USC: Renan Lenz

Basketball: USC signs Brendyn Taylor

April, 11, 2012
USC basketball on Wednesday officially announced the signing of guard Brendyn Taylor (Los Angeles, Calif./Fairfax) as the third member of its 2012 recruiting class.

Taylor, a 6-2 guard with limited prep experience the past two seasons because of CIF transfer rules, joins Wake Forest transfer J.T. Terrell and Serbian prep Strahinja Gavrilovic as 2012 signees. He averaged 18 points, five rebounds and 3.5 assists per game at Fairfax last season and committed to the Trojans early last month.

"Brendyn has a great upside,” USC coach Kevin O'Neill said in a statement. “He is an athletic wing who’s best days are ahead of him. He is going to be a major plus both on and off the court for USC.

Taylor’s father, Brian, played 10 seasons in the NBA and ABA, earning ABA Rookie of the Year honors. His older brother, Bryce, played at Oregon and now plays professionally in Europe.

USC now has one scholarship slot remaining to sign a player in the spring signing period, which concludes May 16. Wednesday marked the first day recruits could sign with schools after the early signing period in November.

The Trojans are pursuing a number of potential transfers for that spot, including former Tennessee forward Renaldo Woolridge, former Drake guard Rayvonte Rice and Brazilian big man Renan Lenz, a junior-college product.

Basketball: USC hosting Woolridge on visit

April, 6, 2012
Former University of Tennessee forward Renaldo Woolridge is visiting USC this weekend to consider a potential one-year transfer to the Trojans, a program source told on Friday.

Woolridge, a lanky 6-foot-9 forward with an inside-outside game, is the son of former Los Angeles Lakers player Orlando Woolridge. He signed with Tennessee out of Harvard-Westlake in the class of 2008 and started 20 games over four seasons with the Volunteers but was granted a medical hardship waiver this offseason because of an ankle injury he suffered his junior year that limited him to only eight games.

He is a Sherman Oaks native and tweeted last week that he is "definitely leaning out West" for his next destination.

Woolridge averaged 4.4 points and 3.3 rebounds for Tennessee in roughly 14 minutes per game. All were career-highs. He memorably went 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the first half of Tennessee's road loss to top-ranked Kentucky in January to finish with 17 points.

USC has one available scholarship slot left for the 2012-2013 season created by the departures of Garrett Jackson, Alexis Moore, Curtis Washington and Evan Smith, the signings of J.T. Terrell and Strahinja Gavrilovic and the commitment of Brendyn Taylor.

The Trojans are also pursuing UConn transfer Alex Oriakhi and Arizona Western College forward Renan Lenz to fill that slot, among others.

Basketball: USC officially out on Muhammad

March, 29, 2012
ESPNU No. 2 recruit Shabazz Muhammad has officially ruled out USC as his college choice, a school source told on Thursday.

He told reporters at the McDonald's All-American Game in Chicago on Wednesday that he had narrowed his options down to a final three of Kentucky, UCLA and Duke, in no particular order.

Most observers believed Muhammad had eliminated the Trojans from his top schools some time ago, but the Trojans continued to recruit him until as recently as earlier this week. He never officially visited USC but came to campus for unofficial visits multiple times during the recruiting process, once even sitting for a presentation from athletic director Pat Haden on how he could maximize his marketing potential going to school in Los Angeles.

His father, Ron Holmes, played for USC in the 1980's and was one reason the highly-ranked left-handed scorer was considering the Trojans.

Of course, the NCAA is investigating Muhammad for potential eligibility issues relating to who paid for his many unofficial visits across the country. A high-ranking athletic department source told earlier this month that the school was operating as if it was a possibility he would miss a limited number of games due to violations, not an entire season.

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