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Sunday, September 11, 2011
Basketball: Muhammad schedules official visit

By Pedro Moura

Shabazz Muhammad, the top basketball recruit in the class of 2012, plans to officially visit USC the weekend of Oct. 28., a source said Sunday night, after the Trojans made an in-home visit with Muhammad in Las Vegas on the first day of the new NCAA-allowed contact period Friday.

Muhammad, the No. 1 overall player in the ESPNU 100, is a 6-foot-6, 215-pound left-hander who plays on the wing for Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas. His father is former USC forward Ron Holmes.

The Trojans have been recruiting him since his freshman year of high school but have only recently put somewhat in the spotlight on his recruitment. Recruits can take only five official visits, so Muhammad scheduling a visit with USC would indicate he has the school firmly in his top five.

Other schools believed to be high on Muhammad include Kentucky, UCLA and UNLV. Kansas and Duke are also in the running, among others. UNLV's first-year head coach, Dave Rice, is the older brother of Muhammad's high school coach Grant Rice.

USC head coach Kevin O'Neill and associate head coach Bob Cantu visited with Muhammad and his family early Friday morning before coach Ben Howland and UCLA did so later that day.

Muhammad, 17, has proven capable of dominating opponents at the high school level with his wide variety of moves near the basket and arsenal of offensive options. His defense is college-ready and he has been described as a much better player, makeup-wise, than most top recruits in recent years.

Of note: A new NCAA rule instituted this year allows college coaches to call all recruits an unlimited amount of times between now and Oct. 5, the end of the current contact period.