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July 6, 2011

No leader, but Muhammad to give UK first visit

INDIANAPOLIS - Shabazz Muhammad isn't leaning one way or another in his recruitment, but he's pointed in a specific direction when it comes to official visits.

The 6-foot-6 guard from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Rivals' No. 1 player in the high school class of 2012, has a long list of college suitors, but said he'll take his first official visit to Kentucky.

"They have a great class coming in with Mike Gilchrist - we're real good friends - and Marquis Teague," Muhammad said after his first game at the adidas Invitational. "I want to go see those guys and be with the team and go from there."

Muhammad stressed that his timetable doesn't put UK in the driver's seat in his recruitment.

"That would be the impression, but they're not the leader at all," Muhammad said. "I'm still testing the waters out, and whoever gets the first official visit isn't the leader at all. There's no leader right now."

Muhammad listed UCLA, Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Texas, Kansas, Memphis and UNLV among his choices and said there are "probably some others that I'm missing right now." He described his recruitment as "wide open."

But Muhammad took an unofficial visit to UK this season for the Vanderbilt game at Rupp Arena and made it clear he's serious about the Wildcats and coach John Calipari, who sat in the front row of the main gym at North Central High School for Muhammad's game with Dream Vision against Indiana Elite.

"I loved it up there (in Lexington)," Muhammad said. "The fan support was great, the players are great, Coach Cal's system is great. Everybody's running. I like the (running) style. He plays a lot of good guards and gets a lot of good guards to the next level."

Muhammad said he admires that Calipari supports "one-and-done" players who play a season in college before turning pro. At UK, Calipari has coached five such players in two seasons.

"I think that's a great thing," Muhammad said. "I think that's why he gets a lot of those guys, because he's supporting the guys in what they do. At the end of the day, he's a great coach. He's always been great coach, only because he has the right attitude."


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