All the Buzz on Mustafa Shakur

TSW looks at Mustafa Shakur a little closer through the eyes of the recruiting experts. The Buzz on this Philly player is that he may just be the best Point Guard in the Class of 2003.<br> <font size=1 color=cc0000>Update: Planned visit to NC State</font>

August 4th Update:
On-line Hoops is reporting that Mustafa has two planned visits for September. He will visit Arizona on the weekend of September 13-15 and will visit NC State weekend of September 20-22. Much can be speculated into the timing of the visits. Some have suggested that this bodes well for Arizona. We, the TSW Staff, have a tendency to disagree. Last impressions are certainly important in the recruiting game. We need only to harken back to the schedule of visitations by Julius Hodge. He too had trimmed his list of schools to two, Syracuse and NC State. NC State got the last visit and he chose to go there. This speaks volumes of the power of impressions of the last visit. It also is important to note that by having the last visit, the coaching staff can actually ask for the verbal because no other schools will be due a visit. While Arizona is certainly a program to be respected, you have to love the position in the schedule that NC State now finds themselves in. You can bet Hodge and company will show Mustafa a great time.

August 1, 2002 Update:
The last time we checked "The Buzz" on Mustafa Shakur (6'3" 170), things were quite different. There were rumors that Chris Paul was slightly favoring NC State, we had just heard of a player from New Jersey named Mike Nardi and it appeared that the Wolfpack coaches were leaving no stones unturned in search for that special match to lead the Pack.

What a difference 90 days make! It appears that the search is over. NC State has found their man in Mustafa. All efforts seem to be solely on him and it looks like Shakur is interested too.

TSW decided to check the post summer buzz on the Philly Phenom:

Mustafa continues to rise in the rankings. Brick Oettinger listed Shakur as the best PG and the 6th best overall player at ABCD. ESPN has him as the 4th best in their post summer top 100. Dave Telep has Mustafa in at 18th in his list of top 50.

Shakur was slowed a bit by a hip pointer the end of the summer ciruit, missing the USA Basketball Camp in June. He played sparingly in the Addidas Big Time, but still managed to make the All Tournament Team. He also stayed away from the AAU championship because of the injury. Wih all that being said, let's look at the Post Summer Buzz:

Rob Harrington * USA Today
7/29/02- The Class of 2003 has received widespread notoriety for its lack of talented point guards, but Shakur did his part at ABCD to give the class at least one true blue-chipper (counting Houston's Tack Minor as a wing).
Shakur is a 6-2 star at Wynnewood (Pa.) Friends Central who has very slick dribble moves and has improved his decision-making markedly over the past year. At ABCD, he struck just the right balance between scoring and passing. Not only did he put up big numbers, but his teammates also thrived.
Offensively, Shakur has the quickness to beat almost any defender off the dribble, and he now hits midrange jumpers consistently. He's also a quick defender with long arms. He needs more strength, but Arizona, N.C. State, Villanova, Connecticut, North Carolina and Syracuse would sign him today

Dave Telep *
7/26/02- Looking for Herb Sendek? Try him at a Mustafa Shakur game. We hear the Wolfpack coach has no plans on leaving Shakur's side this month

Dave Telep *
7/21/02- It's clear that Shakur is one of the best players in the country in the past few years when it comes to getting teammates shots. The way he found guys for open looks at ABCD Camp was something. True, there wasn't a ton of perimeter defense played at either shoe camp, but what Shakur did looked good in any setting.

Doug Carr * Cat Tracks
7/13/02- Shakur's 6-3 frame gives him great court vision, and he sees everything. He seldom misses the opportunity to get the ball to a player in scoring position. But his long body does not hinder his ability to get into the lane. He's deceptively quick and seems to glide from one spot on the court to another. Then, when he sees an opportunity to penetrate, he puts into another gear, blows past his defender and darts toward the hoop.

Michael Kruse *
6/28/02- Mustafa is a legitimate 6-4 point who can pass, drive and score -– and does all of that and more for Friends Central in suburban Philly during the winter and his Hunting Park AAU squad during the spring and summer. He might not be the best pure point in the class -– Mike Nardi and Chris Paul come to mind –- but he's probably the 2003 crop's best pro prospect at the position.

