UCLA Looking for Monster Class with 'Bazz, Parker
Can the Bruins pull off a coup?
With Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams in the fold, UCLA already has a Top 10 recruiting class for 2012 according to some national outlets.
But in Westwood, they are hoping for even bigger riches.
UCLA is strong in the hunt for both Shabazz Muhammad, the consensus No. 1 player in the Class, and Georgia big man Tony Parker. If the Bruins were to land both of these guys, whoa boy, look out.
"I've been watching them this year, they're really still struggling and I hope they can pull together," the 6-foot-6 Muhammad, speaking of UCLA's 4-5 start, told Five Star Basketball in an exclusive interview.
"I think with me, Kyle and Jordan, if I was to go there it would be a great combination, and Kyle's a really good player. So is Jordan."
Muhammad is also considering Kentucky, Duke, USC, UNLV and Kansas, among others, and his father, Ron Holmes, told Five Star on Wednesday, "'Bazz won't decide until the spring."
Still, Adams is among those who believe the Bruins will ultimately land both Muhammad and Parker. Sources tell Five Star Parker will likely choose either Duke or UCLA, although he also lists Ohio State, Memphis and Georgetown.
"Me and Kyle will be a great 1-2 punch," Adams, a 6-5 shooting guard out of Oak Hill (Va.) Academy, told Five Star. "We are trying to add Shabazz and Tony Parker, which I think we'll get them."
Adams went so far as to volunteer to come off the bench if it would help make Muhammad's decision easier.
"I tell them we need them, they can come in and start as freshman," Adams said. "I'll be the sixth man if I have to."
Ironically, Adams and Oak Hill will meet Parker and his Livonia (Ga.) High team Thursday on ESPN in an 8 p.m. Game at Morehouse College's Forbes Arena.
A source close to the UCLA program told Five Star that both Muhammad and Parker "are huge keys to our puzzle."
With the departure of guards Jerime Anderson and Lazeric Jones next year -- as well as the exit of forward Reeves Nelson, "All four of those players [Kyle Anderson, Adams, Muhammad and Parker] are going to have opportunities to come in to play," the source told Five Star.
Duke is also recruiting both Muhammad and Parker, and Muhammad has expressed his appreciation for the agile big man's game.
"Me and him in the same program would be a really good thing and we would win a lot of games," Muhammad, who will take an official visit to Duke March 3 for the North Carolina game, said of Parker.
While both Duke and UCLA are in the hunt for the Muhammad/Parker combo, UCLA already has the advantage of having Kyle Anderson, who is tight with Muhammad and won the IS8 Fall League with Parker in New York on the Playaz Basketball Club.
“It was great,” Parker said in October while in New York. “I played with Kyle for a long time now, so it was just like a reunion basically.”
Muhammad, too, likes the idea of playing with the 6-8 Anthony, who helped lead Bob Hurley's St. Anthony club to the mythical national championship last season.
"Kyle's a great passer," Muhammad told Five Star. "He looks for guys in transition, so he'll make that offense more up to par. It would be a great thing. And Jordan Adams being able to shoot, everybody needs shooters.
"And if I was to go dribbling and driving and kicking to Jordan Adams," Muhammad said, "and Kyle's looking in transition, it would be a great combination for us."
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