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Players predict where Muhammad, Noel will go

4/9/2012

Shabazz Muhammad knows that, on the surface, it seems glamorous to have the option of picking between heavyweights like Duke, UCLA, Kentucky, UNLV and Kansas.

Still, he’s quick to point out the flip side.

“The stress,” said Muhammad, a senior swingman at Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPNU 100. “It definitely isn’t as fun as people think. It’s all you think about. It’s a tough decision.”

Nerlens Noel can attest to that.

As the top-ranked player in the ESPNU 100, Noel said it only makes it harder “when you really can’t go wrong wherever you decide to go.”

Both Noel and Muhammad will make their decisions live on Recruiting Nation's Signing Day Special Show at 7:30 p.m. ET April 11 on ESPNU.

“People don’t understand how tough this is,” said Noel, a senior center at Tilton (N.H.) who will choose between Georgetown, Kentucky and Syracuse. “It’s the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make. Everyone thinks they know where we’re going.”

Especially their peers.

We caught up with a bunch of players from around the country and had them weigh in on where they think the top two seniors in the country will land.

Matt Jones

DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas), 2013, SG

Committed to: Duke

Noel’s headed to …

“Kentucky. I played with him last weekend at a tournament and you should’ve seen him watching Louisville play against Kentucky. It was like he could envision himself there.”

Muhammad’s headed to …

“Duke. He sees that he could come in and have the same impact that Austin Rivers did.”

Jabari Parker

Simeon (Chicago), 2013, SF

Undecided

Noel’s headed to …

“Boston College. [Laughs] Just kidding, Georgetown.”

Muhammad’s headed to …

“UC Santa Barbara. [Laughs] Just kidding, UCLA.”

Mitch McGary

Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.), 2012, F

Signed to: Michigan

Noel’s headed to …

“Kentucky. Great recruiting class coming in and they just won the national title so that’s got to appeal to him.”

Muhammad’s headed to …

“Kentucky. Same reasons as Nerlens.”

Isaiah Lewis

Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.), 2013, SG

Undecided

Noel’s headed to …

“Kentucky. He’s a one-and-done type and that’s where you go for that.”

Muhammad’s headed to …

“UCLA. I think he and Kyle Anderson are gonna do work.”

Rasheed Sulaimon

Strake Jesuit (Houston), 2012, SG

Signed to: Duke

Noel’s headed to …

“Kentucky. He’s the second coming of Anthony Davis. He’s tall with very long arms that he uses to impact the game on the defensive end and rebound.”

Muhammad’s headed to …

“Duke. I really believe that Shabazz is gonna join me next year because he’s a competitor and wants to win. Coach K is the ultimate competitor and does great with guards like Shabazz. I believe we can do a lot of damage right away.”

Rodney Purvis

Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), 2012, SG

Signed to: N.C. State

Noel’s headed to …

“Kentucky. That’s just my gut.”

Muhammad’s headed to …

“Kentucky. That’s just my gut feeling on him too.”

L.J. Rose

Westbury Christian (Houston), 2012, PG

Signed to: Baylor

Noel’s headed to …

“Kentucky. He’s gonna be compared to Anthony Davis and have that type of impact.”

Muhammad’s headed to …

“Kentucky. They’re just coming off a national title run and Rupp Arena will definitely be rocking next year with him there.”

Chris Walker

Holmes County (Bonifay, Fla.), 2013, F

Undecided

Noel’s headed to …

“Kentucky. He saw what Coach Cal did for Anthony Davis and he’ll feel like he can do the same for him. He’ll be one-and-done just like him.”

Muhammad’s headed to …

“UCLA. It’s the perfect fit with it being close to home and then he’ll have a great guard like Kyle Anderson there with him.”

Kris Jenkins

Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.), 2013, F

Undecided

Noel’s headed to …

“Georgetown. That’s where all the big men go to develop.”

Muhammad’s headed to …

“Kentucky. He thinks Coach Cal can help him reach his goal of the NBA faster.”

Brannen Greene

Mary Persons (Monroe, Ga.), 2013, SG

Committed to: Kansas

Noel’s headed to …

“Kentucky. He sees the impact that Anthony Davis had this year and probably wants to do the same.”

Muhammad’s headed to …

“Kentucky. I think he wants to be one-and-done and he sees Kentucky as the perfect school for that.”

Wayne Selden

Tilton (N.H.), 2014, SG

Undecided

Noel’s headed to …

“Kentucky. He’d fit right in and replace Anthony Davis.”

Muhammad’s headed to …

“UCLA. I think he and Kyle Anderson would be a force in the Pac-12.”

Jahlil Okafor

Whitney Young (Chicago), 2014, F

Undecided

Noel’s headed to …

“Kentucky. He’ll replace Anthony Davis.”

Muhammad’s headed to …

“UCLA. He’ll team up with Kyle Anderson.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.