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Tag:Shabazz Muhammad
Posted on: January 27, 2012 12:26 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 1:17 pm
 

Shabazz Muhammad keeps everyone guessing

No. 1 prospect Shabazz Muhammad has not given any hints as to where he's headed next year. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Everyone wants to know where Shabazz Muhammad will play his college basketball next season. As the consensus top prospect in the class of 2012, his decision has the attention of fans, casual observers, recruitniks, coaches – everyone.

Muhammad’s classmates at Bishop Gorman (Nev.) are no different.

“Probably 10 times a day in school,” Muhammad said last week when asked how often he hears the question. “Everyone wants to know. I don’t mind it. I just say I don’t know yet.

“I’m still looking at all my schools.”

Muhammad, a 6-foot-5 small forward, has had a pretty static list for the past year. UCLA, Kentucky, UNLV, Duke, Arizona, Kansas and USC are the ones jockeying for his services right now.

He’s taken his time throughout the process, only taking official visits to Kentucky and Texas A&M so far. He won’t make a decision until he’s taken all five of his officials.

“Probably when I’m done with my visits,” Muhammad said. “I have three more officials, and I’m definitely going to take them. I’ll have them scheduled in a month or so.”

For now, he said he’s looking at Duke, Kansas and Arizona for the remaining visits. Because they’re so close to home, UCLA and UNLV likely won’t receive official visits.

“It’s worthwhile to go to a farther school for an official, since they’re paying,” Muhammad said.

UNLV seems to be gaining some traction in his recruitment, especially after picking up Pittsburgh transfer Khem Birch. Moreover, the hometown school has been on Muhammad as long as anyone, and the Runnin’ Rebels performance this season is just proving that the program is on the rise.

They’re certainly in the mix for Muhammad.

“The program is really coming along,” he said. “They got Khem Birch, some other recruits. They’re a great program, they’re going to be a great team. I’m really looking forward to getting more involved with the recruitment.”

Muhammad also said he would be OK staying at home in Las Vegas.

John Calipari and a couple of assistants were in attendance for Muhammad’s game at the Hoophall Classic against DeMatha Catholic (Md.). The Wildcats are continuing to turn up the heat on Muhammad.

“The interest level is high,” Muhammad said. “Coach Cal was at my game. I talked to them a week ago. I just think I fit really well in their style of play.”

Another school that sent a head coach and two assistants was Duke, as Mike Krzyzewski was front-and-center for Muhammad’s nationally-televised game.

“Coach K is just a mastermind,” he said. “I’m really getting excited about going down there.”

The school that has been associated with Muhammad’s recruitment for most of the past two years was UCLA. The Bruins are squarely in the mix for him, and the addition of top-five prospect Kyle Anderson in the fall can only help.

“Who wouldn’t want to play with Kyle?” Muhammad said. “How he sees the floor is just remarkable.”

Another school in the running for an official visit from Muhammad is Arizona. The Wildcats have the top recruiting class in the country right now, and adding the No. 1 prospect would cement its spot atop the rankings.

Moreover, Sean Miller would have one of the most talented rosters around.

“I think I would fit really well,” Muhammad said. “They run a high-tempo style.”

Style of play is Muhammad’s most important factor in his recruitment. He prefers a mostly half-court style where he could use his tremendous scoring ability to his advantage, but he also wants some fast-break opportunities where he can get out in transition.

Muhammad won’t let the pressure get to him; he’s set on taking his time and making an informed decision after his season ends.

“It’s kind of weighing on me, but I’m still weighing my options out.”

Posted on: December 15, 2011 2:56 pm
 

Six players make Naismith watch list



By
Jeff Borzello

The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Thursday the preseason watch list for the Naismith High School Player of the Year.

On the boys’ side, six players made the cut: Shabazz Muhammad (uncommitted and ranked No. 1 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100); Kyle Anderson (UCLA, No. 4); Brandon Ashley (Arizona, No. 3); Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State, No. 9); Isaiah Austin (Baylor, No. 7); and Alex Poythress (Kentucky, No. 12).

“We’re extremely excited to watch this year’s nominees battle it out for the right to be called the best high school basketball player in 2012,” said Eric Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

The players ranked in our top 10 who weren’t recognized were Mitch McGary (No. 2), Kaleb Tarczewski (No. 5), Archie Goodwin (No. 6), Cameron Ridley (No. 9) and DaJuan Coleman (No. 10.

The Naismith Awards national voting academy, comprised of basketball writers around the country, made the selections. The winner will be announced on March 22.

Last year’s winner was Austin Rivers.

