Muhammad Not Focused On Decision

As July rolls on, Scout.com's No. 1 player in 2012, Shabazz Muhammad, will get plenty of attention as the recruiting process picks up. The five-star wing recently spoke with TDD about the recruiting process and his feelings on being ranked the No. 1 player in the country.

For most of his high school career, Las Vegas-native Shabazz Muhammad has been a fixture near the top of the rankings in the 2012 class. The powerful and athletic 6-6 wing has continually improved his game over the past few years and recently made the jump to No.1 overall in Scout.com's latest rankings before the July live evaluation period began.

Some players might take time off if they were rated the best, but Shabazz continues to use it as motivation.

"Just because some people put me number one doesn't mean I still don't have a chip on my shoulder," Muhammad said. "I have to keep playing hard and I have a target on my back so these guys are going to keep coming at me. I have to keep working on my game and consistently being in the gym and it'll take care of itself."

So what's the secret to Shabazz's success? Hours of hard work in the gym.

"I think it's at practice. Some guys would hate basketball if they practiced like I practice," Shabazz said. "Its three hours of dribbling stuff, tedious stuff. I just had to decide what I wanted to do to win this game and go from there."

Muhammad has also spent hours in the weight room, working on his body as he prepares for the college game.

"I have a personal trainer. Usually on school days I get up at 5:30 in the morning but now in the summer it's more convenient so I can lift in the afternoon," Muhammad said. "I do a lot of Olympic lifting and bench. It's really helped me get a lot stronger and I've put on a lot of muscle. I was about 6-1, 160 and I was thinking about how I wanted to be better than those guys (when I was younger). I grew to 6-6 and I'm 220 now. I'm just blessed to have that opportunity."

As the recruiting process picks up and the coaches are in attendance during July, Shabazz has a good idea of where his recruitment stands.

"Kentucky, Duke, Memphis, UNLV, UCLA, Texas A&M, Kansas, a lot of schools that are sticking out to me. I'm just going to take it slow and play it out from there," Shabazz said. "I think I'm going to narrow the list down after this summer to five or six. I'm going to talk it over with my parents and go from there."

Muhammad also plans on using all of his official visits to get a better idea of where he would like to go to school.

"I'm going to take (the official visits), look at the campus, talk to the coaches, talk to the players and see what they have to offer," Muhammad said.

An important aspect of Shabazz's recruitment is going to be his relationship with the coach.

"I think it's the relationship with the coach. They can call me once a month but once they call they're asking me what's going on," Shabazz said. "I think you have to trust your coach if you're going to play for him."

Still, at this point, Shabazz maintains no favorites.

"No favorite right now but I have a lot of schools on me," Muhammad said. "By the time I make my list you'll know who I like, and who I don't."


Blue Devil Digest Top Stories