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USC coach Kevin O'Neill hopes center Omar Oraby will be eligible

Omar Oraby could be a big piece for the USC Trojans this season if ruled eligible by the NCAA.

US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Following a forgettable season last year, USC Trojans head coach Kevin O'Neil was upbeat and optimistic about his current squad of players. After returning a team in 2011 that had very little experience on the court, the Trojans bring back 101 points and 67 rebounds from a season ago.

As practice begins Friday, USC still does not no the fate of Omar Oraby. Oraby transferred to SoCal after spending last season with the Rice Owls. Here is the latest from LA Daily News.

"We're hoping he'll be eligible," O'Neill said. "He's a legit 7-2, 270. He's one of the better players I've coached. It'll take him a little time, but when he gets it he'll be a 12-, 13-year pro. Dewayne Dedmon was hurt, but we're excited about his summer. We think those guys will be a tough group to deal with."

The Trojans figure to be a team led by their guards this season, but the addition of the 7'2 Oraby would be huge both literally and figuratively. He averaged six points, 3.6 rebounds and a little more than a block as a sophomore with Rice. For a conference loaded with quality post players, Oraby could be a big piece to USC's puzzle in Pac-12 play.