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Shabazz Muhammad’s mom is puzzled about Long Beach State

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Kevin O’Neill was all over top prep basketball prospect Shabazz Muhammad, or at least as much as the USC coach could be given the recruiting restrictions his program faced after NCAA sanctions.

O’Neill had an ‘in’ with Muhammad that probably made many other college coaches envious: Muhammad’s father, Ron Holmes, played for the Trojans from 1981 to 1985.

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So what’s Dan Monson’s excuse?

Muhammad’s mother, Faye Muhammad, was a track and basketball star at Long Beach State. She openly wondered why the 49ers weren’t recruiting her son, a 6-foot-6 senior-to-be at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman who is the consensus No. 1 player in the country.

‘I would have liked to see them come in and get involved and see what happened with that,’ Faye Muhammad said.

Asked about his recruitment of Muhammad while sitting courtside at a Las Vegas club tournament game Sunday afternoon, Monson smiled like a man who knew he faced an uphill climb. Like Mt. Everest. Monson cannot comment on recruits who have not signed letters of intent.

Told that Monson probably thought her alma mater had no shot at a player of her son’s caliber, Faye Muhammad said, ‘Maybe. But I would have been a major ally.’

Allies are not always enough, though. Muhammad is not headed to USC either, despite his father’s valiant efforts. Muhammad actually could become a Bruin, as he is listing UCLA among his possible destinations.

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-- Ben Bolch in Las Vegas


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