Checking In With Shabazz

One of the top overall prospects for the Blue Devils - and the country in general - in the class of 2012 is Las Vegas product Shabazz Muhammad. The 6'5 scoring guard recently picked up a Duke offer before returning home. Now that he's had time to reflect on it, what are his thoughts?

"I thought the [Tournament of Champions] was a good event," said Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman standout Shabazz Muhammad. "I had a chance to play at both Duke and North Carolina and see a lot of things. Obviously we were upset we had to forfeit, but other than that it was a good time."

Disappointments stemming from on-court happenings aside, the five star prospect did manage to hang around long enough for a one on one visit with head coach Mike Krzyzewski and staff the following day. During that meeting the reigning national champions extended a scholarship offer to Muhammad.

"They just sat down with me and talked to me about what Duke can do for me and for my game. Coach K and Coach Wojo were explaining how I would fit in and how their offense would be good for me. They were showing how I'd develop for them. We were in Coach's office and they were talking to me about how I thought I did at the event and then offering me some ideas on how to improve. That's the kind of thing I'm looking for in a coach."

At 6-foot-5 Muhammad's game is all about versatility. He's played in the backcourt and in the post for his high school, but in college he sees himself on the wing mostly. And, coincidentally, that's where the Duke coaches see him as well.

"They want me to come in as a big two guard or maybe a little bit of a 3-2. Their system is all about freedom for the guards. They see me as a guy who can handle the ball, but they want me to keep working on my shot. Duke always has guys who can shoot. They do a lot of two dribble shots and that kind of thing."

So, overall, what was the lasting impression for the talented prospect?

"Duke is a beautiful place with great academics and a great place to play. Coach K and Coach Wojo have a very good relationship with my dad and I and that's going to keep growing. I can see myself being very successful there."

While it's unusual for rising juniors to receive May offers from the Blue Devils, Muhammad recognized that he wasn't the only member of the class of 2012 to come away from the TOC with one in hand. Of course the other player is well known to Shabazz.

"I know they offered [Alex] Murphy. i know him from other events. I am going to see him this weekend most likely. I'm excited to see what he thought of it all. He is a guy I can see myself playing with. He's really good."

With just under two years remaining before he heads off to college, a decision for Muhammad isn't in the immediate cards and he admits as much. Much of that comes from the counsel and advice of his father who works out with both Shabazz and his younger brother, Rashad on a near daily basis.

"I think we clash a little bit on some things. He wants me to take things slow and and keep working. He's taught me to stay humble and keep working hard. There are a lot of highly rated guys who get to the top and just rest on their laurels. That's not something I'm going to let happen."

As he continues his summer plans on the camp and travel team circuits, Muhammad says he wants to continue to get stronger and to improve his on the court I.Q among other things.

"Basketball I.Q. is something that can always be improved. You need to be a student to make sure it top notch."


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