Posted Thursday, Nov 16, 2006; 9:48 p.m.
Prized basketball recuit Mayo ends speculation, chooses USC Trojans
photo: Al Behrman
Prep star O.J. Mayo (right) has signed a letter of intent to play for USC.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Guard O.J. Mayo, a two-time Mr. Basketball in Ohio who is considered the top prep prospect in the country, has signed a national letter of intent to play at Southern California.
His signing was announced late Wednesday night by USC.
Mayo, a 6-foot-5, 215-pounder from Huntington, W.Va., averaged 28.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, five assists and 2.3 steals last season as a junior at North College Hill High in Cincinnati. He led the school to its second consecutive Division III state title.
"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 program."
Widely regarded as the top player in his class since the seventh grade, Mayo began getting attention as a 13-year-old starter on the varsity team at Rose Hill Christian School in Ashland, Ky.
Mayo went on lead North College Hill High to two state titles before transferring to Huntington High in West Virginia for his senior year.
"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."
Also signing national letters of intent with USC were forward Davon Jefferson of Lynwood, forward Leonard Washington of Lake Charles, La., and swingman Marcus Simmons of Alexandria, La.
Mayo commits to USC without much hoopla
The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder from Huntington, W. Va, will not have to find a new nickname with the Trojans.