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Who’s Number One?

Whether it was the Pangos All-American Camp or the Under Armour Best of the Best, the top big men in the Class of 2012 went at it as the top two players in the country, centers Andre Drummond (#1) and Isaiah Austin (#2 — Baylor) battled at Pangos and power forwards Mitch McGary and Robert Carter (#33) went head-to-head at Best of the Best. However, one small forward stole the show from all of the bigs. Lets take a look at who won these elite match-ups at each event.

Pangos All-American Camp

Drummond dominated Austin on Friday and proved that he is the best big man in the Class of 2012. He lived in the paint and simply got the ball in the basket whether it was through a variety of hook shots or a very impressive spin move that opened up a lay-up opportunity while finishing through contact. On the other hand, you had Austin who was unable to utilize his length as much as you would have liked on the defensive end to disrupt and block Drummond’s shot but he did show a nice finesse game on the high post and perimeter where he knocked down jumpers and used the dribble-drive to create separation. As for Drummond’s recruitment, Connecticut is the leader.

Under Armour Best of the Best

At Best of the Best, McGary got the upper hand on Carter since he played with great intensity. He also displayed impressive turn-around and face-up jumpers that compliment his interior game well. He passed well  too but did a terrific job on the defensive end as he was the only person to stop Carter one-on-one. As for who’s recruiting the top big men in the country, McGary is pretty open as is Carter who listed Kentucky, Ohio State, Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, North Carolina and Duke when asked this weekend whereas McGary listed Texas, Connecticut, Indiana, Florida, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Duke, Wisconsin, Arizona and Miami.

The Small Forward Who Stole the Show

However, amid all of the action between the top big men in the junior class, Class of 2012 small forward Shabazz Muhammad (#3) was the one who stole the show this weekend at the Pangos All-American Camp as he came away with the Most Valuable Player Award. Even though he is already an elite slasher who excels in transition, he somehow seems to be getting even better and is unstoppable when he drives to the basket and fearlessly attacks the rim in transition. He also is a phenomenal athlete who is very strong and seemingly scores at will whenever he steps onto the court.

However, what’s really taking his game to the next level is his improving jump shot that people must now defend. Muhammad displayed good speed as well and although he’s not the best player in his class yet, he may get there soon. He needs to continue to improve on his shooting and will have to be able to use his right hand more but look for him to only rise in the rankings (although he’s already rated as the third best prospect in the Class of 2012).

As for his recruitment, Muhammad said this weekend that he’s talked to Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, UCLA and Memphis recently and that he had a great time at his Arizona visit and that he got to talk to former Wildcat star, Derrick Williams. For even more recruiting news on Muhammad, you can check out the “What Shabazz Muhammad is Saying” section in last’s week Who’s Got Next? column.

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