On the girls’ side, the seven players were: Breanna Stewart (Connecticut), Moriah Jefferson (Connecticut), Alex Jones (Duke), Jewell Loyd (Notre Dame), Jordan Adams (USC) and junior Diamond DeShields (undecided).

Photo: Las Vegas Sun

Posted on: November 9, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 11:23 am
 

No. 1 Shabazz Muhammad will wait until the spring

By Jeff Borzello

Several of the remaining five-star prospects have plans to announce their decisions over the next week or two.

One player who will undoubtedly wait until the spring to make a commitment, though, is the No. 1 prospect in the country, Shabazz Muhammad.

Muhammad, a 6-foot-5 swingman from Bishop Gorman (Nev.), has been atop the rankings for much of the past year. His performance in the summer only cemented his spot at No. 1. The lefty is a dominant scorer, especially going to the basket. He has great mid-range ability and is also very effective finishing at the rim. If Muhammad can knock down 3-pointers with consistency, he is going to be a huge problem.

Of course, a whole list of teams would love to get Muhammad’s pledge for next fall. His list has stayed mostly the same for the past few months, with UCLA, Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Kentucky, Texas A&M, USC, UNLV and Arizona all chasing the talented prospect.

It’s not a surprise that Muhammad won’t make a decision. He has only taken two official visits – to Texas A&M and Kentucky – and has not seemed to be in a rush to get the other trips out of the way. Muhammad plans to visit Duke for its game against North Carolina in the fall.

The team thought to be the leader for most of his recruitment has been UCLA. The Bruins have received an unofficial visit from Muhammad, and there have been rumors that Muhammad wants to play with current Bruin commit Kyle Anderson. Without a pledge yet, though, UCLA can’t feel safe.

Kentucky, Duke and UNLV are on UCLA’s heels. The Wildcats have made up ground in the past several months, and Muhammad was on campus for Big Blue Madness. John Calipari going hard after other forwards makes one think he has plenty of backup plans. Duke has always been in the mix for Muhaammad; he’s impressed with Mike Krzyzewski. UNLV isn’t the power that the other three are, but the Runnin’ Rebels have the location advantage.

It’s tough to count the other teams out, too, especially since he’s taken unofficial or official visits to each of them and could take more trips throughout the year.

More on recruiting

Unlike some other prospects, Muhammad could wait as long as he wants to make a decision; coaches and teams won’t back off of him because he’s taking his time choosing a school. He wants more information on each of the schools; it’s refreshing to see a kid go through the entire process and make an education decision after much deliberation.

Some star players will have stressful decisions to make in the next week, but Muhammad definitely won’t be one of them.

Photo: MaxPreps

Posted on: September 15, 2011 5:24 pm
 

Podcast: Where will uncommitted stars end up?

By Matt Norlander

Recruits are becoming savvy to the game. Each year, it's taking longer and longer for more and more high-level recruits to commit to a school. Makes sense -- this is pretty much the last bastion of legitimate power they'll have until they get out of college and go on to earn buck at some sort of professional level.

So, with that in mind, I had Borzello hop onto the podcast and give you the most likely landing spots for these 10 undecided guys:
  1. Shabazz Muhammad
  2. Mitch McGary
  3. Kyle Anderson
  4. Archie Goodwin
  5. Kaleb Tarczewski
  6. DaJuan Coleman
  7. Amile Jefferson
  8. Alex Poythress
  9. Rodney Purvis
  10. Jarnell Stokes
Some seem inevitable, while a few others are true toss-ups. Listen to find out which guys on the list could very well drag out their recruitments all the way until April. That's right -- after the upcoming college basketball season, which is still seven weeks away from having games on television. We also discuss how Houston was able to pull off getting two top-100 guys, and why that label is actually a little misleading in this case.

And, as always, if you want the latest news and scoops on recruitments in hoops, we've got an entire blog wholly dedicated to that. Borzello does most of the housekeeping there. Boost the pageviews and his ego all at once!

Here's the link for iTunes subscription. The podcast goes up a few minutes after it's live here on the blog, so be sure to subscribe. Or, if you're just hanging out, click the player below and enjoy.

Posted on: July 26, 2011 2:07 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 11:36 am
 

Las Vegas Wrapup: Top Performers, Notables


By Jeff Borzello

LAS VEGAS – For five days, Las Vegas went from being the gathering place for various vices to the epicenter of AAU basketball (during the day, at least). With the Adidas Super 64 and the Fab 48, the majority of the best players and teams in the country descended on the desert for two of the summer’s best tournaments. The individual match-ups that took place at the Super 64 were unparalleled, while the Fab 48 featured plenty of top talent as well.

