NBA Position: SF
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
High School: Bishop Gorman
- High Motor
- NBA Body
- Quality Defender
- Good Shooter
- Great in Transition
- 3pt Shooting
From the 2012 Nike Hoops Summit in Portland ~
To his credit Shabazz Muhammad did not tip his hand on where he was going to be attending college all throughout the Nike Hoops Summit in Portland. He was grilled endlessly about it as was his father who was in attendance for the practices and the game. Muhammad is the 2012 consensus No. 1 overall high school prospect and announced he will be playing college ball for Ben Howland and the UCLA Bruins.
Playing style was a big part of Muhammad’s decision from what he told me. He is an intense player, especially in practice.
Through the three practice sessions I can honestly say I have never seen a better – harder working – practice player in my time covering basketball. Muhammad has a great energy and motor that he plays with at all times. He is relentless in trying to get better and outwork his opposition and teammates. That is a mindset that most do not have outside of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Not saying that he is the next of either, but he has the mindset to get to that level.
In running drills and general drills Muhammad was not outworked once. He brings that to the game. Everything he does in practice leads to something in the game.
Muhammad has the physical tools to be an elite wing standing a touch under 6-6 225 lbs with a 6-11 wingspan. He is built like an NBA wing right now as an incoming college freshman. His strength and body control are above average for most prospects his age. He measured out a little smaller than expected for an NBA small forward. He has good length and strength, but an additional inch or two is ideal for the small forward position.
The effort in practice shows with Muhammad’s conditioning as he played 39:03 (in a 40 minute game) with the same energy from the tip to the final horn. Muhammad was aggressive on both ends of the floor and took the challenge to guard the Worlds best wing while on the court.
Early on Muhammad was relentlessly attacking the rim looking to absorb contact and get to the line. Every play was an attempt at an And-1 showing the court awareness he has as a scorer. In the game he was able to get to the free-throw line all game going 10-11 from there, nearly double the next best for either team. The strength Muhammad has allows him to take initial contact and still get off good shots at the rim.
He is explosive off the dribble which allows Muhammad to mix in his solid mid-range game with points in the paint. When Muhammad can get to the elbow he is most effective. He has a very good mid-range jump shot that he hits with consistency.
Shooting from three is not Muhammad’s biggest strength even though he has shown the ability to knock it down in rhythm. Adding a more consistent shot from three will make his offensive game more complete overall. He is a force in transition with his ability to get out in-front of the pack and finish strong in traffic. On the break Muhammad is a nightmare with his ability to score the ball in many ways.
The measurable for Muhammad translate more to an NBA shooting guard, but his lack of consistent shooting will make that a tougher transition. Muhammad’s maturity and work ethic make him a prospect that will be successful no matter where he is or what is asked of him.