By: DAWN REED GUEST COLUMNIST
August 16, 2012
Kentucky and Coach John Calipari have dodged a bullet with a top recruit.
It was no secret Calipari wanted Shabazz Muhammad to wear the Wildcat jersey this season. However, the 6-6 forward chose UCLA, after an intense recruiting battle among some of the country’s top schools.
Muhammad averaged more than 30 points and 10 rebounds for Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High School last season.
One report on the internet stated that “UCLA’s fabulous frosh will not be with the team when it travels to China for an exhibition because of an NCAA investigation.”
Apparently the NCAA is reportedly looking into “financial dealings between Muhammad’s family and friends.”
Earlier reports also said Muhammad may not be eligible this season because of academic problems. However, that may not been the case and apparently there are other issues the NCAA is looking at.
UK continues to be able to recruit some of the top high school basketball players each and every year. Yes, they lose most of them after only one season to the NBA.
However, this time, it seems as if Calipari and Kentucky lucked out – even if they didn’t get one of the top 10 recruits in the United States. This may have been a Wildcat problem if the recruit had ended up in Lexington.
Muhammad is not the only problem UCLA Coach Ben Howland has had. Redshirt junior center Anthony Stover has been dismissed from the UCLA basketball team for failure to meet NCAA eligibility requirements.
The move, which is effective immediately, was announced this week by Bruins coach.
The 6-foot-10 Stover, from Pasadena, Calif., appeared in 28 games, starting three, for UCLA in the 2011-12 season. He averaged 0.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game, and his 39 blocked shots led the team.
The Bruin’s 2012 recruiting class could have put them back on the basketball map in college sports, but this really puts a damper on that great recruiting class that included top prospects Muhammad, Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams, and Tony Parker.
High school football starts this weekend in Kentucky. Phelps will “play host” to Jenkins on Saturday night at Vipperman Stadium. The Hornets do not have a home field because of the construction of the new grade school on the site of the old football field.
Belfry scrimmaged Hazard last night at CAM Stadium, while Mingo Central scrimmages Poca tonight at home. Sheldon Clark hits the road for the Thoroughbred Bowl and will take on Harrison County. That will be the same team Belfry will play next Friday at home in the Pike County Bowl. Pike Central host Greenup County Saturday.
West Virginia schools will start the season next Friday night on August 24.
… And a reminder to area coaches in the “non-revenue sports” such as soccer, volleyball, cross country, etc. – and also middle school coaches – if you send me your scores and stats, I’ll be glad to get them in the newspaper. Here is my contact info – 304-235-4242, ext. 33 and I have voice mail. Or you can send it by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.