Roschon Prince out to get respect

Roschon Prince has flown under the radar at Long Beach Poly a bit, but it's doubtful that the USC commit will stay incognito for long. Blair Angulo for ESPNLA.com

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Roschon Prince might not yet be nationally known but he's been a local jewel the last few years at powerhouse Long Beach Poly.

Prince, the 10th-ranked basketball player in the state and nation's 20th-ranked small forward, hasn't received much publicity despite being the best scorer on one of the country's best teams. He's felt disrespected at times.

The senior-to-be recently committed to USC and, although he might be overlooked, he couldn't be happier.

"I've always wanted to play on the West Coast," Prince said. "I used to play football and I used to watch a lot of USC football. I know the tradition, but I started watching USC basketball as I grew older. My sister [Thaddesia Southall] plays on the women's basketball team there, so I've seen a lot of the campus."

San Diego State and Washington were his two other finalists but, in the end, Prince decided to stay close to home.

"With coach Kevin O'Neill being a former NBA coach, he knows what it takes to get to the next level," Prince said. "I'm up there a lot and I get to see the facilities."

Prince, who will not play for Poly's football team this fall to focus entirely on basketball, turned down an opportunity to be a team captain last season. The Jackrabbits finished 29-3 and failed to defend their CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship, falling Santa Ana Mater Dei in the final.

"This year, I feel like it's my time to step up," said Prince, who averaged just under 22 points per game last season. "I want to be a vocal leader, and hopefully we get a little further than we did last season. ... I'm trying to have an undefeated season."

If Poly does that, you can bet Prince's name will be known.