Being part of a small family can be beneficial for some people. It can be daunting at other times. Playing on a small basketball team with people you don’t really know can be construed as a challenging task as well. Yet, one incoming USC women’s basketball star is hoping that she and her teammates will play well enough to win not just the Pac-12 Conference, but also contend for NCAA championships.
As a piece of a very fresh roster, Endyia Rogers is a 5-foot-7 sophomore guard from Dallas, Texas. Rogers is in her second season at USC. As a Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference Honorable Mention, Rogers has an arsenal of offensive tools around her.
“I know that I play in the best conference in America right now and if you don’t come in focused and motivated to play hard, then you’re not going to succeed,” Rogers said.
As a true freshman, Rogers was second on the team in scoring last year with 13.1 points per game and led the team with 44 3-point shots made, second the on team with 2.87 assists per game, and averaging 4.2 rebounds. In the 31 games that Rogers has started, she scored in double-digits in 20 contests. Rogers set back-to-back career highs with 29 points vs. Washington on Jan. 26 and then 30 points at ASU on Jan. 31.
She had a career-high nine assists against Washington and collected a personal-best nine rebounds against the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley.
Before putting up numbers for USC, Rogers played prep ball at Bishop Lynch High School in Texas where she was named the 2019 Texas Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior, a two-time league Offensive Player of the Year and was picked as league MVP. Her biggest accomplishment in high school was winning two state championships and becoming a four-time all-state first-team selection player. She was also an honor student.
When Rogers is not playing on the hardwood, she is studying at USC majoring in biological sciences and hopes to pursue a career in plastic surgery.
“Endyia Rogers is such an amazing talent,” USC women’s basketball head coach Mark Trakh said in a media press conference last month. “I wouldn’t want to guard her in the open court. She’s got all kinds of moves, she can shoot the three, she can get to the rim, and she can pass the ball.”
Rogers helped carry that team with her scoring for the Trojans last year as a freshman, shooting 42% from the field and 41% from the three-point mark in their last six games of the season.
“She’s a talent,” Trakh said. “She can go down as one of the great guards to have played at USC, but it’s gonna take a lot of hard work.”
In regards to Rogers’s play this season, she has been working on her intensity during games. Last season, Trakh liked how well she rebounded, able to score on her own and defend on the court.
“I’m really looking forward to big things from her this year and for her to continue to work hard to evolve as a player,” Trakh said.
With reference to her basketball skills, this season Rogers said she has been focusing on her mid-range jumper to complement her favorite floater shots.
The USC team does not have many players with college basketball experience., The team is made up of one graduate, one junior, seven sophomores, four freshmen and no seniors. But Rogers and the Trojans’goal however is to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2014. Prior to that, the USC women’s basketball team missed the tournament for eight years.
“Last year we were very young and we faced a lot of challenges early,” Rogers said about getting used to playing with her teammates last season. “We had a little amount of time to get together to do great in the Pac-12 and as you’ve seen, at the end of the Pac-12 [season] we had some team chemistry that led us to get a couple of wins.”
With the global pandemic giving everyone an extended offseason, Rogers took the initiative to practice and condition on her own as there was no access to personal trainers and gyms. Rogers said she had to keep herself pushing herself in order to compete in the Pac-12.
“I had that in my mind, I want to go to the tournament, win a couple of championships, so you have to be motivated to be able to do those things,” Rogers said.
With one game completed, an 85-55 win over Loyola Marymount, Rogers played for 31 minutes scoring a total of 15 points, getting 6 assists, and 7 rebounds. Rogers and her teammate Angel Jackson accounted for the 16-0 onslaught in the fourth quarter doubling the Trojans’ lead. Rogers was one of five Trojans to hit double figures in USC’s season home opener.
The Trojans are set to open their Pac-12 schedule with a visit to the Arizona State Sun Devils. USC then have a game date with the Arizona Wildcats a few days later before they go more than a week before they square off against city rival UCLA on Dec. 13 at Galen Center. USC is building for the future with its young roster and with Rogers on the Trojans squad, the attempt to win the Pac-12 looks bright.