At the Super 64, the final four consisted of Indiana Elite, Dream Vision, Utah Pump N Run and Texas Assault. Behind the play of Jordan Loveridge, Utah Pump N Run defeated the Atlanta Celtics, Compton Magic and Michigan Mustangs in the tournament. EBC Elite made a run to the Elite Eight with upsets over Family First and DC Assault, while the Nor Cal Pharaohs also made a surprising run.

The Fab 48 was marred somewhat by two brawls, but the Cinderella stories by Wisconsin Swing and Team Breakdown to reach the Final Four were fun to watch. In the end, though, Ishmail Wainright and the KC 76ers rolled to the championship, dispatching of anyone in their path. The favorites heading into the event included the Oakland Soldiers, Belmont Shore, NJ Playaz and Mac Irvin Fire – all three were gone by the final eight, with the Soldiers and Playaz getting shocked in the playoff opener.

Top Performers

More on Recruiting

Ishmail Wainright, 2013, KC 76ers: Arguably the most impressive overall performer of the week, Wainright led his team to a surprising Fab 48 title. The muscular junior has always been a great defender and energy guy, but he carried the 76ers offensively, including getting the upper hand on Jabari Parker in a head-to-head battle.

Shabazz Muhammad, 2012, Dream Vision: Muhammad had his slow games, but overall, he again showed why he is the best player in the class. He carried Dream Vision to the title game, getting baskets in a variety of ways. Simply unstoppable when going to the rim.

Andre Drummond, 2012, Connecticut Basketball Club: When Drummond is motivated or goes against another top player, he is outstanding. He beat Kaleb Tarczewski head-to-head, adding to his hit list amongst the top big men in the country.

Javan Felix, 2012, New Orleans Elite: With the point guard class down this year, the demand for someone like Felix becomes much higher – especially when he plays like he did this week. He was knocking down shots off screens and was also getting to the rim.

Chris McCullough, 2014, Team Scan 15s: Although many people got their first glimpse of McCullough this week, he is certainly a top-10 player in his class. He is long and athletic, and has a ceiling that is simply through the roof. Raw for now, but his name will be heard for a long time.

Brandon Ashley, 2012, Oakland Soldiers: Ashley has consistently been one of the most impressive players this summer, and this week was no different. He scored around the rim, ran the floor and showed a willingness to handle the ball and knockdown face-up jumpers.

Kaleb Tarczewski, 2012, New England Playaz: Didn’t get the upper hand against Andre Drummond, but he played well the rest of the week. Most of his points come on dunks or layups around the rim, but his defense, work ethic and rebounding ability bode well.

Buddy Hield, 2012, Kansas Pray and Play Players: Overshadowed slightly by Perry Ellis, Hield was the one that shined throughout the week. Hield is a big-time offensive player that can knock down shots from behind the arc or drive the lane and finish in impressive fashion.

Denzel Valentine, 2012, Michigan Mustangs: He wasn’t that impressive at the NBPA Top 100 camp in June, but Valentine has looked good in the two Adidas events in July. He knows how to handle the ball in traffic and uses his body exceptionally well when driving the lane.

Marcus Smart, 2012, Texas Assault: Smart consistently put the Assault on his back at both ends of the floor, and his energy and nonstop motor permeated the rest of the team en route to the semifinals. Smart is an outstanding defender who has steadily improved his shooting and ball-handling 

Other Notables:

Indiana Elite made a run to the Final Four, but no one in particular stood out overall. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera had his moments, while Jeremy Hollowell was also solid . . . Kuran Iverson is supremely talented, but his lack of interest on defense make some question his work ethic . . . With Drummond on the inside, Kris Dunn was able to make plays in transition and on the perimeter . . . For Belmont Shore, Katin Reinhardt continued to improve his point guard ability, while Grant Jerrett showed his versatile offensive game . . . New York guard Isaiah Whitehead knows how to make tough shots, plain and simple . . . Joe Rahon, the younger brother of San Diego State guard James Rahon, continues to impress. He can hit shots and run a team . . . Going up against Drummond, Coreontae DeBerry held his own defensively . . . Nate Britt again looked good, initiating offense and showing great body control in the lane . . . Kentucky native Taylor Barnette is fun to watch when his shot is falling; his range is unparalleled . . . Got my first glances at Grant Verhoeven and Christian Wood. Verhoeven is a very good defender and scores in the lane, while Wood needs room to grow but is certainly talented . . . One coach told me Chris Walker reminds him of a young Antonio McDyess . . . Charles Mitchell doesn’t have ideal size for a big man, but his hands and length make up for it . . . Mitchell's teammate, Chris Bolden, showed off an improved driving game to go with his knockdown shooting . . . 2013 forward Jordan Bell had 17 blocks in one game. That’s ridiculous . . . The attacking ability of Montay Brandon is impressive; if he gets a jumper, look out . . . One of the breakout players of the event was Jordan Loveridge, who led the Utah Pump N Run team to the semifinals – he knows how to score . . . Double Pump Elite’s Tyrone Wallace is quickly rising up the point guard ranks – he is 6-foot-4 and long . . . Texas shooter Phil Forte simply doesn’t miss . . . Team Breakdown didn’t have too many studs, but guard Brandon Channer used his strength and finishing ability to provide a boost . . . Slightly overshadowed by Chris Thomas’ antics, but Colorado commit Wesley Gordon is a big man who moves well without the ball and can finish . . . Sanjay Lumpkin is a tough matchup for guards at 6-foot-6, and also held his own against forward Gavin Thurman.

