Hoops Roundup: Muhammad trims list; Bennett continues to wait
CHICAGO -- Following this week's McDonald's All-American Game, here are five thoughts on the latest college basketball recruiting developments.
This is certainly good news for each of the three programs, but perhaps most significantly for Kentucky. The Wildcats have been viewed as the frontrunner for the majority of Muhammad's senior season, with nearby UNLV lurking as a dark horse. With the Runnin' Rebels seemingly out of it, has Kentucky emerged as the unquestioned favorite?
It's very possible, though Duke did host Muhammad on his most recent official visit. UCLA has only hosted Muhammad on unofficial trips, as he was scheduled to visit UCLA over Easter weekend but decided to participate in the Nike Hoop Summit instead.
Muhammad has been trying to keep his leanings under wraps, speaking highly of both Coach K's history of success at Duke and John Calipari's ability to develop NBA players at Kentucky. On April 11, Muhammad plans to announce. The college basketball world will be watching.
Pollard has two official visits scheduled in April, one to Alabama over Easter weekend and the other to Georgetown on April 16. The 6-foot-7 forward has already officially visited Missouri and Texas, and being from Porterville, Miss., he is quite familiar with Mississippi State.
The biggest challenge for Georgetown, Missouri and Texas is to draw Pollard out of the Deep South. With Pollard's inclination to stay close to home and the uncertainty plaguing the Mississippi State coaching situation, Alabama could be in the lead. He has already visited Tuscaloosa once before.
Much remains to be sorted out, but Florida and Kentucky appear to be the early leaders. In Bennett's case, only time will tell.
"When I was close to a decision a few months ago, I started talking to Duke and wanted to take a hard look at them and give them a chance," Jefferson said. "The ability to provide athletics and academics at that school is unbelievable. Coach K is great. To be coached by him one day would be unbelievable."
But keep in mind: a commitment to Duke hasn't happened yet, either.
Jefferson is officially down to Kentucky, Ohio State, Temple and Villanova, along with Duke and N.C. State, and seems to finally be closing in on a resolution. But his final decision may not come until he knows whether Muhammad is headed to Duke and whether several other top prospects, including, Bennett are bound for Kentucky.
Parker claims he doesn't know where he'll end up, but he does plan to come to a decision soon. It's certainly one to monitor: His dominating interior presence could wreak havoc at the next level.