Basketball: USC to visit Muhammad

USC will visit the Las Vegas home of top Class of 2012 recruit Shabazz Muhammad on Friday, the first day of the next NCAA-allowed contact period, a source said Wednesday.

Head coach Kevin O'Neill and associate head coach Bob Cantu will make the in-home visit with Muhammad and his family Friday morning as the first set of coaches to make a visit. Expected to be present at the meeting are Muhammad's father, former USC basketball player Ron Holmes, and his mother, former Long Beach State basketball player Faye Muhammad.

USC was not thought to be particularly high on Muhammad's extensive list of potential suitors until the 6-6, 215-pound left-hander showed up on campus for a surprise visit last month. The Trojans are still not believed to be leading the race to sign him,, but it's clear they at least have somewhat of a shot.

Muhammad, the No. 1 overall player in the ESPNU 100, is well-built for a 17-year-old, capable of manhandling high-schoolers and many AAU opponents with a variety of moves within 15 feet of the basket. His defensive skills are also better than most top recruits at his age.

The contact period beginning Friday ends October 5, after which begins a so-called evaluation period, when in-home visits are not allowed. 2012 recruits can sign letters of intent with colleges between November 9-November 16 or wait until the other signing period in April.

The Trojans currently have one player committed in the Class of 2012: Phoenix, Az. guard Larry Lewis, a 6-3 slasher who verbally committed to USC in March 2010.

2012 recruits Zena Edosomwan (North Hollywood, Calif./Harvard Westlake) and Joe Rahon (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines) will also officially visit the school this weekend. Edosomwan, a 6-8, 220-pound forward, has been a top target of the Trojans for quite some time.