Updated to note that transferring Duquesne guard T.J. McConnell has visited Virginia, according to the blog From Old Virginia (the mention is seven paragraphs down in this post.)


CHICAGO – During the first three minutes of Wednesday’s McDonalds All-American game, Shabazz Muhammad singlehandly had the kind of fast start the Arizona Wildcats could have used all season.

While Grant Jerrett scored the game’s first basket, Muhammad sandwiched a three-pointer with two dunks, and added a layup to give the West team an 11-2 lead with over 37 minutes left to play.

Game over. MVP balloting over. Just about, it seemed.

But while there appeared to be mutual interest early between Muhammad and the Wildcats, Arizona has moved on with guard Gabe York, three big men, and plans to add at least one other player this spring.

And Muhammad has moved on, having also eliminated hometown UNLV and saying he’s now looking at UCLA, Kentucky and Duke to make his final decision. 

“It was tough to eliminate them,” Muhammad said of UA. “They’re close to home and they’re just a good program.

“I love their style of play, and getting B-Ash, and Jerrett and Gabe York… they had one of the top recruiting classes and they really did a good job this year. “

However, if Muhammad chooses Kentucky, those Wildcats will likely pass up UA as having the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class.


Ashley may have played all over the country, and on ESPN networks, with Findlay Prep as a senior this season. But even he found himself somewhat in awe by the five-figure crowd at the United Center.

“It was nerve-wracking when you come out and see all those people,” Ashley said. “I don’t think anybody here has played in front of that many people before. It was fun. “

Jerrett said most players were relaxed and “just having fun” but he, too, paused just a bit.

“I was a little nervous,” he said. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”


In case you missed it, we had a game recap and some seen-and-heard notes from the United Center on Wednesday.


Stanford will go for its first postseason NIT title in 21 years in the final against Minnesota tonight (4 p.m., ESPN). The Cardinal's NIT run could help Johnny Dawkins' status.


Reggie Moore's efforts to give Washington State a CBI championship came up short and the Brock Motum-less Cougs will go to a third and final game against Pittsburgh in the best-of-three series on Friday.


Jeff Withey's story is hitting USA Today this week, too.

Sportswriter for the Arizona Daily Star covering Arizona Wildcats basketball