Bronny James’ first start as a collegiate with USC was memorable, but not in a good way.
James, who was playing in just his ninth game as a Division I player, went 0-for-7 from the field and was held scoreless as the short-handed USC Trojans fell 68-58 to the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday night in Boulder, Colo.
USC coach Andy Enfield gave the much-ballyhooed freshman the starting nod out of necessity because starters Joshua Morgan, Boogie Ellis and Isaiah Collier were sidelined with injuries.
Despite James’ struggles, USC raced to a 37-24 halftime lead, but he couldn’t get untracked in the second half as J’Vonne Hadley led a balanced Colorado attack with 15 points and the Buffaloes (12-5, 3-3 Pac-12 conference) held USC to 21 points in the second half to secure the win.
James, who also went 0-for-3 from 3-point range, had two rebounds and an assist in a season-high 25 minutes.
James played his first game for USC on Dec. 10, four months after suffering cardiac arrest, which was caused by a congenital heart defect.
Oziyah Sellers had a career-high 18 points for the Trojans (8-9, 2-4) and Kobe Johnson, DJ Rodman and Vincent Iwuchukwu all scored 10.
During a recent Lakers’ four-game losing streak, a frustrated Lebron James told reporters when asked if his son would soon be ready to start for the Trojans and answered he thought it was time.
And then he loudly said Bronny was good enough to play with Los Angeles. “He could play for us right now. Easy. EASY,” he said.
— with AP