Photos: Kansas City Star (Wainwright), 247 Sports (Felix), Utah Pump N Run (Loveridge)

Posted on: July 8, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 12:09 pm
 

Adidas Invitational: Day Two Notebook



By Jeff Borzello

INDIANAPOLIS -- It’s not often a five-star recruit is scared of going against someone -- and then admits it.

In Chris Thomas’ case, though, the big-time scorer from Colorado wanted no part of Kaleb Tarczewski and the rest of the New England Playaz big men.

“They were too big,” Thomas said. “I played against the big guy (Tarczewski) in Adidas Nations, and he had some mean blocks. Every time I went up, I thought I was going to get blocked or get hurt.”

Thomas, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who will attend La Jolla Prep (Calif.) next year, is still one of the most unstoppable scorers in the country. He is long and athletic, and his first step and explosiveness are on another level. Thomas has deep range on his jumper and is a very good passer when he gets others involved.

At the Adidas Invitational, Thomas was fairly inconsistent, scoring 35 in one game and then disappearing for stretches.

“I’ve been off and on,” he said. “One game I play good, next one is bad.”

Thomas is not far along in the recruiting process, but he listed Kentucky, Memphis, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, Xavier and Texas.

Three schools are standing out for the No. 7 prospect in 2013: Kentucky, Arizona and Xavier.

“For Arizona, they have good people there, good coaches,” Thomas said. “Xavier, I like the talent they have. And Kentucky, I like [John] Calipari and their style of play.”

Thomas said he plans on making a decision at the end of his junior year in high school.

“I want to go to a place where I can have fun,” he said. “I want to get my degree and go to the NBA.”

Top Performers

Shabazz Muhammad, 2012, Dream Vision: Hate to keep bringing him up, but Muhammad lit up for the second day in a row. Going head-to-head against Andre Drummond, Muhammad easily won the battle, scoring 29 and getting the win.

Kaleb Tarczewski, 2012, New England Playaz: Tarczewski is a man among boys at times down low. He runs the floor well and catches everything thrown to him in transition. He finishes well around the basket.

Bronson Koenig, 2013, Wisconsin Playground Warriors: It didn’t take long for Koenig to make his presence known against the Las Vegas Prospects. He knocked down two long 3-pointers off the dribble and also found teammates for points. 

Kasey Hill, 2013, Florida Rams Black: Hill is a big-time scoring point guard at this stage. He changes directions well and is very shifty with the ball. His crossover and ball-handling create separation and make his shots tough to guard.

Jarrell Martin, 2013, Brandon Bass Elite: Martin is well on his way to being a big-time forward in his class. He is very long and runs the floor well. He can score from the perimeter and attacks the offensive glass with aggressiveness.

Phil Nolan, 2012, Devin Harris Super Stars: Although he struggled during certain stretches, Nolan is a tough matchup. He can shoot consistently from the perimeter and runs the floor like a gazelle. He’s 6-foot-9, and his length makes him a solid defender and rebounder.

Other Notables: Even though Tarczewski got most of the pub, John Papale was outstanding for the New England Playaz. He is a knockdown outside shooter . . . Double Pump Elite has two tall point guards in Nigel Williams-Goss and Tyrone Wallace that can see over the defense and make plays . . . Ricardo Gathers was quiet at times, but when he decided to go down low and dominate, he was difficult to stop . . . A name to remember could be Landry Nnoko. He is long, strong and athletic, and is still getting accustomed to playing the game . . . Standing next to Andre Drummond might make it difficult to get noticed, but Sean Obi knows how to carve out space and make plays at the rim . . . Wannah Bail has great physical attributes; he just needs to refine his offensive game and he could be dominant . . . Team D-Rose could have a sleeper in Trevor Thompson, a 6-foot-10 big man who can score with his back to the basket.

Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:45 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 3:21 pm
 

Adidas Invitational: Day One Notebook

By Jeff Borzello

INDIANAPOLIS – After Nate Britt’s outstanding NBPA Top 100 camp performance in Virginia two weeks ago, buzz started to spread about Britt as the top point guard prospect in the class.

After Tuesday, Andrew Harrison took the title back in impressive fashion.

“You saw the game,” Harrison said afterwards. “Of course I [think I’m better].”

Harrison, a 6-foot-5 rising junior from Travis (Tex.), has the size and vision to be a future pro. He has very good handle and can get to the rim at will. Defensively, he gave Britt problems with his length and lateral quickness.

With fellow stars Aaron Harrison, Shaq Cleare and Derrick Griffin all fouling out, Harrison put the team on his back in the second half.

“I’m used to it,” he said. “I like it, and I’m glad we pulled out the win.”

Harrison, ranked No. 5 by CBSSports.com/MaxPreps, listed Maryland, Kansas, Kentucky, Baylor, Arizona, Texas, Texas A&M and North Carolina.

“I don’t want to be one and done like everybody else,” Harrison said. “I’m looking to go to a family atmosphere and just be able to play.”

Keith Frazier lights it up from deep

While Shabazz Muhammad was filling it up on one wing for Dream Vision, newly-acquired Keith Frazier was holding his own on the other side.

Frazier, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Irving (Tex.), is one of the better shooters in the class of 2013. He has a great stroke and deep range on his jumper, and his length makes his shot nearly impossible to contest.

Although he was a new member to Dream Vision, Frazier made a seamless transition.

“I’m trying to do what I can, just to fit in,” he said. “I just want to play within the other players.”

The No. 16-ranked player by CBSSports.com/MaxPreps listed Arizona, Houston, Kentucky, Marquette, Georgia, Baylor and Texas.

“I want a school that gets out and runs, and plays hard,” Frazier said. “And one that lets me shoot.”

Top Performers

Shabazz Muhammad, 2012, Dream Vision: The new No. 1 player in the country made his case for the top spot on Tuesday. The lefty scorer dropped 40 points in a comeback win over Team Indiana Elite, and was consistently unstoppable in transition.

Twymond Howard, 2012, MSM4L: After a subpar NBPA Top 100 camp, the two-sport star was knocking down tough shots all night. Howard finished with 42 points in an overtime loss, driving to the rim and also making 3-point shots with efficiency.

Shaq Goodwin, 2012, Atlanta Celtics: Goodwin didn’t always finish consistently on Tuesday, but he got to the free-throw line better than anyone in the event. He finishes through contact and doesn’t shy away from physicality.

Patrick Ingram, 2012, Eric Gordon Central Stars: One of the more surprising players on the first day with Ingram. He was nearly unstoppable when driving to his right, and he consistently finished against bigger players at the rim.

Kris Dunn, 2012, Connecticut Basketball Club: Against the Atlanta Celtics, Dunn was absolutely dominant. No defender could stay in front of him, as Dunn consistently penetrated past his man and got to the rim with ease.

Craig Victor, 2014, New Orleans Elite: Although he’s young, Victor had a terrific performance in the opening battle. He knows how to score with his back to the basket and he runs the floor extremely well for a young big man.

Other Notables: Of all the Florida Rams big guys, Staphon Blair might be the least-known, but he played the best on Tuesday. He’s an absolute beast down low with a non-stop motor . . . Derrick Griffin might be the best dunker in the country. He will finish anything in his area . . . Kaleb Tarczewski played well in stretches, running the floor and finishing around the rim. He needs to stay out of foul trouble, though . . . Fresh off his commitment to Texas Tech, Jordan Goodman was more active and aggressive than in the past, proving to be a tough match-up . . . Nate Britt had his moments where he was unstoppable, but he was outplayed by the Harrison twins. Still, when his jumper is falling, he’s very difficult to contain . . . If he ever learns how to harness his athleticism, Javonte Hawkins is going to be a big-time offensive player. He’s so explosive when going to the rim . . . Gabe York can simply get off his shot whenever he wants, whether it is off the dribble or from deep-range . . . Apparently Chris Thomas had an outstanding second game, but he was thrown out of the first one after receiving two technicals in the first nine minutes.

Photos: MaxPreps 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com