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Jahlil Okafor will hold in-home visits this week

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The top junior in the Class of 2014 is ready to make another move in his recruitment next week, Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young/Chicago, Ill.) will host four teams for in-home visits.

Duke, Michigan State, Baylor and Kansas will all visit the 6-foot-11 center’s home next week, according to Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com. Ohio State had previously held an in-home visit with the highly-touted center. Okafor’s father, Chukwudi told Powers that these are five schools his son is interested in, but more teams are involved in his recruitment.

“These schools reached out and asked to come out to him,” Chukwudi told ESPNChicago. “I haven’t called any coaches to say, ‘Will you come to our home to visit?’ That’s not my job. We won’t hold any visits to schools where Jahlil isn’t going to have interest in them. I won’t waste their time.”

Illinois was also mentioned, though John Groce has yet to request an in-home visit, according to Okafor’s father. The Okafors look to trim the list of offers in near future, Powers reported.

Okafor is the top junior in the nation, according to Rivals.com.

Point guard Tyus Jones (Apple Valley/Apple Valley, Minn.) is third overall in the 2014 class and is the same person who has stated before he wants to team up with Okafor in college. The 6-foot-1 Jones narrowed his list to seven in early March — Baylor, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Ohio State — with several similar schools Okafor is interested in.

“That’s definitely still a possibility,” Okafor’s father said.

Okafor averaged 21 and nine in 2012-2013.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.

No. 23 USC falls at Arizona State

Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley applauds the efforts of his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
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No. 23 USC missed a golden opportunity to make up a game in the Pac-12 standings on Friday night.

No. 11 Oregon lost to Colorado on Thursday night, dropping back into a tie for first place in the league with the Trojans, a game ahead of No. 17 Arizona. But USC fell at Arizona State, 74-67, keeping them a game off of the pace that the Ducks have set.

The loss is even more painful when you consider that, on Sunday, the Trojans will be making the trip to Tucson to take on Arizona. The Wildcats are not what we have become accustomed to seeing under Sean Miller, but they are still a top 25 team and the McKale Center is still one of the toughest places in the country to get a win.

Thanks to Friday’s loss, instead of entering McKale with an outside chance of taking over sole possession of first place in the league, USC will have top hope they don’t fall two games off the pace.

As far as the game itself was concerned, USC committed 17 turnovers, shot 2-for-11 from three and gave up 16 offensive rebounds to Arizona State. That’s how you lose a game where you shoot better than 51 percent from the floor. USC was just never able to consistently get out into transition, and that caused them to struggle executing in the half court.

Nikola Jovanovic led the way with 25 points and 15 boards for USC.

Tra Holder’s 20 points made the difference for Arizona State, who kept themselves within striking distance of an at-large bid with the win.