Center Oraby transfers from Rice to USC

It appears USC men's basketball coach Kevin O'Neill will have a 7-foot-2 center at his disposal next season.

Omar Oraby, a 7-foot-2 center who played at Rice, will transfer to USC, a source in the program confirmed Wednesday.

Oraby, a junior from Egypt, is scheduled to begin taking classes on Sept. 17, and the Trojans plan to file a hardship waiver with the NCAA that could make him eligible to play this season.

If that waiver is not granted, Oraby will sit out this season and play in 2013-14 with two years of eligibility remaining.

Oraby, 21, averaged six points and 3.6 rebounds last season and set a Rice record with 56 blocked shots.

Oraby would give the Trojans' program three 7-footers. Junior Dewayne Dedmon, 7-feet, 255 pounds, averaged 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 20 games last season before suffering a knee injury. Senior James Blasczyk, 7-1, 260 pounds, averaged 3.2 points and 2.9 rebounds.

-Baxter Holmes