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Shabazz Muhammad’s Father Updates Recruitment, Responds to Rumors
Earlier in the week, John Calipari ventured out to Las Vegas, Nevada to watch [B]Shabazz Muhammad[/B] (Class of 2012, Bishop Gorman HS) and fellow 2012 star, [B]Anthony Bennett.
[/B]This afternoon, Nation of Blue caught up with Muhammad’s father, Ron Homes, to update his recruitment and how the game went with Calipari in town.
“It was nice to catch-up with Coach [John] Calipari,” Holmes began. “He was on one side of the gym and I was on the other, but he did get a chance to say ‘hello’ to me. He was focused on the game, so we didn’t do much talking.”
For the past several weeks, Holmes has been talking with assistant Kenny Payne the most, while Calipari talks directly to Shabazz Muhammad.
“I probably talk to Kenny Payne once-a-week, but I can’t really say how much Coach Calipari speaks to Shabazz. I don’t necessarily keep up with how often coaches talk to him, but I would say he speaks to Kentucky once, twice a week.”
Like Kentucky, other schools are focused on Muhammad. At this point, the official list stands as the following: “Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Arizona, UNLV, and UCLA,” in no specific order.
Holmes said there is no clear-cut team that is paying the most attention to Shabazz at this time. Obviously, all six teams are giving it their all for the talented wing man.
With his season coming to an end soon, Holmes and Muhammad will take the remaining three official visits.
“We have a visit scheduled with Duke, and then we will work things out with Kansas and Arizona,” Holmes explained. We will focus on those when the season has ended.”
Muhammad was supposed to visit Arizona last weekend for their game against Washington, but unusual circumstances forced a cancellation. After attending Big Blue Madness in October, there was also the looming possibility that the 6-foot-6 star could make a second visit to Lexington.
“We had hoped to make another visit, but right now, that is pretty much ruled out. The financial aspect is just too much. We will just concentrate on the remaining official visits. But we have been watching each game very closely.”
Rumors have been flying around for quite sometime within the Muhammad recruitment, and some new rumors rose Friday. According to BruinsReportOnline.com, Muhammad and Tony Parker are leaning towards UCLA at this point.
Holmes responded to those rumors, as well as prior rumors:
“Well, apparently they haven’t talked to Shabazz or myself about it yet. We haven’t hinted at a leader or anything like that. [I][B]And we are not leaning anywhere[/B][/I]. A month ago, UNLV led; the month before that, Kentucky led; then, before that, UCLA was the leader, if you go by what people say. We haven’t said anything about leaders.”
It has been noted for sometime that other premiere players are going to be important for Shabazz, and Anthony Bennett is interested in several of the same schools as Shabazz, like UK and UNLV.
Holmes did acknowledge that players are important, but Muhammad isn’t very familiar with Bennett.
“Shabazz doesn’t really know Anthony that well. Being at Findlay, it’s more of a competitive thing right now,” Holmes commented. “But we do know Anthony is a helluva player, and I’m sure Shabazz would love to play with him. But Shabazz will make his decision, and Anthony will make his decision.”
“But playing with accomplished players are very important. Shabazz wants to win, and that translates to good players and good coaches. All these schools have that.”
Muhammad’s personal game has also really grown in his senior season. Many people compliment his work ethic and the improvement of his shot, but his father sees another important aspect.
“Shabazz has become a better playmaker and making the best decision for his team. He is seeing the entire court better, too. He’s just doing the right thing, whether it is letting someone else score, or him scoring. He is really making good decisions.”
Despite reports and rumors, there is no specific date or time for Muhammad to come to a decision, but Holmes does have a good time in mind.
“After we take our remaining visits, we will have a better grasp on things. But I fully expect to have a decision a week before the signing period.”
Follow Garrett Tucker on Twitter [URL="http://twitter.com/#%21/gtuckersports"]@GTuckersports[/URL] for more info on recruiting.