On the first day of college basketball's early signing period, USC and UCLA basketball recruits, as expected, signed their letters of intent to enroll at the respective institutions at some point next year. USC head coach Kevin O'Neill announced that the Trojans' three-man class of 2011, which includes guard/forward Byron Wesley of Fontana, guard Alexis Moore of Long Beach and center James Blasczyk Friendswood, Tex., faxed in their signed letters of intent Wednesday, officially joining the next Trojans recruiting class, which already includes Iowa transfer Aaron Fuller and junior college center DeWayne Dedmon.
"I am really, really excited about the class of 2011-2012," said O'Neill in a statement. "These guys will help stabilize our program and will serve as the beginning of us leaving all this negativity behind. Every one of these guys fits what we are looking for in players in terms of being good people, good students, and good athletes."
Wesley, who is presently ranked as the No. 1 player in California by Cali High Sports, may be the gem of the class, as his 6'5", 210 lb. frame makes him one of the state's most physically mature players, and his performance in big games is nothing to frown about either (see: 18 points against Mater Dei in the Division 1 CIF Championship game last spring).
"Byron comes from a great program at Etiwanda," O'Neill told Jordan Moore of USCRipsIt.com. "He is a multi-faceted wing player, who can play two or three spots and guard spots 1-4. His versatility will make him a valuable part of our team over the next four years."
But the Bruins may have nabbed the best player of the bunch Guard Norman Powell of San Diego, who was Ben Howland's lone signee Wednesday. Powell, who averaged 19.7 points and 2.7 steals a year ago while leading Lincoln High School to the CIF Division II state title, is presently ranked No. 47 overall by ESPNU in the class of 2011.
"I'm really excited about Norman Powell joining our basketball program and family," Howland said in a statement. "He's one of the most athletic kids that we will have had in this program in a while and one of the most athletic kids since I've been here. He's very explosive and has outstanding quickness and will be an excellent defensive player."