Andy Enfield photographed by Brian Chin | Daily TrojanMen’s basketball recruit J’Raan Brooks announced his decision to decommit from USC and reopen his commitment on Twitter last Friday afternoon. “Due to unforeseen circumstances stemming from the recent news that has come to light in regards to the Trojan basketball program — I have decided to reopen my commitment to examine other available options,” Brooks said in his tweet. “While USC is still very much a possibility, the uncertainty of their situation has led me to believe I should reassess my own.” Brooks, a 6-foot-8 forward from Seattle, becomes the first of head coach Andy Enfield’s three 2018 recruits to decommit from the program just three weeks after news broke of an FBI investigation of assistant coach Tony Bland and multiple other Power Five basketball schools.While Brooks is staying away from USC for the time being, the Trojans are still an option for the four-star recruit in the future — if Enfield and the rest of his staff escape NCAA sanctions.“I have nothing but the utmost respect for Coach Enfield, the rest of the staff, the school and fans of the program,” Brooks said. “However, I need to make sure what I do is best for my future, and ensure I am making an informed decision, while seeing how this process transpires.”Brooks has been quiet regarding potential schools of interest since his announcement last weekend. Washington, a school just three miles north of where Brooks played high school ball at Garfield High, is in the hunt for Brooks, along with Pac-12 rivals Cal, Stanford and Washington State.The rest of the 2018 class, four-star recruits Taeshon Cherry and Kevin Porter, remain committed to USC for the time being despite the allegations surrounding Bland, the Trojans’ head basketball recruiter.Cherry, a 6-foot-8 forward from San Diego’s Saint Augustine High, decided to come to USC due to his close relationship with Bland.“I have a good relationship with Tony and Enfield,” Cherry said in an interview withScout.com. “Their style of play really fits my style of play, and it’s a perfect fit for me.” Cherry is listed as ESPN’s 22nd-best player in the 2018 class and announced his commitment just days after Brooks.Fellow Seattle resident Porter, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from local Rainier Beach, remains committed to USC despite offers from UCLA, Memphis and Washington, among others.For now, Enfield brings back most of his 2016-17 roster, along with three top 2017 recruits in Charles O’Bannon, Jr., Victor Uyaelunmo and Jordan Usher. But questions still remain for the Trojans come 2018 and beyond. Along with senior guards Jordan McLaughlin, Kurt Karis and Elijah Stewart, starting junior forwards Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu are expected to leave school early to try their luck in next year’s NBA Draft.With starting jobs up for grabs in 2018, USC could potentially land another recruit in Brooks’ place if he decides to forgo Enfield’s offer. Of ESPN’s top 100 recruits for 2018, just three have signed letters of intent. Along with local five-star center Bol Bol, USC is still in the hunt for No. 1 overall prospect R.J. Barrett and four-star prospects Elijah Weaver, Khavon Moore and Kamaka Hepa. Considering both Bol and Barrett have fielded offers from top-flight programs like Kentucky and Arizona, USC would be more likely to land Weaver, Moore and Hepa if Brooks elects to sign with another team.If those targets aren’t interested, Enfield and company could potentially save that scholarship for a top player in the loaded 2019 class. While top overall recruit James Wiseman is likely to stay put in the southeast,11th-ranked shooting guard Cassius Stanley from Sierra Canyon or 16th-ranked forward Onyeka Okongwu from Chino Hills could be drifting toward USC. Regardless of undecided recruits in 2018 and 2019, USC awaits the verdicts in the FBI investigations with fingers crossed. The Trojans open their season at home against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 10.
