‘09/10 USC Basketball Player Preview Series: Kasey Cunningham


A three star prospect arriving at USC from Cibola High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Kasey Cunningham was expected by many to make an immediate impact for Tim Floyd’s rising USC basketball program until injuries derailed his once promising future. Since the later months of his senior year of high school back in 2006, the 6’7″ forward has undergone three ACL reconstructive surgeries, which have severely limited his availability to the team during his career at USC.

But now in year one of the Kevin O’Neill era, Cunningham, appearing fully healthy at last, looks to make a serious impact for the Trojans. While he may not be the same player he once was before his ACL problems, there is little doubt that he can contribute if fully healed as many claim him to be. At 6’7″ and 225 pounds, the New Mexico native certainly has the physique and athleticism to make a difference off the bench, especially in relief of starters Alex Stepheson and Nikola Vucevic. He has a nice, soft touch around the basket and has knack for grabbing rebounds and lose balls. Playing for a young inexperienced team, Cunningham’s tenacity and maturity will certainly be counted upon.

Provided, he remains in good health, expect Cunningham to have his best season as a Trojan.

Last Season’s Stats

  • 4 games
  • 2.8 points per game
  • 2.8 rebounds per game
  • 0.3 assists per game
  • 0.5 blocks per game
  • 44.4% field goal percentage

What they’re saying:

“It is my hope that the guy stays healthy, he deserves it. He’s had about as bad of luck as you could ever have as a player. He’s also a guy that I think could be a significant contributor to our team if he’s healthy.” -Kevin O’Neill

The optimist says:

Cunningham will finally be healthy, and as a result, be a significant contributor off the bench. He is never going to be a full-time starter for the Trojans, but he has the ability to become one of the better role players in the conference. In the opening exhibition last Sunday against Cal State Dominguez Hills, he played 32 minutes, while grabbing 12 points and seven rebounds.

The pessimist says:

Cunningham will once again injure his ACL and miss most of the season as a result.

The final verdict is:

I find it somewhat unlikely that Cunningham misses an entire season yet again due to injury. However, with that said, I find it equally as unlikely that he plays in every game, remaining injury free. But even with his nagging injury problems, look for Cunningham to appear in a fair number of games this year and provide solid relief for the Trojan bigs.