Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel are the two biggest unsigned names high school basketball’s 2012 class and, Wednesday night at 7:30, the world will know which college programs will gain their respective signatures.
NBCSports.com takes a look at which destination looks most promising for each player, with each player set to be the centerpiece of the program they choose.
NBCSports.com’s Prediction: Nerlens Noel to Kentucky
Noel, the 6-11 shotblocking sensation from Massachusetts, has narrowed his list to Kentucky, Syracuse, and Georgetown.
Reports circulated last week not to count out Georgetown as a possible destination for the reclassified senior, and mention of Syracuse has been less dominating in recent weeks.
With coach John Calipari’s ability to present Anthony Davis as Exhibit A of a skilled one-and-done post player who was catapulted to the NBA after an All-American season at Kentucky, a player like Noel, the same type of high-impact player on the defensive end of the floor as Davis was in his one season in Lexington, may find the program appealing to him.
Keep in mind, also, that Calipari is preparing to reload his team. With Muhammad also on the radar for the Wildcats, he knows that he cannot afford to go o-for-2 on the final big-name prospects.
NBCSports.com’s Prediction: Shabazz Muhammad to UCLA
On Wednesday night, Muhammad will choose between UCLA, Duke, and Kentucky.
Muhammad is a Las Vegas native, but has ties to the Los Angeles area and is friendly with UCLA signee Kyle Anderson, a 6-8 point guard from Jersey City, N.J.
After a down year this past season, the combination of Muhammad and Anderson, along with possibly big man Tony Parker, would launch UCLA to the top of the Pac-12 for next season.
Muhammad’s scoring ability would give life to an offense that was 164th in the nation in that category last season.
He set the single-game scoring record in the Nike Hoop Summit last week, scoring 35 points in a loss to the World team.
UCLA has also signed 6-5 forward Jordan Adams from Oak Hill (Va.).