UK Recruiting

Recruiting notes: Top-rated Muhammad says first visit will 'probably' be UK

Bishop Gorman junior Shabazz Muhammad talks to a reporter during an open workout at Bishop Gorman High School Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010. The first day of the fall college basketball recruiting season was Thursday and many college coaches attended to evaluate the talent.
Bishop Gorman junior Shabazz Muhammad talks to a reporter during an open workout at Bishop Gorman High School Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010. The first day of the fall college basketball recruiting season was Thursday and many college coaches attended to evaluate the talent. LAS VEGAS SUN

INDIANAPOLIS — Newly minted as the No. 1 player in his class, Shabazz Muhammad sounded more than willing to continue a trend and strongly consider playing basketball for the University of Kentucky.

Muhammad listed several top-drawer programs on his recruiting list: UCLA, Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Texas, Kansas, Memphis, UNLV. "Some others I'm probably missing," he said Wednesday at the adidas Invitational.

But the top player on Rivals' and Scout's list for the class of 2012 won't be able to make an official visit to all those schools before deciding his basketball future.

"Kentucky is probably my first one," he said of the visits he'll make. The reason Kentucky rates a first visit is recent history, Muhammad said. His friend, Michael Gilchrist, is part of UK's stellar freshman class. That made an impression.

So is Kentucky the leader for Muhammad?

"That would be the impression," Muhammad said in agreeing with the premise of a question. "But they're not the leader at all. I'm wide open."

Muhammad, a 6-foot-6 wing, made an unofficial visit to UK for the Vanderbilt game last season.

"I loved it," he said. "The fan support was great. ... (Fans) saying my name, giving me handshakes. I felt I was playing."

Muhammad also likes UK Coach John Calipari's history of preparing players for the NBA.

"Oh, yeah," he said when asked whether Calipari mentions all the first-round picks in his recruiting pitch. "Absolutely. That's what he does. ...

"That's a great thing. That's why he gets a lot of guys. Because he supports them in what they want to do."

'Important' win

Muhammad led his team on a comeback victory over Indiana Elite on Wednesday. Although it was merely a summer game, he called it an "important" victory. For one thing, it made amends for a loss to the same team in this event last year, he said.

"People say AAU isn't important," he said. "I want to win every game. That's just something in me. My instinct. That's the mentality you have to have."

His father, Ronald Holmes, instilled a play-to-win attitude in him, Muhammad said. Holmes played collegiately for Southern California.

Mum's the word

Kaleb Tarczew ski, a 7-footer from Southborough, Mass., played well in his first camp game. But he could not talk about his performance or his recruiting situation. His AAU coach preferred that the players not be interviewed.

The coach, John Carroll, said Tarczewski had visited Arizona, North Carolina and Kansas.

When asked about Kentucky's possible interest, Carroll said he had spoken with Calipari, a good friend, about the player.

Son also rises

Chris Harrison-Docks, the son of former UK player Chris Harrison, played well Wednesday. He's committed to Butler. He'd also considered Stanford, Boston College, San Diego State, William & Mary and Notre Dame.

Harrison-Docks said he committed to Butler because of Coach Brad Stevens, the school's offering dentistry as an educational pursuit and the Bulldogs' recent success."Would you turn down any other school that's been to the championship game twice?" he said, referring to Butler's appearances in the last two Final Fours. Having already committed to a college gave Harrison-Docks a different perspective on the camp.

"I'm playing for my teammates," he said, meaning he hoped to help their chances of getting college scholarships.

After playing his freshman year at Louisville Trinity, Harrison-Docks moved with his family to Okemos, Mich.

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