Top-rated senior Mayo signs letter of intent with USC

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Prep star O.J. Mayo said he has known
for a couple of weeks he wanted to go to USC, but he didn't want to
announce it until he talked it over with his family.

"USC has been at the top of my list since the beginning of the
summer," Mayo said at a news conference at Huntington High School
on Thursday.

Trojans assistant coach Bob Cantu said the school received
Mayo's signed letter of intent by fax Wednesday.

Mayo's family, teammates and about 100 students attended the
news conference. Mayo said he wanted to get the announcement out of
the way to focus on his senior season.

"I just didn't want any distractions in the middle of the
season," Mayo said. "I wanted to concentrate during the season
and contribute to a state championship."

The 6-foot-5 guard, ranked by several prep publications as the
nation's top senior, transferred to Huntington High in September
from Cincinnati's North College Hill High.

"Coach [Tim] Floyd has been an NBA coach and at the next level,
and the city of Los Angeles is a great marketing city," Mayo said.
"Hopefully, if everything goes well, I can market myself better
for the next level."

The Trojans already have signed top-ranked players Davon
Jefferson of Los Angeles, Leonard Washington of Lake Charles, La.,
and Marcus Simmons of Alexandria, La.

"We feel as a result of this recruiting class that it has
changed the perception and expectations of our program," USC coach
Tim Floyd said. "In O.J. Mayo, we signed the No. 1 player in the
country. We think the impact of him alone raises the level of the

Mayo, a Huntington native, is a two-time Associated Press Mr.
Basketball for Ohio and was tournament MVP of this summer's
national champion AAU 17-and-under team. He averaged more than 30
points, nine rebounds and seven assists per game last season at
North College Hill.

"He has a poise to his game that is uncommon for a player his
age," Floyd said. "I would encourage people to buy their tickets
because he is worth it."