Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: 2012 Recruit Shabazz Muhammad

Take a look a this video showing 2012 Kentucky recruit Shabazz Muhammad at the Jayhawk Invitational, which was played between the end of April and the first of May:


I recommend you turn down or mute the annoying soundtrack.  Also near the end, they just repeat the same plays over and over, so you should consider not wasting your time and skip that part.

Muhammad is an interesting player, and clearly a talented one.  In these highlights (which have limited value because you can see very little of anything besides Muhammad shooting the ball), you can see what an advantage it is to be a left-handed player at the high school level.  Notwithstanding that, Muhammad has a very quick release on his jump shot and his shot is nice and soft.  He has really good form on his release, so he won't have to be coached up at all when it comes to shooting.

Some other things to note about Muhammad is that he is quite explosive off a standing bounce, which is a nice thing for a 2-guard.  Shabazz has prototypical size for a college 2-guard at 6'6"/205# and has excellent back-to-the basket skills as well as deep range on his jumper.  He isn't the quickest player off the bounce, and looks a little Joe Crawford-esque to me when he attacks the rim, which is a good and bad thing.  But slashing is his style, and Muhammad does that very well.

Another characteristic that is not evident in this video that reminds me of Crawford is his ability to rebound the basketball and finish in the trees.  Muhammad in high school and the AAU has been an fine rebounder, and it's easy to see why with his stout frame and excellent, but not freakish, athleticism.

Muhammad is a polished player for his age, and will remind some of Xavier Henry with his smooth jumper and stout body.  What I am not in love with is his left-handedness, which is an advantage in high school but can become a liability in college as we have seen with Terrence Jones.  Muhammad must demonstrate an ability to go right and score, and in this video you will see exactly one right-handed play on a layup.  That's encouraging, but right now, he has a bit of an off-hand weakness, which is true of 99% of all high school players.

Also, I was not really impressed with Muhammad's overall ballhandling, he is a little too upright and one-handed off the bounce.  What I did like was how strong he looks in the upper body.  He has a lower body that is a bit too bulky for some, but I am a fan of players that are a bit thicker down below because they seem to be more durable, and are almost always decent rebounders.

There is no doubt Muhammad is a desirable player for Kentucky to come up with for the 2012 class, where it looks like our lineup will need significant restocking again.

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