Sean Miller passed on the Maryland job just in time to welcome a prize 2012 recruit to Arizona. And you wonder why he didn’t wait to make a decision.
Shabazz Muhammad, a 6-5 wing rated as the No. 3 overall player in his class, was planning to visit the Tucson campus Sunday, the day after Miller declined a move to Maryland and accepted an extension at Arizona.
The Wildcats already have one 5-star player committed for 2012 in power forward Grant Jerrett. By showing Muhammad he’s committed to Arizona, Miller undoubtedly helped his cause in snagging yet another impact player.
Of course, Muhammad’s family doubted Miller was even going to leave. From the Arizona Daily Star:
Ron Holmes, the father of UA recruiting target Shabazz Muhammad, said he also figured Miller had so many pieces in place that it would be difficult to leave Arizona. Holmes said he was not fazed by the speculation because he understands college basketball as a former USC player in the 1980s. Holmes and Muhammad were still planning to visit today as of Saturday.
“When I first heard about it, I was kind of pooh-poohing it,” Holmes said. “Coaches do that all the time, as leverage. This is a business, man.”
Not that Arizona’s the only school after Muhammad. All the heavy hitters – Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, North Carolina and UCLA – want him. But the move should help a bit.
And as far as Miller’s concerned, there’s more to follow.
“I’ve said many times that I really liked the direction the new Pac-12 Conference is heading, and Wednesday’s announcement says without a doubt that we are entering a new era of increased exposure and competitive excellence,” Miller said in a statement, referring to the conference’s new TV deal. “I fully expect Arizona to be a leader for many years to come, and, with the help of our administration, continue to rise to the challenge in meeting the needs of our elite-level program.
“While it’s flattering to be mentioned as a candidate for job openings, such speculation only means that our staff is doing great things here in Tucson.”
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