He averaged 16.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per game in college. Clancy later played in the NBA, where he had a brief but notable stint with the Phoenix Suns.
- Harold Miner: Harold Miner, a high-flying shooting guard, played for USC from 1989 to 1992. Known for his incredible dunking ability and scoring prowess, Miner averaged 23.5 points per game during his college career. Although his NBA career was hindered by injuries, Miner had a memorable run with the Miami Heat, winning the Slam Dunk Contest twice.
- DeMar DeRozan: DeMar DeRozan, a versatile swingman, played for USC from 2008 to 2009. DeRozan’s athleticism and scoring ability were evident during his college days, as he averaged 13.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. In the NBA, DeRozan has been a consistent performer, earning four All-Star selections and becoming one of the league’s premier scorers.
- O.J. Mayo: O.J. Mayo, a talented guard, played for USC during the 2007-2008 season. Despite his single season at USC, Mayo made a significant impact, averaging 20.7 points per game. In the NBA, he showcased his scoring ability with several teams, although his career was marred by off-court controversies.
- Taj Gibson: Taj Gibson, a rugged power forward, played for USC from 2006 to 2009. Known for his tenacity and shot-blocking skills, Gibson averaged 12.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game in college. In the NBA, he has been a reliable contributor, known for his defensive presence and rebounding prowess.
- Nikola Vucevic: Nikola Vucevic, a skilled center, played for USC from 2008 to 2011. Vucevic’s versatility and ability to score both inside and outside made him a formidable force, as he averaged 11.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in college. In the NBA, Vucevic has established himself as one of the premier centers, earning two NBA All-Star selections and displaying consistent scoring and rebounding abilities.
The University of Southern California has produced a remarkable array of basketball talent over the years, with each player leaving an indelible mark on the game. From the legendary Bill Russell to the electrifying DeMar DeRozan, these players showcased their skills and determination at USC before embarking on successful careers in the NBA. Their contributions to both the collegiate and professional levels have solidified their places among the greatest players of all time, serving as a testament to USC’s rich basketball legacy.