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Tag:Shabazz Muhammad
Posted on: March 6, 2012 1:51 pm
 

Financial planners separate in Shabazz situation

By Jeff Goodman

I've gotten several inquiries regarding the story that Gary Parrish and I wrote on Shabazz Muhammad last week and the relationship between his family and a pair of financial planners. 

Many assumed that the pair - North Carolina-based Benjamin Lincoln and New York-based Ken Kavanagh -- were working together. 

That's not the case. 

In fact, the two men have never met or spoken to one another. 

This is two separate instances with Lincoln paying for a couple of unofficial visits for Muhammad and his father, Ron Holmes, and Kavanagh donating to the Dream Vision summer program that is run by Holmes and Clay Williams. 

Sources have told CBSSports.com that the NCAA is continuing to research the situation. 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:30 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 11:10 pm
 

Breakdown of Shabazz Muhammad's unofficial visits

By Jeff Borzello

On Wednesday evening, CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish reported that the NCAA has contacted each of the teams recruiting Shabazz Muhammad, the No. 2-ranked player in the class of 2012, and told them to be careful of his amateur status. According to the report, the NCAA is interested in connections between Muhammad’s family and two financial advisers that paid for at least two of Muhammad’s unofficial visits.

In researching the article, we found nearly 15 unofficial visits from Muhammad – not including trips to UNLV, which is only about 10 minutes away from Muhammad’s home in Las Vegas. That’s a very high amount, especially considering how many trips were to non-local schools. It's worth noting, though, that the visits during AAU tournaments (Duke, Kansas) are not uncommon. 

Here’s a timeline of non-UNLV visits:

March 5, 2010: Duke and North Carolina; the two teams played in Durham that weekend
May 2010: After AAU team played at the Tournament of Champions, he spent time at Duke
August 4, 2010: Memphis, on his way to Adidas Nations
October 2010: Late Night with Roy at North Carolina
November 27, 2010: Louisville for game vs. Marshall 
December 5, 2010: North Carolina for game vs. Kentucky
January 15, 2011: Duke
March 1, 2011: Kentucky for Senior Night vs. Vanderbilt
May 2011: Kansas, while team was playing in the Jayhawk Invitational
May 9, 2011:
Arizona, the day after Sean Miller turned down Maryland
August 7, 2011: USC for basketball practice, while at Adidas Nations
August 10, 2011: UCLA for a football practice with Kyle Anderson, while at Adidas Nations
October 29, 2011: USC for football game vs. Stanford

Official Visits

  • Texas A&M - Weekend of September 22-24, 2011 for football game vs. Oklahoma State
  • Kentucky - Weekend of October 14-16, 2011 for Big Blue Madness
  • Kansas - Weekend of February 24-26, 2012 for game vs. Missouri
  • Duke - Weekend of March 2-4, 2012 for game vs. North Carolina

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 29, 2012 7:18 pm
 

NCAA looking into Shabazz Muhammad recruitment

By Jeff Goodman, Gary Parrish

Shabazz Muhammad is the top-ranked recruit in the nation.

Muhammad's recruitment, however, has drawn the attention of the NCAA - which has spoken to his father, Ron Holmes, about the family's relationship with a pair of financial advisors.

His list of finalists reads as follows: UCLA, Kentucky, Duke, UNLV, Kansas and USC.

You can read the exclusive story here:
Posted on: September 20, 2011 6:21 am
Edited on: September 20, 2011 10:48 am
 

Anderson's commitment huge for Howland, UCLA

By Gary Parrish

You can blame it on underclassmen leaving early or on a recruiting lull.

Or on a combination of the two.

Either way, Ben Howland hasn't tasted a Sweet 16 since he made three consecutive Final Fours from 2006 to 2008, and many had started to wonder about his long-term viability at UCLA. Had his style of play run its course in Los Angeles? Could he still consistently recruit elite-level prospects? Was his hiring of a summer coach from the Atlanta Celtics program a sign that Howland was getting desperate?

Those are the questions basketball people spent July asking each other.

Now a new question must be asked: Is Howland suddenly in position to make a fourth Final Four?

That's how significant Kyle Anderson's commitment to the Bruins was late Monday. Not only did it give Howland a consensus top-five prospect from the Class of 2012, it also quieted critics and suggested UCLA's first season in what will be a renovated Pauley Pavilion could lead to Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

That's the site of the 2013 Final Four.

Pencil UCLA in for it if Howland next lures a commitment from Shabazz Muhammad -- a Las Vegas native and the top prospect in the Class of 2012 who, according to sources, is likely to choose the Bruins over Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and UNLV. It should also be noted that Howland's assistant from the Atlanta Celtics (Korey McCray) has UCLA seriously involved with a pair of elite bigs from Georgia, specifically Tony Parker and Shaq Goodwin. Assuming the Bruins get just one of them, Howland could have a 2012-13 roster that looks like this:

G: Larry Drew
G: Shabazz Muhammad
F: Kyle Anderson (as primary ball-handler)
F: Reeves Nelson
C: Josh Smith

Key Reserves: David Wear, Travis Wear, Dominic Artis, Jordan Adams and Tony Parker/Shaq Goodwin.

