Encino (Calif.) Crespi high school combo guard De’Anthony Melton had a plan when it came to his college recruitment.
The class of 2016 wanted to go to a school that would get the most out of him both in the classroom and on the basketball court and he wanted to play for a coaching staff that made him feel at home.
Melton ended his recruitment Wednesday morning, announcing that he had committed to USC, a school and program that fit everything he was looking for.
Crespi guard De'Anthony Melton believes USC was the best option to execute his 20-year plan.
“I felt like it was family over there,” Melton told HoopsByUgland.com Tuesday night. “The academics are great and it’s a 20-year decision, not just a four-year one.”
Melton, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound defensive stalwart, is one of the most versatile players in the country. He will be able to defend multiple positions at the next level and has the ability to play both on and off the ball offensively.
The Trojans staff has plans to develop Melton at the point guard position and the newest addition to the USC family believes that he’s headed to a place where he can get the coaching needed for him to successfully execute that plan.
“I feel like they can get me where I want to be with the great staff,” Melton said. “Coach Enfield can really help me develop as a more consistent shooter. That will help open up more of my game and make me very hard to play against both on offense and defense.”
Another factor in Melton’s decision was the level of competition he’d get playing in the Pac-12 Conference. He said that San Diego State finished as a close second to USC, but playing and developing in the Pac-12 was a major influence.
“It’s the Pac-12,” Melton said. “USC has the point guard background that I can use to hopefully get paid for what I do.”
That ‘point guard background’ that Melton referred to comes in the form of USC assistant coach Jason Hart, a 12-year NBA veteran, who was the lead recruiter on Melton.
“He believed in me from the beginning,” Melton said of Hart. “He has an NBA point guard background, so he knows what it takes, especially because we are close in height.”
Another “height” that Melton is banking on is just how good he believes USC can be in the near future.
“The roster the have now is just missing a couple of pieces from being a real title contender,” he said. “I feel like I’m a part of that puzzle.”
With Jordan McLaughlin, Elijah Stewart, Malik Marquetti, Chimezie Metu and Bennie Boatwright in tow, and now De’Anthony Melton set to join them, the USC puzzle is getting back to its Southern California roots.