College Basketball Recruiting: Latest Rumors on Top Unsigned Prep Stars
Las Vegas star Shabazz Muhammad will make his college decision within the next three to four weeks
In the world of high school basketball recruiting, many of the game's biggest stars wait to sign their letters of intent until the late signing period in the spring. This year, many of high school basketball's biggest prep stars are waiting until the last minute to sign with their future schools.
Of the nation's top 25 seniors, according to ESPN, five are uncommitted at this point. Of those five, the nation's top two rated talents are still searching for schools.
While schools all over the country are drooling over these future college and NBA stars, these young athletes are searching for the program and coach that are the best fit for their enormous talents.
Here's the latest on each of the class of 2012's top unsigned talents.
5. Tony Parker
Tony Parker is a pure, back-to-the-basket player. The 6'9", 270-pound power forward/center is a hard-nosed athlete who bullies his way to monster double-double games and will wear down the opponent with his hard work and determination.
The Miler Grove High School (Ga.) standout's father told SNY.tv that Parker will be announcing his decision at the 2012 McDonald's All-American Game, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. The game will be held on March 28th at the United Center in Chicago.
The senior is said to be choosing between a slew of big-time programs. According to Zagoria, Parker's father said that Duke, Georgia, Kansas, Memphis, Ohio State and UCLA are the finalists for the future All-Conference talent.
4. Amile Jefferson
In a city that is known for its illustrious basketball history, Philadelphia's Amile Jefferson is the best the City of Brotherly Love has to offer this year.
The 6'8", 190-pound small forward has had a sensational career for Friends Central High School and will continue his playing career at one of five lucky college basketball factories.
Either Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Ohio State or Villanova is set to land the talented youngster within the next month or so, according to Adam Zagoria.
The front-runners to land Jefferson at this point seem to be either the Duke Blue Devils or the Villanova Wildcats. Stay tuned tot see what power conference school lands the blue-chip talent.
3. Anthony Bennett
The top-ranked power forward in the class of 2012 is Canada native Anthony Bennett. Not only does he possess a powerful frame at a chiseled 6'8", 230 pounds, but he also has the quickness and explosiveness of a player much lighter than himself.
That is precisely what has every top 25 program in the country chasing the Findlay Prep (Nv.) star. However, at this point, it is only a five-horse race for the young talent.
Florida, Kentucky, Oregon, UNLV and Washington are the finalists to land him, and each has put on a full-court press for the power forward prospect.
The hometown Runnin' Rebels look to be a top contender to land him, as well as John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats, who are also involved with several other unsigned stars.
2. Nerlens Noel
The case of Nerlens Noel has been a strange one this season. He was originally a member of the class of 2012, only to reclassify to the class of 2013 when he became injured during his sophomore season.
Then, in the midst of his junior season this year, he decided to reclassify back to his original graduating class, and immediately became the hottest name in high school basketball recruiting.
It's easy to see why.
He is a "once in a generation" shot-blocker who is the best that the high school game has seen since NBA player Greg Oden. His offensive game is also rapidly developing, and he has the look of a future NBA star.
As of yesterday, the 6'10", 215-pound center trimmed his list to a lucky three schools, according to Scout.com. Georgetown, Kentucky and Syracuse are the finalists for the Boston native, and each has a great head coach/recruiter with the ability to land him.
Georgetown has a tradition of talented big men, and that has appealed to Noel. Syracuse freshman guard Michael Carter-Williams remains one of the best friends of the Tilton Academy (N.H.) star, and Kentucky's John Calipari has him eying the Wildcats because of his development of top-ranked prep players.
1. Shabazz Muhammad
The top-ranked player in the entire county is Shabazz Muhammad. The 6'6", 215-pound swingman will be an immediate star at the college level, and his signing will create a huge stir nationally for whatever school lands him.
The Las Vegas native and Bishop Gorman High School superstar will reportedly take his final visit to UCLA within the next three weeks and decide his future almost immediately after, his father told SNY.tv, according to ZagsBlog.com.
While that makes it seem like Muhammad is favoring the Bruins, don't count out the other finalists for his services.
Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and UNLV are all candidates to sign the star forward, and each has its own appeal to the young star.
The school that seems to be pursuing him the hardest has been the hometown Runnin' Rebels and their entire fanbase, which includes most of the city of Las Vegas.
It will be interesting to see if he decides to be the star prep player to bring UNLV back to being a national power.