Shabazz Muhammad: Power Ranking Landing Spots for College Basketball Prospect

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 28:  MVP Shabazz Muhammad #15 of the West team goes up for a dunk during the 2012 McDonald's All American Game at United Center on March 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Shabazz Muhammad is the No. 2 ranked college basketball prospect in the nation in the ESPN Top 100, but his talents will have him as a stud in college next season and a lottery pick in the NBA potentially the following season.

With his signing day on April 11, three schools have emerged as front-runners for the young man’s services: Kentucky, Duke and UCLA.

There is a huge life decision on the shoulders on this young man, but we should have our answer before the day is out. I know there are people on three campuses in the USA with their fingers crossed, that’s for sure.


No. 1: Kentucky

The front-runners for the services of Muhammad are the defending national champion Kentucky Wildcats. Being the defending champs does have its perks.

Shabazz is believed to be a one-and-done player, meaning he will attend college for the mandatory one season before entering the NBA draft. Coach John Calipari is fine with that.

Calipari has helped shift the landscape of college basketball by specifically targeting the players that are going to college for one season. While the graduation rates are lower, his success with the system may spawn a whole new coaching mindset.


No. 2: Duke

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 16:  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils reacts in the first half while taking on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 16, 2012
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With another major turnover that includes star point guard Austin Rivers heading to the NBA, Shabazz has to seriously consider taking his talents to Duke and head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Coach K could get the most out of the star prospect, and he would be fully prepared to walk into the NBA after a stint with the Blue Devils.

The genuine problem here is that Duke doesn’t allow a player like Muhammad to flourish offensively to their fullest with a team-oriented style. On that note, the top high school prospect will look elsewhere on selection day.


No. 3: UCLA

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 08:  (R) Head coach Ben Howland of the UCLA Bruins points at Joshua Smith #34 after Smith fouls out in the second half while taking on the Arizona Wildcats during the quarterfinals of the 2012 Pacific Life Pac-12 basketball tournam
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

While the Bruins may be the longest shot because of their poor season last year and their lack of direction, the lack of institutional control may be something that a player set for a one-and-done career would love.

As much as head coach Ben Howland has been grilled for not carrying on with the John Wooden style, he is a solid coach who can lead the team to wins. If they can stay healthy, that is.

The biggest key for Muhammad’s decision to go to UCLA will hinge on the twin tandem of David and Travis Wear, both of whom would alleviate much of the offensive and defensive pressure on the star college prospect.


Check back for more on the NCAA basketball as it comes, and check out Bleacher Report’s College Basketball Page to get your fill of college basketball.