Muhammad Reflects On Summer

With a big string of summer performances under his belt, one of the best prospects in the class of 2012 is ready to focus on his junior season and, to some degree, the recruiting process. TDD spoke with Shabazz Muhammad to get the full run down.

"We had a really good summer," said Shabazz Muhammad. "We were a younger team, but I was really happy with how we played and how we handled winning and even losing at times. With so many young guys I think we have a good foundation going into next summer."

A big part of that foundation was the play of Muhammad who averaged more than 30 points per game throughout the AAU season. And while his scoring ability was usually on display, Shabazz also turned a number of heads with his all around game including his rebounding and passing.

"I think I did well. It was important for me to step up and be a leader for my team. Our coach asked me early on if I could step up and lead us, and I want to always carry my team to a win. Defensively coach is always reminding us to keep the intensity up. Because we were so young, we have to win games with defense. There aren't any shortcuts."

After terrorizing the rest of the AAU circuit, Shabazz was invited to the Elite 24 event at the end of the summer where he was able to compete against some of the best players in high school regardless of class. Like many of the other players invited, the five star Las Vegas prospect enjoyed his time.

"It was a really great experience for everyone. Being able to play with guys who are considered the best players in the country regardless of class made the games and the practices as intense as they could possibly be. Since we all know each other from the AAU circuit it was good to continue to build some relationships with the different guys and to work with everyone."

So which players caught Muhammad's eye as the top competition?

"I really enjoyed playing with and against Austin Rivers. He's really good. He just has an all around game that is tough to deal with. At point guard Quinn Cook did a great job running the team and getting everyone involved. Quincy Miller was his usual self, and Rakeem Christmas was tough in the paint. All of those guys are going to make an impact at the college level."

So will Shabazz, who has a who's who of collegiate coaches recruiting him at this point in his high school career.

"I was fortunate enough to see Coach Williams, Coach K, and Coach Pastner at a lot of my games this summer. I really appreciate that all of them are taking the time to recruit me and it motivates me to work harder."

While he says a decision is at least a year away, Muhammad will be working in some unofficial visits to the East Coast during his junior season.

"I know I'm going to visit North Carolina in October, and I'll go back to spend a weekend at Duke for the Virginia game. After that I am not really sure which visits I'm going to be taking."

In addition to hosting the five star prospect for unofficial visits, the Blue Devils and Tar Heels share another commonality in Muhammad's mind.

"If I had to pick a Final Four I'd say it'd be Duke, Kentucky, Memphis, and North Carolina I guess. It's a long season, but I'm excited to see those teams play."

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