Bronny James is staying home, close to his family and his superstar father, to play his college ball. The son of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James announced his commitment to USC on Saturday.

It is, in no uncertain terms, a massive development for head coach Andy Enfield.

Last month, when USC lost 2022-23 starter Tre White to the transfer portal and saw 4-star 2023 signee Silas Demary Jr. request a release from the NLI he signed with USC, the assumption was that USC had moved to the forefront of Bronny’s recruitment.

With Reese Dixon-Waters also transferring and Drew Peterson exhausting his eligibility, there was a significant role in the backcourt for someone to come in and take. Boogie Ellis returns from last year’s team, and a three-guard lineup featuring Ellis, Isaiah Collier, and James now becomes a very real problem that other teams in the Pac-12 will need to contend with.

James, a participant in this year’s McDonald’s All-American Game, is a strong-bodied guard who doesn’t need the ball in his hands to impact the game. He’s a willing and capable passer in transition, has the tools and the mindset to be strong on defense, and shoots the ball well from the perimeter. His fit alongside Collier looks to be quite seamless.

While Collier — the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2023 class — excels as a playmaker, James can work for open, rhythm shots. When Collier slides off the ball, James can handle it in the interim.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound James averaged 13.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.8 steals during his senior season for Sierra Canyon — a program that won the Mission League title in three of his four years on the team.

He had 15 points to go with four assists in the McDonald’s All-American Game, knocking down five of his eight shots from 3-point range. James was also selected to play on Team USA at the Nike Hoop Summit, where he posted 11 points and four rebounds to help Team USA to a 90-84 win over Team World.

USC becomes a main attraction on both the gridiron and the hardwood during its final season in the Pac-12 with James’ addition. But playing in the spotlight won’t be new for the eldest son of The King; James has had his game under the microscope his entire playing career. With his father saying on multiple occasions he wants to continue in the NBA until he can share a court with his son, NBA expectations are squarely on James’ shoulders.

It will be on Enfield and his staff to help manage all of that — the distractions, the expectations, the constant attention, and undoubtedly the knee-jerk reactions that will follow every USC game — as the Trojans attempt to make a deep NCAA Tournament run.

USC went 22-11 last season, finishing third in the Pac-12 with 14 conference wins. It was a fourth consecutive 20-win season for the Trojans under Enfield, but it also ended with a second consecutive one-and-done exit at the NCAA Tournament.

The Trojans haven’t made a Final Four under Enfield. With UCLA and Arizona both looking to reload, this 2023 class will make the Trojans a popular pick to win the Pac-12 next season. Fair or not, expectations might never be higher for Enfield than they will be during the 2023-24 campaign.

How much does James immediately contribute to that cause? It’ll be important to remember he’s not even the highest-rated recruit in the USC class (that’s Collier) and he’ll be stepping into a locker room that returns a senior who led the team in scoring last year (that’s Ellis). James could be a No. 3 option on most nights!

But that might just be the reason why USC was the exact right spot for him. First-time observers tuning into his game next November might be expecting something flashier given the name. But James’ game is mature. He’s a two-way guard and a smart basketball player.

That makes USC better. How much better? It’s likely the Galen Center will be bursting at the seams next season with folks trying to find out.