The 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball season tipped off with the Las Vegas Hall of Fame Series on November 6. One of the premier games featured the 21st-ranked USC Trojans taking on the Kansas State Wildcats. The Hall of Fame series regularly showcases some of the most exciting teams in the country, and this season’s exhibition was no exception.
Among the invited teams were the reigning champion LSU women’s team and up-and-coming superstar Angel Reese. But even with Reese and the Tigers prominently featured, a lot of the attention went to USC’s matchup.
While Reese may have been the most talented player in the Hall of Fame series, she might not have been the most famous, as the Trojans had Bronny James, son of LeBron James, sitting on their bench.
Plenty of NBA scouts had to have been in the building, but not for Bronny. Rather, they were mostly there for Isaiah Collier, USC’s freshman point guard and the highest-ranked player out of high school in the NCAA. Be they scouts or fans, anyone who watched the Trojans 82-69 victory over the Wildcats had to have left impressed with Collier and convinced of his potential stardom.
On the night, Collier had 18 points on a stellar 7-9 shooting, adding in six assists to show off his playmaking ability as well. While he also tallied six turnovers, he very clearly showed to be a level above all of his opponents and most of his teammates.
His turnovers were more a result of his curiosity about what exactly he could do on a court against NCAA competition than an indication of carelessness or lack of ball control.
Obviously, it was only the first game of the season, and Collier wasn’t even the best player on the court. His teammate, Boogie Ellis, dropped 24 points on 50 percent shooting and added eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals. That being said, Collier certainly didn’t hurt his draft stock with his first outing.
This upcoming draft class is very much up in the air, but most of the top-tier talent is expected to be coming from other channels rather than the NCAA. Ron Holland, Matas Buzelis, and Alex Sarr all have a chance to go number one overall, and none of them will be suiting up for a college team this year.
While those players have been favored in the early mock drafts, Collier definitely has the chance to bring the number one pick back to the NCAA. If any college player has the ability to do it this year, it’s Isaiah Collier with the USC Trojans.
Isaiah Collier picked up where he left off this summer with a big regular season debut for USC last night vs. K-State. Eighteen points and six assists for the Trojans in a win and played downhill and physical as always. Me likey. pic.twitter.com/bdJ9zjq1wg
— Kyle Boone (@kyletheboone) November 7, 2023
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| Title: Isaiah Collier’s debut a win for the NCAA
| Author: Andy Quach
| Date: Nov 8th, 2023