Shabazz Muhammad will admit this much, that when he got to school Wednesday morning he wondered what schools would show up on the last day of the NCAA’s contact period.
After all, college coaches had been coming to Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) in droves since the period began on September 9 vying to make lasting impressions on the top-ranked player in the ESPNU 100.
But while nearly every major college coach in the country is dying to be first on Muhammad’s wish list, the coveted slot during the contact period is the last one.
“It makes sense,” said Muhammad, a senior small forward. “I definitely think coaches want to come on the last day on purpose so we’ll keep thinking about their school.”
This year’s last word winners?
Kentucky coach John Calipari and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
“There were definitely a couple students hanging around after school that don’t normally stay after,” Muhammad said. “They’re two of the best coaches and programs so it was good to see them again.”
Calipari and his assistant Orlando Antigua were on the scene first and focused on how Muhammad could flourish in Kentucky’s dribble-drive offense with his athleticism and skill set.
“I liked what Coach Cal had to say,” said Muhammad, who will see Calipari in a week when he attends Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness season kickoff event. “They talked a lot about how they could use me there. It was perfect timing because when Coach Cal was leaving, Coach K was coming.”
Krzyzewski along with associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski and assistant Jeff Capel talked more about branding and exposure.
“They talked about the experience as a whole,” Muhammad said. “Just how it could benefit me to come there. It was a really good talk. They both really showed me how much they wanted me.”
Especially since Muhammad wasn’t even running basketball drills; he was just, well, running.
“Yeah the team was outside doing conditioning drills on the track,” Muhammad said. “Nothing too interesting, but they just stood there and watched me run. Like I said it showed me a lot."
Just not enough to pull the trigger on a commitment. Muhammad is considering “eight or nine” schools total and will likely go the distance with his recruitment.
“I’m just taking my time and hearing everything everyone has to say,” Muhammad said. “I’m gonna wait until the spring more than likely. I had a lot of visitors during this contact period, but yeah the last two schools that came to see me where Kentucky and Duke. That means something to me.”