Isaiah Collier, DJ Rodman and Bronny James – Why Is the Trio of Brilliant Talent Unsuccessful?

Published 12/31/2023, 10:09 AM EST

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As amazing as it seemed before, the impressive trio of Bronny James, DJ Rodman, and Isaiah Collier isn’t making that much of a positive impact on the team’s performance, rather they are posing some conundrums among themselves. Everyone, including fans, couldn’t express their joy enough when Bronny James was to join forces with DJ Rodman, along with Isaiah Collier like the cherry on top. However, it became a little more complicated for USC to handle a star-studded roster as they are the sons of two NBA Legends, with Collier as an exception in the situation.

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The Trojans have been reigning in AP’s Top 25 list since the beginning of the season. However, they are nowhere to be seen there as the season stepped into its 4th week. Let’s look at what happened to the Trojans in the past 4 weeks to have faced that pickle.

The unsuccessful trilogy?


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As one of the universal truths stands prominent, basketball is a team sport, sometimes it gets difficult for the players to find that symphony to perform better. The same is the case with the USC Trojans who have Bronny James, DJ Rodman, and Isaiah Collier on their roster.

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Notably, the Trojans are falling behind in the game. Ever since the team dropped down on its Top 25 rankings, it hasn’t been able to get back up. One of the reasons is the high expectations that everyone has instilled because of the trio’s presence. James, Rodman, and Collier are high-profile players. Such expectations do put a lot of pressure on the players, as a result putting their every move under uninvited scrutiny.


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Team dynamics contributes to be another factor as integrating new players into a team takes its adjustments with time. It easily disrupts the team’s preexisting dynamics. Moreover, it can take for players to individually adjust to each other’s playing style and build chemistry over time.

Now an unexpected yet forever looming fear is of the injuries. Players get hurt all the time, whether they are in practice, shoot-around, or playing in the championship run. For instance, a much-discussed injury of the year is Bronny James’ cardiac arrest, posing a bizarre health scare. Although, Bronny has made a successful recovery, however, there will be lingering concerns about his health, and, everyone’s health for that matter, while moving forward.

That being said the burden falls on the coach Andy Enfield too, as he has to balance each player’s playing time and keep all of them satisfied. It in itself is a big internal challenge for a head coach to manage and keep the team performing smoothly.

Possibly, one of the much-expected reasons why the Trojans have been failing in their path is the player development strategy. Maybe, the focus given to these players can overshadow the development of other players on the Trojans roster. However, they are very talented players. The sport runs in their blood, so it is also natural for them to have that playmaking acumen coming in handy.

The trio’s presence on the Trojans

It’s the team who wins, but it’s the players that make it work altogether. Now, talking about Isaiah Collier, he has been delivering a strong performance with 18.5 points, 5.5 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals per game, with a shooting percentage of 40 beyond the arc.

In the Trojans’ debut game against Kansas State, Collier poured 18 points and dished out 6 assists. Out of those 18, he amassed 15 points in the first half itself and set the winning momentum for the team, demonstrating versatility on the court. Collier has proven to be more of a critical player leading USC’s star-studded roster with an evident potential, which the Trojans find comfortable to rely upon.

Then it’s DJ Rodman, NBA legend Dennis Rodman’s son. As he spent most of his childhood watching tapes of his father’s games, Rodman grew a fine player’s mentality. As the son of the NBA’s best rebounders, he utilized that skill and became a tough defender and a top-notch shooter of 3-pointers. This season he has been averaging 5.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. He scored a total of 15 points including 3 of 4 3-point shots, and impressive 4 free throws.


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As said above he did borrow some of his father’s rebounding skills as shown in his ability to space the floor on offense with the toughness in making rebounds on defense, making him a valuable asset to the team. As a graduate, his presence brings maturity and experience to the team, having a solid soaring potential.

Now, moving on to Bronny James, his much-awaited return was already loaded with performance-related expectations. Although, he did face a difficult time recovering from cardiac arrest, however, his performance has been going strong since his debut. He has an impressive ability to knock down open shots thrown from the perimeter. Moreover, he knows how to make plays in transition and can also play on defense with multiple positions.

As King James’ son, Bronny brings that mature and unique perspective to the team. His presence indeed gives a boost to the team’s profile on the national front.


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So far, the season is still in play, and it can’t be attributed to just the trio being on the roster and taking the fall for the team’s failing efforts. It’s a collective responsibility of all the members whether they rise or fall to stick together and not dwell on it. Maybe the Trojans are in a similar situation, so it can’t be blamed on the trio to be a mismatched marbles.



Written by:

Dimple Gupta


One take at a time

“Learn to thrive in thorns in order to become the rose of your life”. I like this very idea of resilience and how it defines six and seven footers of the NBA. They fall down, but they never stay down.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo




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