Shabazz Muhammad headed to UCLA

Shabazz Muhammad would have helped Duke overcome the loss of Austin Rivers, and Muhammad’s arrival in Durham would have placed the Blue Devils among the favorites in the ACC next season. But Muhammad, a Las Vegas shooting guard who’s considered the best prospect in the nation, will not be playing for Duke.
Muhammad announced on Wednesday night – on the first day of college basketball’s late signing period – that he will play next season at UCLA. In addition to Duke, Kentucky had also been among Muhammad’s three finalists.
After he announced his decision on ESPNU, Muhammad said during the broadcast that he was attracted by UCLA’s proud tradition, and by the chance to rebuild a Bruins program that has fallen recently on hard times.
“I just think it’s a challenge,” Muhammad said on ESPNU. “I mean, knowing how bad they were these last two years, and it’s a challenge to really get them back up to the top.”
Muhammad has been viewed as a one-and-done type of prospect, the kind who could make an immediate impact during his freshman season before departing for the NBA. That’s what happened with Rivers, the shooting guard who led the Blue Devils in scoring last season before declaring for the NBA draft.
Muhammad’s decision to play at UCLA leaves Duke with a one-man recruiting class that consists solely of Rasheed Sulaimon, a Houston guard who recently played in the McDonald’s All-American game. The Blue Devils are also still in the hunt for Tony Parker, a 6-foot-9 forward from Miller Grove, Ga., and Amile Jefferson, a 6-foot-8 forward from Philadelphia.
In addition to Duke, Jefferson is also deciding among N.C. State, Kentucky and Villanova. It’s unclear when Jefferson and Parker will announce their decisions. College basketball’s late signing period ends May 16.
The biggest prize, though, came off the board on the signing period’s first day.
“I’ll still be fans of Kentucky and Duke,” Muhammad said on ESPNU. “But I’m happy to be a Bruin.”

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