That would be quite a collection of talent in Westwood.

Perhaps good enough to bring a 12th national championship to the school.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 3:31 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:38 pm
 

In front of the biggest coaches, Shabazz steps up

By Matt Norlander

LAS VEGAS -- I just spent the past 90 minutes at the Rancho High School gym watching CBSSports.com's No. 1 overall 2012 recruit Shabazz Muhammad.

It was a dee-light.

You can hear about a player, or see said player on shaky YouTube videos ad naseum, but nothing matches being a few feet away and seeing his skill set in person for the first time.

Muhammad, a lefty, can deftly go each way. He was throwing down dunks with ease over players that have much more body mass and height than him. (Muhammad's a sturdy 6 feet, 5 inches.) He also crossed up a few guys from about 22 feet and swished 3s as Mike Krzyzewski, John Calipari, Josh Pastner, Ben Howland and other drooling coaches in the hunt for his services looked on from the light-gray bleachers.

It was incredibly impressive, most of all, because his team came behind to beat the Atlanta Celtics, a team that's one of the more stacked groups in the country. Muhammad had 38 points, continuing his trend of filling up scorebooks this month. His 38 comes in an economical way, if that makes sense. He's certainly not a ballhog.

Afterward, a small swarm of reporters -- myself included -- got about two minutes with the future NBA lottery pick (only an unforseen injury or life on the lam will prevent that from happening) before his coach got him out of the gym as quickly as possible.

"I'm taking it slow," he said of not only the recruiting process, but the pressure that's supposed to exist on his 17-year-old shoulders. "I'm going to focus on [teams recruiting me] in August, after the AAU season."

Muhammad listed off, in order, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Memphis and UNLV as schools he'll focus on. The A&M choice, I believe, is a relatively new one. From what I gather, there's an assistant at the school who's close with Muhammad's father.
 
Muhammad also said his shooting is now the top priority for him. Said he's taken the criticism of his jump shot seriously and will continue to work to improve it diligently. He really couldn't have been more impressive. And best of all, he's a good kid. Everyone says that about him. Grounded, intelligent, tempered and talented.

It's not only easy, it's blindingly obvious why this kid is so coveted.

Photo via Larry Lawson
Posted on: July 19, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 2:24 pm
 

UNLV fan does his part to lure top prospect

By Matt Norlander

As a younger generation comfortably grows into an era where Web savvy and creative techniques on the Internet become second nature, we can expect more and more eye-catching courtings from fans of programs.

Top-ranked prospects will spring eternal. And this week, we've seen a UNLV fan put forth a quick viral video that mimics a Nike campaign in an effort to let No. 1 CBSSports.com/MaxPreps 2012 prospect Shabazz Muhammad know he's very much loved in the Nevada desert. The video is below. This isn't revolutionary; fans go back decades in terms of trying to lure prospects to school. It used to be so simple then.

Now we have the Internet and all the toys that come with it. In 10 years, it's going to be pretty insane -- and I encroach upon that word with as much literal emphasis as possible -- what fans of programs do to rally and rah 15-, 16- and 17-year-old kids to pick a school at which to play basketball or football. We haven't seen anything yet. Still, this is a healthy, refreshing dose of school pride in an effort to get UNLV back on a truly national level.



Artist Josh Meeter made the quick video. Simple, but pretty cool. And certainly helps UNLV. (Kentucky fans, your move.) Muhammad's being sought after by nearly every major program in the country -- and UNLV. He lives in Vegas, has for most of his life. If you want a glimpse of the type of player he is, check out the profile I wrote on him two weeks ago. The Rebels seem like they could make it into Muhammad's top three -- most hometown schools usually do, out of guilt if nothing else -- but I'm not sure how realistic of a chance UNLV has at this point with a player whose stock is streaking into another stratosphere.

I'll be watching Muhammad for the first time this weekend, when me and the other guys here at the blog head out to Vegas to watch his Dream Vision team play in the Adidas Super 64 on Friday. If he puts up another set of 40-point games, UNLV's going to have to do a lot more than videos and hometown familiarity.
Posted on: May 26, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 11:58 am
 

Shabazz Muhammad continues to protect his turf

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Posted by Jeff Borzello

Rankings of the top prospects in the country have different impacts on different players. Some don’t pay attention to them; some live and die by their ranking. Others are cognizant of where they stand and know opponents are gunning for them.

Shabazz Muhammad, one of the top three players in the class of 2012, is in the latter group.

