May 24, 2024

In the middle of her official visit to USC last Friday, Talia von Oelhoffen posted on TikTok. In the video, the two-time All-Pac-12 guard from Oregon State was dancing next to another coveted Pac-12 transfer, Stanford’s Kiki Iriafen, while both wore USC jerseys. “What we thinkin????” her caption read at the time.

Now, both top transfers are officially on their way to play at USC, and the only question remaining is whether anyone in women’s college basketball will be able to stop the budding super team Lindsay Gottlieb is building.

Von Oelhoffen made her commitment to USC official on Monday morning, joining Iriafen and a stacked roster that already included superstar JuJu Watkins and senior Rayah Marshall, as well as the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation.

Von Oelhoffen should add much-needed experience for a lineup that will include seven freshmen and a sophomore star in Watkins. A combo guard who averaged 10.7 points, five assists and 4.1 rebounds per game last season, she’ll also provide USC with another seasoned ball handler in the backcourt, a role the Trojans often struggled to fill last season, even as they made a run to the Elite Eight.

Gottlieb’s formula of filling out a roster around Watkins with talented grad transfers certainly worked well last season, as the coach brought in three Ivy League transfers — Kayla Padilla, Kaitlyn Davis and McKenzie Forbes – all of whom had critical roles. Two of those three were selected in the WNBA draft earlier this month.

Until its run to the Elite Eight this past season, USC hadn’t gotten out of the first weekend of the tournament since 1994. But now, with two star transfers on the way to supplement a budding superstar and a stellar recruiting class, the Trojans could very well enter next season as the national title favorite, a place they haven’t occupied since the program’s height in the early ‘80s, when USC won back-to-back national titles.

With Gottlieb’s contract extended through 2030, star transfers emerging from the portal and Watkins in place for another three years, a similar run doesn’t feel so far-fetched these days.

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