Shabazz Muhammad will make his highly anticipated college decision on April 11 at 7:30 pm on ESPNU. Last week, the second-ranked player in the class of 2012 narrowed his list of schools down to UCLA, Kentucky and Duke. Muhammad was dominant last week at the McDonald’s All American Game, finishing with 21 points and six rebounds to earn the MVP award.
In what has been one of the most interesting recruitments in recent memory, UCLA and Kentucky are thought to be the two favorites to land the 6-foot-6 swingman. Acclaimed UCLA inside sources still feel confident that Muhammad will be in Westwood this fall, while the national sentiment seems to be that he will end up being Kentucky head coach John Calipari’s next one-and-done superstar. Duke has never been perceived as the favorite in Muhammad’s recruitment, but has been a persistent player for quite some time. Whatever school he chooses, they will likely become a national title contender as Muhammad is expected to be one the best college players from day one next season.
Duke fans got a glimpse of future Blue Devil guard Rasheed Sulaimon in the McDonald’s All American Game last week. Sulaimon, who also won the three-point shooting contest, made the most of his opportunity on the biggest stage in high school basketball last Wednesday night netting 18 points, including 4-8 from three-point range. In the closing seconds, Sulaimon converted a critical reverse layup while being fouled to help secure the victory for the West team. Overall, Sulaimon impressed scouts and fans alike with his versatile offensive game, brilliant shooting stroke and defensive prowess. The Houston product will also play in the Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoops Summit in the coming weeks.
Duke prospects Amile Jefferson and Tony Parker also had strong showings at the McDonald’s All American Game. Parker finished with ten points and seven boards, while Jefferson scored eight points and grabbed three boards. Both Blue Devil targets should make their college decisions very soon.
Parker has indicated that he is currently favoring UCLA, Duke and Kansas, although he is still very much considering Georgia and Ohio State. The Jayhawks’ chances of landing the 6-foot-9 Georgia big man may have taken a hit when assistant coach Danny Manning, who coached the post players in Lawrence, took the head coaching position at the University of Tulsa last week.
Former Connecticut forward Alex Oriakhi has not released a list of schools that he is considering. North Carolina, however, appears to have strong interest in him given their front court losses Tyler Zeller, John Henson, Harrison Barnes and possibly James Michael McAdoo. The Blue Devil coaching staff has reached out to Oriakhi, but it is still unclear whether Oriakhi has genuine interest in Duke.
As spring rolls on, look for recruiting to heat up on Tobacco Road. The class of 2013 could be one for the ages as the Blue Devils as they are firmly in the mix for prep superstars Jabari Parker and Julius Randle, who are the top two players in the class.
The recruiting contact period kicks off April 5th and goes through April 18th.