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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Miller eyes top recruits

Miller eyes top recruits

Over the weekend, Arizona head coach Sean Miller was in Las Vegas hoping to win big in a city where most people with the same ambitions walk away empty-handed.

Miller’s potential earnings were far from the blackjack tables or slots on the Las Vegas strip — rather, 20 miles west of the bright lights at Bishop Gorman High School gymnasium, two of the nation’s top recruits in the 2012 class worked out as college basketball’s fall evaluation period started on Sept. 9.

Shabazz Muhammad, ranked No. 3 in the 2012 class, and Rosco Allen, ranked No. 23, both worked out with their teammates in front of several top coaches in the nation from Thursday to Saturday.

Muhammad is currently ranked No. 3, but can very well be ranked No. 1 in his class when everything is said and done. The 6-foot-5 junior is drawing interest from major programs such as Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky .

“”Last week we worked out for three days and we pretty much had all the schools that are recruiting both of those guys in attendance,”” said Bishop Gorman basketball coach Grant Rice.

Some of the coaches in attendance were UCLA’s Ben Howland and Memphis coach Josh Pastner. Miller and Arizona assistant coach James Whitford watched the team’s workouts on Saturday, as Arizona has been recruiting both Allen and Muhammad heavily.

Despite losing out on major recruits such as Josh Selby and Ray McCallum in the 2010 recruiting class, Miller has been working hard to land top 2011 and 2012 recruits.

After getting four-star recruit Nick Johnson from Findlay Prep. — which is about 20 minutes outside the Las Vegas area in Henderson, NV — and Sidiki Johnson from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, Miller has no more scholarships remaining for 2011 — unless the Wildcats lose Derrick Williams to the NBA which would open up another scholarship.

Now that Miller has Johnson and Sidiki committed for 2011, he’s now focused on landing his potential biggest recruit in his career with Muhammad, along with his teammate Allen. Oftentimes, college coaches in transition need that one great recruiting class to get the program rolling, and 2012 may be that class.

“”Those two guys (Allen) and (Muhummad) are being recruited by Arizona really hard. In fact, they’re two of their top recruits in the class of 2012,”” Rice said.

Rice is said to be impressed with coach Miller’s pitch to his players and believes Arizona will be in the mix when Allen and Muhammad make their final decisions.

“”I know Arizona has had a great tradition with Lute Olson, getting that program to one of the top programs in the country,”” Rice said. “”But Coach Miller is doing a really good job. He’s been one of the coaches that has most impressed me over the last couple years, coming to recruit our guys.””

“”He’s a really likeable person and he’s been good with our kids, he’s been very sincere in our conversations,”” he added.

Rice believes that Arizona will have a fair chance in landing both prospects when the decision time comes.

“”They’re not going into the recruiting saying we’re going to play together, but if it happens it happens,”” Rice said. “”But Coach Miller and the University of Arizona is very high on Rosco (Allen’s) and Shabazz (Muhummad’s) lists.””


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