In a game of two halves, AFC were punished for failing to turn their possession in the first half into goals while Gor came off the breather like wounded lions.Yikpe who had wasted two back to back open chances within the opening five minutes of the second half was hugely booed by Gor fans who remonstrated angrily for him to be substituted, but he responded in style, hitting a brace within eight minutes to send Gor soaring.In an opening half that they completely bossed, AFC Leopards did everything right but score.Their one shot on target at the stroke of halftime was the closest they came to breaking the deadlock against a Gor side that looked out of sorts.AFC Leopards midfielder Collins Shichenje shields the ball away from Gor Mahia’s Clifton Miheso during the Mashemeji Derby at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on November 10, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluAFC fielded a strong 11 with youngsters Clyde Ssenaji and Collins Shichenje earning their slots in the starting team, SSenaji continuing his makeshift role as a sweeper while Shichenje played in defensive midfield.The youngster was a joy to watch, winning tackles and spreading the ball with ease and utmost comfort. However, his stellar derby performance only lasted 30 minutes as he was replaced by Austin Ochieng after picking up an injury.Ingwe who have not beaten their arch rivals since 2016 were clearly interested in wiping away that poor stat from their sheet and from how they started the game, it was clear their intent was on winning.In the sixth minute, Isaac Kipyegon floated in a freekick with a nice curl on it from the right but Bernard Ondiek who was playing a makeshift right back role cut out the supply from Whyvonne Isuza who was arriving ready to pounce at the far post.Leopards continued their dominance especially in midfield with Ssenaji and Tresor Ndikumana bossing the play.Gor Mahia skipper Kenneth Muguna dribbles away from AFC Leopards’ Tresor Ndikumana and Dennis Sikhayi during the Mashemeji Derby at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on November 10, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaThey were denied by the crossbar in the 27th minute when skipper Soter Kayumba rose highest to head in a corner from Ndikumana with keeper David Mapigano well beaten.Much of the play was in Gor’s half, but Ingwe could not get the right formula to break the deadlock. At the stroke of halftime, Makwatta offered the first shot on target for the game with a left footed effort punched away by Mapigano.On the other end, Eugene Mukangala almost gifted Gor a goal out of the blues when he completely missed the ball off a Ssenaji pass at the edge of the box.However, Francis Afriyie could not take maximum advantage of the gift with a pathetic shot from the edge of the box with time and space ahead of him, keeper Benjamin Ochan gathering the ball with utmost ease.But, tables were turned in the second half.A frantic restart saw Gor knock in the AFC goal twice in five minutes. Three minutes after the restart, Yikpe’s shot after keeper Ochan had spilled a cross from Afriyie was blocked while a minute later, he sent a timid shot to goal from an Afriyie cross.Gor Mahia’s Bernard Ondiek attempts to beat Benjamin Ochan during the Mashemeji Derby at the Kasarani Stadium on November 10, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluBut he responded to the boos and shouts from Gor fans in style when he sent a thumping header against Isaac Kipyegon and into the net off a Kenneth Muguna corner, after Ochan had blocked Afriyie’s effort from point blank range.Nine minutes later, he made it 2-0 with a simple tap in from inside the box after running in to a good position to connect to a Miheso cross.Immediately, AFC boss Cassa Mbungo made changes, Dennis Sikhayi coming off for Boniface Mukhekhe while Hansel Ochieng went out for Vincent Oburu.The game suffered a six minute stoppage after a section of AFC supporters started throwing projectiles into the pitch, complaining of a handball inside the box that was not penalized by referee Badir Yassin.But when the game resumed, it was business as usual for the reigning Kenyan Premier League champions.K’Ogalo would continue their upward trajectory as Miheso made it 3-0 with a long range effort off a clinical counter attacking show by the champions, AFC left dazed and out of sorts.Gor Mahia defender Geoffrey Ochieng vies for the ball with AFC Leopards’ Hansel Ochieng during the Mashemeji Derby at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on November 10, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaAFC gave themselves some hope with Ndikumana’s long range effort three minutes later, but they were sunk deeper into oblivion with Juma scoring the fourth with a simple finished unmarked inside the box off a Boniface Omondi cross, the winger having just come on for Kenneth Muguna.0Shares0000(Visited 90 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Gor Mahia FC players celebrate Lawrence Juma’s goal against AFC Leopards during the Mashemeji Derby at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on November 10, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 10 – Gor Mahia turned the tide on their arch rivals AFC Leopards in the second half as a brace from Ivorian forward Gnamin Yikpe as well as one each from Clifton Miheso and Lawrence Juma earned K’Ogalo a precious 4-1 victory in the Mashemeji Derby at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.Tresor Ndikumana scored AFC’s consolation with a long range effort six minutes from time, but it didn’t do more than add to the statistics of the game.