USC Women's Basketball: JuJu Watkins Acknowledges Major Pressure As Next WBB Superstar

Even Watkins can feel the pressure.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

Behind one of the greatest freshman seasons in women's college basketball history, Watkins emerged as a face of the sport. With Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese heading to the WNBA, Watkins could potentially become the biggest name in the women's college game ahead of the 2024-25 season.

With her fame and such lofty expectations, there is a lot of pressure of Watkins. There has been pressure on Watkins since she arrived at USC last year as the nation's No. 1 recruit. That pressure has grown exponentially since, as she proved what she could do during her dominant freshman campaign when she led USC to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in thirty years.

Even someone as cool and clutch as Watkins can feel that pressure weigh in on her at times.
“I think I’d be lying if I said I didn't feel pressure sometimes," Watkins said, via Talia Goodman of On3. Just knowing the attention that's on women's basketball right now and trying to make sure that it doesn't get lost.”

If there's anyone suited to handle all this, it's Watkins. Whether it's during the heat of a game or talking to the press afterwards, Watkins almost always is collected and humble. On top of her composure, Watkins is simply great.

She broke the NCAA freshman scoring record by becoming the first freshman to score over 900 points and she won nearly every freshman award possible last season. She finished second in the NCAA in scoring by averaging 27.1 points per game, only behind Clark, and came through for USC every time it mattered. Watkins scored at least 20 points in every NCAA Tournament game last season, including 29 points in the Elite Eight loss to UConn.

Even if Watkins has an off-game, the Trojans have put themselves in a position to succeed without solely relying on their superstar. They added top transfer Kiki Iriafen and Talia Von Oelhoffen and are also bringing in the nation's No. 1 recruiting class. They should have the talent of a championship team, along with one of the best players in the sport at the college level.

More USC: Caleb Williams Previews His Leadership Plan for Bears

Eva Geitheim


Eva graduated from UCLA in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in Communication. She has been covering college and professional sports since 2022.