Shabazz Muhammad Diary: Kentucky vs. North Carolina
Words. Shabazz Muhammad
Few players, if any, had as productive a summer as Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV) shooting guard Shabazz Muhammad — evident of his 32 ppg scoring average on the AAU scene. Now every school from North Carolina to UCLA is in hot pursuit of the 6-5 junior, making his one of the most intriguing recruiting stories in the country.
Muhammad, who is ranked No. 8 in the HSH National Top 50, has agreed to give us exclusive access by chronicling his thoughts in this regular diary where he’ll keep everyone updated on his high school season and the recruiting process:
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What’s up world! Things have been going really well with me lately.
I visited North Carolina again last weekend for their game against Kentucky. That was my first Carolina game, and my dad and I were very impressed. The arena was really alive and the fans were great! Both schools are recruiting me and I got a chance to watch them in-person, so it was like a two-for-one with that visit. That was why I picked that game to go to.
Just to watch Coach (John) Calipari and Coach (Roy) Williams go head-to-head was a great experience. It allowed me a chance to see what each program had to offer up close. I didn’t get a chance to talk to Coach Calipari because I wanted to wait until I got back home to talk with him, just out of respect for North Carolina. I wanted to give them my full attention while I was on their campus.
I spent a lot of time with Coach Williams and the team while I was there. I learned a lot about what all they would have in store for me if I were to come there in the future. They basically said that there’s a lot of freedom in the offense and Coach Williams pointed out how they push the ball. He told me that the last thing he wants to do is set up a play. He just wants to run. So they said a lot of the things that I wanted to hear. It was just a great experience for me. North Carolina really takes care of you when you go up there. I had a ball!
I learned a lot about both teams from this visit. From North Carolina, I learned that Coach Williams really just lets his guards play and they really get up and down the floor. That was a big part of those guys getting the win. With Kentucky, I was really liking how intense Coach Calipari was with his players. He wants you to do the little things to get you ready for the next level. I was watching that with my dad and he was pointing that out to me. I thought that was really important to see.
I went to Louisville a few weeks back and that was also a great experience. The atmosphere was different there. It was my first time being in Kentucky and I really liked it! The YUM Center was just amazing! It was off the charts! Then, of course getting a chance to talk with Coach (Rick) Pitino was a great experience. He really lets his guys run and that Big East is definitely nothing to play with! I like having competition every night, so that’s appealing.
I’m definitely aware that people feel like after two visits to North Carolina that I’m favoring them. I understand why people say that, but my dad and I are trying to gather as much information as we can on these visits and I’m gonna take as many visits as it takes to gather the most information. With that being a game against two schools that I’m high on, I thought it was a great chance to go and see what each schooled offered in person.
I wouldn’t say that I’m favoring North Carolina over the other schools, but I am feeling them a lot. I’m also feeling Kentucky and Duke and Louisville and Memphis and UCLA … I like a lot of the schools on my list! I’m just continuing to get to know the coaches better and gathering all of the information that I can to move forward with the process.
I’m planning on taking a visit to Kentucky soon, but I’m not sure when, since my season is starting this week. I definitely want to get up to Lexington and see what’s up there! Me and my boy Rodney Purvis are trying to get up to Kentucky at the same time. I’m still planning to visit Duke in January, and I know that will be exciting. I’m not sure who they’re playing, but those guys are doing a great job again this year. Coach K is doing a great job with them and they’re a great team, and I want to watch a great team!
I’m not in rush to decide on where I want to go to school. I’m thinking that I’ll be waiting until my senior year for that. Obviously, my senior year I’m allowed to take five official visits, but I don’t think I’ll take all five because I’m taking so many unofficial visits now. I’m still not sure when I’m gonna cut my list down. I know the schools that I really, really like, but others are just in there to be in there. I’m not sure when I’ll cut that down, but I’ll definitely let you guys know.
Other than basketball, school is going really good. I definitely make sure that I’m staying on top of the books. I learned a lot in my speech class and it’s really helped me to do things like interviews and just being around people without being shy at all. So I definitely incorporate what I learn in the classroom with what I do in life and in basketball.
Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading and definitely check back for my next entry!