Is Coach Cal feeling the heat down in the Domincan Republic?
Yahoo! sports is suggesting the possibility, after talking to Rivals.com #1 recruit Shabazz Muhammad, that his comments and Calipari's track record of getting players to the NBA quickly are swaying him to favor Kentucky (Hat tip: Matt Jones via Twitter):
If Muhammad had the opportunity to go straight to the NBA, he’d consider it. "Right now, I’m just looking to college and having a great college experience, but I would look into that," he said. "Just watching all those guys that came from high school [to the pros] … Kobe, Amar’e get to learn early. All those guys are successful in the league that came straight out of high school. I would love to be one of those guys."
Rivals.com lists Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Southern Cal and Muhammad’s UNLV as the top schools recruiting him. But Kentucky could emerge as the front-runner because of coach John Calipari’s track record in helping players get to the NBA. In recent years, Calipari, who was previously at Memphis, had guards Rose, Evans, Wall and Knight ready for the NBA in just one year.
The fact that UK's Big Blue Madness is the only official visit on Muhammad's calendar right now also suggest that his interest in Kentucky is very high, perhaps high enough for him to be considered a slight Kentucky lean, although I doubt that Muhammad would accept that characterization.
After having lost three recruits that Kentucky was at least nominally (and arguably more than that) recruiting to Connecticut, Providence and Arizona in the last seven days, seeing these kinds of comments could still the beating hearts of the Big Blue Faithful -- for the moment, at least.