“I think everyone thinks they’re the number one player, but I don’t worry about that,” Muhammad said in a phone interview. “But it affects the way I play, big-time. Having a target on my back, it’s a great opportunity for me.”

The 6-foot-5 swingman from Bishop Gorman (Nev.) has been ranked near the top of his class since he was a freshman in high school. Every game, camp or tournament, Muhammad has had to stand his ground to retain his stature.

Unlike many players who drop in the rankings as their high school careers progress, Muhammad is still in the mix for the top spot.

“That’s the first thing that comes to mind,” he said. “I’m the best player on the court and I have to prove it.”

Muhammad is a lefty scoring machine, using his strength to simply overpower most of his opponents when driving to the rim. He is an excellent finisher in the paint and is deadly in the mid-range. Once he improves his outside shooting, Muhammad could be unstoppable on the wing.

At the high school level, Muhammad can get away with playing inside the arc, but he knows he has to improve his guard skill set at the next level.

“Schools are recruiting me as a shooting guard,” he said. “So I’m working on handling the ball. Schools like Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, they have their shooting guards handle the ball a lot. And the most important thing is my perimeter shooting. The athleticism is already there.”

Muhammad has offers from dozens of schools, but he has trimmed some of the fat and is focusing on seven schools: Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, UNLV, Arizona, Kansas and Texas.

While he says he has no favorites, he did go through each school to discuss what he liked about each one.

Many people think UCLA is the frontrunner for Muhammad, but he denied it.

“It was a great experience,” he said about UCLA. “I’ve been to California and I love the weather. Coach [Ben] Howland is a great guy; I talked to him for a couple of hours. I got to see how it is to be a Bruin.”

Not surprisingly, Kentucky is also on Muhammad’s list. He said it’s different than the other schools on his list because of the location.

“I can be very focused there, since it’s not a city,” Muhammad said. “It’s a good place for a person who is serious about basketball. There are no distractions.”

UNLV is the closest school to Muhammad’s Las Vegas home and high school, and is therefore still in the mix. Proximity could play a factor.

“It’s a local school, and they have really good match-ups every year,” he said. “It’s only 10 minutes away.”

Early in May, Muhammad and his Dream Vision AAU team took a trip to the Jayhawk Invitational in Kansas. While there, he got a chance to check out the Kansas campus.

“Coach [Bill] Self is a nice guy,” Muhammad said. “I took a visit up there a couple weeks ago.”

What impressed Muhammad the most about Duke was head coach Mike Krzyzewski, but it wasn’t his charm or recruiting pitch that opened Muhammad’s eyes.

“Coach K, I talked to him a lot,” he said. “He’s very intellectual, he know what he’s doing. The guy is just smart. It’s a great place to be at.”

The most recent trip Muhammad took was to Arizona, ironically taking place the day after head coach Sean Miller spurned Maryland to stay in Tucson.

“I’ve been talking to them a lot,” Muhammad said. “They have a great coach and a great team. And their system is running, getting up and down.”

He plans on taking a trip to Texas sometime in June; at that point, Muhammad will have taken unofficial visits to all seven schools.

Still, no particular school is standing out.

“Everyone I named is coming at me the hardest,” Muhammad said. “They’re all great [coaches]. I can’t really compare one, two, three.”

Nearly every school on his list is a perennial Final Four contender, making Muhammad’s decision even harder. The main factor in his decision will be program success, both past and future.

“The school’s tradition,” Muhammad said. “I’m looking for the school that has the best opportunity for me to win a national championship.”

Despite going on plenty of unofficial visits and knowing exactly what he is looking for in a school, he has no plans to make a decision anytime soon.

Muhammad doesn’t want to rush into anything.

“I’m taking the process slowly. I probably will take all five of my visits,” he said. “I want to make sure I make the right choice.”

Photos: Wildcat Blue Nation, Lawrence Journal-World

Posted on: May 2, 2011 11:44 am
Edited on: May 12, 2011 4:22 pm
 

Race to the Top: Looking at the elite recruits

Posted by Jeff Borzello

The book is just about closed on the class of 2011. 
Sure, there are still players like DeAndre Daniels, Trevor Lacey, Joseph Uchebo, Kevin Ware and others dragging out their recruiting process, but it’s almost time to put the senior class in our rearview mirror.

Recruiting
There was no clear-cut number one player in the class, with different rankings placing Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers or Michael Gilchrist at the top of the class. Davis came out of nowhere in the spring of his junior season, making his case for No. 1 on the AAU scene. Rivers simply kept lighting it up no matter whom he played, while Gilchrist was steady and solid and probably held the No. 1 spot for the longest of anyone in the class.

But that’s all in the past. The final rankings are out, and it’s time to look at them as incoming college freshman, not high school players. As for the high school players, who’s got next? With only one month of the AAU circuit in the books, there is still plenty of spring and summer ball to be played.

