High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: Nike Extravaganza

Nike Extravaganza: Muhammad's statement

February, 5, 2012
2/05/12
9:59
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Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop GormanScott Kurtz/ESPNHSShabazz Muhammad of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) had a 41-point performance in the final showcase game of his high school career.
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SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Whitney Young (Chicago) came into its matchup against POWERADE FAB 50 No. 20 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) on Saturday at the Nike Extravaganza without much to lose.

After all, Whitney Young was missing two starters, guard Paul White and center Thomas Hamilton Jr., to injury. The team played a grueling national schedule and limped into the contest as a dangerous 12-7 squad.

Bishop Gorman had its own statement to make. It wanted to prove it was still among the nation's best teams despite four losses. Star player Shabazz Muhammad wanted to make a statement about being the nation's best player despite his recent drop from No. 1 to No. 2 in the ESPNU 100.

Gorman stated its case by capitalizing on a 29-12 third-quarter advantage en route to a 69-50 victory.

Muhammad did the same, converting 13 of 20 shots, including 6-of-6 from 3-point range, and making 9 of 10 free throws in a 41-point performance.

"I have been asked that question thousands of times," said Bishop Gorman coach Grant Rice on Muhammad's new spot in the ESPNU 100. "I don't have the answer, but I know [Muhammad] doesn't need motivation. You guys have seen him for the past two years. He's just trying to get through this season, make his college decision and leave his mark on high school basketball."

Muhammad, the top vote getter in the latest ESPNHS Mr. Basketball USA Tracker, scored Bishop Gorman's first 12 points. When he hit a 3-pointer near the end of the first quarter, he had 15 of the Gaels' 18 points.

Muhammad had 21 points in the first half. He keyed a 10-0 run in the pivotal third quarter with two 3-pointers.

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