UK Basketball: Kentucky has a 'lot to offer' prized recruit Shabazz Muhammad
Kentucky recruiting target Shabazz Muhammad is scheduled to make his college choice during a live announcement Wednesday night on ESPNU, the first day of the spring national signing period. He is also being recruited by Duke and UCLA. (AP Photo / April 10, 2012)
It’s all part of the hectic lifestyle that the 6-8 Muhammad, one of the nation’s top two senior high school players, and his father, Ron Holmes, have grown accustomed to as he has played in first the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago and then the Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore. This weekend he’ll play in the Jordan Brand Classic in Charlotte.
He’s being pursued by Kentucky, Duke and UCLA, the three schools he narrowed his college list to a few weeks ago. He’s scheduled to make his college choice during a live announcement on ESPNU Wednesday night, the first day of the spring national signing period.
“It has been enjoyable, but we definitely are at our wits’ ends,” said Holmes. “It’s a very tough decision. We saw coach Cal (Saturday night) after the game was over. He is good at what he does. I didn’t really try to talk to Shabazz after his discussion with Cal, Kenny and Orlando. But it’s tough for him to decide.
“Kentucky has a lot to sell. Great coach, great situation. It would be a good situation for Shabazz. But he’s just trying to figure it all out right now still. This has been basically a three- to four-year process with these schools.”
Holmes says his son will be making his own decision about where to play.
“If he needs help from me, I will answer him. But it is totally his decision,” Holmes said. “He truly doesn’t really know where he wants to go right now. Even if he asks me, I don’t know if I can help him figure it out. All the coaches are compelling. I don’t think any decision will be the wrong decision. It has to come down to what he feels. When these coaches come in, he is pulled to that school. It’s just tough for him.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff visited Sunday night.
“I think he is handling it all well, but it’s hard,” Holmes said. “At the games, he can focus on basketball. He loves to play basketball, so that has not been a problem for him. He’s definitely enjoying the all-star games and the guys playing with him and guys trying to get him to go to their school. That is cool and fun.
“He’s a good young man. Every once in a while he will deviate and you have to put your foot in his butt, but he’s doing good with all this. Everybody is all over the place with this kid. For him to stay humble has to be difficult. I am starting to realize how big this kid is getting. I am starting to see what is really going on and for him to stay so grounded is pretty remarkable. But he has good core values and that helps. Still, it’s not easy to stay on track with the all the mayhem around him.”
Holmes says his wife does not deal with coaches and recruiting any more than she has to daily.
“At the end of the day, she’ll have her opinions. She really does not care where he goes and does not want to deal with all the coaches. A lot of coaches want to develop relationships with her, but she does not want that,” Holmes said.
Social media has not been a problem, either, apparently even though Kentucky, Duke and UCLA fans all bombard Muhammad with Twitter and other network messages. He’s the subject of national internet message board chatter daily.
“I don’t talk to him much about that, but he does not complain about it,” Holmes said. “I try not to get too involved with any of that unless he wants me to. He does a good job dealing with coaches and fans.”
Holmes knows making a college decision Wednesday “will be tough” for Muhammad, but it is something that he has to use his heart and head both to do.
“He’s at his wit’s end right now. He just has to make a decision and stick with it. I tell him it will be hard, but he has to do and he’s the only one that can do it,” Holmes said. “What will it be? I don’t know because he doesn’t know and may not right up until time to make his announcement.”