Southern California Trojans vs. Stanford Cardinal Pick & Prediction JANUARY 6th 2024

Stanford can expect the full LeBron James family treatment Saturday when Bronny James and his Southern California teammates go for a sweep of their Northern California rivals in a Pac-12 afternoon affair at Los Angeles.

The oldest of LeBron James’ sons has scored in double figures in each of his last two outings after opening his college career with a total of 20 points in his first four games.

After a season-best 15 last Saturday at Oregon State, Bronny James contributed 10 points and three assists to an 82-74 home win over California on Wednesday.

LeBron James couldn’t attend the latter contest as the Los Angeles Lakers were busy hosting the Miami Heat at the same time. But there is no such conflict Saturday, with the Lakers playing games at home on Friday and Sunday.

“He’s developing as a player. It’s nice to see, nice to watch,” said USC coach Andy Enfield, who was more impressed by the freshman’s defensive work against Cal than his crowd-pleasing dunk. “He’s very active with his feet and his hands. He’s strong and he anticipates well.”

Led by Boogie Ellis (18.5 points per game) and Isaiah Collier (14.9), the Trojans (7-7, 1-2 Pac-12) will be looking to get to .500 in conference play after getting swept by the Oregon schools last week. To do so, they’ll have to derail the early surprise team of the conference.

Stanford (7-6, 2-1) enters on a roll, having upset nationally ranked Arizona at home last Sunday and then UCLA on the road Wednesday, bouncing back from a conference-opening home loss to Arizona State on Dec. 29.

No doubt, Stanford freshman Kanaan Carlyle has caught the attention of the Trojans after following up a 28-point explosion that featured six 3-pointers against Arizona and three 3-pointers and 17 points off the bench in the win at UCLA.

After playing last season for Overtime Elite, Carlyle, an Atlanta native, opted for college basketball this time around, surprising most recruiting sites by choosing Stanford.

“I want to be different,” he said. “I want to get Stanford back to the (NCAA) Tournament.”

Fellow freshman Andrej Stojakovic contributed nine points to the 59-53 win over UCLA.

–Field Level Media

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