USC basketball: top overall recruit Shabazz Muhammad's dad dishes on son's visit to USC
Could Shabazz Muhammad sign with USC?
Is it possible the consensus No. 1 college basketball prospect in the class of 2012, an explosive 6-foot-6 forward from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High, follows in his father's footsteps and becomes a Trojan?
USC fans are hopeful. USC coaches and players, too.
But if he does, that won't happen until the spring singing period, which begins April 11.
So for now, there's just speculation, and there has been plenty surrounding where he'll play in college.
What can be said, though, is that USC is still in the hunt after Muhammad enjoyed an unofficial visit there this weekend, his father, Ron Holmes, said in a phone interview Sunday night.
"He really enjoyed himself," said Holmes, a wing player for the Trojans from 1981 to 1985.
This was Muhammad's second unofficial visit to the school. He made one there in August. Muhammad visited this month along with his younger brother Rashad, a teammate at Bishop Gorman.
They attended Saturday night's thrilling triple-overtime USC-Stanford football game and Sunday's Salute To Troy basketball luncheon at the Galen Center.
Muhammad is considering several schools at the moment. According to Holmes, here's the alphabetical list: Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Texas A&M, UCLA, UNLV and USC.
"Those are the schools that are showing the most interest," Holmes said.
No one school is leading at this point, Holmes said.
"Sometimes he'll like one school more than another, sometimes that changes constantly," Holmes said.
From USC's side, the pitch made by Coach Kevin O'Neill during Muhammad's visits has been, according to Holmes, that "he'll be able to prepare Shabazz to reach his potential as a basketball player."
Which pretty much means he'll help him reach the NBA.
One other aspect that's intriguing to Muhammad about USC, Holmes said, is that next season the team should return guards Maurice Jones and Jio Fontan as well as center Dewayne Dedmon while Wake Forest transfer J.T. Terrell will be eligible (as will Wake Forest transfer Ari Stewart and UC Irvine transfer Eric Wise).
"The 2012 year, they'll be really, really good," Holmes said.
Overall, Holmes said his son likes O'Neill and the direction of the program. If there's the thought that he's pushing his son toward his alma mater, which Holmes said has been recruiting Muhammad since he was a freshman in high school, Holmes tried to dispel it.
"I'm really just giving him good information to help him with the decision," said Holmes, who said he was recruited by 20 to 25 schools before signing with USC.
"Shabazz was raised a Trojan," Holmes said. "That's all he knew growing up. That's why he's taking a good look at them."
-- Baxter Holmes
Photo: Shabazz Muhammad at the Adidas Super 64 tournament this summer. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times