Sports

Rothstein Files: Breaking Down Potential Suitors For Shabazz Muhammad

(credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

By Jon Rothstein
» More Columns

The entire landscape of the 2012-13 college basketball season will be affected this week by two monumental decisions.

The consensus top two prospects in the Class of 2012, Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel are set to make their college decisions on Wednesday.

Check out below as we handicap the potential suitors for Muhammad. On Tuesday, we’ll do the same for Noel.

TOP SUITORS FOR SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD (SG, BISHOP GORMAN HS)

1. KENTUCKY

ODDS: 3-1

THE SKINNY: The decision to play in Lexington would be an easy one to Muhammad. John Calipari just led the Wildcats to a National Championship and their quest for a repeat would be greatly enhanced by the addition of the 6-foot-6 lefty swing man. Kentucky already has two top flight guards signed for next year in Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress — but both aren’t on the level of Muhammad, who’d own the Bluegrass state in 2012-13 if he chooses to make Rupp Arena his own personal sanctuary.

KENTUCKY’S PROJECTED 2012-13 STARTING FIVE WITH SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD

PG Ryan Harrow
SG Shabazz Muhammad
SF Alex Poythress
PF Kyle Wiltjer
C Nerlens Noel (Full break down of his suitors in this space on Tuesday)

2. UCLA

ODDS: 3-1

THE SKINNY: Of all the teams that are in the mix for Muhammad’s services, the Bruins are the squad that needs him the most. With Muhammad, UCLA is a team that can win the PAC-12 and advance to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Without him, a lot of questions will still loom in Westwood. Landing an elite talent of this caliber would give Ben Howland arguably the best freshmen tandem in the country next season with Muhammad and super skilled point forward Kyle Anderson.

UCLA’S PROJECTED 2012-13 STARTING FIVE WITH SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD

PG Larry Drew
SG Shabazz Muhammad
SF Kyle Anderson
PF David Wear
C Joshua Smith

3. DUKE

ODDS: 7-1

THE SKINNY: The Blue Devils sounded like the leader in the clubhouse a few weeks ago but recently it appears that Muhammad will likely wind up with either the Wildcats or the Bruins. Going to Duke has its obvious pedigree but we’d be shocked if the Blue Devils came out on top in this ultra competitive sweepstakes. If Mike Krzyzewski landed Muhammad, the Blue Devils would add another piece to an incredibly talented perimeter featuring veterans Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins, Quinn Cook, Tyler Thornton, and incoming freshman Rasheed Suliamon.

DUKE’S PROJECTED 2012-13 STARTING FIVE WITH SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD

PG Tyler Thornton
SG Seth Curry
SF Shabazz Muhammad
PF Ryan Kelly
C Mason Plumlee (entered NBA Draft but did not hire an agent) or TBD

Where do you think Shabazz will go? Sound off below…