By Michael Almonte
Three West Coast teams will be in serious contention come next season as UCLA, Gonzaga and St. Mary’s will all make deeps runs in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
The UCLA Bruins delivered a stellar recruiting class that was rated No. 1 and highlighted by one of the top prospects in Shabazz Muhammad. Joining Muhammad at Westwood is center Tony Parker and a pair of small forwards in Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams. The Bruins finished sixth in the Pac-12 a season ago failing to make the NCAA tournament. UCLA will be the early favorites next year to win the conference and could challenge for a No.1 seed in the big dance. Expectations will be high for Coach Ben Howland looking to duplicate his success at UCLA from 2006-2008, where the team made three straight Final Four appearances. Can UCLA win its first national title since 1995 and be cutting down the nets in the Georgia Dome come next April 2013? The Bruins will be a top-10 team in the preseason polls. (more…)
By: Mike O’Brien
1. Shabazz Muhammad, coming off of his recent signing to UCLA with its star studded freshman class will be right in the conversation along with his teammate Kyle Anderson for key impact freshman. Muhammad, regarded as the No. 2 player in the class behind Nerlens Noel, is a complete scorer as he can shoot and is very physical getting to the lane, using his entire 6’6 frame. At 6 foot 6 inches, Muhammad can rebound the ball very well and is a good ball handler, creating for others, showing us a classic example of the new type of players that develop into the position many are referring to now as the “Point-Forward.”
By: Jon Welzel
The following compilation is not necessarily a list of the 5 most talented freshman in the 2012-2013 class, but rather the five who I feel will have the biggest impact given their talent level and the rosters of the teams they are joining.
Shabazz Muhammad. 6’5’’ Small Forward (UCLA)
By Michael Almonte
This fall the No. 1 rated high school player according to Rivals.com Shabazz Muhammad will be taking his talents to Southern California for the UCLA Bruins. The Bruins have landed their third top 100 high school prospect after getting commitments from 6’8 forward Kyle Anderson and 6’5 forward Jordan Adams. Coach Ben Howland’s Bruins are back in the national spotlight and expectations will be high for the 2013 season. Can Muhammad do what previous freshmen star Kevin Love did for UCLA back in 2008 when he won Pac -10 Player of the Year and guided them to the Final Four? (more…)
By Jason Bleznick
When scouting a player the term “NBA Potential” gets thrown around a lot. It seems that most players in college are considered “NBA potential” athletes, but what about the select few that are ready to play at the next level tomorrow. I’m not talking about guys that could be superstars a couple of years down the round or use the word potential. These guys can step onto an NBA court tomorrow and compete with the best talent in the world. Since I am looking at players under a different level of scrutiny the list is not as big you may think; players like Austin Rivers and Perry Jones and many of the top rated talent in college are not in this group. The reasons are different for every player, but when you talk about being ready for the NBA there can’t be too many flaws in your game. You need physical and mental toughness to succeed not just pure athletic ability. Below are the six players that I believe can play in the NBA right now. This was not planned out, but they are all underclassmen. The reason is I first had to look at athletic ability and work my way through all aspects of their game. When it came down to the end I felt there were only six players that had all the attributes I was looking for. (more…)
By Jason Bleznick
The 2012 recruit class might be one of the most important in college history. I say this because when the NBA lockout is resolved the draft will be stock piled of the best talent from 2011 and 2010. I see that the majority of the top tier talent will declare for the draft; which will leave the incoming freshman all by themselves. These 18yr olds will have the entire NCAA fan base watching them.