Muhammad focus on Day One of evaluation periodby Javier Morales on Jul. 07, 2010, under Sports
What’s more daunting, facing the background of a college-student cheering section while standing at the free-throw line, or looking up in the stands and seeing a who’s-who of college basketball coaches watch your every move?
That was the situation for top-flight Class of 2012 talent Shabazz Muhammad on Tuesday during the first day of the July evaluation period. Muhammad, of Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, drew a crowd including the likes of UA’s Sean Miller, Roy Williams, Bill Self, Billy Donovan, Mike Krzyzewski and Ben Howland, among many others, at the adidas Invitational at Indianapolis.
The tournament is held at North Central High School, the school that former UA point guard Jason Gardner attended. Muhammad no doubt has seen Gardner’s jersey hanging in the gym. Gardner was the 1999 Mr. Indiana winner as the state’s top boys basketball player. One of Miller’s goals is to restore those kind of recruiting successes.
To some, however, the hunt for Muhammad, potentially the No. 1 recruit of his class by the time he graduates, might be similar to Arizona’s unsuccessful attempt to land Baltimore Class of 2010 standout Josh Selby (who chose to attend Kansas).
Time will tell. The Cats should be in a more favorable position, having three seasons completed under Miller when Muhammad finally plays college hoops. And Miller’s try at Muhammad might be more of symbolism than anything. It shows that Miller intends to keep the direction started by Lute Olson — the cream of the crop will continue to be a recruiting focus.
According to various reports out of Indianapolis, Muhammad, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, lived up to the expectations of the high-profile coaches. He displayed accuracy from beyond the three-point line. He showed a quick first step to the basket. He is also a tough-as-nails defender.
He scored 32 points in a losing effort for the Dream Vision AAU team against Indiana Elite.
Arizona is already in pursuit of one of Muhammad’s teammates at Bishop Gorman — small forward Roscoe Allen, a 6-7 player. Allen unofficially visited the Arizona campus last month.
Other recruiting news: Gary Randazzo, of WildcatSportsReport.com, is reporting that UA assistant coach Book Richardson is in Germany scouting Class of 2011 point guard Quinn Cook, who is playing with USA Basketball’s Under-17 team in the FIBA World Championships. Richardson’s appearance there shows how serious the Cats want Cook, who has the UA on his short list. Richardson is sharing the stands with some strong competition, however, in Hamberg. Kentucky head coach John Calipari and assistant Orlando Antigua are there as well to make themselves seen by Cook. They are also watching commits Marquis Teague and Michael Gilchrist. … Other potential UA recruits at the adidas Invitational include Class of 2012 center Isaiah Austin of Arlington (Texas) Grace Prep, Class of 2012 forward Winston Shepard of Henderson (Nev.) Findlay (who is a teammate of Muhammad with Dream Vision), and Class of 2011 guard Norman Powell of San Diego (Calif.) Lincoln.