Follow us:

Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

April 11, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Hold those Pac-12 hoops predictions: Muhammad to UCLA

The beleaguered Pac-12 basketball conference got a shot in the arm Wednesday afternoon with an announcement on ESPNU by Las Vegas prep star Shabazz Muhammad that he’s choosing UCLA for his 2012-13 destination over Kentucky and Duke.

That (a) strengthens the conference’s damaged profile and (b) makes it a little tougher for 11 other teams with various competitive designs next year. Arizona had widely been accorded the favorite’s role, with a recruiting class that had rated No. 1 nationally (at least through much of the season), but that may not be the case now.

Longtime Long Beach writer/scout Frank Burlison told me recently, referring to the Pac-12 race, “If UCLA gets Shabazz Muhammad, they’re pretty clearly the favorite to win it.”

Dave Telep of RecruitingNation calls Muhammad, an explosive 6-6 player, the most gifted offensive player in the class of 2012 and the No. 2 recruit overall. He says the announcement jumps UCLA to the No. 2 class in the country behind Arizona, because Muhammad joins a great passer in St. Anthony’s (N.J.) small forward Kyle Anderson, and a fine scorer in Jordan Adams of Oak Hill Academy.

Muhammad was the MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game with 21 points.

We all know there aren’t any guarantees with one-and-done players, which Muhammad is assumed to be. But it’s a huge shot in the arm for a Bruins program riddled only six weeks ago by the controversial Sports Illustrated expose uncovering a lapse of discipline and favoritism in Ben Howland’s program.

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►