Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Fans' Choice: Muhammad vs. Randle
By David Auguste
Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
No. 1 in the ESPNU 100
The nation’s No. 1 recruit coasted into the semis thanks to some help from his more than 15k Twitter followers. Muhammad has made things look just as easy on the court so far in his senior season. He torched nationally ranked Prestonwood Christian for 42 points in December and is averaging better than 20 points a contest. Muhammad helped Gorman defeat preseason POWERADE FAB 50 No. 2 Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) in December and took home Most Outstanding Player honors at the Beach Ball Classic a few weeks later. Want to see more before you cast your vote? You can catch Muhammad live on ESPNU in a pair of nationally televised contests on Jan. 16 against DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) and on Jan. 21 to face fellow Nevada power Findlay Prep.
Julius Randle, Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)
No. 3 in the ESPNU 60
Randle received 51 percent of the nearly 3,000 votes in the first round to hold off Gabe York in the tightest of the four early matchups. He may experience a spike in popularity and votes after his two nationally televised performances against Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas). Randle had viewers wearing out the rewind button on their DVRs with an emphatic one-hand flush in transition during a 15-point outing in the first game on Dec. 15. He then pumped in 26 points to lead the Lions to the City of Palms Classic title in the rematch days later despite facing tough defense from Isaiah Austin (No. 3 in the ESPNU 100). Randle also went blow-for-blow with Muhammad in the tourney's quarterfinal, leading PCA to victory with 26 points. He copped MVP honors at City of Palms and was also named to the Beach Ball Classic's All-Tourney squad.
Discuss this matchup on Twitter #espnhsfans.
Check out the players' campaign videos and see the first-round entrants on the player intro page.
The choice is yours
Take your pick: Will it be Shabazz Muhammad, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2012, or Julius Randle, who could be the nation's top junior recruit?