Shabazz Muhammad, the top ranked player in the class of 2012, recently had in home visits with UCLA, Duke, and Kentucky. The 6'6 wing from Las Vegas discussed how they went with C2CHoops.com.
UCLA coach Ben Howland pulled a double shift on September 9th, after 2012 Bruin commit Dominic Artis at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, Nevada, he went to the Muhammad household to have an in home visit, which was the first one scheduled for the 2012 wing.
"I thought it went really well," Muhammad told C2C Hoops UCLA affiliate BruinsBall.com. "I've had a relationship with coach Howland for so long now and we've talked so much that it wasn't anything new really, but it was good to do the visit. It was cool to hear about the new stadium too."
Muhammad said that Howland's coaching style and system were particularly appealing to him.
"Coach Howland is a mastermind on offense," Muhammad said. "He's a real genius when it comes to getting guys open and creating in the half court. I think I would do really well there."
"I like that UCLA is a premier program in the west too," he added. "Location isn't a deciding factor for me, but LA is close to home and would allow my family to see me more."
Muhammad also mentioned that he sees UCLA as a program on the rise because of their recruiting success as of late.
"UCLA has brought in a lot of good players in my class," he said. "Dominic Artis, Jordan Adams, they're great players and that's a big thing for me. I want to go somewhere where they have a lot of talent and we'll be competing for championships."
Coach Krzyzewski and Duke paid a visit to Shabazz Muhammad on Monday, September 12th.
"I had a great visit with Coach K," Muhammad told C2C Hoops Duke affiliate DevilHoops.com. "He's a real legend of the game, a hall of fame coach who can teach you so much. There's no doubt that he can make you as good of a basketball player as you want to be."
Muhammad added that playing for a coach like Krzyzewski could help shore up his weaknesses.
"Defense is what I probably need to improve the most right now, so a defensive minded coach like at Duke could really help me, definitely," he said. "I want to be known as an all around great player, not just for my offense.
Muhammad also noted that he wants to receive a good education while playing collegiate basketball.
"Duke academics, they're top notch, up there with the best universities in the country," he added. "That's a rare opportunity for anyone to get to go to a school like that and learn so much while playing the highest level basketball. That's a really great thing about Duke."
Kentucky's John Calipari was accompanied by assistant coaches Orlando Antigua and Kenny Payne to watch Muhammad and his Bishop Gorman teammates during an open gym on September 13th. Muhammad shined in the practice atmosphere, as he rarely missed shots and was clearly on his own level in comparison to his teammates. On the court, Muhammad did what he wanted, when he wanted, and showcased his fantastic skill set and phenomenal physical ability.
After the conclusion of the open gym, the players put in a quick lifting session, and then Calipari and the coaches went to the Muhammad household to conduct their in-home visit.
"The visit with Kentucky was great," Muhammad told C2C Hoops Kentucky affiliate BluegrassHoops.com. "I've talked to coach Calipari a lot and he has shown a lot of interest in me."
Muhammad said that the way the coaches would use him was appealing.
"They want to use me as a shooting guard, which is where I prefer to play," Muhammad said. "I can fit in well with the dribble-drive offense and the guards at Kentucky always have a lot of freedom to make plays and let their talents shine through."
"The players they have put in the league says a lot," he added. "Coach Calipari really knows how to send guys to the NBA and be successful when they get there. They said they have a lot of confidence that I can succeed at the college and NBA levels."
Though UK is targeting many players in the 2012 recruiting class, they let Muhammad know exactly where he stands with them.
"They said I was their number one priority," he told Bluegrass Hoops. "That feels really good, especially coming from a school like Kentucky that recruits all the best players. That was a big compliment."
While many believe that Muhammad is leaning toward UCLA or Kentucky, he said this is not the case.
"I'm open to all the schools recruiting me, I don't have a leader," he said. "I'm really appreciative of all the love that I'm getting from these schools and I'm giving everyone a fair chance."
"Shabazz will make a decision when he's ready and the time is right," said Ron Holmes, Muhammad's father. "When he does make his decision, he'll be sure that it's the right one for him and for his future. He's a very intelligent kid so I know he's going to make the right decision, and he's got his entire family's support through the process."