This is the first in a summer-long “Race to the Top” feature at CBSSports.com where we gauge which players helped their case as the top player in the class and which players might have dropped a bit in the eyes of observers. We will likely update it after each major event we attend. To start, here’s a look at the candidates for the No. 1 ranking in the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014.

2012


Photo: Lonnie Webb/MaxPrepsAndre Drummond (pictured): 6’10”, C, St. Thomas More (Conn.) 
Why No. 1: When motivated, he’s unstoppable; combo of size and skill is unparalleled. 
Why Not: Doesn’t dominate consistently; disappears and fails to play hard at times.

Shabazz Muhammad: 6’6”, SF, Bishop Gorman (Nev.) 
Why: Outstanding lefty scorer and unstoppable in the mid-range; good size and build. 
Why Not: Perimeter shooting is inconsistent right now; not as effective going to his right.

DaJuan Coleman: 6’10”, C, Jamesville-Dewitt (N.Y.) 
Why: Has the ability to dominate the interior with his size and bulk; beginning to score in other ways. 
Why Not: Needs to become more toned and get in better shape; does not dominate consistently.

Cameron Ridley: 6’10”, C, George Bush (Tex.), committed to Texas 
Why: Late bloomer continues to improve and has a high ceiling; scores and rebounds effectively. 
Why Not: Needs to develop interior offense more; doesn’t have a wide variety of post moves.

Isaiah Austin: 7’0”, C, Grace Prep (Tex.), committed to Baylor 
Why: Absolute match-up nightmare due to his size and skill; tremendous inside-outside option. 
Why Not: Needs to add weight; spends too much time on the perimeter for a 7-footer.

Others:
Brandon Ashley, Ricardo Ledo, Rodney Purvis, Grant Jerrett (Arizona), Kaleb Tarczewski, Amile Jefferson

2013

Julius Randle: 6’9”, PF, Prestonwood Christian (Tex.) 
Why: Unbelievably versatile, can score and defend in different ways; motivated to be No. 1. 
Why Not: Could improve his outside jumper; tends to force drives at times against bigger players.

Jabari Parker:
6’7”, SF, Simeon (Ill.) 
Why: Coming on strong for the top spot; can score inside and out and is becoming quicker. 
Why Not: Struggles defensively to guard quicker or bigger players; working on his handle.

Nerlens Noel: 6’10”, C, Tilton (N.H.) 
Why: Defensively ability is out of this world in terms of blocking shots and rebounding; developing offensively. 
Why Not: Has to add weight to his frame; still somewhat raw on offense and struggles with contact.

Kuran Iverson:
6’8”, SF, Northwest Catholic (Conn.) 
Why: Very high ceiling due to his skill and size; very versatile and knows how to score in different ways. 
Why Not: Takes possessions off and does not play hard all the time; needs to dominate like he can.

Chris Thomas:
6’5”, SG, Westwind Prep (Ariz.) 
Why: Outstanding offensive player; he can shoot from the perimeter, score inside and rack up assists. 
Why Not: Jump shot can disappear at times; defense takes a backseat to his offense in terms of effort.

Others: Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Aaron Gordon, Keith Frazier

2014

Andrew Wiggins: 6’7”, SF, Vaughan (Can.) 
Why: Multi-skilled and can play a variety of positions; has the ability to score on the perimeter or at the rim. 
Why Not: Needs to develop a mean streak; not at the point where he takes over games.

Wayne Selden: 6’4”, SF, Tilton (N.H.) 
Why: Powerful body and an imposing player for his age; is unstoppable going to the rim and can shoot. 
Why Not: He’s simply more physically developed than his peers; has to be more explosive as he ages.

Theo Pinson:
6’5”, SG, Oak Ridge (N.C.) 
Why: Long and athletic, very tough matchup; has excellent passing ability and can finish at the rim. 
Why Not: Needs to add weight to his frame and get stronger; ball-handling is getting better.

Jahlil Okafor:
6’8”, PF, Whitney Young (Ill.) 
Why: Already has good post moves and back-to-the-basket game; finishes at the rim and likes contact. 
Why Not: Not an explosive athlete right now; tends to play below the rim despite his size.

Dakari Johnson: 6’8”, C, St. Patrick (N.J.) 
Why: Dominant space-eater with great skill for his age; very difficult to stop once he gets the ball. 
Why Not: His athleticism needs work; struggles at times against taller players as a result.

Trey Lyles: 6’7”, PF, Arsenal Technical (Ind.), committed to Indiana 
Why: His mix of size and skill is tough to match; can run the floor and scores inside and out. 
Why Not: Doesn’t dominate against inferior opponents; could add strength and weight to his frame.

Others: Justin Jackson.

Photo: Lonnie Webb/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