Squire Ball
6/25/02- Mustafa Shakur(Phila) is fully qualified but would like to improve is SAT score, considering all teams from the Big East and ACC and will look at the entire country for the right fit.

David Benezra and Mark Mayemura *
6/5/02- Arguably one of the top point guards in the rising senior class, Shakur is a strong field general type, who sees the floor and makes the right pass, whether his teammates realize it or not. He sets the table for his teammates and delivers the ball, even if some of his inexperienced teammates didn't realize that they were open. In observing Hunting Park's first game of the tournament (they went 2-1 in pool and did not advance to the playoffs), we saw at least a half-dozen possible assists that weren't executed (none of them being Shakur's fault ... his teammates bobbled easy passes or couldn't finish shots), and we wasn't even watching that game closely. He's got excellent size for the position, the right temperament, all kinds of skills and he's a leader. What's not to like? Among the schools recruiting Shakur are Arizona, Villanova, Boston College, Connecticut, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Seton Hall, Temple and Syracuse.

David Hall * DeaconSports
5/14/02- The best PG I have seen from the class of 2003. Polished offensive game allows him to score in a variety of ways, from 3-pointers in a defender's face to crossover moves through defenders all the way to the basket. Long and wiry, he can adjust in traffic and convert when drawing contact. Good ballhandler who can also find the open teammate. Adequate defender.

BSA Sports
5/11/02- Reclassified as a 2003 prospect. More of a combination guard than a true point guard. Nice handle. Can really take it to the hole. A scorer capable of putting points on the board or distributing to teammates.

Mustafa Shakur * Philadelphia Inquire
4/21/02- "I just want to win out there," he said. "That's all I really care about."

April 19, 2002: Pre-Summer Buzz:
Brick Oettinger has Mustafa ranked #58 in his Prep Star Winter rankings. The has him as a 4 star recruit and listed as the top PG in the Class of 2003.

Rob Matera * Basketball News
4/17/02-Physical, long armed defender, and he doesn't force things with the ball. Excellent decision maker and a very good shooter both spotting up or off the dribble. Can create and finish in traffic, and he could be the best pure point guard in the class. Truly an elite high major prospect.

Mike Sullivan * The Sporting News
4/15/02- Shakur is a dream recruit. He's a great kid, hard worker, wants to win, he's not concerned with his stats, and is very coachable. Shakur has a great step to the basket and runs a solid floor game.

Clint Jackson *
12/11/01- The 6-3 Philly schoolboy has plenty of shake and bake to go along with his quickness and feel for the game. He's a big point guard that makes a living with his ability to get to the basket. Some analysts criticize his inconsistent jumper, but when you can shed defenders the way that Shakur does, who cares? He also has a gift for the pass. He makes those around him shine when he's got the ball in his hands.

Philadelphia Metro Area Hoops
11/05/01- Shakur is the kid that I have tabbed the best PG in the country in the Class of 2003. He is outstanding. He takes over games. His sweet step-back jumper is to die for and he has added some Spring in his step.

Dan Petronella *
10/16/01- Mustafa Shakur is a smooth 6-foot-3, 170 pound combo/shooting guard who came out of William Penn HS in Philadelphia and is now attending Friends HS in that city. Reclassified as a junior, Shakur is thought of as Philadelphia's best player this season. He averaged 18.8 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals last season at William Penn, and followed that up with an outstanding summer that has drawn the attention of programs like Syracuse and Duke. In addition, this young man lists St. Joe's and Temple (both have offered), along with Western Kentucky and Providence. Another big year will project him into the elite group of guards for 2003.

Dave Telep *
8/11/01- Plenty of offense from the point guard spot. Big time moves like a stepback he uses to create separation. Will stroke it to 18 feet and has 3-point range. Reputation rose after taking Hunting Park to the semifinals of the 2001 Big Time Tournament.

Rob Matera * Bob Gibbons All-Star Report
7/05/01- Shakur is going to repeat his junior year at Friends Central next year. Lightning quick with great change of direction and a devestating cross-over dribble. Has no problem getting by the first defender and penetrating the lane. Good size. Not a consistent jump shooter. He's still maturing, and his decision making at the point needs refinement. He commits too many turnovers and tends to play too fast. St. Josephs has already offered, but he is getting interest from all of the other Philly schools along with Providence, Siena, Florida St. and Western Kentucky.

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