USC basketball star JuJu Watkins drains one-handed basket from behind bench ahead of record-setting night


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JuJu Watkins hasn’t even finished her freshman season with the USC Trojans, and she has taken the college basketball world by storm. 

In the fourth quarter of a game against the Colorado Buffaloes, Watkins drained a deep 3-pointer to secure the 11th 30-point game of her career. 

Watkins surpassed former USC star Cheryl Miller’s school record for 30-point games in a single season. 

Miller was in attendance Friday night and watched Watkins write her name into USC record books, finishing with 42 points.

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Southern California Trojans guard JuJu Watkins dribbles the ball against the Colorado Buffaloes Feb. 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. USC defeated Colorado 87-81. (Kirby Lee/Getty Images)

Watkins expressed gratitude for being a part of USC basketball history.

“That’s insane honestly,” Watkins said after the game. “But, of course, it’s Cheryl Miller, so long way to go until I’m in that conversation. I’m just happy to be able to be a part of that Trojan legacy and continue to evolve and grow the game, grow the culture here at SC.”

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USC coach Lindsay Gottlieb described the matchup with Colorado as a “heavyweight fight.” Before the game, Watkins showed off her impressive talents when she made a one-handed basket from behind the team bench. 

The football-style throw caught the attention of Gottlieb, who playfully made sure Watkins’ was not on football coach Lincoln Riley’s radar.  

“Don’t get any ideas,” Gottlieb jokingly wrote on X, formerly Twitter, tagging Riley and USC football.

JuJu Watkins is congratulated by Cheryl Miller

Southern California Trojans guard JuJu Watkins, left, is congratulated by Cheryl Miller after a game against the Colorado Buffaloes Feb. 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. USC defeated Colorado 87-81. (Kirby Lee/Getty Images)

Miller has sat courtside during multiple USC games this season. USC’s resurgent season has attracted multiple music stars, actors and professional athletes. 

Basketball Hall of Famer Spencer Haywood, former NBA player Matt Barnes and WNBA All-Star Satou Sabally also attended Friday’s game to watch Watkins and USC win their seventh consecutive game.

JuJu Watkins shoots the basketball

USC Trojans guard JuJu Watkins shoots the ball against the Colorado Buffaloes Feb. 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. USC defeated Colorado 87-81.  (Kirby Lee/Getty Images)

The No. 7 Trojans improved to 21-4 with the win Friday.

Gottlieb said Watkins’ success this season has helped remind others of the greatness of Miller and other USC women’s basketball alumni.

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“The attention that JuJu has gotten, to me and to the team, actually shines a light on Cheryl in a way that it should be, right?” Gottlieb said. “She’s breaking these records, and we get to say, ‘Hey, by the way, Cheryl is the greatest of all time.’ 

“It’s not just Cheryl, but the women who are the ones who played here. They’re not just great USC players, they’re the greatest women’s basketball players of all time.”

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