USC Recruiting

Josiah James could 'definitely' see himself playing with USC pledge Trae Hannibal

Among South Carolina’s most highly rated high school basketball players in the 2019 class, only one has committed to a college. Hartsville’s Trae Hannibal, ranked No. 5 by both Big Shots and Phenom Hoop Report, pledged to USC on Friday.

So what’s next for the likes of Josiah James, Juwan Gary, Christian Brown and Malcolm Wilson?

James, a 6-foot-6 point guard from Charleston, is widely considered the state’s best. He’s currently in Colorado Springs while training with the USA Men’s U18 National Team.

Corey Evans of Rivals.com recently caught up with James to discuss the several schools pursuing the Porter-Gaud senior-to-be, South Carolina among them.

“I love them,” James told Evans. “Their commitment with Trae (Hannibal), that is big, because he is on my travel team, he is a great teammate, and an even better person. I think that we fit very well together. I definitely could see us playing together at the college level.

“For South Carolina, I love everything that they are about and the whole coaching staff including coach (Frank) Martin, they are all great.”

James and Hannibal now play together for TMP on the AAU circuit. (They played against each other in April.)

“It's been fun," Hannibal, a fellow point guard, told The State last week. “When I've been on the ball, he's been off the ball and I get him involved, still. And vice versa.

"It's been real fun traveling, talking, hanging out and hooping together. It's been real fun."

James, Rivals’ No. 15 player in the country, is also being recruited by the likes of Duke, Michigan State, Virginia and Clemson.

Asked by Evans about the Tigers, James said: “They want for me to come in and be a leader. They want me to run the show and lead the ballclub and just be the on-floor coach for coach (Brad) Brownell and the whole coaching staff. That is one school that wants to put the ball in my hands. I am definitely going to have to work for my spot but I think once I work for that spot, I believe I could play a lot of minutes for them.”

James is not expected to announce his college decision for a while.

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